Ask the readers – what’s your coffee drinking habit?

I can’t remember when I first started drinking coffee, probably when I was a teenager. When I was younger, my parents used to brew coffee on weekends and we would sit down and drink coffee together while eating breakfast. Back then, drinking coffee was a treat for me.

Somehow, coffee has become a part of my daily life. Mrs. T and I would regularly sit down and have hygge by having a cup of coffee, some small treats, and spend quality time together. At work, I would drink a cup or two of coffee and socialize with other co-workers while waiting for coffee to be made by the Nespresso machine.

The coffee drinking habit stuck. Unlike many people though, I am not addicted to coffee by any means. I just like the taste and the smell of coffee.

But this “non-addiction” habit seemed to have changed with the arrival of Baby T2.0.

After Baby T2.0’s arrival, thanks to lack of sleep, I began drinking more and more coffee during the day. In addition, I would drink English Breakfast tea throughout the day. When I got back to work after my short parental leave, this habit continued. I would drink 2 cups of coffee, between 3 or 4 cups of English Breakfast, and a few cups of herbal tea each day. Good thing we can get free Nespresso coffee and tea at work, or this habit would have cost me quite a bit of money!

Lately though, I have been feeling drowsy in the morning even after a good night of sleep (Baby T2.0 has been sleeping relatively well). My head would feel unclear and I would have a tough time concentrating while eating breakfast. This has resulted in me making myself a cup of coffee or English Breakfast and drinking it while eating breakfast. This is something I have never done in the past. Usually I would just have milk or water with my breakfast. Somehow, it seems that I have become addicted to caffeine. I need to consume caffeine to stay awake.

I feel that I need to kick this habit.

I need to change.

So starting today, I have decided to give up coffee and any caffeinated drinks until July 1st. I’m not going to count down the days. I’m not going to wonder whether I’m going to drink coffee on July 1st or not. For this habit change challenge, I’m going to take it one day at the time.

I am energetic.

I am alert.

I am happy.

I’ll report back with my progress here and there.

Dear readers, are you addicted to coffee or caffeinated drinks? Want to take this challenge with me?

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70 Comments

  • Reply
    JT
    May 30, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I gave it up once to show that I could…I just love it so much though. I also didn’t enjoy the headaches for the first week I gave it up! I average somewhere between 5-8 cups of coffee a day. I am probably addicted to it so I guess the only reasonable solution is to feed the addiction. Good luck to you though!

    JT

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Wow 5- 8 cups of coffee a day? That’s a lot. 🙂

      • Reply
        Rob
        May 31, 2016 at 10:53 am

        I’m a out the same used to be 4 cappuccinos a day but I now only allow myself 2 (1 in the morning 1 in the afternoon and between those two loads of instant.

        • Reply
          Tawcan
          May 31, 2016 at 11:34 am

          That seems like a good amount of coffee. I used to drink de-caf coffee if I had a few cups already.

  • Reply
    fred
    May 30, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    I can’t drink coffee….raises my blood pressure too much.
    But I drink tea regularly. It has caffeine too of course, but much less.
    I like tea because I believe it has health benefits, and keeps me from drinking too much
    sugary stuff like juice, soda, etc.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 30, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Tea is better than coffee I think. It’s much easier to get herbal teas without any caffeine.

  • Reply
    Paul
    May 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I started drinking coffee when I was about sixteen. It started when I was working a summer job, I worked on a delivery truck and the first stop in the morning was to get coffee. I didn’t drink it at first but started because it was just part of the day. As I got into university it was a great help on those all nighters, and then once I started work I was burning the candle at both ends and coffee was the way to make it through the day. I only drank it during the week, so my last cup would be Friday afternoon. I would find that by Sunday I was starting to get withdrawl symptoms such as fatigue and headaches. I finally decided to give it up cold turkey. It has been about 7 years since I last had coffee. I even went about 4 years without drinking tea. I did start drinking tea, usually green tea at least once a day at work or when I went golfing on the weekend morning if it was cool out. However, I can go without it and I don’t seem to have the side effects I had with coffee. Every now and again I think about having a coffee, it is usually if I am out to dinner with friends and after dinner everyone orders a coffee. I had a tea instead.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Hi Paul,

      I think I started drinking coffee when I was younger but I can’t remember. Interesting that you start drinking coffee because it was part of the daily routine. That’s what I felt when I started working and going for coffee breaks with my co-workers.

