February 21, 2013

Why I Quit Drinking Coffee

Giacomo and his dog slick

Giacomo & Slick

Why I Quit Drinking Coffee

I love coffee. I like coffee even more than wine. So imagine my distress when several of my doctors ganged up on me and warned me off of coffee, or at least the vast amount that I consume. I used to drink about 1/5–1/4 of a pound per day, which equates to about 16–20 tablespoons of freshly ground wonderfulness.

But the doctors insisted I curb my pleasures, so I cut back—way back—much to the dismay of several coffee roasting companies.


Things were going along fine with me drinking two cups a day. I quit shaking after week one. The cold sweats and trembling stopped during week two. Near the end of week three I no longer found it necessary to grind beans just so I could sniff them. But there were repercussions.

How has it affected me?

I can’t stay up until 3:00 A.M. every night like I used to. I have lulls during the day when I am not as productive. I often feel like Grumpy Cat, especially in the early afternoon. But other than that, life is good.

Giammatteo brothers

Giammatteo brothers

And then it happened!

I got a picture in the mail from my sister. It was a picture of my father and five of his brothers. As you can see, the prominent common trait was a noticeable lack of hair on the top of their heads. It got me to thinking about my own lack of hair (see picture above) which forced me to recall conversations I had long ago with my mother. I used to tell her all the time, “Baldness comes from your mother. All the scientists say so.”

And my mother—with all the righteousness in the world—would say, “I don’t care what the scientists say, baldness comes from the father’s side.”

As you can see from these pictures, there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell I would keep my hair. Or that I’d be carrying a comb past the age of thirty. And it was all my father’s fault. Or at least, his genes. It didn’t have a damn thing to do with my mother, whose father had hair until he died.

The Smarter We Get, the Less We Know

And now, of course, the general consensus is that baldness comes from…ahem…both sides, with perhaps a nod more to the father’s side. In a few years, I’m certain they will tell us we get it from our sister-in-law’s second cousin.

Those thoughts of baldness got me thinking of all the other things scientists and doctors have told us. Eggs were bad for us. Wait…no, they’re good. Margarine is good…no, I’m sorry, it’s not. Plastic is good. Plastic is bad. Coffee is bad…

Aunt Margaret and Aunt Rose

Aunt Margaret and Aunt Rose

Wait a Damn Minute…

When I got to the coffee, it got me thinking again. An image popped into my mind of my Aunt Rose. (Aunt Rose is the one on the right) She’s 96 years old—and she still drinks coffee from first thing in the morning until just before bedtime. She plays pinochle and canasta twice a week, and she plays Wii bowling one night. Did I mention she’s 96?

If she had quit drinking coffee at my age…she would have done without coffee for 36 years!

What the hell do doctors know? Maybe it’s the coffee that keeps her going. Maybe it does a lot more than keep people awake.

Bottom Line

I leaned back in my chair. Thought about what the doctors told me. Thought about Aunt Rose. And then I got up, went to the cabinet, and ground some beans. Doctors be damned! I need some coffee.


Ciao, and thanks for stopping by,




Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of MURDER TAKES TIME, MURDER HAS CONSEQUENCES, and A BULLET FOR CARLOS. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 41 loving “friends.”

8 Responses to “Why I Quit Drinking Coffee”

  1. That’s one thing that’s interesting when you’re doing historical research — to see how much things have changed over the years — especially medical knowledge.

  2. I know, they keep going back and forth on coffee, like other foods. Some days it’s good for you, and others…

  3. George Burns smoked cigars to the end of his life. We’re all subject to different limitations and other things that can kill you. :o)

  4. I know, but I think I’ll take my chances with the coffee.

  5. Ahhh, coffee! Perhaps I’ll use your argument next time my husband tells me I’m drinking too much.

  6. Sheila: Absolutely. It’s a valid argument. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. I’m in the middle of a liquid diet, bereft of caffeine, for weight loss purposes, so reading this entertaining blog about one of my many crutches was quite pleasurable. I know all about the withdrawl, so that section made me smile brightly.

    I’m glad you followed me on Twitter. I don’t think I would have found your blog otherwise.


  8. Yeah, that damn coffee is rough to do without. Glad we hooked up on Twitter also.

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