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This is a thread for one of the acceptable drugs, caffeine. It seems reasonable to assume most of us get our caffeine from coffee and tea, but for those of you who do use caffeine supplements and whatnot, how do you like them?

For those of us who have rationalized away the idea that allowing caffeine and liquor is alright but all other drugs are bad, how did you ease into heavier drugs? How could one use caffeine as a gateway drug?

How important is caffeine in your life? Do you use it often; does it help you wake up and operate in your normal activities?

Lastly, feel free to discuss recipes, techniques, and opinions for coffee, tea, and other caffeinated foods that you enjoy or find interesting.


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Caffeine pills are definitely the gold standard if you plan on taking caffeine regularly for its cognitive effects. The dosage is standardized, so you always get the same amount (whereas with coffee it's more of a crapshoot), and due to the method of ingestion it works more effectively. Altogether, caffeine pills are infinitely more convenient. I don't see why more people, aside from coffee aficionados, don't take to simply using caffeine pills every day. The only argument in favor of drinking coffee as opposed to taking caffeine in pill form is enjoying the taste/smell/experience of drinking it. Or because of society's stupid outdated stigma surrounding taking "pill" versions of things.


I've been wanting to really get into coffee and learn about the different blends and roasts and other buzzwords I don't understand yet; does anyone have any resources or knowledge to share? Also is it an expensive hobby cos I'm broke


I've been taking caffeine pills(usually 2 200mg pills) daily for a while now and they're definitely worth it. You save a lot when compared with buying coffee, it's super convenient and I find I urinate less when compared with drinking coffee.


I have recently been looking into taking caffeine pills instead of coffee. While I love the taste of coffee, it gets expensive over the week and I'm always low on cash.


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Check this book out.

It's not an expensive hobby, but it can be if you let it. Some of the best cups I have had are from a 4 dollar pour over and a 40 dollar grinder. Basically find a local place that roasts their own coffee and get it fresh. Gadgets aside, fresh beans make the cup better. If you have any specific questions let me know.


Not too expensive, French press is 10$ and a very good grinder that'll last your life is about 40$ (hario burr grinder). I started by lurking on the Coffee stackexchange site and also by reading "How To Make Coffee" by Lani Kingston.


the other lainon replies contain good information (haven't read coffeist manifesto, but have heard it's quite good.)

i always took a "buy it cheap (not too cheap) and make it strong" approach to coffee. but after my partner introduced me to the joys of good coffee made well, i finally began to understand why people buy $25 pounds of coffee. when i first saw her process of making our morning coffee using a scale, i thought it was comical and endearing. now i see the light.

quick guide:


15:1 water:coffee ratio. You can go up to 20:1 (some stand by 18:1), but 15:1 is my preference in terms of strength.
filter that soykaf, son. (it's okay if you can't. but it does make a difference.)
Single origin is king. Personally, I'm very fond of Ethiopian and Guatemalan beans. Many of the major mainstream distributors (ie, Starbucks & Peets) have begun to catch on to the popularity of the single origin meme. I've had two single origin beans from Starbucks, they're not bad. But they pale, by an order of magnitude, to the roasters I'll list below:
(note: san francisco is currently considered to be at the forefront of american coffee production, usurping seattle's claim to the throne. i grew up in SF and my recommendations are going to biased, but i can also find out about more localized or international roasteries for the curious.)
Four Barrel, Blue Bottle, Ritual, Andytown, Chromatic. Verve (from Santa Cruz) and Heart (from Portland) are probably my two favorites.

Now, the above is if you really want to bring out the flavor of the beans, and learn why they're giving the cupping notes they receive. In other words, this is more about really getting into the bougie af side of coffee, with an emphasis on flavor.

So this approach is definitely a fairly expensive hobby, in terms of what most people normally average for coffee (assuming that you make it at home - if you're regularly buying coffee out, then this is probably an affordable option for you.)

If you just want better coffee, as >>41 said, a good grinder is important. French presses are very nice, but I'd recommend a dripper for making pour over coffee, if you'd like a more flavorful coffee without going to as much effort as the method I outlined above. (Also recommending Hario's ceramic dripper, $20.)

finally, as >>39 said, freshness makes the beans better. for full flavor, beans should be used within 2 weeks of roast date.


I quit caffeine a few years ago, but yesterday I had two cans of coca cola, and the caffeine really was killing me. I'm never getting back into caffeine.


In theory, coffee contains a bunch of other compounds that might have positive effects.


ugh, same. whenever I drink caffeine I end up with a stomach ache.


>Caffeine reduced CBF [cerebral blood flow] by an average of 27% across both caffeine states.

Use it carefully. I personally stopped coffee. I drink now yerba mate maximum of 2 times a day for caffeine.


As someone living in south america, I was used to drink a lot of yerba mate during the day.
Had to stop because it was fuarrrking up my intestines/liver. Ocasionally drink it still because I really like it. But I have the feeling that it turned into an addiction for me.


My dream is to find organic and relatively fresh coffee grounds, as opposed to grounds that were taken from the plant months ago and have been through a potentially health-damaging industrial process.

Meanwhile, has anyone had that wakey-wakey coffe effect from a tea? Teas are a nice thing there's lots of them. I love making tea cocktails mixing some of them. I keep a bottle with water and some tea leaves in the fridge, I filter that into a glass for cold coffee, and add water and leaves from time to time.

