From Coca-cola to Coffee

26th May 2014

You’re never too old to learn a new trick.

Growing up in the tropics meant a predisposition to preferring cold drinks year-round simply because it was hot and the drinks would cool you down from the inside out. Upon moving to Canada I bought a 20oz insulated Aladdin mug and filled it with ice-cubes and cold water even though it was -30 degrees C outside. The comments and looks were unforgettable - yes it was a bit odd now wasn’t it? In my youth I detested hot drinks and drank water almost exclusively with the occasional soda-pop (soft-drink) on special occasions.

Then one fateful month Coca-cola had a competition: enter x20 wrappers from Coke bottles and receive a free Mossimo backpack. Guaranteed. Coke hadn’t been my thing but I wanted a backpack and started on my journey. Along the way I got to liking the alertness and nice feeling that caffeine gave me. In short I became hooked. Congratulations Coca-cola - you got me.

As time went on I drank more and more and although my teeth remained relatively unscathed I began to develop kidney stones in my mid-30s. The colour was unmistakable when the fragments were examined post-op: they were from drinking too many cola beverages. Still I continued to drink them because, well, caffeine and I hated hot drinks!

Here I wrote about my experiences with Weight Loss Surgery. It turns out that after these procedures are done, soda (soft-drink) is extremely painful to drink as the dissolved gases come out of solution and the gas increases the pressure in the stomach/bowel. This pressure stretches the stomach causing pain and in the long term can defeat the purpose of the operation. For these reasons fizzy drinks are advised against and preferably banned from peoples diets post-op.

I said goodbye to my Coca-cola.

And hello to Coffee.

At first I just wanted the caffeine hit but determined to try something new I gave Starbucks, McDonalds, Gloria Jeans and a few different Cafes a shot. We bought an Aldi-brand K-fee coffee pod machine that I learned quickly made disgusting tasting coffee. In a pinch it works I guess but after a few weeks even I can tell the difference. I’ve since switched to Nescafe instant Lattes which aren’t too bad if you have a Stevia tab to sweeten them a little. No substitute for real milk, though.

I’m working my way through flavoured Lattes at the moment with my two favourites both from Gloria Jeans: Caramel and Choc-Mint - neither of which need a sweetener. But I’m eyeing off these Aeropress thingys that people rave about and will give pre-ground coffee a go. The ultimate goal to see if I can make a Latte better than a store bought one. Anyway - I’m only very early on in my coffee journey. Long way to go yet…

You may think then that coffee is the new trick to which I previously alluded. But that’s only part of the story.

I’d been an avid listener of the Build & Analyze podcast from the beginning (well, just after it started and I listened back from the start) and I complained several times about how much Marco talked a lot about coffee. Like here where Marco put my complaint in context for me. (Okay, I had it coming)

Looking back now, what’s interesting about this little exchange is that it has opened my eyes. Don’t criticise today what someday you may become interested in. If it doesn’t interest you at the moment don’t make a big song and dance about it, just move on. Someday, maybe, you might just care.

I’ve now been loading up old episodes and segments that I’d previously skipped of B&A. This time though, I’m listening to an entirely new show. Funny. Looks like an old dog can learn new tricks after all.