Confessions of a Coffee Drinker

Coffeeholics Anonymous is now in session. Hi, I’m Kathy, and I’m a coffee drinker.

I can skip breakfast entirely, but never my coffee. I also drink one cup of coffee right after lunch, just to perk me up in my lowest energy state in the afternoon. I try to limit my coffee intake to two cups a day. But sometimes, when my coffeeholic sister would brew coffee at night, I would find myself drinking a third cup. But that’s just about it for me. On usual days, anyway. :)

Baggy and I are also frequent Starbucks customers. I’ve got a “coffee bean point card,” on which I get points for every purchase of coffee beans I make. After I collect a certain number of points, I get one pack free! :) It must be the familiarity with the taste or ambiance, that even when we go abroad we find ourselves exploring the neighborhood for a good ol’ Starbucks store. You could imagine how happy I was when I was in Seattle (for those who didn’t know, the very first Starbucks was opened at Seattle in Pike’s Place Market). There seemed to be a Starbucks store in every corner, including one located right smack at our conference site.The question is, is drinking coffee good or bad for your health? According to a press release by Harvard Health:

“The latest research has not only confirmed that moderate coffee consumption doesn’t cause harm, it’s also uncovered possible benefits. Studies show that the risk for type 2 diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers than among those who don’t drink it. Also, coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, discourage the development of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Coffee has also been shown to improve endurance performance in long-duration physical activities.”

Other health benefits can be found in this article. One excerpt that I found particularly amusing:

“While not technically addictive, caffeine increases the production of dopamine, a brain chemical crucial to pleasure and motivation.

The brain cells that make dopamine stop working in Parkinson’s disease, and studies using animal models suggest caffeine wards off Parkinson’s by protecting these cells.

The dopamine connection may explain why both the Kaiser Permanente study and the Nurses Health Study found that coffee drinkers were significantly less likely to commit suicide.”

Ergo, drink coffee and live longer, happy and contented lives. πŸ˜›

All of this is not to justify why I drink coffee. I’m sure that there are also health risks associated with coffee – palpitations, insomnia, tremors, diarrhea and increased urination among them. I guess the key here is moderation. Of course, the definition of “moderation” differs from person to person. But oh, scrap the moderation crap. I enjoy drinking coffee too much to think about the benefits and risks. As the sign on the coffee van at our workplace says:

There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just entered my head.
If a man doesn’t drink when he’s living,
How the hell can he drink when he’s dead?

And sheez, I just can’t quit drinking coffee (hmm, not that I really tried to quit). The only time I stayed completely off coffee was when I was pregnant with Aya. And because I’m a “moderate” drinker, it wasn’t that hard to completely cut my coffee intake – I didn’t manifest the usual coffee-withdrawal syndromes that everybody knows about. Right about the time I was weaning her, I was only too happy to drink my first real cup chock-full o’ caffeine.

And besides, what single drink can be prepared and enjoyed in various forms? Coffee, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

I got a snowman on my cappucino. Look, he’s grinning at me.
This is the cappucino that makes you go, “Awww….” before you glug it up.
Whipped cream and chocolate syrup on coconut-flavored cafe latte. This is the coffee that makes you just want to stare at it. Drool! And when I finally couldn’t contain the urge, I was rewarded with such a heavenly taste!

And hey, this is Japan. There are dozens of coffee drinks that one can buy in vending machines. I’ve lost count of how many brands are out there already (available hot or cold!). But this one stands out from the rest:

“69” Shot & Shot by Wonda. So, is this guaranteed to keep you going and going like the Energizer rabbit?

Care to enlighten me on why they chose to name this coffee drink “69 Shot & Shot”? Why 69? I don’t know. To me, it’s just a number. :P(Yeah, right!) Anyway, what the heck, just sip it and enjoy! :)

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46 Responses to Confessions of a Coffee Drinker

  1. dimaks says:

    I’m also a “detained” coffee drinker lol – after my hyper acidity went bad, a doctor advised me to refrain from it or at least moderate my takes. Now I think, I’ve reduced coffee drinking by about 2 times in a week ..poor boy, I love those invigorating aroma.

    And would you know why most people would infer that coffee will keep you awake, while for me, the effect is completely opposite. After drinking, I tend to get sleepy, weird.. yikes!

