To Be Caffeinated or Not To Be Caffeinated?

…that is the question, and for me the answer is decaf (I shudder even writing the word).  My longing for more rest has compelled me to try going caffeine free.  I’ve been drinking coffee since elementary school – when we were younger, my brother had terrible asthma and one of the home remedies my parents employed to battle it was coffee.  This wasn’t a frequent treat, but I gained a taste for the stuff early.  It wasn’t long before I was sharing a pot of coffee with my father while we chatted on the deck in the mornings.  When I began waitressing at age 14, my fate was sealed: coffee and I were to be dear friends.

Fast forward some years.  Mine is not a fancy habit, as I prefer my coffee to be strong, black, and lukewarm.  I recently purchased a french press and have delighted at making coffee every morning (…and afternoon…and evening..).  Unfortunately, my sleep patterns are quite erratic and I can never seem to get sleep during the hours I allot for it.  To help regulate my internal clock and allow myself to be better rested this semester, I will be avoiding all caffeine.  I’ve been without for nearly two weeks now, but still feel like I’m lagging a bit.  I suppose that after years of caffeine consumption it will take some time to convince my sleepy cells that they don’t require an infusion of coffee each morning to function.

I’ll be frank: mornings are lousy without coffee.  I relish in being able to drink a warm beverage and curl up with the crossword (this activity is perfect for us lazy folks who want to give the illusion that we’re adults).  I love the smell of coffee filling my kitchen and how it warms my insides on the coldest of days.  (Is it obvious that I miss the stuff?)

Well, to combat my pangs of longing for delicious coffee, I’ll be filling the coffee-void with other warm beverages, like tea and hot cider (all decaffeinated, of course).  I’ve been searching for inspiration, some ideas to keep my decaf momentum going, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

What better way to encourage myself to make tea than with a cute tea infuser?  This one from the Beehive Kitchenware Company has a steep price tag of $58, so it may be something I need to save my pennies for.

Alternatively, I could craft some homemade tea bags from cheesecloth like these ones by Bonzai Aphrodite.

Most likely, I will employ the french press I already have for the purposes of tea brewing, similar to this system employed by Off the (Meat) Hook.

Maybe I’ll start drinking more hot cider, too!  This is from a recipe at Bravo Alpha Events, and I think I’ll be trying it out soon.

If it comes to it, I’m not above ordering coffee-scented scratch-and-sniff stamps.  Apparently, these were released in Brazil in 2001, according to Oddee.com.  (Can we all pause and contemplate how much better the USPS would fare if it made all of its stamps scratch-and-sniff!?)

I’m hoping that I can kickstart myself into a healthier year than the last, and going caffeine-free seems like an appropriate first step.  I’m only on my second day of courses for the semester, so I could change my tune in a few weeks when the workload increases, but for now I’m off the coffee-sauce!

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