I love coffee. I’ve often said if I had to choose between coffee and beer, there would be no hesitation. Sorry beer, you’re like a Victoria’s Secret model I have a crush on, but coffee is my soul mate.
Most days I brew a pot of coffee and drink 8 cups* within the first few hours of my morning. Then, after lunch I warm up and finish what’s left. It‘s been this way for years, but recently I realized I no longer enjoyed the process of making and drinking my coffee. My AeroPress and French Press sat unused in the cupboard, abandoned for the more efficient, but less tasty Mr. Coffee and Keurig machines. Sadly, I realized coffee was no longer a luxury. It had become a utility, and it needed to change.
For several months I debated just how I could make this change occur when one day I stumbled upon Aubrey Marcus’s book “Own The Day. Own Your Life.” In the book, Marcus recommends drinking a large bottle of water before making coffee. Then, once you’re rehydrated, make the coffee “Bulletproof“ by adding fat to it like Half and Half, MCT Oil, Heavy Whipping Cream or Butter. Marcus’s research backed reasoning, is that the body can only digest one thing at a time. The caffeine in black coffee digests quickly which means it can hit you with a jolt, make you feel jittery, and then drop you off a cliff. Mixing your coffee with a slower digesting fat means you get a steady and longer lasting caffeine burn.
For lack of a better strategy, I started his plan the next morning. The first thing I noticed was the convenience of not making coffee. All I had to do in my sleepy stupor was fill a bottle of water from the tap. The second thing I noticed was I was thirsty; Really thirsty. I drank a 20 ounce bottle of water in less than 10 minutes and was halfway through a second 20 ounce bottle before I even thought to make coffee. By this time I was awake and thought to myself “Do I even need to make coffee?“ Of course I did, but when I made my way to the coffee pot, I brewed half as much and I added Heavy Whipping Cream to my cup once it was finished.
I will admit, I’m one of those sociopaths that loves black coffee. Disregarding the occasional Mocha or Latte when I’m at a fancy coffee shop, black is the only way I’ve taken my coffee for over 15 years. That said, Heavy Whipping Cream is heavenly. It adds a velvety mouth feel, reduces acidity, and enhances the flavor of an average cup of coffee. Savoring the flavor of my coffee rather than downing it led to less overall consumption. It also helped me realize how quickly a standard cup of coffee gets cold, which prompted me to switch to a Yeti Insulated Mug. (Coffee Joulies are another gadget I’d be interested in using to regulate coffee temperature even further, but I have yet to pony up the money.)
After sipping and thoroughly enjoying my first cup of coffee, I could feel the caffeine surging through my veins. I was feeling better and more alert after one small cup than I’d felt after half a pot the day before. Keep in mind, it was still 5:30 in the morning (most mornings I take a page out of Jocko’s book and drag my ass out of bed at 4:30). My theory, that I haven’t bothered to research, is that caffeine flows with less restriction through hydrated blood than thick sludgy dehydrated blood.
Regardless, through this entire process I discovered my old coffee habit was just that; A habit. I was drinking coffee because I liked drinking coffee. I didn’t need the caffeine, I wanted something to sip on. Reinventing the way I approached coffee helped me rediscover my love for it, helped me cut my consumption in half, and helped me feel better overall. Most days I don’t even need coffee in the afternoon because the coffee I drank in the morning is still working.
If you’re stuck in a coffee rut, I’d recommend giving this method a try. Worst case scenario, you can go back to your old habits. Best case scenario, you improve your overall health and wellness, save some money, and maybe even enhance your love for the greatest liquid on earth.
*A “cup” of coffee is equal to 5 ounces whereas a standard liquid cup measures 8 ounces. Therefore 12 “cups” of coffee equals 60 ounces or just under a half gallon.