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I drink coffee ceaselessly. I French press half a pot at home as I get ready for work, drink three to four red eyes during the day at work, and then will consume at least one more cup (either iced or an espresso) after dinner.
My dad is an exceptional coffee drinker. It is entirely apart of his ethos and is stitched into the very tapestry that is his existence. I am sure that’s where I get it from. He drinks coffee black as night and strong as jet fuel – the only way, in his opinion, one should consume caffeine and the only way his daughters are allowed to consume it. Once, as a kid, he caught me with a splash of coconut creamer swirling innocently in my cup like a cloud in a dark black sky and he nearly lost his marbles.
People’s sensitivity to caffeine has shocked me for years. I kid you not, I could drink a double espresso moments before bed and sleep like an innocent little baby.
“You’re full of bologna, Victoria,” they’ll say. But it’s the truth! There’s science to prove it!
Only about 10% of the population is hyposensitive to caffeine, and I am one of them. hyposensitive (made up word alert) process caffeine so efficiently that taking large doses (> 500 mg) has little to no effect. Additionally, we (the hyposensitive) can consume caffeine shortly before bed and still get a good night sleep.
Maybe you’re jealous, maybe you’re not – but this is the only life I’ve ever known.
I still drink coffee for that tiny spike of energy it provides me, but mostly I drink it because it is so ingrained in my routine that I simply cannot imagine my life another way. I imagine it is similar to the way die-hard carnivores cannot fathom the life of a plant gobbling vegetarian. I simply cannot understand the life of a non-coffee drinker.
That is why my universe did a caffeinated backflip yesterday morning as I was scrolling through Twitter only to uncover this unbelievable tweet:
Just had coffee for the fourth time in my life and my coworker just told me he can hear my heart beat from the desk next to me what is this liquid crack y'all drink willingly every morning
— No (@noampao) May 10, 2018
You’ll probably recognize that handle. It’s one of our very own remote writers Nick Arcadia, which is what makes the information all that more appalling. Isn’t it a prerequisite for all part-time writers to mainline caffeine like our side hustles depend on it? Seriously. I was shook.
Shortly after I accosted my internet colleague with questions, the unimaginable happened. OTHER INTERNET PEOPLE AGREED WITH HIM! INCLUDING OTHER GRANDEX COLLEAGUES! There was no choice but to conduct an interview, so conduct an interview I did.
The below are the responses of FIVE NON-CAFFEINE CONSUMING WEIRDOS to totally rational questions I asked them regarding their freaky caffeine free lives. As always, bon appétit, friends.
Why don’t you drink coffee?
Doug (Twitter follower and GRANDEX enthusiast) – I’ve never liked the taste of coffee. Not really sure what it is. Maybe the bitterness of it? But at least I save a lot of money (that I subsequently spend on many alcoholic beverages).
Nick (Infamous GRANDEX writer and OG coffee hater) – I generally wake up energized enough and didn’t want to get hooked on it, so I never started. Also, every time I drink it I feel like my heart is going to explode and/or I’m going to shit my pants, which has already happened enough times in my life.
Katie (Twitter follower and new virtual BFF) – I do, but only decaf. So, I’m one of the apparent “weirdos” that drinks it for the taste. Coffee is good, I don’t get why people think it isn’t.
Heavy Metal Krist (Legendary GRANDEX writer and head of the secret anti-caffeine hate group Down With The Bean) – I hate the taste of it. I’ve tried to like it before, I really have, but no amount of cream, sugar, or other additives can make coffee not taste like dirt to me. And I don’t necessarily need the stimulant benefit of caffeine so I don’t see a reason to force myself to choke down something that I absolutely do not enjoy.
Admittedly, I’ve never tried cold brew or other alternative forms of coffee, but at this point I’ve gone so many years without it that I think its pointless to try and pick up a habit that I won’t derive any benefit from.
