10 Ways to tell if you are a coffee addict

10 Ways to tell if you are a coffee addict

You may find that college/work/life only happens with a coffee in your hand, whether it’s from Starbucks and their trippy occult logo or from an anti-capitalist independent coffee shop. Here are 10 ways to tell you might have a coffee problem. We shan’t tell you what to do about it, of course.

Picture this: it’s cold and raining outside, you’ve just had the worst day ever at college/university/work and to top it all off your boyfriend has cancelled your date for the evening due to inexplicable circumstances. At this moment in time life sucks.

Then, unexpectedly, a scent is carried to you on the breeze (or more likely gusting wind if you live in my town). It’s warm and inviting and oh-so- toe-tingling; it curls you up in its sweet and caring embrace as you float, trance-like, towards the Temple of Dreams.

Yes: Starbucks! (Or Costa, or Cafe Nero, or if you are cool and anti-capitalist then your local non-chain coffee- shop specialising in fair trade coffee beans…) The coffee-shop caters for every need going. That quick caffeine fix just as you arrive in town for the day, or that warming Irish-cream flavoured hot chocolate with full fat whip as you negotiate ice and snow to get home on a winter evening. Does this sound like gratuitous coffee-shop pornography to you? If it does, it’s sure to mean that you are on the road to a coffee-shop addiction…

I recognised I had a problem about six months ago. I couldn’t focus in lectures unless I had a Starbucks paper cup in my sticky mitt, and the long walk home was a nightmare without my liquid companion. It would get so bad that I would be late for class just so I could get my fix.

I know an addiction to expensive coffee isn’t as bad as other addictions (say alcohol or drugs) but it has its serious side. Consumption of too much caffeine is damaging to your health; it can dehydrate you, cause sleep-deprivation and stimulate you to the point of anxiety attacks. Other drinks on offer have their disadvantages too, such as high sugar and fat content.

Another problem I noticed with my two-a-day habit was how much it was costing me. What’s £3 here and there? After all I didn’t buy other things, so it wasn’t needed. Right?

As an experiment I started to use a charge-card, and insisted to myself that I’d make a tenner last a week. I couldn’t make it stretch three days… And if that was how much I was spending in three days, how much had I already spent? To this day I refuse to attempt to work it out, but I am convinced that if I had saved all the money that I drank, I would probably be the proud owner of a genuine Chanel handbag right now…

10 Ways to tell if you are a coffee addict

1) When your friends invite you out “for a drink” you immediately think “Starbucks”

2) You can spend many hours nursing a grande cup of English Breakfast tea, glaring at people who try to take your comfy seat

3) You can recite the prices to Starbucks virgins, so they don’t have to stare aimlessly at the menu board

4) Whenever you walk past one, you can’t help but stare longingly at the cool people sitting in the window, and wishing you were there with them

5) You have £5 in your account. That’s three small cups of coffee or two plain hot chocolates or one fancy Frappuccino…

6) It’s a snow day! Never mind the healthy snow-play, that’s five hours of uninterrupted Starbucks time!

7) You can smell it on people who have just come from one

8) You see some young, trendy people holding take-out cups. Instant change of destination ensues…

9) What did you say? Starbucks have a Facebook page…?

10) Outside of Starbucks, there is nothing to do

Since my horrific money revelation, and the discovery that I’m intolerant to coffee, I try to regulate my habit. I only go if it’s a social call, and I don’t touch the pure filter coffee (and have decaf if there is any coffee content). But yes, that picture of me IS set outside a Starbucks in Mexico…a girl can fall off the wagon occasionally, right? Especially when Green Tea Frappuccino’s are involved…

The Starbucks logo is based on an old sixteenth-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid, or siren. That early siren, bare-breasted and Rubenesque, was supposed to be as seductive as coffee itself.