How I kicked my coffee habit


Me, 2010. Sneaking a ciggy in South Korea. Photo credit: Brian Colella

Many many moons ago, a decade or two in fact, it took me a very large coffee and a cigarette for me to be able to wake up. I physically remember having a hard time functioning if I didn’t get that morning dose of caffeine and nicotine.

Fortunately it’s been a long time since then and by changing the way I live I’ve been able to get up and function no matter what the circumstances are.

I will say that coffee was a long standing part of my morning ritual. I attempted to stop cold turkey when I first moved to Canada almost 2 decades ago and it was hard. My body went through withdrawal like never before, headaches, horrid irritability and brain fogs like I’d never experienced. Needless to say, cold turkey didn’t last long but I never went back to the need to start my day with a coffee and a cigarette.

Over the years (and I’m talking a good few years) coffee became a once in a while thing, as did cigarettes. As my lifestyle changed, my body healed I began to connect with myself more, I was able to feel the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) changes in my body when I ingested coffee. That’s when I was able to kick the habit (read about kicking cigarettes to the curb here).

Listen to your body, it’ll tell you when you’re ready to let go 

It came to the point a few years ago where I didn’t like the jittery feeling I got when I drank coffee. I was studying at the time and I enjoyed popping to a coffee shop to have a cappuccino while I worked. I noticed that I became scattered and twitchy, that it was hard for me to concentrate properly. Fortunately at the time I was working at a vegan spot where I was introduced to matcha.


Photo credit: Kirinohana

For those that have never heard of matcha, it comes from the East and has been used traditionally for centuries. Matcha has long been considered an elixir for the immortals and it’s easy to see why. Green tea is known for it’s antioxidants and other powers and matcha is a concentrated form of green tea. Eons ago Zen monks would ground the green tea leaves (having been steamed and dried) into a powder then whisk it with hot water to make a tea. Matcha packs some powerful antioxidants and is known to boost metabolism, burn calories, detox your body and while providing vitamins and chlorophyll.

My favourite thing about matcha? There are no jitters. Drinking matcha is a smooth easy ride. You’ll notice that you feel more energized, brain fog will lift and you’ll feel charged. Hours later you might not feel so energized. There is no come down. There are no jitters or twitchiness. Matcha is smooth sailing. It’s also quite fun making a cup.

The great thing about changing my habits is that I don’t need a boost in the morning. I am far healthier than I was many moons back and this is one of the benefits. While I still love the smell of coffee, I don’t fancy the way it makes me feel. And when I do drink matcha, it’s a treat.


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