I love coffee. It’s my drug of choice; my magic bullet as Tom Waits would say. But too much turns me into a bit of a crazed monster, riding on super-caffeinated highs in which I over-state my own apparently brilliant ideas and plunging low on shouting matches with bank clerks. It is not pretty.
So I recently had a little break from it. It’s been like leaving a seductive lover, one of those people that you have such bad chemistry with that at once the relationship is lethal and irresistible. Okay, I exaggerate but you get the idea. I have been off the stuff about three weeks and feel much more even keeled in mood, even though as I type this it sounds awfully boring. Like saying ‘You look nice.’ But it’s okay, I ventured out to the dark side twice last week and took two steaming caffeinated brews. I needed the kick. 5000 words weren’t going to write themselves.
Anyway, I feel better, I do. Less sleepy, less cranky and with more energy, especially in the mornings when I would normally wage serious combat with the snooze button. I interviewed a rugby player once and he said he only took caffeine before a match because his body responded to it by performing better when it was less used to its effects. So – because I am so similar to an elite athlete, of course – when I am doing proper pieces or need to be a bit of a performing ideas seal at meetings then yes, I might take a thimble full or two.
In the meantime, I miss the comforting milky texture of that hot brown liquid and have replaced my morning cups with dandelion root coffee. I know it sounds like a grow-your-own-sandals dirt-eating nutjob thing but it’s not. It was recommended to me by my writing partner, the most brilliant nutritionist Charlotte Watts, founder of santoshahealth.co.uk (with whom I have just been offered a book deal but that’s another post). Dandelion is a great liver tonic and has none of the high-low effects of coffee that over times gets the adrenal glands firing off so many stress hormones that they weaken and that leaves you knackered and spent (why do you think I hadn’t posted in months?). Jokes aside, I really do feel better and I am convinced part of it is down to replacing my morning brew with dandelion coffee. There are two types I would recommend:
This one is from nutricentre.com and
and this one from cotsherbs.co.uk I occasionally see this one in health food stores like whole foods and it’s inexpensive.
Making it: Get the whole lot and put it in the blender and let it grind up really finely, like real coffee and keep it in an airtight jar, it keeps like coffee. Then simply make it in a cafetiere like you would the hard stuff. I add hot skim milk to it and it’s pure bliss.