February 14, 2008 at 7:49 am
If I ever look back and wonder exactly when I became a coffee addict, let it be known that it wasn’t when I worked at place that had a Starbucks on campus, nor was it when I worked at a place where they made a fresh pot every morning. No, it was the day I discovered that coffee has essentially no calories. It was yesterday. I wasn’t born then, but I sure do feel like it.
I’ve been feeling a bit sleepy during the day lately. I’m not really sure why. I’ve been getting enough sleep and I’ve been eating normally. The paranoid part of my brain suspects that this is the first sign of a horrible, painful, terminal illness and months from now I will look back and wonder why I ignored the subtle warning signs and didn’t get treatment early. In reality, I’ve probably just been working too hard. Sleepy as I may be, I don’t normally drink coffee. It took me two months to spend the $10 Starbucks card I got for Christmas. I’m a diet soda addict, and proud of it. None of that coffee addiction for me! No sirree! I may feed quarters into the vending machine in desperation for a Diet Dr. Pepper at the end of the day, but I could always look down my nose at those fools who stuffed dollar bills into the Starbucks’ barista’s hand in the mid-afternoon.
Then last week I went out with some coworkers to try the new “skinny” latte at Starbucks which is fat-free and sugar-free, but still has 90 calories. It really perked me up. A couple mornings later I was considering napping on my space bar, but I decided to grab a cup of coffee from the pot instead. After consuming the warm drink, I decided to look up how many calories of damage it had done me. I don’t really count calories, but when I try something new I like to get a sense of how many it contains. I entered the words “coffee calories” into Google, hit return, and was stunned to discover that one cup has about 9 calories. Nine calories! I was expecting at least 40 or 50. If the skinny latte had 90 and there wasn’t any sugar or fat in it, the calories were all in the coffee, right? My mom likes to drink Kraft’s International Flavored Coffees, and I know those have about 60 calories. And coffee is made from beans, which have calories. So coffee should have calories, right? It’s all brown and thick looking. It must have calories! Only it doesn’t. It’s no worse than all the Crystal Lite I drink (when we’re just talking calories).
Curious, I then looked up tea and discovered that it has even less calories. I’m not sure how I’ve gone over a quarter of a century without realizing this. I haven’t felt this stupid since the time I discovered I was tying my shows incorrectly. So, I think I’m going to start drinking coffee. I used to think it tasted like ass, but I’ve noticed that if you keep trying a food or drink over and over again you can usually start to tolerate it and sometimes even start to enjoy it. It’s called “acquired taste” because you have to acquire it. All the artificial sweetener helps too. And before anyone starts, yes, I know all the caffeine in coffee will give me webbed toes and three-headed babies and turn my teeth brown. And the artificial sweetener is actually making me fatter if the experiments with rats are true. I don’t care. I’m going to start drinking coffee in the mornings. And hopefully I won’t fall asleep in the afternoon. And hopefully I don’t have cancer and the coffee won’t start causing it.