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Pwned by Starbucks

Alternate titles for this post include: “Starbucks is like a box of chocolates*”, “Would you like cinnamon or poison in your coffee?” or “Coffee: side-effects may include high blood pressure, insomnia and instant death”.

You guys, I am not a coffee person. [Nor am I a morning person, and these two together do not a good combo make]. I am only telling you this in case you ever come visit: you will not be offered any type of caffeinated drink. Tea, maybe. Herbal that is.

I thought I liked coffee, I mean the smell of it is absolutely divine, enough to make my olfactory receptors throw caution to the wind and have an orgy. I also like the taste quite a lot, although my papillae are not as easily impressed. The actual effects of coffee, the reason people are so addicted to this thing, I cannot really tolerate. Which is why Germans should  be praised not only for giving the world the best cars ever, but also the wondrous substance that is decaf. Actually “best thing since decaf” would be my go-to phrase since the drink came before sliced bread.

Today I went to a Starbucks, craving a hot drink because if you haven’t heard, Montreal has been blessed with colossal amounts of snow yesterday. I asked for a large (greedy, I know) decaf latte  and by the time I got to the lab I had already finished half of it. By the time I started reading the first article about my favorite gene my coffee was gone. A few minutes later, despite being cozy and warm to my very toes, this very unpleasant feeling was taking over. My palms were sweaty, my head was like patrolled by a thousand police cars with the sirens turned on and I just couldn’t keep my butt still in the chair. OH OH.

Yes. Starbucks hijacked my coffee. There was no other explanation. And what’s worse, there was nothing I could do about it. The deed was done and any traces of evidence were being pumped  into my brain at an alarming rate. A LARGE latte. Two shots of espresso. TWO! As in more than one. Oh dear God! I was seeing stars. I could have punched that barista. I mean, think about it, it’s not like I didn’t have the energy for it. Lucky for her I had to attend a seminar.

During the presentation, forget restless legs, that’s nothing, even my jaws would not sit still. I must have chewed the life out of around ten pieces of gum. One after the other, not all at once of course – caffeine made me antsy, not a moron. Obviously, later on, with the coffee and all the chewing I was getting hungry, but not even a lunch overly packed with calories could simmer the adrenaline rush right away.

Eventually, once the caffeine high began to subside, my body started to crash. Inevitably. But of course, the higher the “high” the more abrupt the crash. And this one felt like I’d been bulldozed over after running a marathon. I kept yawning and yawning and my jaws kept hurting and hurting (I’m thinking also due to all the previous chewing). When the crash was at its worst and I’d hit the part that felt like I-haven’t-slept-for-three-days-straight and was actually pondering the comfy-ness of my keyboard as my head would eventually fall on it, I amazingly started feeling better. Refreshed. Invigorated. And with a pledge: never to have a double espresso again. I’d rather try bungee jumping. Actually no, I take that back. Today was enough thrill to last me for a while – exactly like thinking I was attending a book club but instead was blindfolded and thrown off an airplane. Definitely enough thrill.

* cuz of Forrest Gump, ya’ know…

Comments (6)

  • Awesome post, Alexandra! I could actually ‘sense’ your physical reaction by the way you brilliantly described it!

    OMG, I can’t believe they hijacked your coffee because that could be very dangerous for someone who cannot tolerate caffeine – yikes!

    I’m one of those people is also not a morning person, at all. However, I do drink caffeinated coffee, and partially Starbucks. But, I will tell you that Starbucks does give me that EXTRA burst of energy. Which is why I probably love it. Yeah, I’m addicted to two cups a day.

  • Ron, I don’t think they hijacked my coffee on purpose. She made a mistake, but you’re right, if I had heart problems, it could have been serious. I guess that (if I were the type of person who’d do that)I could have sued Starbucks’ ass.

  • When I was in high school, I figured I should try this wondrous thing called coffee because everyone was starting to drink it and I looooved the smell, just like you…so I made it myself, big cup, like I saw my mom making it… and I drank it at a normal pace…and 15 minutes later my head went the same way yours did, only I kind of directly crashed into bed …WILL never ever try it again… I try sipping a tiny amount whenever the smell gets to me (once every 10 years :)) but I am never giving my heart muscles or brain cells over to that fiend again…EVER! Tiramisu is the limit 😀

  • “Tiramisu is the limit” – 🙂 I like that.

  • When I was in high school, I made a habit of drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a night. Later as an undergrad, I was drinking about a pot at nights (literally, past midnight). Eventually caffeine just had zero (or near-zero) effect on me—I could drink 5-6 cups and still go to bed. I stopped drinking coffee when I lived in England (replaced it with massive amounts of tea), mostly because (a) it just wasn’t doing anything, (b) I wanted my body to regain its usual tolerance, and (c) coffee is a bit unhealthy, anyways.

    These days, I drink it every morning, but in combination with tea. It does wake me up a bit, but again, still not very much.

  • I will admit it. I’m addicted to coffee. As addictions go, it’s pretty tame on the scale of things. But, recently I’ve found myself drinking more than usual. In moderation, I think like most things it’s fine. I’ve been so tired recently and so I want coffee. It becomes an endless circle. Be glad you don’t drink it. I’d go back to that Starbucks and give them hell.


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