MR. TAKE FIVE ANSWERS THE BIG QUESTIONS
TOO MUCH COFFEE
TAKE FIVE customer Katie asks:
I recently checked out my bank statement and added up all my to-go coffee purchases… they’re becoming a problem. How do you recommend I cut back?
Oh man, this question definitely resonates with me. I’m no pretentious coffee drinker. I love an espresso just as much as a frappuccino just as much as a watery gas station coffee you chug on a road trip. But pushing past the reasonable number of coffees a day strands you into a world of jumpiness, stomach pain and heart palpitations. I would never tell anyone to quit coffee cold turkey, because then I’d have to practice what I preach and that’s not happening. I do have some tips to help curb the reliance on expensive cafes to get your fancy coffee fix.
Level up your Home Game! The coffee you make at home doesn’t have to taste underwhelming, and there are plenty of easy tricks to make it taste more barista-quality quickly, and curb the want to swing by Starbucks every day before you feel like you can get your life started. You don’t need to buy a fancy espresso maker to follow these tips either. Tried and true methods like french press and mocha pots will all make better coffee if you grind your coffee beans fresh and use filtered water. If you don’t have a grinder but want to see how good fresh ground coffee tastes, buy a bag of whole bean coffee from your local cafe and ask them to grind it for you! I’ve done it before, and most coffee shops are happy to do this for free, since those high-powered coffee grinders are easy and fast to use. Just make sure to tell them how you’ll be brewing it so it’s ground to the proper coarseness.
If you already know these basic tips and want something bigger, people seem to agree that weighing out your coffee on a scale improves the flavor and consistency of it. Since weight is more precise than volume, you’ll be able to better learn the ratios you prefer for your perfect cuppa Joe. There’s also nothing stopping you from making a decent replica of your favorite peppermint mocha latte at home. You can buy flavor syrups just like the best cafes use to concoct your own sweet demented concoctions. There are also cheap accessories including this handheld milk frother which are a breeze to use and help your first coffee of the day feel more luxurious. With these tips, you won’t have to see another human before you get out of your unholy pre-caffeine form, and it becomes pretty fun to experiment when you get the time!
Now if you don’t have the time or patience to train yourself in the art of the barista, that’s totally fine. Here’s what I recommend to wean yourself off the delicious bean water. Give yourself a cutoff time or spending limit for your coffee runs. This is less restrictive than the ancient and dusty ‘cheat day’ method, but if you have the will to stick to it you’ll definitely have a healthier relationship with caffeine.
Finally, and this may be hardest to hear for those really deep in the coffee hole: There are other great tasting drinks besides coffee. Turns out drinks don’t necessarily need caffeine to be refreshing and energizing in a different way. Try swapping out a couple of your daily coffees with an iced or sparkling water, or a hot tea if you still want caffeine but want to seem sophisticated and British. I promise, drinking some more water won’t kill you unless you’re choosing the wrong place to drink from. Just be careful swapping out the caffeine for too many sugary drinks. Those are just the same beast with a different name, but hey I’m not your mom!
I hope these insights help you with weaning off the caffeine should you ever feel you need to, but I have to personally thank the perfectly reasonable number of espressos it took to write this post! Espresso count: 3.