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Between the Lines: Kicking coffee is a kick in the head to reporter

A few months back, I was a reformed addict.

Now, this wasn’t any old addiction. This was one that had been plaguing me for about two years. It made me sick, sapped my money and when I couldn’t get my fix, I was fatigued and grumpy. But as of September 2013, I was clean from coffee.

It wasn’t that the beans didn’t appeal to me. I used to drink five cups a day, reveling in the jolt it gave me. It was part of my routine. But eventually, I thought my body and my wallet could do without it, and I stopped the habit cold turkey.

My new love was tea. It didn’t have the richness of coffee, nor did it come in the variety of milky flavors and combinations that coffee did. But it gave me a minimal boost, and didn’t make me want to run laps around my lecture halls. I managed to find blended chai teas at my favorite coffee shops, and I thought I was clearly divorced from my habit.

Right now, I’m sitting with a power chai in my hand. For those of you who don’t know, a power chai is a chai latte with a shot of espresso. That’s right, espresso.

I can dramatically list all the reasons why I came back to my old caffeinated kick, but instead, I’ll just tell you this: college is hard. And among the 4 a.m. study sessions and the early wake-up calls, the more caffeinated options on Court Street Coffee’s menu became more appealing.

I felt guilty when I first slipped back into the habit. I miss standing on my soapbox declaring the merits of passion tea lemonade to my colleagues, who would roll their eyes and mumble obscenities into their Starbucks cups. I would pat those trying to quit coffee on the back with motherly encouragement, as they resisted stabbing me with a pencil. What I’m trying to say is that I was exceedingly obnoxious, and I’m pretty sure everyone celebrated when I fell headfirst off my soapbox.

But now, as I swirl the dregs of my drink around in circles, I really don’t miss my coffee ban. Although it definitely saved me some cash, tea is watery and sometimes just doesn’t hit the spot. Chai is just as expensive as some coffee drinks, and trust me, it’s not good everywhere (I got chai at the Alamo, but that’s another story altogether). I have not experienced kickback from returning to my old habit, and I’m keeping it in moderation… I say before finals week.

But really, what is it worth to not drink something you love just on the principle of the matter? The wafting smell of coffee grounds and giving in to one cup should not have filled me with guilt, but instead, the motivation to drink one cup and be done. And that is my stance for now – everything in moderation.

My other life motto: Pumpkin spice lattes are a hell of a drug.

Emily Bamforth is a junior studying journalism in the Honors Tutorial College and is a staff writer for The Post. Do you crave caffeine as much as Emily? Email her at

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