  2. Lyn says:

    Those pictures look SOO YUMMY! I use to be an avid coffee drinker- couldn’t start my day without it. But then I gave it up for Lent and have since learned to function without it (on most days). I know drink 2-3 cups of green tea a day, so I still get my caffeine fix as well as some anti-oxidant goodness.
    I completely agree with you about the goodness of caffeine and like ALLL good things should be enjoyed in moderation. This also includes what goes in your coffee. It’s good to remember that putting loads of cream and sugar would likely counteract any of the health benefits you might reap from the caffeine. An with less “extras” in your cup, you can fully appreciate the flavor of finely grown and processed coffee beans!

  3. bw says:

    I try to limit my coffee intake to 3 cups a day and on occasion I may take a bit more. Good coffee is exhilirating indeed, esp if the weather is cold :) THe hotel room I checked in at Calgary last week had a Starbucks coffee station with free packets ready for brewing anytime. I thought that was cool so made sure I completed my daily intake of 3 cups :) It does energize me esp in the morning :)

  4. Gina says:

    Coincidence, it’s 9:11 pm here & I’m having a cuppa while reading your blog! Never been a coffee lover/drinker before save for a half cup for breakfast in the morning. But I don’t know exactly when I turned to the “dark side” =P , now I have at least 3 cups a day. methinks I’m becoming ‘canadianized’ now— yup, you’ll see them walking around with a Tim Hortons in their hands!

  5. Wil says:

    hi there, just bloghopping from vic. anyway, since you mentioned seattle, did you hear the joke about what happened when the seattle earthquake hit the city? On one block alone, ten Starbucks coffee shops were seriously damaged. hehe. Anyway, I’m not much of a coffee drinker although I will drink a chai tea latte once in a while. I get the jitters when I drink the caffeine.

  6. KK says:

    I enjoy a cup or two of coffee a day. I used to drink 6 times a day, a habit formed by being a Baguio native. I had to reduce it when I became acidic.

    Thanks for dropping my blog.

  7. kathy says:

    That’s too bad, Dimaks. I guess you’ll have to content yourself with an occasional cup or two and sniff the coffee aroma the rest of the time. :)

    May mga kakilala rin akong ganon ang epek ng coffee. Weird, huh? But actually, I’ve also experienced some instances when I would fall to sleep right after drinking coffee. I’m thinking that maybe it’s because of all the sugar and milk that I put in. :)

  8. kathy says:

    Wow, how long has it been since you gave it up? And oh boy, another green-tea drinker! On top of my daily coffee intake, I also drink green tea in about the same frequency as you do (our secretary makes sure that we get our daily dosage at the office, haha).

    Anyway, you’re absolutely right about the coffee additives! As for myself, I’m happy with milk (for my calcium supply, of course :)) and a bit of sugar on my daily coffee. I could never take it “black.”

  9. kathy says:

    lol – I found it funny that “you made sure” you got your 3 cups of coffee daily at the hotel. πŸ˜€ Actually I find myself exceeding my coffee limit when I go on business trips (there’s the service drinks on the plane, then the complimentary hotel coffee packets, and Starbucks, of course :)). It’s the one thing that certainly helps me get through the jet lag and the usual drowsing off while listening to lectures. πŸ˜›

  10. kathy says:

    Talk about your conversion to the “dark side” – lol! That was hilarious! So, Canadians are coffee drinkers too, huh?

    Oh no, the idea of you drinking coffee while reading blogs is soooo tempting. Really, really.

    Must. Resist. Drinking. Coffee. While blogging. πŸ˜›

  11. kathy says:

    Hi Wil! lol – Something about that joke rings true, considering the density of Starbucks stores in Seattle alone. :)

    Thanks for hopping by! :)

  12. kathy says:

    Hmm, Baguio people are coffee drinkers? Figures, because I saw many coffee trees when I was there. I even stayed in a house which had a coffee tree right on its own backyard.

    Thanks for dropping by, KK! :)

  13. Leica says:

    kathy, we can have our coffee club then. golly, i even bought nga those little shapes at the 100yen shop to create funny shapes in my coffee but am not really successful :( btw, i think seattle best is better than starbucks in seattle ;)D

  14. pining says:

    I used to be a coffeeholic, too… until I started having palpitations. And though I’m not completely off it, I still have it occasionally when I have that craving feeling (and not necessarily in starbucks!

  15. vic says:

    For me it’s Tim Horton’s, 3 to 4 cups a day, and to counter the acidity that it may cause, a 40 mg of nexeum (the best rx anti-acid) daily neutralize all the side effects of coffee addicts.

