Coffee, Connection, and Creativity

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coffee cup upside downThere is no human requirement for caffeine in the diet.” I resist that statement, but I’ll accept it as physiological information. Socially, I reject it because of coffee.

Oh coffee, that tempting, full experience substance. A well brewed coffee is a friend with a good story that has the right amount of detail and depth to make you settle in and smile. A poorly brewed one is biting, the person who’s forever critical and unhappy.

Coffee is a lubricant in work and social worlds. “Let’s get together for coffee” might be the start of a project or a partnership. It helps new co-worker relationships have common ground.

Some see coffee as a great add to creativity; this writer says she’s not a huge fan of coffee, but is a fan of the creativity boost of a coffee shop.  Coffee shops are stages set for change, and for familiar routine: note the many people who tote their laptops and plug in for hours, making their home office with a group of coffee drinkers who become community.

Coffee (or the unity it encourages) is not only a social connection, for many it is the jolt to get rolling, the get up and go of Mondays. The kicker in coffee (or tea, if that’s your poison) is the caffeine, of course.

Travis Bradberry’s recent post reminds us that caffeine isn’t the oomph we should adore, because it lowers productivity and depletes us of energy in a 24-hour cycle. I’ve lived that information, as many other caffeine consumers have. I’ve had my share of mornings where I wake at four AM to mull over what was done yesterday and what must be done in the hours ahead. I’ve thornily rolled side to side in the hours after four, trying to get comfortable and back to sleep.

Bradberry suggests cutting back on caffeine consumption if you want to improve sleep patterns and productivity. Writer Nicole Bianchi praises tea in the afternoon to help her creativity, but she credits the l-theanine as well as the caffeine in tea for the help. I’m a tea drinker in the afternoon too, and savour the whole experience of settling back down to computer to work.

I can consider Bradberry’s advice. I don’t expect I’ll give up caffeine entirely, because the absolute pleasure I get from that morning cup is worth every sip.


Image: Jacqueline, MorgueFile

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