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Today I Drank Coffee

Today I drank coffee. 

I drink coffee almost everyday, actually. Usually espresso. 

I begin my morning with an Americano most days. I prefer the taste and strength of espresso to coffee. I drink it black, with no cream or sugar. There’s just something soothing about holding a warm cup, sipping a strong and bitter palate cleanser to start the day, especially when it’s  contrasted with the cold, crisp, refreshing taste of water, my other morning beverage of choice. 

Coffee, caffeine, and I have always had an interesting relationship. In college, I would drink coffee all day long. Typically strong and black in the morning, then sugary and sweet in the afternoon. It powered me through my classes and homework, allowing me to focus. But somehow, no matter how much caffeine I had consumed, if I was too tired I would fall asleep anyway. 

I remember the only time I attempted to pull an all-nighter I brewed a cup at 10pm and worked until midnight. Then I went to bed and got back up at 2am. Somehow, as soon as I got into bed I fell asleep, despite the caffeine. I had energy even when I woke up two hours later! It was almost as if my body put the caffeine in a reserve unit to save for later. I worked two more hours, then slept again at 4am. Again, I fell asleep quickly and woke up at 6am with the energy my body had set aside. Switching from being fully asleep to fully awake was such a unique experience that I remember it still ten years later. 

As I’ve gotten older, my relationship with coffee has changed. I still enjoy a cup every morning, and sometimes in the afternoon. But I consume decaf now, too. Even when I feel tired or like I might need a surge of energy, the smell and taste of decaf tricks my brain into thinking I’ve consumed the real stuff without the negative side effects. No jitters, less hormone imbalance, just a Pavlovian energy boost!

I’ve read articles and seen studies about the negative effects of daily caffeine consumption. I’ve also seen peer-reviewed research that supports a daily cup for overall health. Whatever I’m looking for to support what I want to be true about coffee, I can find. 

This is true not just about coffee, but of many other health matters. My general physician said starting with a bowl of oatmeal each day is great for my heart, fiber intake, and blood sugar regulation. But my dentist told me not to eat oatmeal since it’s sticky and can get stuck in the grooves of my teeth causing cavities. And my hormone specialist said no oatmeal because of the carbs. Which medical professional should I listen to? When each has my best interest in mind but share conflicting information, it can be difficult to know who to trust. 

The older I get, the more I see this play out in areas beyond food and drink. Conflicting information can be seen in politics, religion, fitness, business, finances, relationships, and more. There are studies and philosophies that support multiple viewpoints. There are theologies that lend to dramatic differences in styles of worship, discipleship programs, and the way we evangelize. Whether it’s theology, health, or other, there is a history of data that must be remembered alongside new findings. We cannot delete what we already know, but we can’t stay in that knowledge as new information comes to light, either. There must be a balance; this makes it all the more difficult to live out our faith or make healthy choices. 

I like oatmeal and the way it energizes my body. I like coffee, too, both regular and decaf. So I will eat, and I will drink. 

Today I drank coffee. Strong, dark, bitter, and hot. 

And I’ll probably drink another cup tomorrow. 

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
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