      Really cool that you went cold turkey and have been able to not touch coffee for 7 years. That’s impressive!

  • Reply
    brian503
    May 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I don’t drink coffee, I don’t like the taste. It smells good but every time I’ve tried it I just don’t like it. I do drink tea, English Breakfast too. Usually 2 cups a day.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:28 am

      I like English Breakfast because the tea + milk mix. 2 cups a day seems pretty reasonable. 🙂

  • Reply
    DivHut
    May 30, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    I am much more of a tea drinker than coffee but like you I am not addicted to coffee by any means. It’s not part of any morning ritual and I feel fine with or without it. I just like the smell and taste but do not require it to function. Speaking of coffee (shameless plug ahead) if you like some specialty coffees check out https://kojava.com Even though baby DivHut is now 14 months, I still haven’t had one straight through night of sleep since he was born. Always something comes up in the middle of the night, teething, wet, whatever. It’s all good.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:29 am

      I’m usually fine without coffee. I just like having something hot to sip on during the day. But it seems that lately I’m drinking coffee & caffeinated tea for the sack of staying alert. Needed to change that, hence for this challenge.

  • Reply
    The Green Swan
    May 30, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    I used to be very careful not to drink coffee too regularly to avoid getting addicted but when our kid arrived that went out the window. But I’m less concerned about it now given all the recent research supporting the health benefits of coffee.

    Plus I like it too much.

    What do you plan on doing to help with the tiredness? Will you be trying to increase your hours sleep instead?

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:30 am

      I get good sleep the last little while, usually around 7 or 8 hours. It’s not continuous though as Baby T2.0 usually gets up around 2 AM or so. I think the key thing I’m concerned is that I seem to be relying on caffeine more and more. Needed to take a break from that.

  • Reply
    earlyretirementnow.com
    May 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Great post! Like you I also got hooked on coffee through my parents, especially my mom. Reducing coffee consumption is definitely one of the #1 items I try to achieve in early retirement! But not while I’m still working.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Interesting that you got hooked by your parents too. 😉

  • Reply
    Evan @ BuildingIncomeInvestments
    May 30, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Love my morning coffee but I assume it is more of the ritual with the drink vs the actual caffeine intake

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:31 am

      That’s what I felt too. It’s more of a ritual/routine than actual caffeine intake. But my body seems to be dependent on caffeine lately and needed a change.

  • Reply
    ambertreeleaves
    May 30, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Recognizable post!
    When we were kids free, I was an occasional coffee drinker at the restaurant with friends.
    After baby one, we got a nespresso and I took one to kick start the day and to get through some weekend days.
    With Baby 2, I went one level up. One to kick start the day, one at work for the morning dip, one after lunch and one to race to the end of the day.
    A year or so later, I started to have migraine often. NO idea where. When speaking to some colleagues, we came to the subject of coffee. I decided to do a test. No more coffee…. There were no more migraines. I took a fe days a coffee and the migraines were back.

    Nowdays, I o longer drink coffee or coke. I stick to tea. For me, this seems to work out fine.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Sounds like I am following your food step. :p

      I do enjoy the taste and smell of coffee but just need to find the right balance.

  • Reply
    Dividendsdownunder
    May 31, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Hey Tawcan, thanks for exploring this topic. I’m pretty pleased to say that I (nor my wife) drink any coffee or tea. Coffee smells nice (but so weirdly does petrol sometimes), I’ve tried it and I don’t like it. I prefer tea over coffee but I haven’t had a tea for many months either.

    Water all the way 🙂

    Tristan

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Very cool that you don’t drink any coffee or tea. Water is indeed better for you.

  • Reply
    Mr.Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes
    May 31, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Good luck. Caffeine is really hard to give up. I’ve done it a few times over the years, it’s tough! Right now I still allow myself to drink tea, so I’m not completely caffeine free….and I still think there’s some addiction there.

    If I don’t get my daily cup of tea, I’ll start to get a headache. At least tea is a cheap vice to have!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:34 am

      I did stop drinking coffee and caffeinated teas for 1.5 months a while ago. I just feel that I needed a change to get my body out of the caffeine dependent state.

