My anniversary of quitting caffeine came and went last week. Back in 2021, I wrote about my caffeine journeyand I celebrated one year of no longer being addicted to caffeine. In 2022, though I didn’t write about it, I was still not doing caffeine habitually.

This year, the state of my caffeine addiction is much less clear.

On the one hand, I do take mornings off from drinking coffee or tea, and I don’t end up with a horrible headache. This tells me that I may not be fully addicted.

On the other hand, I am drinking a lot of caffeine. Recently, I’ve been on a tea kick. I’ve made my own chai tea blend that I add to things, like to black tea, yerba mate, as well as to chia seed pudding.

In addition, I’m taking gummies that have been fantastic for clearing away brain fog in the mornings. (I credit those as part of the reason why my writing has been going so well.) They have caffeine in them. Not a lot, and it’s supposedly slow-release, but they do have some. So even on the days when I’m not drinking caffeine, I am having a little. 

Part of the reason why I continue to go back to coffee is because there’s nothing like coffee. I can get close, but it’s never the same. In addition, my gut has healed quite a bit. Though I love coffee, coffee doesn’t always love me. At this time, though, I can drink coffee two or three days in a row before it starts giving me grief.

The best coffee substitute that I’ve found was a combination of chicory and roasted dandelion root. Though there are commercial brands of this combination, I make my own. (Commercially available products have “natural flavorings” which I tend to react to badly.) I got pre-roasted chicory, then roasted the dandelion roots that I bought. The chicory gave the drink a coffee-like bitterness, and the roast that I gave to the dandelions provided that roasted-bean flavor. I use one teaspoon of chicory, one heaping tablespoon of dandelion root, then use a pour-over system.

Of course, eventually I grew tired of that. Hence the chai tea phase, which will eventually run its course as well.

So here’s to another year of only partial dependence on caffeine. We’ll see what next year brings!

What about you? Do you need to replace your blood with caffeine every morning? Or is that too much for you?