JR Hickey (Avocado-eating, California-based GRANDEX content slanger and podcast aficionado) – I’ve always had a decent amount of energy after I wake up. I wouldn’t call myself a morning person but a full breakfast and a glass of ice water usually does the trick. I ran track in college (well, I was a jumper so I didn’t do much running) and we had 6 a.m. workouts so drinking coffee before that was a no-no. I guess I just got used to it and now I continue not to drink it exclusively to piss people off.
Do you consume any sort of caffeine regularly?
Nick – I’ll occasionally drink a vodka-Red Bull if I’m struggling to make it to last call at the bar. I’ve never not regretted it.
JR – Nada, the occasional iced tea if I’m feeling frisky.
Heavy Metal Krist – No. In addition to my distaste for coffee, I’ve also never liked pop (Or soda, or Coke, or whatever word you use in your region as a generality for that carbonated, carmelized sludge that’s mass produced and packaged in aluminum cans and plastic bottles). I can’t stand the acidity and carbonation of pop on my tongue unless it’s diluted with liquor.
Kathleen – No.
Doug – I don’t really consume caffeine regularly but I really like tea, so whenever I remember that I like tea, I guess that’s how I get my caffeine. I don’t drink soda either (unless in a mixed drink) so not really any caffeine there.
How do you make it through the day without coffee?
Doug – My day consists of sitting at my desk browsing Twitter and PGP and the content keeps me alive.
JR – Constant food consumption. That’s not to say snacky junk food crap but almonds, bananas, hummus all that healthy California shit you’d expect me to say keeps me going.
Did your parents drink coffee?
Nick – My parents both worked full time in Silicon Valley and raised three troublemaker kids, so I think they went through probably a pot a day, easily. They probably would have made the switch to coke if it was cheaper.
JR – Yep, and all my four siblings. I’m the black sheep of the family. Or the black sheep with cream, I dunno.
Doug – Oh 100%. My mom can’t function in the morning without it. My dad got her a very nice espresso machine a while ago and it may be her favorite thing ever. My dad isn’t as crazy about it but he definitely consumes plenty. He also makes a killer Irish coffee (or so I’ve heard since I’ve never tried it myself).
What do you do when people ask you to go out for a coffee?
Nick – This has actually never happened to me. Do people actually do that? I always thought this was a movie trope, like giving a mix-tape as a gift or eating Chinese food right out of the carton.
JR – I’ll usually grab an iced tea, tell them I don’t drink coffee and proceed to answer the same questions I’m answering now.
Do people make fun of you incessantly for not drinking coffee?
Nick – No, the reactions I receive are usually respect, jealousy, and fear. Sometimes all three.
JR – Most people tell me how jealous they are. Who “makes fun” of people to their face anymore? I prefer to do it on Twitter.
Heavy Metal Krist – Not really. For one thing, the shit’s expensive! To me, not-coffee is money better spent elsewhere. I also think I would probably go way overboard with consuming it given my tendency to overindulge. I don’t have just a scoop of ice cream, I eat half the container. I don’t have just one beer, I have ten. This would be the same thing, and I don’t need to introduce more of that in my life. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything because of it.
Kathleen – They ALWAYS ask how I don’t drink caffeine. It’s so far-fetched to pretty much anyone and everyone.
Do you like coffee foods? (Chocolate covered espresso beans, coffee ice cream, etc.)
Doug – Not at all. I despise the taste of coffee anything.
Nick – I actually love coffee ice cream and most coffee flavored things, despite hating the taste of coffee. Kind of like how I feel about cherries versus cherry-flavored things.
Do you wish you liked coffee? Or do you think you’re better off for not consuming the bean juice?
Nick – I’m glad I don’t drink coffee. When climate change ruins our ability to harvest coffee beans as is predicted by 2025, I’ll be a shining star of productivity amidst all you addicts who “can’t function without their morning cup.”
Kathleen – I wish I could drink something caffeinated but the way it makes me feel is so very not worth the trouble IMO.
JR – I will never try it and yes I’m better than everybody else.
