Can Java Enabled Win the One-Cup-a-Day Bet?
I am not addicted to coffee. Oh, I can see your eyes roll as I type this, but it's true. I don't get a headache if I miss my morning cup; I'm not agitated or moody or completely lethargic without it. I am, however, always up to prove someone wrong about my coffee habit. So when a friend dared me to drink only one cup a day for a week, I agreed.
For a little bit of context into the bet, I drink between three to five cups of coffee a day. Not a venti sized cup, just a regular Joe's eight-ounce cup. This isn't the craziest amount of coffee someone could drink, but it's significant.
(As a side note, I drink enough coffee that I used to argue with my incredulous dentist that I wasn't a smoker on account of the brown stains on the back of my teeth. But that's another post...)
Physically, I was up to the task. Mentally, though, it was a greater challenge than I'd expected. It wasn't the will power so much as the pressure to make my one cup really count. I could feel my brain wrestling with the calculus as I drove past a café on the way to work or saw a fresh pot in the office. Would this be the best time to have it? What if I got called away, and it ends up going cold in its paper cup, deep brown stains bleeding up the seams?
The decision was always a carefully calculated cost-benefit analysis as to whether or not this was indeed the ideal moment to enjoy coffee.
|Daniel Schwen, Wikimedia Commons|
|Tar pit or office coffee?|
"That" was the office drip coffee, a cloudy black liquid slowly burning itself down into a miniature La Brea tar pit. If I have to take the risk and drink this kind of coffee, I'm very superstitious about where I can find the best cup in the building. I'll often go out of my way to get my coffee from the one machine I can usually trust for its relative freshness and taste.
(And no, you don't get to hear where it is -- that's what makes it my machine.)
Overall, though, the morning cup wasn't too hard to pass up. No, the real game started after lunch, around mid-afternoon. This is my favorite time to drink coffee, when I "need" it the most. I could just wait till I got home, but my evening coffee isn't as satisfying as the mid-day cup. With no consistently dependable option in the office, I decided to leave the office once a day, go to a café and get a good cup of coffee.
After a week on only one cup of coffee a day, the bet gave me an interesting perspective on my coffee consumption: the better the coffee, the less I drank. You might think that the better the coffee, the more I would drink. However, I realized the more bad office coffee I drank, the more unfulfilled my taste was, driving me into a vicious cycle to drink more in a subconscious search for better coffee. Days like this, I might have three of four cups of coffee at the office and not have any of the satisfaction that comes with one good cup of coffee. When I left work to get a good cup of coffee, I didn't have the urge to drink any more coffee in the afternoon or even in the evening sometimes.
As with all things, when it comes to good coffee, quality over quantity.