Thursday, November 7, 2013

Giving thanks for... coffee!

I've actually been kind of 'blah' this week - not sure if it's the time change or the colder weather or what but trying to get work done has been a real slog. So in an effort to get my brain to focus, I've been drinking a little more coffee than usual, though that is still a lot less than a lot of people I know. I've had a pretty up-and-down relationship with coffee. I didn't start drinking coffee until sometime in graduate school and then it was mostly coffee drinks that were more milk and sugar than coffee (ah, those wonderful days when I could drink a regular mocha and not think twice about how many calories were in it!). At some point, I settled into a routine of drinking a cup of half-coffee/half-hot chocolate each morning. When I started working at my university, there was a Starbucks in the student union just downstairs from my office and each afternoon, one of my colleagues would stick their head in my office and ask if I wanted to go down for coffee. It was more of a social thing but I got used to having that big jolt of caffeine to help me get over the after-lunch energy dip.

A few years ago, I decided to switch to green tea in the mornings - still gives me a little bit of caffeine but there are also all kinds of health benefits. I was still drinking coffee after lunch but about a year ago, I decided to try reducing my caffeine intake to see if that might have any impact on my sleep (I often have problems sleeping). But I found that I still craved the taste of coffee so I started drinking decaf. For any coffee snobs out there, I'll note that I've never had a very discriminating palate so I can't really taste any difference - coffee is coffee. Now, on days when I feel like I still need some help focusing, I'll drink half-cafs. What's nice is that as my body has adjusted to lower levels of caffeine, I feel like it takes less to get the same energy. In fact, now, if I have an entire cup of regular Starbucks coffee, I really feel it.

By the way, if you're a fan of coffee art, you have to check out the amazing creations of the Japanese barista Kazuki Yamamoto:

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