Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weaning Myself

So I have been gradually adjusting my preferences for coffee since November of last year and I am quite proud of my personal progress.  I started out ONLY liking coffee if it contained about 4-6 of those little things of cream that they have at diners and gas stations and 3-4 packets of sugar PER CUP!  No kidding!!!  Under those circumstances I loved coffee but I just couldn't understand how anyone could ever drink it black.

Well after I'd successfully given up soda (minus the occasional indulgence, in which I realize cola doesn't even remotely taste good to me anymore - this coming from someone who used to REQUIRE 4 or 5 cans of Coke PER DAY!) I realized that it really IS possible to change your preferences through gradual modifications.  I'm not lying here people, if you want to give up soda you really can and you WILL get to a point where you'll take a sip one day, thinking you're cheating, and you'll want to spit it out.  I PROMISE!  I watched my mom go through it and thought 'never, I'll never not like the taste of Coke'.  Well I was wrong, as usual.

Ok so back to coffee.  So I started to gradually modify my coffee tastes.  First, I started putting 3 tbsps of sugar directly in with my coffee grounds pre-percolation.  Why?  It made the coffee just as sweet, but I was getting three or four cups of coffee when before I was putting that much sugar in ONE CUP.  Add some skim milk and bingo, triumph #1.  Then, once I'd adjusted to that method and it started to taste good, I dropped it to two tbsps.  (It only took two or three weeks).  Once I'd adjusted to that I dropped it to one tbsp.  Then I realized that two tbsps of CoffeeMate had less calories and sugar than my skim milk and sugar routine.  Pre-adjustment I would never have been able to drink a cup of coffee with only two tbsps of CoffeeMate and nothing else but I've adjusted my taste buds and now CoffeeMate has 8 billion flavors, all yummy, most of them only 35 calories per serving - so I switched, dropping an extra 27 calories off my cup of coffee.

Well I stuck with that ratio for several months but then decided I want to get used to drinking coffee black - maybe I'll use creamer on special occasions as a treat instead of a daily indulgence (because the shit isn't cheap!).  So I tried reducing the cream but didn't like it, at all.  Too much too fast - so instead I increased the amount of coffee in the coffee-to-creamer ratio.  Once I'd adapted I could then start reducing the cream and I am proud to announce that today I am down to 1 tsp (teaspoon, not tablespoon) of creamer.  WEE!  I'm still counting the calories of a full serving because I'm too lazy to do the math on a tsp vs. tbsps. but I think, starting Monday, I am going to go creamer free.  I'm going to TRY to drink black coffee all week next week but don't hold me to it because I might find it's just awful.

I actually tried to drink black coffee yesterday and couldn't gag it down - but I make my coffee really strong so today as I filled up my pitcher for the week I cut out 1 tbsp of grounds per batch (I prefer cold coffee so I make three or four batches of coffee in my french press and then pour them all into a pitcher and keep it in the fridge).  Hopefully that will help.  (I'm a dork, I know.  I make uber strong coffee and then drown it in cream and sugar ... don't ask me why but that was just how I liked coffee before I started adjusting.  Weak coffee was gross to me because it tasted like flavored water.  I like coffee that leaves a little bit of coffe-mud in the bottom of your cup ya know?  I'm odd, I know).

137 oz of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1 tbsp peanut butter w/carrots
1 oriental chicken salad
1 serving sunflower seeds
1 serving cheese and crackers
Daily Caloric Intake: 1,156

Digging: The drainage trench I dug had started to fill up so I redug that this morning and extended it a little longer.
Filling holes: Ironically I also filled Vladdy's collection of holes after digging my trench.
Cleaning the yard: I washed the patio chairs, scrubbed out Vladdy's pool with a scrub brush, and hosed off the patio
Cleaning inside: I also cleaned the kitchen, picked up Shawn's dirty laundry, and cleaned the sheets on the bed
Walking: Distance unknown, short bursts here and there
Stadium steps: 3 times up and down


  1. I think I took the same steps with my coffee habits. I absolutely refuse to use sugar substitutes, unlike the rest of my family members, who use Splenda like no other. I usually try to just drink coffee with half and half, but sometimes I indulge and add a spoonful of brown sugar. YUM!

  2. I went through the same thing with my coffee. Used to get it extra light with cream and 4 splendas! GROSSSS! now, I just drink it with milk. Crazy how your taste buds ajest isnt it? Good for you girl!!

  3. Thank you both for sharing your comments on this! It gives me hope for tomorrow's black coffee ribbon cutting! lol Starting tomorrow I'm doing a three day "fast" of nothing but fruits, veggies, and nuts. I am going to allow myself my cup of coffee but I'm going to try to drink it black all three days. I'm so nervous (and my grocery bill was astronomical!)

  4. #1 to changing your tastes gradually over time!

