How I Failed to Give Up Coffee

I am sure that there are articles written about how to give up coffee, but I am going to talk about how I failed to give up coffee. 🙂 My son just loved the title—he should, since he suggested it. 🙂

As you may know, I am from Southern India where drinking coffee, several times a day, is the norm. While growing up there, all our family members drank two or more cups of coffee, the size of Starbuck’s Grande. When we visited friends or relatives they would offer coffee as well, and out of courtesy we had to drink. At that time, I was also blissfully unaware of the ill-effects of consuming such large quantities of coffee.

After coming to the US of A, we reduced the consumption to 6 Oz cups, still drinking two or more cups a day.

Until four years ago, my wife and I continued the above pattern of drinking two or more cups of coffee, except when my wife was pregnant with our son. During that time my wife gave up coffee, but I still continued drinking. When our son was an year and a half old, my wife resumed drinking coffee with me. This time we switched to drinking coffee only once-a-day–immediately after waking up. Our son would have his glass of milk and we both would have coffee. The rest of the day we had non-caffeine herbal teas.

Two years ago, when my wife and son were away in India on vacation, I had successfully given up coffee completely for two months. I just went cold-turkey. I had severe headaches and mood swings for ten days. But, I was alone at home; at work I was couped up in my cubicle. That made it easy to handle the emotions. But, I felt truly free after those 10 days. After those two months, I joined my wife and son, in India. My mother and mother-in-law both make excellent coffee. I could not resist it; I was weak. 🙁 Moreover, I could not hurt their feelings. I caved in. I got back on the wagon. Or, is it falling off the wagon? After returning to the US of A, we went back to having once-a-day coffee before our breakfast.

About a month ago, we wanted to try giving up coffee. We went for about three days without coffee. We had very bad mood swings. Irritability factor was high. We got angry for small things. We became monsters. Our son started getting upset looking at our behavior. 🙁 We could not do that to him. So, we decided to stop the experiment. We did not want anymore unrest in the family.

Having a cup of coffee together, after waking up, is a simple pleasure we enjoy. We decided to continue that for a while. We reduced the size of that one cup of coffee to 4 Oz. We decided, however, if we ever decide to give up coffee again, we were going to do that in turns and not together. We need at least one person in the family behaving normally and with some sanity during the transition period. 🙂

7 Responses

  1. Cookie says:

    Giving coffee is hopeless when you work with your computer. You can give up smoking, drinking, everything but when you work 8 hours watching monitor it just can’t be done

  2. manoj saranathan says:


    i had the same issues with coffee. i switched to tea (i rotate between green, oolong and black). it is less addictive, healthier and has really done wonders for my immune system. i still drink coffee once in a while (esp when i am at a diner, there is something to bottomless cups of diner coffees) but it does not bother me if i do not drink it…


  3. Hi Cookie,
    Hi Manoj,

    As I mentioned at the end of the article, we switched to just one cup of early morning coffee. And, during the day we have herbal teas, like Tulasi, Ginger, and my favorite Peppermint.

    Last week, I was a bit lazy to make coffee just for myself (my wife and kid are still in India having fun 🙁 ) on one day and I just forgot about it for the next three days. I did not have any side effects or craving for it. I, then, realized that I really did not care for it and that I can make choice to have it or not. Now, I drink it out of choice once a day, if I feel like it.


  4. seshadri.n says:

    leaving coffee drinking is a hard bargain and cannot be comprimised with

    any alternative. it can only be taken as a sacrifice in your life and

    not changing your daily routine . coffee has more medically proved

    for heartrisk as per articles published in media

  5. seshadri.n says:

    there is no substitute for coffee and leaving coffee is a hard bargain.

    sacrifising coffee is only to have a change in daily routine .

    coffee has more medicinal properties for easing heartrisk as

    per medical reports published in paper and nedia

  6. Seshadri.N,

    Thanks for your comment.

  1. […] Original post by Desika Nadadur . com […]