Coffee Detox 2020 Retrospective

Today I finished my once yearly coffee detox process. I went to my favorite local coffee roastery for a Cortado, and I thought I’d share some thoughts from the process.

Water is your friend and I’m glad I stuck to my suggestions. I broke my alcohol rule a few times and that wasn’t a bad experience, it just made me think of having coffee more than I would have.

I also tricked my brain from wanting to do my usual coffee routine, by making coffee for someone else. Even though I didn’t drink it, I still “made coffee” which surprisingly helped. I will admit I encountered some waste on some days by tanking a single espresso shot and disposing of it 🙁 I feel bad, but it actually helped me.

Avoiding soft drinks was a huge win, BUT, I did have more sugar than usual. I generally avoid high sugar foods, but for whatever reason I found myself gravitating towards chocolate. This I failed at on several days.

Once I got to the 25th, it was super easy to not drink coffee at all. By that point I had been drinking only decaf for 2 full weeks. The last week with no coffee at all was very easy.

Interestingly enough, yesterday was international coffee day 😀 I’ll probably continue to have a cup when I choose to.

I guess that’s the whole point of doing this once a year – intentional choice rather than “needing” to have a cup!

How I Detox from Coffee

In 2016 I realised just how serious my “dependence” on coffee had become. I was averaging the equivalent of 3 double espressos before lunch, and then continuing in the afternoon.

To be fair, I was drinking that in a Cortado, but still…that’s a lot. And like a lot of people, I typically wasn’t drinking nearly enough water.

So I did some research and decided to detox once a year from coffee.

The goal was to eliminate my long term dependance on coffee.

I’ve done this every year since then, and I find it helps me focus on other things, as it removes the coffee ritual as the central point of my morning.

My machine at home, decaf beans, and Rehydrat.

What exactly do I do?

  1. I pick a date to start. The 1st is easiest to remember 🙂
  2. I finish the beans I have left, unless it’s a lot! No need to waste good coffee!
  3. I tone down how many coffees per day I have. I switch to 1 double espresso and then decaf if I want another cup.
  4. I do this until my regular beans are finished which for me was today (3rd) – and then I have a coffee from my local roaster once a day until the weekend.
  5. Get a good bag of decaf beans. I use Mexico beans from my local roaster.
  6. Drink a decent amount of water – at least 1 litre per day. I add Rehydrat, which in other countries is electrolytes. This helps with the headaches. I add 1 sachet to 500ml water, so 1-2 sachets per day.
  7. I keep drinking the decaf + water with electrolytes for about a week – this takes me to the 11th.
  8. When I feel I can wake up without immediately heading for the coffee machine, I then switch to a cup of decaf in late morning, continuing to drink lots of water.
  9. Keep going like that for another 2 weeks – this takes me to the 25th – and have a single cup of decaf if I want, or have a cup of green/peppermint tea instead. I like peppermint tea and it really chills me out.
  10. Last week of the month is no coffee at all. Total detox finishing on 2 October for me.

Some notes

  • This is not a checklist for everyone. It worked for me. Your body is probably quite different to mine!
  • Take the water consumption seriously. If you don’t hydrate you’ll likely feel the headache withdrawal pain way more intensely.
  • I tend to avoid coke/soft drinks as a substitute. This defeats the purpose…
  • I try not to drink a lot of alcohol. Withdrawal from coffee leads to “downer” type symptoms. Alcohol is a downer as well, so I’m more cautious here.
  • I drink Oat Milk in my coffee. Nut milk is also helpful.

Reintroducing Coffee

I do this pretty slowly. Probably a cup on the weekend, usually something light like a flat white, or a weak Americano. Smashing an espresso is not going to be fun 🙂

Let me know your experiences, if it was worth it for you 🙂