It’s been over a week since I did something I’ve been trying for ages to do: give up coffee.

Frankly, I love coffee. I love the taste (with plenty of sweetener); the ritual of going to the cafe; the whole experience. When it goes well, a couple espressos induces an almost narcotic state that’s condusive to serious thinking: at its best, I burn through awesome numbers of neurons, with good results to show for it.

On the other hand, as I get older, it leaves me increasingly jittery, and the comedown is severe. If I never quite make it into that Zone ‘O Creativity, I can look forward to a couple hours’ major nervousness, followed by exhaustion and a bad mood.

So I’m trying to do without it– or at least reserve it for those occasions when I really need that afterburner effect. Of course, I’m drinking vast quantities of tea, and am branching into kinds of tea that I knew nothing about before– white tea, for example– and tea that I rarely ever drink– like Brazilian matte. (Which makes me feel a bit like Barney Gumbel in The Simpsons, in the episode where he and Homer are training to be astronauts. He’s told by the NASA guys that “of course there’ll be no beer” during the training, and he says, “Two weeks with just wine? I’ll go crazy!” It’s hardly cold turkey.) But it seems to be working okay. Tea’s got a milder effect, but it lasts longer.

I’m sure there’s some drug comparison one could make, but I’m not experienced enough with hallucinogens or other controlled substance– and am not likely to become familiar with them– to figure it out. Besides, I need another cup of tea.