    You may not heard of the brand or the restaurant, but someday don’t be surprised if it will surpass Starbucks. It’s ooffee are the best at your everyday low price, and if you’re in Afghanistan our military men will treat you to Tims own coffee..

  16. Abaniko says:

    It’s funny but when I know one is a coffee addict, I always think that the person is either intellectual or workaholic. Just weird, no?

  17. niceheart says:

    I’m not really a coffee drinker. I drink Milo in the morning. I tried switching to coffee for a while. I usually get sleepy kasi around 1:00 – 2:00 pm and it affects my productivity at work. So for a few months, I drank coffee, but later on I noticed na para akong sinisikmura. So I stopped and switched back to Milo. Now, I just take a quick 10-20 minute nap when I feel sleepy. And I’d feel envigorated after that.

  18. annamanila says:

    Even if you leave a kiss but in the cup, I’d still look for my expresso. Ay, don’t mind me. Just looking for a quote and in turned out to be inappopro. Ay, I love your ode to coffee … would have waxed romantic too … except I can no longer drink after 3 or i blog scrabbleonline all night na and then float the next day at work. haha So dun sa after dinner coffee at starbucks or jack’s loft or seatles best, I have to order decaf. :( Hey, I read they already decaf coffee in the plantations. Amazing ha.

  19. kathy says:

    Taking antacids just to be able to drink coffee – this is an apt example for the adage that goes – “If there’s a will, there’s a way…” :)

    I saw several Tim Hortons while on a tourist bus on a Toronto-Niagara route – I was extremely curious about those stores. I didn’t know that they serve great-tasting coffee! I would love to try it out if ever the next opportunity presents itself.

  20. kathy says:

    Coffee club? Puede rin, maraming coffee addicts akong kakilala rito sa Tsukuba, lol.

    Seattle’s Best is great, too…I actually bought ground beans from their store in Seattle. I loved the Cinnabon-flavored coffee! I bought Seattle’s Best beans instead of Starbucks’ because I know that I can always but the latter in stores in Japan. :) Ever heard of a Seattle’s Best store anywhere near Tsukuba?

    You know, you can buy Godiva coffee at Seibu. Chotto takai – mga 2,000 yen plus yung isang pack. Pero hay, ang sarap. :)

  21. kathy says:

    Ah yes, the craving…I know exactly how it feels! Hmm, Pining, have you ever tried switching to decaf? I wonder if that will help you avoid the palps?

  22. hazel says:

    Pareho pala tayo! Ako din i can skip breakfast but not my coffee, i drink a cup after lunch at pilit na 2 cups a day lang pero sablay ako lalo na kapag may meeting sa gabi at hang out with friends.

    Ang sarap talaga coffee! Siguro its the aroma. I feel relax and in control while having coffee in my favorite starbucks or coffee bean. πŸ˜€

  23. verns says:

    69??!!! oh my innocence is corrupted! mwehehehehe

    Before I used to get tremors that scared the hell out of me the first time I experience it but I tried drinking everyday (because you look cool when you drink coffee hehe) and eventually the tremor no longer manifests. Instead of tremors, i got seizures lolz kidding.

    I soooo love coffee too :) and I love my starbucks mug…

  24. kathy says:

    Naks naman, ano pala ang impression mo sa mga tumatambay sa Starbucks or any coffee shop? πŸ˜‰

    I learned to drink coffee when I was in college – usually in the nights when I had to cram for an exam. Coffee can be a student’s best friend. :)

  25. kathy says:

    True, true! The best cure for drowsiness is to sleep it off with a quick nap.

    I too had to switch to Milo when I was pregnant. I couldn’t drink milk just by itself, so I always add Milo or cocoa to my milk. Pero feeling ko, lalo ata akong tumaba sa Milo+milk combination hehe. πŸ˜€

  26. kathy says:

    Anna, lol! That’s so sweet. How about a variation – “Even if you leave a *Hershey’s Kiss* but in the cup, I’d still look for my espresso.” πŸ˜› Oh no, I’ve ruined it!

    Decaf – now that’s something I won’t always find here in Japan (they call it “caffein-less”). At least I can buy decaf from Starbucks, but not in the usual stores and groceries!

  27. kathy says:

    Hazel, coffee addict!! πŸ˜›
    Ang sarap din lang talaga to relax and hang out with your friends and enjoy a good cup of coffee at the same time.

    The latest Starbucks store to open in Tsukuba also offers a drivethru, so now we can also enjoy coffee while driving or riding. :) Just yesterday I had dolce cinnamon latte while on the road. Mmmm…:)

  28. kathy says:

    Weird talaga yung mga labels ng mga products dito sa Japan, hehe.

