The mixed blessings of caffeine

Like billions of others around the world, coffee has become part of my morning routine, and if it is well made real coffee, then the treat is even more rewarding.

I like to blend different types of beans –  Columbian, Ethiopian Sidamo or Kenya Peaberry. I add half a dozen or so of Vanilla flavoured coffee beans to the blend before grinding. I use my trusted Bialetti which is stained by the hundreds of coffees it has made over the years to turn these beans into the desirable essence I so impatiently wait.

An enticing coffee aroma fills the house before an extract of deep caramel-coloured liquid fills the top half of Bialetti. It wakes up my senses and my taste buds, even before I’ve taken a mouthful. And after I’ve used my skin creams to make me feel human, the coffee really cheers me up. I’m then ready to carry out the chores on my TTD list – things to do!

However as much as I love coffee, I don’t like relying on to give me that extra boost. I’ve tried many times to give up, but my will doesn’t stretch much beyond mid morning. One cup of coffee isn’t a problem per se, but one cup usually turns into two or three, and by that point I become all coffeed out. I’m so energetic that, as I cycle to the post office to post my orders, I begin waving at bewildered looking strangers, convinced that I know them.

Slightly embarrassed by my behavior, I decided that I needed to try something else to curb my addiction. So I’ve made myself a rehab blend – it is part real coffee, part decaffeinated, and part dandelion root. And it has helped reduce my craving, so let’s hope it lasts!

I’ve learnt a couple of things from this experience. The first is that the more you try to control an addiction, the more your mind reacts like a rebellious teenager. It is better to understand the addiction and to manage it accordingly. Another is the importance of discipline and the strong will power you will need to keep it up. Controlling an addiction becomes a sort of cycle, not unlike other things: sticking to a diet or gym attendance. Discipline helps with every day routine as well as pick up unfinished projects of knitting you started years ago or DIY you’ve been meaning to finish off.

The same can be said about looking after our skin. We make many promises to ourselves – sometimes a New Year resolution, or sometimes on our birthday or anniversaries. Most of the time these promises come to nothing, if we make a small change and build it up over time, we see our efforts succeeding. As a wise person once said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.