day 23

Day 23 of my No Coffee resolution. Day 23 because I started it the day after New Years. I knew I needed the extra boost on January 1, so the day following my Oshogatsu, I kicked the habit. Oh, how I miss it. I suppose I could have given up less healthy indulgences. Cheese, for instance. But I do love cheese way too much to ever give that up. From the sweet and refined Baby Swiss, to the unpasteurized cow’s milk Appenzeller, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. Caffeine altogether would have been hard, too. But I already have enough trouble waking up in the morning to do without the tiniest of jolts so I knocked that one off my list of potentials. Chocolate would have been a no brainer since I’m not a chocoholic so there’s no challenge in that. I’ve done the No Coffee thing before. For two years, in fact. It was quite easy and I became a green tea junky. But vacationing in New York City in the dead of winter made me break that resolution right off by warming my cockles with a nice cup of Porto Rico French press coffee.

But this year I’m having a time of it. Not sure why. My search for a satisfying substitute has turned up empty. My latest preference has been the obvious – tea. While I am partial to the earl greys of the tea world, green tea has a special place in my heart since it was the tea my mom had in the house – especially genmai cha – green tea with brown rice. At work, I keep a “tea bar,” with an assortment of teas and “herbal beverages.” Mango black tea. Jasmine green tea. Vanilla bean black tea. Organic chai. Lotus seed soy hot beverage mix, and of course genmai cha.

Though I still crave the taste of coffee. The elusive great-tasting-decaf has been, well, elusive. Until now. Peet’s Decaf Sumatra is the closest to the taste of leaded coffee that I have ever tried. The coffee I remember as a kid was possibly the most vile of the instants – Taster’s Choice freeze dried instant coffee. Which reminds me why I had the No Coffee resolution a while back in the first place – I was at my folks’ house over the Christmas/New Years holiday and not wanting to drink the freeze dried stuff in their cupboard but too lazy to go out and buy my own ground coffee, I went on strike instead, which stuck for the next two years. Now back to the No Coffee routine and thanks to Peet’s, I have found my weekend morning rhythm – a tablespoon of heavy cream and a teaspoon of brown sugar in a large coffee mug, a pinch of ground cardamon inside a cone filter, topped with three tablespoons of the Decaf Sumatra and pour through almost boiling water until the mug is filled. A cheap imitation of a Philz concoction, but deliciously satisfying (to me) nonetheless.

I have another New York trip coming up in February. Will I keep my resolution? I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to find out, though.

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