Habit Isn’t A Dirty Word. Our Thoughts
If you’re reading this you probably like coffee, maybe you drink it everyday - we know we certainly do. But, do we ever stop and ask ourselves why do we drink coffee? For many, they probably cite their coffee drinking habits being down to tiredness. It’s not uncommon to start your day with a good, strong cup of coffee. Caffeine certainly provides that kickstart to the day we all need and it’s well documented that there are no ill-effects to getting that early morning caffeine hit, in fact, coffee can be healthy for you. But, why do we then have another coffee, and another, and use it as a social activity or excuse to meet friends - is it all subconsciously drinking coffee to live longer? Is it really just because we need coffee to wake up in the morning and maybe throughout the day or is it just a habit?
Tiredness vs. simply enjoying a good coffee
There was a recent study published in Psychological Science where researchers asked a study group of coffee-drinking college students whether they drink coffee because of a physical state and inner feeling such as tiredness or whether they felt that coffee consumption was habit-forming. The participants cited that tiredness was approximately twice as influential as habit in their reasoning to drink coffee and we imagine this is something we all probably tell ourselves to justify our daily consumption.
However, after studying the students’ behaviours and levels of tiredness for a week, the researchers found that habit was approximately equally as influential as tiredness in coffee consumption. We here at GUSTATORY certainly feel like we can’t start the day without a coffee, in which we don’t feel ourselves until we’ve had our morning brew - in fact, admittedly, some of us are pretty useless and those who know our team members would probably agree (we won't name names...). But, we don’t know whether we use coffee as an antidote to tiredness or if it’s more a catalyst for alertness given we shouldn’t really be still feeling tired if we’re prioritising sleep. That said, for the Psychological Science study in question, do college students necessarily prioritise sleep as much? Up for debate.
How long does it take to form a coffee habit?
Here's our thinking: if we do something everyday, whether that’s exercise, eat healthily, make our bed in the morning or, in fact, drink coffee, then it will inevitably become habit forming. On average it takes more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic, or around 66 days, apparently. And for a habit to form, it varies from person to person with some being able to form habits in as little as 18 days whereas for other its can be closer to a year. And so, if you’re drinking every morning then it’s probably more of a habit than you realise. Our team members definitely feel this on the days where we can’t drink coffee whether that’s because we're travelling or because...we’ve run out (yes, it can sometimes happen to us, irrespective of our team holding at least one coffee bag every day of the week here at GUSTATORY). It is in these moments we feel like we even miss coffee, it feels like there’s something missing from our normal routine, it’s almost like our mornings feel incomplete.
Now, we don’t necessarily see this as a negative thing and we certainly think the word 'habit' can have negative connotations - anyone can certainly have healthy habits too! For some of our team, we don’t drink more than 1 or 2 coffees a day unless we're meeting friends or drinking coffee socially and so we don’t see it as being something we all 'need' excessively (...again, no mentioning names for those who have more than 3 or 4).
Good coffee? Always
Here at GUSTATORY we feel the debate between feeling like we need coffee to remedy tiredness and inadvertently needing coffee because we’ve accidentally formed a coffee habit is an interesting one. It’s okay to drink coffee because you enjoy it. Coffee is a wonderful thing, it transcends the drink itself and is a vessel for a more fulfilling lifestyle, an opportunity to catch up with friends and loved ones and is even a very interesting hobby. If it’s a habit, so be it. In our opinion there are worse habits to have. Too much of anything is bad for us, everything in moderation as they say. But, don’t let anyone make you feel bad for drinking good coffee - maybe bad coffee though... Habit isn’t a dirty word.
GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.