    Heather and I have successfully altered our taste for coffee too, though not quite to your degree just yet. We are down to 18oz of coffee with 1 tbsp of Stevia, 1-2 oz. of almond milk, and a squirt of heavy whip cream. We're going to run out of the whip this week so starting next week, no more whip. Stevia is a plant and almond milk is almonds so while my coffee may not be black, that's not exactly a starbucks javachip frappe (my favorite) either! Hahaha.

    Here's another suggestion you might like: google 'cold pressed coffee'. I was just tipped to this by a co-worker and was surprised at how easy and low-acid this brew-method results in. And the kewl part is you probably have everything you already need to make it: no fancy equipment required!

    Try it, we've been drinking it for a week now and it's great! We press enough for about a week and just store it in the fridge so daily-brewing isn't even necessary and you can choose if you want a hot (nuke it for a minute or so) or a cold drink (which is absolutely FAB with nothing more than 1T of stevia!).

  5. So it looks like cold pressed coffee is about the same only I let it brew longer as apposed to cooking the water first. Question: how do you press enough for a week if it has to brew over night? My press makes about 2.5 cups of coffee per batch so at one cup per day I could get away with brewing about every other day or so. I guess I could just brew every night and keep adding it to my pitcher because, like you, I like to store my coffee in the fridge also. I mentioned that to a friend the other day and she was like 'so you drink week-old coffee?'? I said, yeah it's in the fridge so it's not really any different than iced tea or Kool-Aid.

    But I suppose for people who like their coffee hot, that's just odd.

  6. I don't think cold-pressed is very similar to what you do.

    The whole thing about brewing with heat versus time is a major difference. Heat destroys the good properties of coffee and enhances the bad ones. So, with heat, acidity-increase and loss of nutty-flavors and healthy-oils.

    That's why espresso is generally considered a superior brew-method: sure, it uses high-heat, but it does it under high-pressure in order to minimize the amount of time the bean is exposed to the heat. Less time, less total heat. Less heat, more yumminess.

    That's also why the Aeropress is a superior method (IMO); it uses water just under the boiling-point (so, less-hot than espresso) and pulls a shot just a bit longer than espresso. The result is even less heat. More yumminess.

    Cold pressing results in *NO* heat applied, but in order to accomplish this, a lot of time is required. No heat, ultimate yumminess.

    Course, a lot of people like the acidity of coffee, so some will disagree. But, based on your comments, I think you are like me and prefer low-acid coffee.

    You should try it. It's really easy.
    You just get some sort of big container; I use a big iced-tea jug. Every recipe varies it's ratio a bit but try this: put 2 cups of cold water in your container, add 1 cup of ground coffee (as coarsely ground as your grinder will go). Stir and sit 5min. Then add another cup to 2 of cold water. Stir again. Let sit 24 hours. Filter the grounds out using something like muslin or a fine mesh filter with a clean coffee filter inserted into it. Once filtered, place back in fridge and you have cold coffee for up to 30 days.

    This is a good reference I used:

    It makes wonderful iced-coffee.
    Hot coffee is easy too: just put 2 or 3 ounces in a mug, add another 3-5 ounces of water, nuke for 1-2 minutes until proper temp.

    Definitely not the same thing as french-press.
    Try it.

  7. I guess what I meant by similar is that it's made in batches and stored in the fridge ;). The ehow I found on it suggested using a french press, cold water, let it sit over night, press it and voila. I think I'm going to start doing that since I already have everything I need for that (I'd have to buy a strainer and filters to make lots at a time) but since my press makes 2.5 cups and I only drink one, I can make a press full each night and add the excess to my pitcher until it's full, then take the week off.

    I bet cold pressing makes coffee taste more like how it smells. Have you noticed that when you walk through the coffee isle at the grocery store the coffee smells better than it tastes? That always irritated me BUT, today is day two of black coffee (hot pressed but chilled) and I'm adapting. It's not nearly as bad as it was yesterday. It kind of dries my mouth out though - you mentioned cold pressing retains the natural oils of the bean, does that make it less dry?

    I just filled up my pitcher with hot pressed coffee on Sunday but when it's empty I'm going to start cold pressing and see how it's different.

  8. Oh, IC what you meant now. ;)

    No, not less dry -- just much healthier for you; much of the just-now-being-discovered health-benefits of coffee is captured inside it's oils.

    I think your method of cold-pressing sounds pretty easy. Nice! :)

    It's been my experience that when coffee makes my mouth feel dry, I'm getting dehydrated. I try and drink a small cup of water in between every cup of coffee I drink in the mornings (sometimes even more water than that).

  9. Hmmm I'd be surprised if it were dehydration. I have a 20 oz bottle that I fill with water and chug first thing in the morning, then sip on my 1 cup of coffee between 7 am and 9 am. At 9 I refill my 20 oz bottle and make sure it's gone by 11, then another refill at 11, one at 1pm when I go to lunch, and another at 2 just before I return to work from my lunch break which I have until 4, when I get off work to drink. Then I drink one with supper and, on most days, I try to drink at least one more between supper and bed. I'm averaging around 130 oz per day which is right around a gallon of water I think.