      Interesting about the headache, never had that myself.

  • Reply
    Team CF
    May 31, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Good for you! We both are not coffee drinkers (primarily thee and water) and never have been either. Not our drink of choice.

    Curious to know if you suffer from withdrawal symptoms for the first few days.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Surprisingly I haven’t had any withdrawal symptoms. 😀

  • Reply
    IH
    May 31, 2016 at 9:02 am

    I’m seriously addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper. Lucky for me I’m a DPS shareholder so I’m helping the company succeed. I’m not ready to take the challenge. Maybe next month :-). Best of luck to you on this one Tawcan.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Dr. Pepper is pretty delicious, used to drink a can or two when I was in university. Now I don’t really drink pop at all. 🙂

  • Reply
    Thias @It Pays Dividends
    May 31, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I normally only drink 1-2 cups a day when I’m at work. When I’m at home, I don’t have as big of an urge to drink it. I did give it up for most of April and May because I hadn’t been feeling quite right so I wanted to see if it was the reaction to the coffee. After a month, it didn’t seem to be the issue so I reintroduced drinking one cup a day. I just learned that I like it a bit too much to completely give it up. Good luck to you though!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Interesting, Mrs. T and I drink coffee at home when we have hygge. I’ll have to switch over to tea for this month.

  • Reply
    Mr. SSC
    May 31, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I usually have a cup (10 oz) at home, then a 16 oz to go cup on the commute. I used to have about 2-3 more 20 oz cups during the day at work as well. I did this for years, and then one day decided I’d gotten dependent or addicted and I just quit. It was tough, but good because it broke the cycle. Now I have coffee but it’s due to want, not NEED, and I drink tea at work instead. It has caffeine but I find I don’t drink much, maybe 2-3 cups a day and I drink more water now. I still like coffee and even just roasted some more beans this weekend. I find that on holiday and vacations, I tend to drink only a cup or two in the morning and have no ill side effects.

    Kicking the habit when I was drinking a LOT of coffee each day was a little rough at first, but it gets easier. 🙂

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Wow that sounds like a lot of coffee consumption. It’s definitely good that you broke down this routine. Things definitely get easier as the day goes by.

  • Reply
    Roadmap2Retire
    May 31, 2016 at 10:46 am

    If I dont keep it check, I know that I will be drinking 10 cups a day…thats how much I love coffee 😀

    But I stop myself and have limited to just one cup a day. Normally I also have a cup of tea in the afternoon, which I think is ok giving me a small boost during the post-lunch sluggishness.

    Ive had a problem where I was drinking too much coffee in the past and was getting jittery. I quit drinking for a while (which was really hard the first time i did it). But I enjoy it too much to cut it completely out of my life 🙂

    Good luck with your tapering
    R2R

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      May 31, 2016 at 11:33 am

      It’s easy to drink quite a few cups if you don’t keep it in check. I had never gotten to the point where I feel jittery. 🙂

  • Reply
    Stefan - The Millennial Budget
    May 31, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Wish I could relate to this post but I have drank coffee four times in my life and all because they were at business meetings so I did not want to seem rude. Perhaps when I get into the workforce and need that extra energy I will start but I found just walking around will help me wake up. I swam for 13 years so waking up at 5 in the morning and going to sleep at 11-12 was pretty routine for me. Guess I am used to the daily grind of it for now.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Wow that’s crazy you’ve only drank coffee four times in your life. Way to avoid the temptation.

  • Reply
    Apathy Ends
    May 31, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I do maybe 1-2 cups per day – I love the taste and smell. We opt for cold press a lot of the time

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

      That’s a good amount I think. Cold press is good stuff.

  • Reply
    BeSmartRich
    May 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Yup. Coffee is delicious. I am not addicted and I can live without it but it is truly delicious.

    I used to smoke cigarettes and one of the best things I have ever done in my life was quitting it. Luckily I could not afford smoking cigarettes when I first moved to Canada where a pack of it was around $9-11 whereas I could get one for $2-2.5 in South Korea.

