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June 1, 2015 | by  | in Features |
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Are You Addicted to Coffee?

1. Do you consume coffee daily?
Yes / No

2. Do you get a headache if you haven’t had coffee by midday?
Yes / No

3. Do you take caffeine pills if drinking coffee isn’t possible?
Yes / No

4. Do you consume at least 4-5 coffees per day?
Yes / No

5. Do you drink coffee instead of sleep?
Yes / No

6. Do you get irritable and impatient if you haven’t had your morning coffee?
Yes / No

7. Does coffee no longer give you a boost, but just a feeling of normal?
Yes / No

8. Do you spend at least $20 dollars a week on coffee products?
Yes / No

9. Do you plan your day around getting coffee?
Yes / No

10. Do you drink more coffee than you do plain water?
Yes / No

Congratulations! You have completed the Addiction Diagnosis. Tally up how many ‘Yes’ answers you have and read below to find out more.

1-2: No addiction. You are one of the lucky ones. You can take or leave coffee and still get a kick when you do have it.
3-4: Low addiction. You could easily break the addiction in a day or two and feel normal without coffee.
5-6: Mild Addiction. Avoid contact with others until you’ve had coffee.
7-8: High Addiction. You need coffee to function normally. A Coffee Detox may be in order to reset your coffee clock.
9-10: Extreme Addiction. Without coffee you would experience severe withdrawal symptoms that would last for around two weeks or more. Consider cutting back gradually.

I have taken the coffee addiction test and scored 7 out of 10, discovering that I am highly addicted to coffee. I decided the best time to do a coffee detox would be while on the mid-trimester break in my hometown. Te Awamutu has a limited range of good cafes, and my family don’t drink a lot of coffee, so there shouldn’t be too much temptation. I left my study, work, coffee machine and coffee-drinking friends in Wellington and went to Te Awamutu for the week. A “Cold Turkey” method was the next step. With this method a person simply ceases to consume coffee. This comes with pros and cons.


  • The fastest way to detox from coffee
  • A realisation of coffee’s influence on body functioning
  • Save money.


  • Can produce severe mood swings
  • A person may be out of action for one to three days
  • Can lead to loss in productivity that produces more of a tendency to give up
  • Social sacrifices.

My week without coffee:

Day 1

Painkillers. Water. Napping. No sudden movements. Early night.

Day 2

Dull headache. Water and green smoothies. It hurts, it really really hurts. Why have I signed up for this? I’m going to return to coffee anyway, so what good is a week off going to do?

Day 3

No painkillers needed, but temptations began. I drove my friends to Raglan for the day. Brunching was very difficult, as well as walking past the original Raglan Roast coffee house. I had to maintain a positive attitude for my friends, rather than smashing my forehead against the driving wheel on the way home.

Day 4

I stayed at a friend’s house last night and the next morning she made pancakes for breakfast which made up for the lack of coffee. Since she doesn’t drink coffee, the temptation wasn’t there. My brain is slowly clearing up and it doesn’t seem so bad after all. I’m over halfway there; maybe I can actually do this.

Day 5

I visited my Grandma in Matamata this morning. She offered me some of her instant coffee. Yuck. I told her about my detox and she nodded sympathetically, saying that she also suffered from drinking too much coffee. I am not the only struggler out there. I met a cousin for lunch at nice cafe. Instead of a flat white I had a $7 smoothie.

Day 6

Another quiet day at home with my only appointment being “coffee” with a friend this afternoon. But of course it won’t really be coffee for me. Another $7 smoothie. I’m not sure that it’s cheaper to cut back coffee! I’ve spent $14 so far. That’s almost four coffees! Maybe I should just stop here and save myself money… it would be the most logical decision. No! I can do it! Two more days!

Day 7

I went shopping for the day with Mum and we wandered past a new cafe that did Supreme. I do love my Supreme. Not many cafes do Supreme in the Waikato, let alone in tulip cups. Hamiltonians love to guzzle back their latte bowls. I hurried to the counter and ordered a small flat white before I could change my mind. I waited with mum at a table, babbling about how it was okay because I wanted coffee, I didn’t need coffee. The waitress arrived and placed down a delicately poured flat white. I cradled the small cup in my fingers and lifted it to my mouth. The dark crema hit my lips and I felt the buzz all afternoon. I even felt like going for a run! That never happens!

I failed the detox. On the last day, too. I just could not do it. The temptation was too much to handle. I don’t even feel guilty, not one bit. If you are considering a coffee detox, here are a few tips.

  • Plan ahead so that the first couple days of detox fall on a long weekend or holiday.
  • Have pain relievers on hand.
  • Avoid the need to drive.
  • Prepare some meals in advance like soup or other easy to digest foods.
  • Talk with family or flatmates about what you are about to do, what they can expect, and how they can help.
  • Inform your boss or lecturer about your coffee detox and apply for any necessary extension or days off.

Since returning to Wellington I’m straight back into my coffee routine. I must admit, it feels great to reunite with my coffee machine and get my fix at VicBooks. Just like any relationship, it’s important to appreciate coffee instead of being codependent. Coffee is an important friend and absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

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