It’s back! For years I only drank tea and occasionally red bull if I really needed the energy, but the cold and darkness here in the north have turned me into a coffee drinker again. I started my life with caffeine when I was 16. Now looking back at it feels rather shocking. I didn’t live near by school anymore and had to take the train every morning, so if school was starting at 8 I had to leave home around 7 AM, and for a teenager it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Falling asleep right after going to bed has never been an easy task and I remember tossing and turning since I was five. I thought I found a perfect solution for getting up early: caffeine pills.
I’d wake up about fifteen minutes before I’d have to get off the bed, take a caffeine pill and then go back to sleep for a bit. When I actually had to get up I didn’t feel as tired anymore. During the days I’d take about two pills more in order to stay awake. This went on until I was 19 or 20 and started to drink coffee during the days instead of taking the pills. I was usually able to live through the weekends without any caffeine, but if I hadn’t gotten enough sleep it was the only thing that kept me running.
Then I moved to the US and started drinking cappuccinos at Starbucks. The coffee in general was much milder in the US than in Finland and I got used to the taste. In contrast, caffeine pills were much stronger and I could only find 200 mg ones. In Finland they only sell 100 mg pills with a line in the middle so you can break it in two if 100 mg is too much. For me 200 mg was too much, so I couldn’t really use the caffeine pills in the US, so I drank one or two cups of coffee a day, which at that time was enough. I worked as an Au Pair and lived in a family who drank quite a bit of tea and they had a nice collection of different ones. In Finland the tea culture isn’t really far developed and the only type of tea my parents ever had was black tea in bags, that tasted worse than the Finnish coffee. So I slowly got into tea drinking while living there.
Then I moved back to Finland I tried having a cup of coffee made by my mother. And thought it was poison, the taste was horrible after all the sweet drinks back in America. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but I stopped drinking coffee as I didn’t like it anymore and drank tea instead, a lot of tea. I drank tea and occasionally a cup of coffee pretty much until I moved to Sweden. I visited Sweden once during my tea drinking period and while here, bought a cup of coffee from Pressbyrån. That coffee was BAD. I had been able to handle the Finnish coffee but the Swedish one was from another planet, super strong and bitter. Now when living here I’ve been slowly getting used to it, but still, the milder the better. During the winter I need more than during the summers and I’ve started to have caffeine pills every now and then but I’m trying to keep it under control. A good night sleep can never be replaced by caffeine.