Saturday, August 17, 2019

Coffee and Comfort Zones

I can sometimes be such as ass. And it's always to my own detriment.

Ever since I first heard about the Keto craze and all the other low-carb diets, I have wished to be able to drink black coffee. I'm not kidding when I say that my daily saturation of sweetened coffee is where most of my unnecessary calories come from. Coffee is a necessity, yes, but all the sugar in my flavored creamers is pure indulgence. Not only do those creamers turn a simple cup of coffee into a dessert but they are starting to take a chunk out of my grocery budget.

The look, the feel - all hits a little close to home!

I love, love, love my coffee. And not just any coffee. For the past couple of years, I've grown more attached to coffee enhanced with chicory. Coffee can be good for you. Chicory can be good for you. There is nothing good for your body (outside of your tastebuds) about heavily sweetened coffee creamers. However, I have always had a hard time drinking plain, black, unsweetened coffee. I've never even liked coffee with sugar if it was also without cream.  For a while, when doing Keto and OMAD, I tried to convince myself that I could do the black coffee thing but... Ugh. I think that McDonald's had the only coffee that I could gag down - if I absolutely had to - without the sugary creamers. But now...

Okay, this is where I explain how I can be such an obstinate ass. I get set in my ways and think that I must never change. Never, ever. Because I am always right. Always. Until I am wrong.

A while back, I heard of Luzianne coffee with chicory. At the time, I couldn't find it for an affordable price. Then the other week, I finally ran across some in Amazon's Prime Pantry. It was so affordable that I got 2 bags just in case the price was a fluke.

Now all the Amazon customer reviews for the coffee just ranted and raved about how delicious it was. Other customers swore by it because they claimed that it was better than any other coffee, that it was their preferred brand, and that it was so strong without being bitter, and blah blah blah. I fell for the hype and was thrilled to place the order. I just about assaulted the UPS driver when he made the delivery.

The last time I was so excited to make coffee was after not being able to drink any for a 36-hour fast (and refused to have the allowed had black coffee). I brewed up the first pot like a junkie setting up a fix. I could tell right away that the Luzianne wasn't going to be as strong as Cafe Du Monde or French Market brands (which are both the same, I'm sure) and I got a little worried.

Of course, I added my sweetened creamer and... Nope. I was not impressed at all. In my opinion, the brew was much too weak. It looked like a very weak cup of tea. With the other brands, adding creamer gives a nice mellowed out cocoa-frost kind of shade. With the Luzianne, the tiniest bit of cream turned the coffee the shade of Almond milk. Just whited out all the color and all the flavor. Nasty, nasty.

I tried making a slightly stronger brew, and then a third even stronger brew. The color deepened a little but the creamer still killed all the coffee flavor. I burned through over 5 scoops (about a tablespoon and a half each) of ground coffee before I gave up. I tossed the bag of Luzianne in the fridge and made myself a cup of reliable Cafe Du Monde.

Once I got my usual java fix, I wrote a 3-star review on Amazon for the Luzianne coffee. I  complained about how weak the coffee was. I didn't say (though I may have implied it) that the other reviewers were wimps who had no idea what "strong" coffee is. And I made up my mind to give the coffee to my sister-in-law. She's kind of a coffee wimp.

Before I could give the coffee away, a neighbor stopped by for a chat. She, too, is a coffee wimp. I made her a cup of the Luzianne and continued drinking my mug of the good stuff. As soon as my neighbor sipped her coffee she was kind of wowed and asked me what kind it was. (She's had some of my nuclear brew before and I've had to water it down for her since.) I told her that I didn't like the Luzianne because it wasn't strong enough and she said that it probably was meant to be drunk black. I ended up giving her the rest of the opened bag since she liked it so much.

I couldn't quit thinking about what my neighbor said about drinking the Luzianne black. That was the one thing I had not tried when I was doing my taste test. So I brewed up a cup.

Listen. This coffee is goooood. It's so good that cream and sugar only ruin it. I think I like this coffee plain more than I like my other coffee with the creamer. No, that's a lie, but I do like it almost as much as the calorific coffee. By the way, I did go back and amend my Amazon review (so I'm not a total ass).

Drinking Luzianne coffee black makes me appreciate why some people only drink their coffee black. This coffee is kind of amazing. For the first time in my life, I on purpose made and drank black coffee all day. It's been two days now and I have only had my dessert coffee once.

I am excited about this. When I was doing Keto and OMAD (and trying to go 16 and 18 hours between meals), coffee was the thing that tripped me up every time. The rule was that you could have all the black coffee you wanted in between meals.  All the BLACK COFFEE. I would make it up to almost 15 hours before I got cranky and needed my java fix so I'd cheat. Now that I'm trying to cut back on sugars by using the miracle berry, I've been doing well with everything except my coffee - because coffee with lemon is just nasty.

I love the idea of getting the health benefits (and caffeine kick) from coffee without all those calories. On a normal day, I usually make a 16-ounce mug of coffee and add at least 5 tablespoons of the sweet creamer. That's over 170 of the most useless calories in my world. Crazy delicious but also just crazy.

Just imagine if all the coffee I drink in a day is good for me, right? Understand that I can go through two of my big mugs in a day. If I don't feel well, I can do three. My mug keeps the coffee hot for so long that those two helpings get me from early in the morning until late at night.

One thing I have to mention though about coffee with chicory: do not forget the laxative effect. For some reason, when I drink the Luzianne coffee black, the laxative properties are way stronger than when I drink my other coffee with the cream. I know that the chicory has an "emptying" effect but I've never experienced it with the other brands so I assume this has to do with the sugary additives I was using. I'm just guessing but... I have warned you so be careful.


Because it's a blast from somebody's past
& it mentions coffee