|In which our hero, Coffea arabica, achieves world domination
||[Mar. 15th, 2008|06:07 pm]
I recently started drinking coffee again.* After at least 8 years of being a daily coffee drinker (including about 2 or 3 years of being an extreme coffee fiend), I quit caffeine cold turkey in October 2006. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be; you just have to go into it knowing you'll be in withdrawal for at least two weeks. The payoff was a slightly less jittery life, fewer mood swings, a little less stress, and just a more easygoing outlook on things in general. The downside is that you don't feel as sharp & witty & fast as you used to. So now that I've chilled out a bit, I've welcomed caffeine back into my life with open
neural pathways arms, and have been enjoying the daily (borrowed) energy boost for a couple of weeks now.**
Along with regaining my desire to drink the stuff, I've had time to realize how different life would be if none of us had ever known the joy of coffee at all. Coffee is unique in that you can find it in almost any country in the world now (it's almost a staple of culinary life everywhere). Most other such staples that we still enjoy today (chocolate, beer, wine, butter, sugar, salt, garlic) have been in use by at least some humans somewhere in the world for thousands of years, but coffee was only discovered about 1000 years ago, and only made it to the Middle East around 1500 AD. Pretty modern. This boggles the mind, since it seems like Turkish coffee would have been around at least as long as, say, hummus (which has not surprisingly been around for thousands of years).
The fact that coffee has only been around for 500 years and yet has somehow made its way to every continent in the world (and molded to the particular culture in each place) can only mean that either coffee is truly a blessing unto mankind, or that our species is seriously whipped by our mistress Coffea arabica.
* Apparently this, also means that I've started posting in LJ again.
** Yes, my emotions are almost as bitter as the drink itself, because caffeine as a stimulant is only an imperfect solution to the problem of not having as much energy as one would want to. Some people bounce off the walls and accomplish a lot, without the assistance of any stimulants, and often despite other factors that could be bringing them down. And in the long-run I aspire to be one of those people.
*** Kombucha post on the way.