>stupid outdated stigma surrounding taking "pill" versions of things.
Got any sources for that? What I know is plants contain thousands of fitonutrients that, our bodies evolved to use. But companies can't patent a plant, so they extract the compound they think is more important, put it into a pill with a bunch of other stuff to ameliorate the side effects, and sell you that.
Here's a source talking about the same effect with a different plant. In an experiment they actually removed curcumin (the one they thought was the active ingredient) from turmeric, and it still worked.

Be careful with yerba mate, I read that the industrial process they use to make it from the plant leaves residues that can cause throat cancer when they build up. I live in South America too so mate is an everyday drink for most people, but I buy organic yerba from diet stores.

Try different yerbas or balance the effect out adding some other tea leaves like mint or green tea, or whatever depending on what mate does to your guts. Why would it harm your liver, though?

According to this studies
That effect does not come from caffeine, because caffeine from other sources (like tea) actually boosts arterial function.
But in the study you link they used caffeine pills, so if I'm not mistaken both studies contradict eachother. I guess I'll stay with tea, I don't think drinking water that hot (like in traditional mate, with tat metal straw) is that good anyway, and tea is lots of fun because of the variety and how you can mix them, make them inlots of different ways, put them in food and learn about the health benefits. Coffee is so fuarking delicious though, I'll have to find a tea that's similar.


Update on
>Coffee is so fuarking delicious though, I'll have to find a tea that's similar.
I just bought coffee cookies.


>Why would it harm your liver, though?
Not sure it damaged my liver. Went several times to a doctor and even got a ct scan but couldn't find anything conclusive.


Your argument seems to fall on the "appeal to nature":

It's not because it's natural (or the new fancy hipster term "organic") that it does good for you. As Paracelsus said: " All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison…" or something like that.

I think you've read Dave Asprey bullsoykaf, right? Most of what he says about coffee is a exaggerated to sell more of his "organic, mold free, super blast bulletproof coffee".

>has anyone had that wakey-wakey coffe effect from a tea?

I do, using yerba mate with green tea. If you do a powder from both and agitate in a recipient with 100C boiling water it extracts a good quantity of caffeine...

>I love making tea cocktails mixing some of them

I do to, I like it. I'm experimenting with Salvia now (noticed any effect at all), but I've have experiences with ginkgo biloba, ginseng and others. So far, aside from caffeine containing plants, no effect noticed. I've tried pills of kava and rhodiola rosea, nothing too.

>Got any sources for that?

Not the same guy but, as I said, you're falling on appeal to nature fallacy. What science do with plants some animistic religions say is bad. Basically because most of these think that all plants have an spirit ("anima mundi", or qi, kundalini, ether, etc) and when you consume these plants you're actually consuming it's spirit. It's fine if you apply it in a metaphorical way, but that's not exactly what science shows.
What science do is:
- Get a plant
- See what is the major components of it
- Remove the normal compounds (chlorophyll and some alkaloids) that have now show any particular effect (through double blind, placebo controlled, randomized clinical tests)
- Test it in animals. If show effects, go to the lab and check the components again
- Start removing those other substances until find the one that's actually doing the desired effect
- Test it again, but now with the pure substance in a clinical way (the state of art today is a peer review of double blink, placebo controlled and randomized)
- If some result is found, other academics will do research too. Other universities start to do peer review on papers.
- If the statistic is good, someone will do an meta-analysis of all these studies and, through statistics (see p-number), they can check if it works or not

Of course, you could argue that there's a kind of reductionism here. For example, different substances, when interacting may lead to different results. Science is aware of it. Most of them already know the drug metabolism (CYP450 and other enzymes, P-glycoprotein, etc) and the pharmacokinesis.

>yerba mate [...] can cause throat cancer

True. I've read that too. But to it actually cause cancer you'll have to drink it a lot. Also, most of the studies, IIRC, did with hot water, that may be the actual cause of cancer. If you think about it, a lot of people on south america drink it everyday and, if this cancer hypothesis is true, you should see a higher statistics in cancer on those places... and there's no statistics on this. Actually, there's more cancer , from what I remember, in big cities than on, say, the rural places of Paraguay or the south of Brazil.



>caffeine from other sources (like tea) actually boosts arterial function.

That's the point. Our body, when you rise something, enter in an state of homeostasis. That is, it tries to normalize the effects. So, let's say you rise dopamine. When you do it, you'll generally get the opposite effect through time, your body will lower the dopamine receptors. So what most people do? They take more of the substance. So it goes up, but then the receptor again, goes down with time. Now, when you take of the drug rising dopamine, your baseline levels will not be the same as it were before you started taking this drug, it will be bellow the baseline of some time (potentially years). That's the tolerance effect and way some substances is addictive.
With caffeine is the same. It's a vasoconstrictor, through adenosine, but as time passes, your body does homeostasis and lower the blood flow in some areas to compensate the constant caffeine effect. So it results on less blood flow on some parts of the brain, and, therefore, less oxygenation, which is very bad.

>Coffee is so fuarking delicious though, I'll have to find a tea that's similar.

Yep. It's fuarrrking great. Some people say that strains of black tea, when with a sweetener, have similar tastes. I personally don't like black tea, but who knows...