I’m addicted to coffee! Okay, I admit it! According to Wikipedia, an addiction is defined as a physical and psychological dependence. Addiction can also be viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure and enjoyment would have originally been sought, however, over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal.
Well, that certainly describes me – I certainly don’t feel normal in the morning until I’ve had my first cup of java. Those of you who don’t believe coffee is addictive have never experienced what is known as a “caffeine headache”.
All the warning signs of an addiction are there, I drink it every day, I drink it alone, I drink it to feel good, I drink it socially…I mean its wreaking havoc on my already stressful life.
Coffee, or more specifically the caffeine in coffee, is a stimulant. This means that it makes you feel very motivated and focused for a few hours. Eventually the stimulating effects of the caffeine completely wear off and you’re left with a form of exhaustion. The only remedy, drink more coffee!
I first started drinking coffee as a young child. My parents drank coffee all the time. My father would brew it fresh every morning and that delicious aroma would permeate our home. At first my father only let me have a little bit, but as I grew older, coffee became the only way I could get going in the morning!
Some people think money or love makes the world go round, but I say it’s coffee. Take me for instance I wander out of bed around 5 A.M. after a solid four hours or so of sleep to begin my day. I set my coffee maker the previous night on automatic timer, so it is already brewed when I drag myself to the kitchen. That’s right, I take my coffee so seriously I have to have it ready before I am even conscious.
The first cup is a delicious treat, as the first sip warms my insides going down, ”mmmmm….coffee.” By the time I get that first cup down I become human again.
These days, for many people the craving for caffeine must be quenched immediately upon awakening for any conscious activity to begin. To the coffee “connoisseur” instant coffee is the work of the devil. Coffee specialty shops have taken over urban America. No longer do we just ask for a cup of coffee, black or with milk and sugar. These days the simple cafes that offer a cup of coffee are outnumbered by “Specialty” coffee venues that offer such variations as the Cappuccino, Café Latte, Café Mocha, and Café Americano. They advertise their drinks as “light and frothy” or “with steamed milk and whipped cream, in a variety of flavors.”
The OU certifies a large variety of flavored and unflavored coffees to satisfy every flavor profile. With national brands of instant and ground coffees like Barrie House, Melitta, Green Mountain Roasters, Juan Valdez, Dunkin’ Donuts, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Lavazza, Starbucks, Fogler’s, Chock Full O’ Nuts, Nescafe, Savarin, 7-Eleven, Seattle’s Best, and Coffee Bean, the OU certifies over 5,000 varieties and flavors of coffee.
These days I get my second morning fix at the local coffee shop on my way to work. I think the people there are getting to know me too well, I no longer have to actually place an order, I walk in and my order for coffee gets placed without me even arriving at the counter. I have my only personal barista, Barry, he knows exactly how I take my coffee, flavor preference and all. What a wonderful way to start the day!