I weaned myself off my mindless, all-day, coffee-drinking habit quite a few years ago now, partly by promising myself that I would make every coffee count. No more mediocre coffee, just the good stuff. But less of it.
Quite the opposite to Molly’s Mum, I can’t function without my morning coffee (slightly longer than espresso, but still espresso-like in nature), which my husband or children kindly bring to me before I get out of bed. At the weekend, I might have a second morning coffee later on, once my day is underway. Two or three evenings a week, I might have an espresso after dinner. And I would always offer coffee if friends or family drop in, and would have one myself if they wanted one. And of course I sometimes go out with friends, and have coffee then.
My coffee consumption plummeted. I no longer have caffeine running through my veins, and I truly relish the coffee that I do drink. But an interesting side-effect is that I am no longer tolerant of bad coffee. Even in restaurants, I am now more likely to say “let’s go back home for coffee” than I am to order after-dinner coffee of unknown (or, worse still, known) quality. (Depends on who I am eating out with, of course.)
The rest of the time, I drink tea: no milk or anything, just black tea. I have always had a cup of tea in bed at night, but my reduced coffee consumption left a beverage gap during the day. My choice varies between (usually) Lapsang souchong, Earl Grey, Lady Grey, gunpowder, green-tea-with-mint or ordinary. Sometimes I buy something more exotic, such as white tea or blue tea (it’s got cornflower petals in it, bizarrely), but those are always a bit of a letdown, despite their sometimes exorbitant cost.
But the problem with tea is that if I drink a lot of it, it makes me feel old, as though my life has somehow shrivelled up and left me with no alternatives. I think I am probably still an all-day coffee-drinker at heart.