Skepticism on Coffee

My Rather Bitter Experience With the Popular Beverage


Deana Trautz, Reporter

Months ago, I had a strange urge to make iced coffee when I got home. For you, this urge may not be strange in the slightest, but I am no coffee drinker. Allow me to explain.

I have a strange relationship with coffee. I never really drink it, and the only time I’ve had good iced coffee is when I have sipped my sister’s Dunkin coffee (which may as well be only sugar). Every once and awhile I drink some, experience the sudden surge of energy and think maybe I should drink coffee to feel this excessive and unnatural feeling.

Both my sisters have drunk coffee since they were about my age in high school. It seems that everyone has a strange pressure in our culture to drink coffee. When we are kids and say “How can you drink this?!” with a disgusted look across our face, we still know that we one day, we too will have to “Get used to it,” like my mom always told me.

It’s the same thing with alcohol. My parents say it’s something you get used to, but I never could understand why on TV people made that face after taking a shot, but yet continued to drink them in the future. Like, if it was that painful, why the would you do that to yourself again? It’s probably just for the feeling you get from the drink, I mean, well obviously. But it is the same thing with coffee. As kids, we accept that it’s something to get used to and there will be some hidden benefit of doing so.

I think I avoid coffee for the reason that every bad thing for you with a “benefit” (ie. alcohol, cigarettes) need some getting used to in order to gain that desired feeling. It’s almost like coffee is in the same category as those bad things in my mind, except no one has proved the negative effects of the drink (as they have with other substances). I feel like coffee is just like those bad things- it helps give you a feeling. However, fortunately, the universe decided that it was best to not make it harmful to humans. This makes me hesitate to drink it; it’s just so odd in my head.

When I was younger, my parents joked about giving me coffee (because I was according to our culture, too young). But now, my dad looks at me with a serious face asking if I want it. In fact, when I turned 16, he asked me if I wanted a cup. Years prior, it would have been seen as a joke to give me coffee, so I was uneasy when I saw that my age somehow bought me the right to this beverage that I had never enjoyed before. It’s sort of like how until you’re in your 20s or so, people joke about giving you alcohol. But once you hit your 20s (or the comfortable drinking age) people sincerely offer it to you. This is a part of our culture- growing up to enjoy these things that alter our behavior.

In a way, I also think it is wrong that almost all adults depend on coffee. When someone who is a notorious coffee drinker suddenly quits drinking, when their normal coffee schedule begins promptly every morning, it doesn’t go over too well in their body. They can have a literal withdrawal, one like you would experience with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or any other substance you take on the daily. This, of course, is because of the high caffeine levels in the drink. Even sodas can cause this in those who drink it on a regular basis. I feel like I can never trust something that alters both your performance and your body as a whole on such a serious level.

In addition, I never drink coffee and I can get out of the house in the morning just fine, while my coffee-craving parents can only do so after coffee. It seems wrong that our adults need this drink before they can function normally, while I am functioning pretty normally and running on nothing but some off brand Rice Crispies (or should I say Cocoa Crispy Rice) cereal. Even before my breakfast, or if I don’t have anything to eat, I can perfectly leave my house with enough energy to function as I need to.

I’ve always been suspicious about things and cautious of doing something on a basis, thinking it could possibly affect me in the long run.

But as English teachers say, touch the opposing side. So maybe coffee can just be coffee- something a person enjoys drinking for its pleasantness. But I disagree that we should drink it so much to where our body is at risk of withdrawal soon after this beverage is removed from our routine. I agree that an energy boost can be nice, and I will admit that it is comforting to sit down and drink something nice and warm. But I think we have the body capable of functioning without coffee, so drinking it to an extent of depending on it like many do just seems wrong.

I’m not here to change your mind, but possibly make you think a bit more as you start your next cup.