My affair with the bean has reached a new level.

While taking a substance abuse counseling class, I wrote a paper comparing being addicted to caffeine to being addicted to meth. It’s not terribly different. My professor however, did not agree. He graded the paper fairly, just told me I was being ridiculous.

Over the years, I have tried to reduce and even cut out my intake of coffee. What I have realized is that is an impossibility for me. Mainly because I don’t want to do it. I went coffee-free for about 6 months once. I tried tea. Nowhere near the same thing. Not even close.

Why do I like coffee so much?

Honestly, I actually like the taste of it. People often say beer is an acquired taste, I think coffee can be too. In a world full of mochas and lattes, we have forgotten what coffee itself tastes like. Want to find a hardcore coffee drinker? Stand beside the line at your local Starbucks or local coffee shop and watch the dude that orders a Cafe’ Americano, with no room for cream and sugar. Drip coffee with a shot of espresso. That dude is hardcore.

I like coffee because of the community building properties it has. Think about, it is just natural to say, “Let’s talk over a cup of coffee.” There are many beverages this can be done over such as tea, wine, beer, or even a Coke. But with the exception of tea, coffee is the only one of those beverages that is appropriate no matter the day of the week or even the time of day. If you meet someone for a glass of wine or a beer before you head off to work, your an alcoholic. Coke just doesn’t work for everyone in the morning either. Are we talking hot tea or cold tea? Cold tea in the morning? Only if you are my wife does this seem right. And for some reason hot tea in the afternoon just seems wrong, whereas coffee just seems right.

I understand not everyone feels this way about coffee. As I said, it is an acquired taste. I strongly suggest if you plan on spending anytime in the afterlife in heaven you develop a taste for coffee… as I believe it is the primary beverage served from heaven’s kitchen. This nectar from God is truly a blessing upon humans.

Another characteristic I enjoy about coffee, is its ability to comfort. Coffee makes me feel safe and at home. Nothing else can do that. No other beverage on the planet makes me feel safe. Strange you may say, normal and stop making fun of me I say. This may stem from my relationship with a friend from undergrad who was a little older than me and while we were friends, he kinda reminded me of my dad. They share many of the same qualities. As I would stand close to him and smell the coffee on his breath I would think of my dad, and it comforted me. I daresay, not a cup of coffee passes my lips that I don’t think of this friend and my dad. Coffee is about comfort for me.

Odd as it may seem, coffee calms me down. I’m an hyperactive, stimulated kind of guy. I move a lot. I have actually been diagnosed with ADHD… as an adult. My brother was diagnosed years ago as a kid and has seemingly learned to cope with the symptoms. I cope in my own way, but drinking coffee is a good way to calm down. For those of us with hyperactive tendencies, stimulants have to opposite affect and function with the chemicals of our brain to calm us down. A couple of weeks ago when I spoke at H2O, we were doing the mic check before the service (and before my 2nd cup of coffee) and I was visibly anxious, moving in an ‘agitated’ way. One friend commented that I looked identical to a football player just prior to kick off. We mic checked and I headed for a cup of java. Minutes before I took the stage to speak another friend asked where all my energy had gone. I told him I had been calmed by the coffee. He chuckled at first, but I reassured him it was indeed the coffee.

Do I really need another reason? No but, I’ll give you another. I love the smell.

So there you go… I need coffee.

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