Lifestyle tips

The Caffeine Breaker: How I dealt with coffee addiction and discovered a balanced solution

the-best-thing-about-waking-up

Mmm, coffee… The elixir of life. The best moment of any day is the first cup of morning coffee… The smell, the taste, especially when combined with your favourite treat, like a croissant or cinnamon roll… just mmmm…

I am certain that many of you would agree on what I just said. But I am also certain that many of you would agree that coffee is unhealthy for you and you might even want to quit drinking it. Perhaps you have already tried but failed.

Then you are where I used to be. It took months and months of experimenting and trial and error from me to finally find a solution that REALLY worked. I will now share my story and what I discovered.

Coffee is my vice. It´s THE vice of my life. I just love everything about coffee, the smell, the taste, how it combines with cinnamon rolls and other sweet pastries… or chocolate! I can’t get enough of it. There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee and a fresh cinnamon roll.

And the stronger the better. I have a weakness for very strong espresso and parisienne and at my worst times I would drink strong espresso at home all day long. From the moment I wake up to late at night. That’s 2-3 litres at least. PER DAY.

To my misfortune I also happen to be sensitive to caffeine… At one point I started to get worrying physical symptoms like fast heartbeat (even at rest), dizziness, continuous insomnia and headaches so powerful that I couldn’t open my eyes. I noticed that the symptoms began immediately after drinking a cup of coffee. I felt this throbbing warm sensation in my hands and my heart started beating faster, then came the dizziness.

Tea does not cause any of the symptoms. I also like tea (all kinds of it), have liked for years, so I tried switching to tea completely but it simply is not the same thing… Tea does not taste like coffee so drinking tea simply is not the same thing.

I tried quitting coffee many times. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms were severe. I had so powerful headaches that I couldn’t open my eyes, I was sweating and felt weak and unhappy. Sometimes I managed to stay off for a week or two but then I started again. This cycle repeated countless times. I knew that I just HAD to quit but it was so hard.

Then I accidentally ran into coffee substitute products at a health store. These are products that imitate coffee but contain no coffee at all, or caffeine. I bought a ”cereal coffee” which was made from roasted barley. Some other brands are made from roasted chicory roots.

Coffee substitute products have been used historically in Europe and USA to imitate coffee when real coffee has been too expensive for common people to buy, or unavailable for some reason (like during war). The product made from barley which I bought was surprisingly coffee-like. It didn’t taste exactly like coffee but the taste was very similar and even the smell was coffee-like enough.

So I started using this product. I took it even to work. At first it worked really well. I didn’t really miss real coffee. But there was one huge problem: the product I used was only available at health food stores and it was REALLY expensive. It cost over seven times as much as real quality coffee. And then after using it for several weeks I started having stomach pains and gas. I got them right after drinking the barley coffee and when I didn’t drink it the symptoms disappeared. So eventually I had to stop drinking it for health reasons. There was something in it that was irritating my stomach.

So back to square one again… I tried drinking tea again but it still didn’t work. It just does not taste like coffee so I got back to drinking coffee again.

One day it was a normal day at work and on coffee break I randomly got an idea… I had been experimenting with the barley coffee trying to find an optimal recipe to make it (it’s in powder form and the powder is mixed with hot water in a cup), sometimes adding more water and sometimes less. So I thought to myself: What if I add hot water to real coffee and dilute it? That way the amount of actual coffee would be reduced because my cup of coffee would contain more water.

Introducing you to my caffeine reduction and coffee-quitter system: The Caffeine Breaker. A very simple yet effective way to deal with coffee addiction!

So I started adding hot water to my coffee and gradually increased the amount of water until I got to a point where I am today: I put only less than an inch of coffee in the bottom of my cup and then fill the cup with hot water and some (plant-based) milk. With The Caffeine Breaker I can still drink coffee but the actual amount of coffee per day stays very little even when I have several cups a day!

caffeine-breaker

This is how I finally found a satisfactory solution to my coffee problem. Even if you mix your coffee with lots of water the resulting beverage still tastes and smells like coffee. It does take some time to get used to, though, so that’s why it has to be done gradually. But in the end you you will get used to it and won’t even like coffee that has not been diluted because it’s too strong.

This way you can still enjoy your cup of coffee without the negative effects of caffeine getting out of hand!

If a hardcore espresso drinker like myself can do it so can you!

The Caffeine Breaker system can also be used to quit coffee alltogether and if it works for you, great! Quit coffee completely if you just can. I am a huge addict and haven’t been able to quit completely but drinking diluted coffee is much better than drinking non-diluted coffee because the effects of caffeine are much lighter. I no longer suffer rapid heartbeat, dizziness or head aches.

Good luck!

mansikkahalki_pieni

 

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