Do people often think you are a psychopath for not drinking coffee?
Doug – Definitely. Especially since I’m not big on sleeping, people always wonder how I don’t fall asleep throughout the day. Spoiler: Some days I actually do take a lunch nap in my car.
Kathleen – Yes.
Nick – People think I’m a psychopath for many reasons, so the coffee thing is usually not surprising. I also nap while blasting dubstep and still attempt to close down 5 a.m. bars as a 26-year-old, so there’s no doubt I’m a psycho.
Heavy Metal Krist – I’ve never been called a psychopath, my diagnosis usually falls somewhere between “weird” and regular ol’ “crazy.”
JR, you have never actually consumed a sip of coffee in your life – under what circumstance would you conform?
JR – Either my family or fiancee is being held hostage and the only way they’ll be released is if I drink coffee but ha, joke’s on them even though my hands are above my head I have two pistols taped behind my back that the terrorists can’t see. Yippe ki yay.
*Authors note: Honestly, not totally sure what he even said here – just felt like I needed to include it to further demonstrate the lunacy of a non-coffee drinker.
Nick and Doug, you both recently drank coffee today, one of the handful of times you have consumed the bean juice in your life. How do you feel?
Nick – I feel like I’m dying. I can hear my hair growing. My ADD is in full force and I can’t concentrate on anything. Multiple coworkers have asked if I’m ok. I put roughly 100 miles of rocking into my desk chair in the last 30 minutes. Also, I’ve pooped four times before noon, which is one more time than my usual. I feel more coked out than if I had actually done cocaine.
Doug – I can barely type right now since my hands are jittering so much, but it still feels like I’m typing faster than I ever have before. My vision is starting to blur and I may need to run a mile soon. This is only after a 20-ounce cold brew (black) that I drank in five minutes. When I drank the 30-ounce in an hour, I didn’t think I’d survive. Dave told me “that’s how you fist bump God” when I sent him a picture of it and that’s about the best way to explain it.
Do you like how you feel?
Nick – I do not.
Doug – Absolutely not. I haven’t been able to focus on anything today and my stomach hurts now. I’m sure this goes away with tolerance and maybe sipping the coffee instead of chugging but this is awful. I don’t know how you get anything done when your heart is beating 10x too fast and you can’t concentrate on any one thing. I need adderall to bring me back or something because this is miserable.
What happened today that made you conform?
Nick – I’m on a stupid Keto diet that’s limiting my carbs and killing my energy, and I thought I needed a pick-me-up.
Doug – Peer pressure and the desire for content is always my downfall.
Have you ever made out with a person right after they drank a coffee? Did it gross you out?
JR – I weirdly had a thing when I was younger for women who smoked and drank a lot of coffee. Maybe I liked surrounding myself with people I thought that I was better than. *shrugs*
Nick – I’m sure I have, but I can’t remember it specifically, so I don’t think it grossed me out. I’ve also made out with girls who had just smoked cigarettes, weed, had a lip in, etc. so I don’t think anything really grosses me out.
Anything else you would like to add?
JR – For three years in the summertime, I would open up a breakfast restaurant in the Chicago burbs at 5:30 a.m. which meant I had to be up around 4:45 a.m. every day. While every single one of my coworkers basically mainlined coffee on those morning shifts, I would eat a full breakfast of waffles, fruit, bacon and eggs with juice and ice water and be ready to go. What else can I say? I’m a weirdo.
*I see what you did, JR. This was obvi a plug for your most recent breakfast article.
So, there you have it, folks. I went down a Twitter hole with caffeine haters and got this ridiculous interview out of it. Some would think this exercise made me more tolerant of this special breed of human, but it didn’t.
I am only increasingly frightened that there are more of you out there, lurking around the corner with your green tea and tall glass of ice water, just waiting to hop on your high horse to preach the non-caffeine lifestyle — (I’m looking at you JR) — but I’ll be ready when you do. Espresso in one hand, full-bodied American roast in the other. .