When I stopped drinking coffee daily (and ritually, and religiously, and lovingly, and dependently, and, and, and …), I began developing a hyper-awareness to the drug that is caffeine.
Even now, this morning, I tried to trick myself into having a simple cup of black tea, thinking, “ah, I’ll be fine.” Not even halfway through, I dumped the rest of the cup. I can feel the caffeine and its attendant jumpiness, speedy feeling and adrenal overstimulation.
Green tea is okay for me. It’s smoother, more mellow, and without the jumpy feeling. But black tea and caffeine? They are undeniably drugs and are a form of body chemistry manipulation, just as all drugs are (alcohol, nicotine, sugar, bread/cheap white starches, and, of course, the substances more widely thought of as “drugs:” cannabis, psilocybin and others.)
You can say otherwise, but I’d say (or at least think to myself) you’re simply too much a slave to the drug to know–or believe–otherwise.
And, yes, I do still love, love, love the smell and flavor of coffee. I just sip lightly with decaf and watch my intake even then as decaf coffee is not truly un-caffeinated coffee, but reduced-caffeine coffee.