    So my advise to you is to move to a country where you cannot afford coffee? 🙂 It worked based on my experience. 🙂

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:02 am

      LOL that’s a funny way to kick off your habit. :p

  • Reply
    Dividend Diplomats
    May 31, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Tawcan,

    Your new coffee habit at the end sounds an awful lot like my daily routine. Like you, I still feel tired after a good night sleep and am not up and alert until I slug down the coffee. Part of my issue is that I really enjoy the smell and taste of it as well, so I don’t want to give it up completely. I just want to reduce the amount of joe I slam in the morning. To me, nothing is better than sipping on a nice cup of coffee on my porch in the morning.

    Anyway, how have you progressed so far? Going cold turkey is very bold and I am sure the first week or so will be rough until your body fully adjusts. Let me know your progress and anything you learn from this experience so I can apply it to myself as well!

    Best of luck!

    Bert

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:03 am

      I really like the smell and taste of coffee too but I like my coffee hot so I drink it quite quickly. I do love sitting on a patio in the summer and enjoy a nice cup of Latte. Life is pretty good then.

      I’m feeling pretty good actually. Very alert throughout the day and feel way better in the morning. 🙂

  • Reply
    Freedom 40 Guy
    May 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Oh boy! This one would be hard! I’m totally addicted. At least one venti every morning. Not sure I could quit. Maybe something to consider in FI?

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Venti is a lot of coffee. If you can’t quit now, what makes you think you can quit in FI? 🙂

  • Reply
    Dividend Arena
    May 31, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Stopped drinking coffee cold turkey on Mar 1st of this year! For a few weeks I had terrible headaches but that passed with time as the body detoxed from the caffeine withdrawal. I think my mood and sleep has improved. The only unfortunate part is I can’t stand drinking dirty water (a.k.a tea) and plain water is so boring … so feeling a little unsatisfied like something is missing.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Cool stuff Dividend Arena. I haven’t had any headaches and have been feeling pretty good. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank
    May 31, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I a coffee lover and I think I would never give drinking coffee because without it, I think my day would never be complete.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

      But you can drink other things to complete your day. Give it a try. 🙂

  • Reply
    TheMoneyMine
    June 1, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I also like coffee and I also started to slow down on its consumption. I usually had 4 espressos throughout the day, with a english breakfast tea in the morning. But drinking coffee is a social activity to meet other people by the coffee machine. Also a good place to get the latest unofficial updates for what’s going on at work 😉
    I’ve slowed down. I now do only 2 decaf espressos during the day. I don’t think I want to totally cut it, but I think I could eventually be happy with only 1 in the morning.
    Coffee is truly addictive!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Wow 4 espressos is a lot. I got hooked on drinking coffee at work because it’s more of a social activity at work. You stand around and wait for coffee to brew. Making tea is quick so it’s not the same. I’m not drinking any decaf coffee at all, giving up coffee completely for June.

  • Reply
    Dividend Beginner
    June 1, 2016 at 5:23 am

    I’m not addicted to coffee whatsoever. I have one cup at home before I go to work and then I MIGHT have one, never more than two on the job. The coffee at work is just meh. That’s probably why. Not to mention I get stomach aches after drinking too much. Definitely cut down bro.

    DB

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:08 am

      That’s a good way to do it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Fervent Finance
    June 1, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I just bought a microfilter pour over and love it. I have one cup when I wake up and one around 2pm. Much better than the ole Keurig.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Two coffee for the day is pretty good I think. I know a few people drink 8 – 10 a day. 😐

  • Reply
    Andrew@livingrichcheaply
    June 1, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Surprisingly, I never really developed a coffee drinking habit. I think after a long night out, I had a road trip the next morning and had coffee even I almost never drank it. It just made by heart beat faster and I had to pull over on the highway to pee…so after that I just never felt the urge to drink it. But once my son was born and I was sleep deprived I did start drinking coffee and do find myself more alert. So yea, it seems that having kids will make you need coffee. Only a cup or two at most though.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

      I’ve never experienced having faster heart beats or having headaches from not having coffee. Once though, I drank black coffee around 10 PM and had one of the worst sleeps of my life. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries
    June 1, 2016 at 8:22 am

    I dont consider myself a coffee drinker but I do like to have 1 cup in the morning when im at my day job. Mainly because I am bored and need something to drink.

    At least youre not out buying starbucks everyday, that would be a huge expense!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:13 am

      It’s crazy that some people visit Starbucks every single day, often multiple visits per day. Bad for their pockets, good for me since I’m a Starbucks stock owner now.