    That’s a rather amusing story – you got rid of the “tremors” by drinking more of coffee! Astiggg… :)

  29. dimaks says:

    it looks like it.. ganun talaga e :)

  30. Mon says:

    Hi my name is Mon and I’m a coffeeholic.

    hahaha, well not really but I do take in some caffeine every now and then. It’s weired because with my work I always find myself burning the midnight oil, but when I drink coffee I’m like speedy gonzalez on the keyboard therefore I’m prone to typo’s and it’s not fun debugging the codes when you have lots of errors in it. :(

  31. Gypsy says:

    Wow! Another kindred spirit! :) Check out my posting on what happens when you’ve had too much coffee..Hehe.

  32. Zherwin says:

    before, i drink coffee at least three times a day, but since my doctor told me exactly one year ago that i have gallstones, i reduced it to only one cup a day (and it was mentioned above that coffee reduces the risk of having gallstones, it doesn’t apply to me or maybe my three cups is just too much). but i can still sometime get away with one in the morning and after a night out. :) hmm, okey, maybe coffee is not the sole reason why i have gallstones, maybe just one of the reasons. hehe

  33. snglguy says:

    “Coffee has also been shown to improve endurance performance in long-duration physical activities.” – Err, does that mean that coffee can be a “natural” alternative to Viagra? πŸ˜€

    Hey maybe the 69 shot&shot is blended precisely for that reason… πŸ˜€

  34. sexy mom says:

    lately, i have been working late nights to early morning, and sometimes, i would get so sleepy. i asked a friend if it was time for me to start taking coffee, you see i have not taken a single cup of coffee in my entire life (it’s true)! and her response was – don’t if you can! now i am tempted…will i or will i not?

  35. kathy says:

    And I thought coffee is a programmer’s best friend? πŸ˜›

    Just the other day, Baggy was complaining to me that he had to spend the whole afternoon debugging his program. Must be the caramel macchiato we had during lunch, eh? :)

  36. kathy says:

    Aha, another coffeeholic! :) I’ll check out your post.

  37. kathy says:

    Naku Zherwin, I’m not sure if drinking will affect your gallstones, or if it has any influence on your having them in the first place. Ingat ka. Didn’t your doctor recommend having them removed (the gallstones, not the coffee habit hehe)?

  38. Zherwin says:

    he did recommend removing them as it’s the only way to get rid of them. but i opted not to and just be careful and watch what i eat (fatty foods’ the trigger food in my case), and thankfully and fortunately i didn’t feel any gallbladder related pain for the entire year, i think i can live normally as long as i eat high-fiber foods, avoid fatty foods and have that coffee in the morning. :)

  39. kathy says:

    lol
    Oo nga no?!! And that coffee-in-can is even cheaper. I knew it – there was really something strange in that coffee. πŸ˜›

  40. kathy says:

    Wow, I’ve never met anyone who has never drank coffee ever! But then again, caffeine is found in various amounts in other drinks like cola or tea. So I guess, if you’ve tried drinking any of those drinks, then it’s not such a big deal for coffee. I say, as with anything in life, just be prepared to face the consequences.

    Far be it from me to persuade you to drink coffee, but hey, I’m a self-declared coffeeholic, hehe. :)

  41. lai says:

    adik! adik! adik!…… (isa pa) addddik! at ako ang pusher. wahahahaha.

  42. Connie says:

    Oh, my gosh! Another coffee addict! LOL We should put up a Pinoycoffeeaddicts.com site hehehehe

  43. kathy says:

    Lai, palibre naman ng Starbucks coffee ulit. (hehe)

    Meron ka palang comment dito, ngayon ko lang nakita. πŸ˜›

  44. kathy says:

    Hi Connie! PinoyCoffeeaddicts sounds cool! Sigurado maraming magiging members yan, hehe.

    Thanks for dropping by. :)

  45. daphne says:

    I was never a coffee drinker before last year, kahit na palaging tambay sa starbucks, palaging coffee alternative ang binibili ko. But got the best excuse to drink coffee nowadays, doctor prescription, pantanggal ng sakit ng ulo! So sign me up to PinoyCoffeeAddicts

  46. kathy says:

    Pantanggal din ng sakit ng ulo ko yan, especially after a night without or little sleep, or after a long-haul flight. What would our mornings be without coffee? :)

    Thanks for dropping by, Daphne! :)

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