Hey friends! I have gotten a lot of questions in regards to decaf coffee and decaf cold brew in my daily routine. This wasn’t something I chose, but rather something my body chose for me. Read on…
Ever since I can remember, I have had the energy of a cocker spaniel puppy. Usually, this serves me well. However, I have found that high energy can be dangerous where caffeine and anxiety are concerned. For me:
High energy + too much caffeine = anxiety
Give this girl too much and my nerves go into overdrive. My heart races and my temper has a hairpin trigger.
Around three years ago, I noticed that I was super on edge in the mornings. The smallest things would set me off and I all in all felt out of control when it came to getting my emotions in check (namely impatience, anger, etc). I started to realize that it felt like my body was running in this intense adrenaline phase in the morning. Almost like some sort of fight or flight response system. Note: During this time I also had my thyroid checked and it showed no irregularities.
My dad (who I am very like in many ways) had been drinking half-caff K-cups for quite some time and we would joke it he drank a full-caff he would go outside and build a boat, re-organize the garage, or (most likely) get out the ladder and cut down all the tree limbs too close to the house. You think I am kidding!
Too much caffeine and he was, as he would say, “wide open, baby!” Turns out, I am the same way. You give someone with high energy and big cup of energy and there’s no telling what they can do! Unfortunately, for me, it usually translated less into manual labor and more into high anxiety and harsh words towards my children.
At the time, Trader Joe’s carried a half-caff coffee and I decided to start brewing that in the mornings as opposed to full-caff. I am actually surprised it took me so long to make this switch! I could notice a difference immediately. Within that year, Trader Joe’s sadly discontinued making that blend and I decided to switch to 100% decaf. And let me tell you what, it has made all the difference in the world.
Now, I drink decaf coffee every morning. It has the smallest amount of caffeine to give a tiny boost, and allows me to still enjoy the sweet ritual of having a hot morning beverage. Pour a little half and half in there and I am in heaven!
How I deal with caffeine now
I have learned that I can enjoy caffeine in very small doses and specific situations. Usually, mid-morning after I have eaten breakfast. The small change of having something in my stomach really does make all the difference in how the caffeine hits my bloodstream (think of it like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach verses after or with a nice meal).
I usually start my morning with a workout followed by a nice hot cup of decaf coffee. I then eat breakfast, and if I want it, I enjoy a caffeinated hot tea or cold brew around 10 am. I do NOT have any caffeine after noon or I won’t be able to go to sleep. The only caffeine I do consume post noon is a kombucha or chocolate! But even that I have had to change in order to sleep better. I now enjoy chocolate in the mid-afternoon as opposed to after dinner, just so I am able to go to sleep easier. It is crazy how easily it affects me.
I still love to drink cold brew in the afternoons, so I set out on a mission to find a decaf version. Sadly, this search ended without one to be found. So, I set out to make my own. You can learn how to make your own decaf cold brew here.
Maybe caffeine in the form of hot tea or iced coffee
Mid-afternoon chocolate and DECAF cold brew
I still enjoy caffeine, but have found that the timing and making sure there is something in my stomach greatly matters.
Switching to decaf has helped IMMENSELY in bringing a sense of calm to my mornings. No more racing heart and hairpin trigger temper.
How To Slowly Wean Off The Caffeine
Next time you go to buy your beans, grab a bag of decaf as well.
Week one: one scoop decaf, the rest regular
Week two: two scoops decaf and the rest regular
Week three: three scoops decaf and the rest regular
And so on and so forth. And remember! You don’t have to go to completely decaf. You might find a ratio somewhere in the middle that works for you and that is wonderful! Once you do, you can scoop from two bags each time you make your coffee or grab a jar and mix the two together to make the nightly (or early morning) scooping process go a bit faster.
At the coffee shop: try ordering your drink half caff (they will use one shot of regular espresso and one decaf); you can also asked for a half-caff iced americano or iced doubleshot
TO CLOSE, HOW TO ENJOY THE PERFECT SLIGHTLY SWEET COLD BREW AT HOME
- Grab a mason jar
- Pour in your cold brew of choice
- Add a small splash of maple syrup (trust me on this one!)
- Add whole milk or half and half
- Put a lid on the jar and shake shake shake!
- This will allow the maple syrup to fully incorporate as well as create a dreamy little foam on the top of your coffee
- Add ice, put your feet up, and enjoy!
Anyways, I hope some of you find this helpful! If you are experiencing some intense morning anxiety maybe try cutting out some of the caffeine. It just might help!