[Homeroast] Caffeine - Hit My Limit

Scott Thile sethile.pipes at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 11:01:00 CDT 2012

Hello again Larry,

I used to drink a lot of caffeinated coffee, but mostly in the morning.
I rarely had a problem as long as I quit drinking it, or switched to decaf
by 2PM or so. Suddenly that changed for me. I'm not sure why, but I suspect
it could have been a reaction to medication. I started having some
very uncharacteristic nervous reactions to combination of caffeine, lack of
sleep, and stress. Along with an intense stress feeling came sky rocketing
blood pressure. They were something like panic attacks I guess, but I had
never had anything like that happen before even under high stress and lack
of sleep. Anyway, I went cold turkey off of caffeine suspecting that could
be playing a part, and it helped dramatically. I'm also on
blood pressure medication now which seems to help. I've added caffeine back
in slowly and found I can tolerate some at least. Still figuring it out how
much, but I like to have fully caffeinated shot, or at least a 1/2 caff
shot most mornings. After that I switch over to decaf. The darker the roast
on the caffeinated coffee the less caffeine, but I roast to taste and just
keep that in mind as I figure how much I want to risk drinking. I can
likely tolerate more than that, just taking it slow at this point.

Decaf is the reason I got into home roasting. In our area I could not get
fresh enough decent decaf any other way, at least not that I could afford.
I can't stand stale decaf. My experience is very few roasters invest in
dialing in their decaf to the extent they work with their other roasts, and
their options are very limited. No, it's not ever likely going to be as
good as the best caffeinated coffees, but it's amazing how much better it
can be when you really dial it all in. Sweat Maria's has some great decaf
greens from time to time, and have especially lately. Tom's descriptions
and cupping scores are very helpful when selecting them.

Hope you figure out what's going on!

On Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM, Larry Dorman <ldorman at gmail.com> wrote:

> I just posted about trying to make decaf espresso in an attempt to cut
> back on my caffeine consumption.  I've really increased my coffee
> consumption in the past month...  in particular espresso in the
> evenings which I only used to do occasionally.
> In my case I started feeling itchy all over and at its worst I started
> breaking out in hives.  It's been bad enough a couple times that I've
> had to take an antihistamine for relief.  So now I've cut back on my
> coffee consumption overall and switched to decaf in the short term to
> 'detox' a little bit.  (I went from having an average of 28 oz of
> brewed coffee per day on weekdays and occasionally that much on
> weekends to having closer to 42 oz of brewed per day along with 2-4
> shots of espresso per day.)
> Has anyone else ever hit a limit where the caffeine started causing
> problems for them?  How did you manage the situation?  What is your
> limit?
> LarryD
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*Scott E. Thile*
*S.E.THILE Handmade Pipes*
Sysop for Pipedia, the wiki for pipes*

*A laborer uses his hands. A craftsman uses his hands and heart. An artist
uses his hands, heart, and soul. (St. Francis of Assisi)*

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