A decaf coffee rant

Why do so many roasters seem to think that decaf coffee isn’t worth doing a good job on? The whole reason people drink decaf is because they like the flavor of coffee, but don’t want (or can’t have) the caffeine. So you’d think that there’d be a lot more care taken on making decaf that tastes good!

Of all the roasters in Seattle I’ve only seen two that give a crap about making decaf at all good: Vivace and Zoka. And even then, both of them provide a wide variety of caffeinated roasts, and only a handful of decaf roasts. Portland’s Stumptown used to be a good choice, but their decaf quality has gone way downhill ever since Peet’s bought them out.

I suppose I should give Vita another try now that they’re under new ownership, but I’m not terribly optimistic about that.

But anyway. There’s this weird notion that to truly appreciate espresso you need to also be Very Into Caffeine. Seems like a bunch of shitty machismo to me.

Caffeine acclimation

I’ve mentioned before how I used to self-medicate my undiagnosed ADHD with a trickle of caffeine until I started getting anxiety problems from it. I’ve also mentioned how post-diagnosis I’ve had trouble finding a medication which has worked for me, and I’ve tried slowly reacclimating myself to caffeine during periods between medications.

At my new job we have a pretty decent automatic espresso-drink maker, and out of curiosity I’ve tried slowly consuming one coffee drink over the course of each morning, and so far that’s actually working pretty well for me. Inasmuch as it’s not giving me a panic attack. It hasn’t really helped me with my focus, but maybe this is a sign I can try having more and maybe it won’t make me feel like I’m going to die!

I’m not about to start slamming the energy drinks or anything, but still, I’m glad that I’ve at least been able to get back a thing that’s been missing for the past decade.

It’s official

I have an official ADHD diagnosis, and a psychiatrist I also think is pretty darn good.

(Her actual statement: “I think it’s pretty clear you have ADHD.” Go figure.)

Anyway. My HMO has a very specific medication schedule and the only non-stimulant medication they allow needs a very good reason, so we’re going to try Concerta (which is a time-release form of Ritalin) and see if that hecks me up too much. Also being basically legal meth, one of its side effects is weight loss, and I certainly wouldn’t mind that one.

I’ve been spending the last few weeks slowly ramping up my caffeine consumption and while my tolerance isn’t nearly where it was before the garbage fire that was late 2011, so maybe this won’t be too much of a shock to the system.

On that note I’ve been enjoying my return to coffee snobbery. I ended up buying a Fellow Prismo (obligatory James Hoffmann review) and some of their fancy tasting glasses. They should arrive on Friday. It’ll be interesting to have “espresso-style coffee” out of my Aeropress. Also I seem to be accumulating quite the collection of coffee brewing paraphernalia.

I am also very tempted to get a Rok now. Maybe I should, like, get a decently-paying job first.