Caffeine. I can feel a slide back into addiction.

When I mentioned here the other day that I was thinking that I might start drinking coffee and stop eating meat, there was much gob-smackedness from many of you that I was not a coffee drinker. For many, such a thing is unthinkable and you wanted to know more.

The truth is that caffeine and I broke up more than twelve years ago. That’s when I was pregnant for the first time and gave up coffee along with pretty much anything else I enjoyed eating or drinking. It wasn’t divine. I’d not had a huge caffeine habit before that – one coffee a day, never more than two. But the withdrawal still wasn’t fun. Headaches mostly. And fatigue. Coupled with the early pregnancy which in itself is no cake walk, I was relieved when I hit the three month mark and things improved but I still stayed off the coffee.

When my first child was born and I began breastfeeding, I still stayed away from the coffee because I was terrified of anything that might make him not sleep. Turns out EVERYTHING made him not sleep, even exposure to air and the sound of me blinking so I’m not entirely sure it made any difference. The universe has never sent me a sleeper.

Still, new to the motherhood thing and quite crazed with fear and the first flushes of sleep deprivation, I decided to give up caffeinated tea as well because that’s the kind of nerd I am.

I’m also tremendously lazy, so once I’d passed through the horror of caffeine withdrawal, I really wasn’t at all keen to rush back into the arms of my addiction and have to go through all that again (I tend not to drink much for the same reasons – fear of hangovers – I’m a bundle of spontaneous giggles, yes I am).

So I just kind of…..kept not drinking coffee. And months turned to years and other pregnancies and more breastfeeding and I just never got back into it. A few years ago, on holidays in Italy, I decided I had to give the proper coffee thing another whirl and had a cappuccino in one of those fabulous stand-up bars and I felt all cool and then oh my. Let’s just say I can be fairly intense when travelling. At the best of times. Without caffeine. That one coffee propelled me through Rome for days. At full speed. In full flight. Fully hyper and not a hugely pleasant experience for anyone involved.


I must say at this point that I am a huge tea drinker. HUGE. But this is how tragic I am: I don’t drink properly caffeinated tea. I drink a type of tea called Madura which is, like, 98% caffeine-free. But that 2&? I get a buzz out of it – that’s how pure my system is in terms of caffeine sensitivity. I NEED THAT 2%. I DEPEND ON IT. And without it, Mummy is not a very pleasant person to be around. Some may not even call her a person. Some may call her AN EXTREMELY GRUMPY PAIN IN THE ARSE WHO IS BEST AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.

For whatever reasons, I’ve been flirting with the idea of coffee again. For many years I drank decaf but that’s such a tragic experience, I ditched it a year or so ago. I drink soy chai quite a lot now. Sometimes it hits the spot.

But I had a weak soy latte last week while in Melbourne airport and I was able to keep myself in check. I didn’t go nutty. I just loved it. I’m aware of what a slippery slope caffeine can be though. Much like crack. You start with a weak latte and soon, you’re injecting double macchiattos into the vein behind your eyeball.

So if you step over some crazed lunatic stuffing coffee beans into a crack pipe while lying in a filthy gutter some time soon, make sure you lean down and say hello to me.

What’s your relationships with caffeine? Do you need it? Are you beastly without it? Do you have a fundamental objection to Starbucks? And what’s your hot beverage of choice?