Health and Wellness

Why I am drinking less coffee

Coffee. I really enjoy a cup or two or three or four as part of my morning routine.

Oatmeal, coffee and the news.

Someone I knew went in for major surgery not long ago. The post-op required a few overnights in the hospital. There were lots of things that could have made that stay tough – surgical pain, hospital bed, noise in the hallways – but it was something else that made those days most difficult … lack of good and plentiful coffee.

What controls me

Coffee has become such a determining factor in my morning routine that on the days I have an early morning flight I need to carefully configure where the coffee comes from … home, airport or on the plane.

I enjoy coffee, but I don’t enjoy the way it controls me.

What motivates me

There are thousands of personal finance articles that recommend giving up daily rituals as a way to save a few dollars. You can use this calculator to see who how much you will save when you quit smoking. You can also just use a calculator Cost of Coffee from Starbucks x Number of Days = money you are spending on coffee.

I buy the cheapest, darkest off-brand coffee at the grocery store. I make it in a pot that is 16 years old. I use tap water. So coffee quality isn’t important to me.

The motivator for me – not cost, not less but better – was simply to see if I could reduce my coffee consumption.

What I have done

The recipe is pretty easy – each day gradually less grounds, less water. In about three weeks I have cut my consumption in half. I am not sure how much further I will go. One cup of coffee seems about right. And no one has been hurt or injured in the process.

I am glad I was able to do this my own. But I realize that some addictions require way more willpower, professional assistance and lifelong struggle.

What is the result

The cost savings are negligible. I can’t tell you if I feel any better and I don’t have a daily set of vital signs to see if there is a change in my heart rate or blood pressure.

Perhaps the most important result is knowing that I control the coffee. And the coffee doesn’t control me. I like to look for levers – what can I pull, push or adjust – to make changes.


By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.