Why I drink decaf coffee

Nov. 13, 2017, 1:00 a.m.

One of my favorite pastimes (read: ways to procrastinate) is browsing BuzzFeed. I particularly enjoy reading their compilations of funny tweets. One day, I stumbled across this tweet from Khloe Kardashian: “Who drinks decaf coffee? What is the point?”

I would like to tell Khloe that there is a point to decaf coffee!

Like many people here, I love coffee. I enjoy the warmth, the aroma and the taste. I’ll even drink my coffee black. But, as I discovered recently, I’m really sensitive to caffeine. I’ve tried to fuel my essay-writing sessions with coffee, but it only made me jittery and on-edge — two states that are not conducive to writing an essay. If I drink coffee past noon, I barely sleep that evening. I’ve even had coffee at 10:30 a.m. and had trouble falling asleep.

And it isn’t just limited to coffee. My sensitivity to caffeine puts a damper on boba runs with friends. I either order the same caffeine-free drink every time, or I stay up until 5 a.m. and wake up groggy in the morning.

I didn’t drink coffee before college. I used to be a super-picky eater and I still wasn’t very adventurous with what I drank, even after that phase ended.  But at Stanford, I was surrounded by CoHo, Starbucks and Coupa Cafe. In nearly every class I went to, at least one person had a coffee in hand. So I figured I might as well give it a try.

It took me a couple years to figure out how caffeine affects me, but now I appreciate the joys of decaf coffee. To me, it’s the best of both worlds: I enjoy the taste, but I can still get my sleep. In other words, I can have my coffee and drink it, too.

Sometimes, I still feel a little weird ordering decaf coffee. But I don’t drink it to fit into any sort of caffeine culture; I drink coffee because I like it. Although I occasionally wish I could have an instant boost while doing homework, an extra jolt at 5 p.m. is not worth staying up until 5 a.m. Decaf coffee is one way that I treat myself, so for me, decaf coffee definitely has a point.


Contact Kristen Lee at klee23 ‘at’ stanford.edu.


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