If it weren’t for coffee, much of the research that gets done today wouldn’t get done. Or so I am led to believe based on the reverence people seem to have for the sacred bean. Frankly, I’d trade a cup of coffee for a good night’s sleep. Hell, I’d trade a cup of coffee for pretty much anything. That’s because I don’t drink coffee. That sound you hear is from all the coffee drinkers (yourself included, probably) letting out a gasp as they wonder how someone can function without a chugging liquid caffeine.
I don’t really have a secret. I just never got addicted — to coffee or caffeine. I’ve limited my caffeine intake to the occasional piece of chocolate, and now I feel like a social outcast within academic circles. Even my non-coffee drinking advisor keeps himself well caffeinated with an endless supply of Coca-Cola products. Thankfully, I still imbibe vast quantities of alcohol, the lubricant for both scientific and flirtatious discourse. But pounding a sixer of Natty Light doesn’t go over so well in the lab, unlike the ubiquitous coffee mugs and doubled-up cups with cardboard sheaths to protect your delicate hands from hot-hot heat generated by your favorite bean grinder’s blend.
So what’s a non-coffee drinker to do when everyone around him drinks the brew like it’s going out of style? And don’t say tea; it’s just caffeine in different packaging. I tried drinking tea at a seminar once and had a head-ache for the rest of the afternoon. I’m not bothered by the coffee, but by the ceremony surrounding the whole process. I feel left out — like I don’t belong — when it’s time to grind the beans or brew a pot. And “getting a cup of coffee” has become synonymous with “an informal conversation”. Can I just talk to you for a little while without your circadian crutch?
Anyway, this is my long winded way of asking you whether you drink coffee or not. If you do, are non-coffee drinkers like an exotic creature to you? If not, do you feel ostracized by the caffeine-o-philes?