  • Reply
    MrSLM
    June 1, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I typically have 1 large cup of coffee in the morning (or an iced one in the summer), milk only, no sugar, not for health reasons, I just don’t like sweet things. On really bad days where the screaming little man has been up several times in the night, I might resort to a second or an extremely rare 3rd coffee sometime around midday. My body is a bit self-regulating, after the 2nd coffee I start to feel sick 😛

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Yum iced coffee is delicious on a hot summer day. Good call on not having any sugar.

  • Reply
    Millennial Moola
    June 1, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Usually 1-2 cups. I get extremely jittery w more than that

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      That’s typically what I drink too. No jittery if I drink more though.

  • Reply
    Vivianne
    June 1, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I’m not a coffee or tea drinker here. We used to grew coffee when we grow up. I currently have 2 tea plants. But I’m not much into it.

    I know people with migraine headache that are coffee drinker, they are unable to use caffeine as a drug to help with headache.

    I also know people who drink 1-2 pots of coffee within 4 hours period. They are super skinny, though. 🙂

    If I were going to drink any caffeinated product, it’d be for pleasure, like drinking ice coffee, coke, milk tea, etc. even that, I don’t like the way I feel afterward, my thought keep cycling. I’d thinking about the same subject over and over again. It’s the weirdest feeling.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 1, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      When Mrs. T’s family visited us, they were drinking like 7 or 8 cups of espresso every day. Our Nespresso machine Had a good workout. 🙂

  • Reply
    J
    June 1, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    I cut my daily consumption but coffee is too good to give up completely! I went from 3 cups to 1 and I only have it in the morning. There was a time though when I tried giving it up in exchange for a flatter stomach, because that’s what my PT said. I ended up saying I don’t care about my having abs anyway. Haha! Good luck!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 2, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Haha, having 1 cup a day is a good amount I think.

  • Reply
    desidividend
    June 2, 2016 at 5:36 am

    When i was growing up in india ,it was always Chai,even in us i drank tea made with milk for long time ,but some time back in 2004 i switched to coffee with milk,not the black coffee. Weekends i still drink tea. I restrict my self to one cup of coffee early in morning thats it.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 2, 2016 at 10:57 am

      One cup of coffee per day is a good amount I think. I love chai latte myself. Yum!

  • Reply
    sabbaticalia
    June 3, 2016 at 7:46 am

    No coffee for me: I hate the taste. That said, I do know about cutting out caffeine from a college experience.

    In college, the keystone of my major’s curriculum had substantial weekly homework. Tradition, and scheduling snafus with other primary courses, meant that we had 24 hours to get the work done before the deadline of Monday noon. And we needed most of those hours most weeks, even banding together for mutual support.

    Each of my classmates had their own particular poison for outlasting the second half of Sunday and first half of Monday. Many chose coffee, some chose tea, one Korean buddy chose kimchi, and I chose the highly-caffeinated sugary soda called Mountain Dew. The novelty of doing something other than writing or thinking kept me going until the sugar kicked in. When the sugar kicked out, the caffeine had just kicked in. When the caffeine kicked out, it was bladder pressure keeping me awake.

    By the end of the year, I was downing *six* liters of Mountain Dew in a 24-hour period! So, yes, that summer, I went through caffeine withdrawal. Unhappy-making.

    It took two decades for my body to resensitize to caffeine. I had some early workdays where I wish it had worked on me; now, I’m happy it made me pace myself well and work more effectively. Nowadays, I just have the occasional mug of tea. Even late at night, it does little to keep me awake past my normal sleep-time. Ditto with any caffeinated sodas I come across. I leave the “five-hour energy drinks” alone, since I’ve already danced with caffeine withdrawal, and don’t care to trigger it again.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      June 3, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Wow 6 liters of Mountain Dew in 24 hours! If I recall correctly, Mountain Dew has even higher caffeine than coffee. No wonder you would have caffeine withdrawal.

  • Reply
    OneShareAtaTime
    September 29, 2017 at 4:45 am

    Never really drank it. I have tried once or twice, but never really liked it. Same for tea. I get caffeine from soda but usually only when we order pizza. I try to stick to water and unsweetened ice tea.

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