I’ve been trying to give up coffee for the past few weeks — something about getting better sleep and getting over my addiction to the Keurig machines in our office. So when I volunteered to participate in a caffeine challenge, I had mixed feelings: On one hand, I had started to miss coffee. On the other hand, it had been long enough that I worried a super-charged energy drink would make my head explode.
Fortunately, while some of my colleagues tried drinks with ominous names like Death Wish Coffee, I got to stick with something milder: plain ol’ black coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Not only I had never tried Dunkin’ before, I had never tried regular black coffee before. In fact, I am such a coffee amateur that I requested my coffee “plain” before the cashier confirmed that I actually wanted my coffee black. Right. What she said.
10 a.m.: So far the only thing I feel — or don’t feel, for that matter — are my taste buds, which I am pretty sure I completely burned off because I was too eager for a hot sip and am biologically incapable of patience.
10:30 a.m.: Like a robot, I feel nothing. Yet.
11 a.m.: Suddenly the caffeine hits me, and I feel a boost of energy so strong it is actually quite distracting. I have an overwhelming urge to alert my co-workers, so I begin sending them instant messages along the lines of “omg caffeine i am feelin it” and “im like twerkin out right now.” I think I meant to say “tweaking out.” But maybe I had an urge to twerk, too?
12 p.m.: I am having a hard time focusing with all the caffeine bouncing around inside my head, so I fill up my water bottle in hopes of diluting the chemical energy pumping through my veins, at least until I can get some food in me. (In retrospect, this was probably cheating. In retrospect, this was also probably not an accurate take on the science of caffeine by any means.)
2 p.m.: The energy I was feeling before has started to subside. Usually my coffee experiences give me happy, perky feelings of productivity, allowing me to crank out emails and get work done at a delightfully frantic pace. Black coffee seems to be giving me negative vibes. I feel like I’m forgetting to do something. I’m a little on edge. I’m productive, but it’s coming from a slightly anxious place.
3 p.m.: All I can think about is how much I regret not getting donuts with my coffee purchase this morning. I considered it, but decided not to. I am a fool. And now I am hungry.
4 p.m.: I am starting to crash. But it could also be the fact that it’s 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon. If you are employed and you don’t crash by this point in the week, I assume you are on drugs much more powerful than caffeine. Or maybe you just took a sip of that 48-shot, $47.30 Starbucks drink. Given my demonstrated low tolerance for caffeine, I’m pretty sure I would die just from smelling all that espresso.
Lasting impression: After this experiment, I don’t think I miss coffee as much as I thought I did, so I probably won’t be coming back to Dunkin’ for coffee anytime soon. But I definitely miss that donut I almost bought this morning. Oh yes, I’ll definitely come back for some donuts.
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