Monday, May 14, 2012

Goodbye My Dear Coffeemate

I have sworn off coffee, and actually I'm quite pissed about it. Some people chain smoke, do recreational drugs, do prescription drugs, have loads of casual sex while gambling. These are the people who should have acid reflux not me. Coffee is my drug. I want it, need it. I love the way the warm mug feels cupped in my hands, I like to sip it on the weekend while gazing out the window pretending to journal, I want to share it with friends at brunch over eggs benedict. Its bitter-sweet-hotness is all I want in the morning. But no. One sip of coffee and there's a burning sensation running up and down my esophagus all day and a desire to burp without relief.

Every morning at work people are quietly sipping at their mugs while they chitchat and start cooking. One day, I had to have dry biscotti--no dipping. Someone brings us free Starbucks every afternoon and I have to order lemonade. I love coffee more than most people I know. I have a stovetop espresso maker and a French press plus an autodrip. It's been years, years I tell you since I've gone a day without coffee in the morning. But depriving myself of my only addiction is the only way to abate the heartburn. Or, looking at it from another view: Coffee is giving me acid reflux.

I suspect it has something to do with stress. I have been at it with more self-assessed pressure than I've experienced for a long time. I feel I have been given a great luxury in my adulthood: To work for a short period without making any money, and I really feel that I have to make the most of my opportunity at America's Test Kitchen. I have learned the coffee-free and very hard way that I need to cool it. I've tried that, literally, with coffee.

I'm experimenting with cold-pressed coffee at the moment. I made a concentrated batch on Saturday night and steeped it overnight at room temperature for Sunday morning. The cold-brewed coffee has a fraction of the acid that regular coffee does, however, the caffeine still packs a punch. And in the case of my Sunday morning coffee, quite a mean punch. I was jittery and shaking from the caffeine for hours. I suspect I need to pay better attention to my one-to-three ratio. When I have the recipe down, you'll be the first to know.