Monday, May 3, 2010

The Rise of Coffee and The Fall of Cream

I think I finally kicked the cream habit.

I don't drink soda, but I drink coffee. While I don't think caffeine used to wake me up, I have noticed lately that on days when I drink afternoon coffee it can be more difficult to fall asleep, so I avoid it. (Of course, I've always had a hard time falling asleep.) Ice tea doesn't seem to affect my sleep though. Weird.

Anyway, so, coffee every (almost) morning is a lot of coffee. And I used to add copious amounts of cream. Well, half and half. Milk, be it skim, 1%, 2% or whole, never quite gives the coffee that same rich, nutty taste and texture. So - a couple cups of coffee with ridiculous amounts of cream or half and half, pretty much daily. Yeah, that can't be good for me.

Whatever calories and fat I wasn't consuming through soda, I was undoubtedly consuming in cream. Not to mention the ingredients listed on those little single serving cream containers at restaurants. It is sort of like getting honey at KFC, and realizing that the ingredients are honey and high fructose corn syrup (really, I'm telling you, the stuff is everywhere!).

This thought has been in the back of my head for a while, and I've known that I needed to kick the cream habit, for nutritional and budgetary reason! (I was buying half and half a couple of times a week, some for the office and some for home.)

A couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge, and just started drinking my coffee black. And I liked it. We were at a restaurant in town, and the coffee was amazing, even sans cream. Started drinking it black at home and at work. A few times, I've ordered coffee out with one or two creamers in it. (Yeah, coffee out isn't frugal, I know.) And just one or two is a significant reduction for me in a large coffee. Trust me.

Now, I'm almost wondering why I used so much half and half less than a month ago. Did I really need it? Did it really make the coffee that much better? Or was I just getting bad coffee?

I have determined that I prefer mild roasts, and thing that my obsession with cream stemmed from an opinion that most bold or extra bold roasts taste burned and sour to me. But a fresh, mild roast is divine.

A small step in frugality and diet. But it is one with which I am happy. I seriously doubted my ability to cut out cream from my coffee.

Now, I guess that I need to work on cutting out coffee. Ha! Think I'll wait a while on that one!

Are there any habits you are looking to cut out or cut down for similar reasons?


Jen said...

Impressive! I used to put lots of sugar in coffee, and made an effort to go black - it's just so much easier (and frankly, it's cool). Haven't been able to give up the cream though. My trademark is dark, bold coffees with tons of half-and-half, so maybe I should try for a nice mild blend, black. I recently cut out dairy but wasn't able to let the cream go.

swiggett said...

Jen - Thanks! I've never been big on sugar in my coffee, but the amount of cream I used was ridiculous. Still enjoy a little bit in some restaurant coffee, but it has been black at work! It is such a lovely flavor, and I wish you luck in your endeavor.