Feb 17, 2018

Avoiding Caffeine

I love coffee. I love it black, with sugar, with all the cream, with different flavorings and whipped cream. It is a great dessert. It is fantastic as an in-between meal, holding me over until I can have lunch or dinner. Depending on how you take it, it can be zero calories or the same amount as a full meal. Perfect for dieting. Even better for indulging. I could sit and talk to a friend for hours on end sipping cup after cup. Or just sit enjoying myself sipping cup after cup. I love coffee.

But I can't drink coffee. Not now anyway. Back in December, my body went dumb and decided it wanted to have funky racing heart episodes. And what does coffee have a ton of in it? Caffeine, that lovely substance that can give a person heart palpitations and a racing heart. Exactly what I don't need. And until we figure out what is causing the problem, I am avoiding caffeine in any significant amount.

My caffeine intake was mostly in the form of coffee even before this happened, but now that I am trying to avoid it, I've had to be extra careful. I don't drink carbonated drinks, let alone ones that have caffeine, like cola. It is pretty easy to keep chocolate consumption low if I just don't buy it. But living in Japan, one place caffeine is hard to avoid is in my warm beverages. Winter is flippin' cold. Table flippin' cold. And if I can't have a warm cup of jo to hold in my frozen fingers, I turn to tea. At the supermarket alone, I can find 15 or more varieties and brands of green tea here in Japan. Attached to my grocery store is a shop specializing in green tea.

But green tea, which is abundant all around Japan, also has caffeine. Still, a better choice than coffee when trying to avoid caffeine.

You can find 20 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of tea as opposed to the 135 milligrams found in a cup of coffee.

There are also multiple health benefits to drinking green tea. It is a great replacement for my daily addiction.

However, I love coffee. The taste of it. I also love going out and drinking it. Most coffee shops in Japan don't have decaf coffee, also called "non-caffeine" or "caffeine-less" here. It just isn't a thing. You can find overpriced decaf grounds at some grocery stores. Or if you look in an import store in Japan, there are a couple of options. I recently found decaffeinated coffee where I can go and just drink a lovely cup and enjoy being out and bout. My husband found it for me actually. That is where we went on our yearly date.

While the baby slept in a shopping cart, my husband and I enjoyed some freshly brewed coffee together.

Mine with minimum caffeine.

At Mr. Donut.

He even came home with a cup just for me when I was having a stressful day

So, until I can be sure drinking a normal cup of coffee won't affect me badly, I'll quit my habit of a pot of coffee and stick to tea. And the occasional Mr. Donut.



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too


  • genkidesu

    on Feb 17

    Life without coffee is hard! I love it as much for the taste as for the energy boost, so the times that I've given it up for periods of time were hard. I know that some Starbucks have decaf, though! When I lived in Tokyo and was massively pregnant, the stores would ask me if I wanted decaf. Not sure if all stores have it, or just some, or they just make sure giant pregnant ladies don't OD on caffeine, but it's an option. Although, paying $5 for a coffee is kind of a rip, anyway.

  • TheHikingAlto

    on Feb 17

    I had to give up coffee (but not caffeine) a number of years ago...and as someone who still goes for caffeine, be careful of some green teas. They have been, well I guess fortified would be the word, with extra caffeine- as in energy drink levels of caffeine. I find that energy drinks are more energizing (probably boosted by whatever other chemicals are in them), but the teas work too. I have been considering writing up something about non-coffee alternative caffeine sources. Maybe I will in the next couple days.

  • helloalissa

    on Feb 18

    (I had to order it online, but maybe you can find something similar in Japan.) When I want coffee but have already had a cup or two for the day, I drink Dandy Blend, an instant herbal tea made from roasted dandelion and chicory root. To be honest it doesn't really taste like coffee but it's supposed to be a good and healthy substitute. Rooibos tea is also so nice if you get tired of the other kinds. I hope you figure out what's going on and feel better soon! Lots of caffeine is not kind to our adrenal system. I've had to cut out coffee and switch to licorice herbal tea in the past, but that got me back on the right track after a month or two.

  • edthethe

    on Feb 19

    @genkidesu when I was massively pregnant and could have as much caffeine it was more okay than this time. I suppose because I knew that as soon as the baby was out I could go back to my addiction and be happy again. This time it's just, ugh. "Can't live without my love~~~~

  • edthethe

    on Feb 19

    @TheHikingAlto matcha is one of those high-level teas because it is so concentrated and today I was invited to a makeshift tea ceremony. Didn't know how to be polite and refuse any, but sure didn't drink a second or third serving.

  • edthethe

    on Feb 19

    @helloalissa I found some of the dandelion tea at Kaldi coffee the import store but didn't get any. maybe after the decaf coffee grounds I bought run out Ill give it a try. I was really hoping that a month or two would be all it would take but it is looking like longer that I will have to ganbaru without my caffeine.