In 1985, Robert Palmer released his iconic single, Addicted to Love. In 1993, Haddaway took it further and asked the question, musically speaking, What is Love? If you’re reading this article, the answer might well be, and understandably so, your morning cuppa. Which prompts a whole new question: Why is Coffee so addictive for some people? Please keep reading to find out.

We will explore the scientific reason behind what makes certain individuals addicted to Coffee Beans. There will also be an in-depth analysis concerning the nature of a Coffee addiction and whether it’s something to worry about. Should you be confident of your willpower afterwards, then you can buy Fresh Coffee, as well as Loose Tea, here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.

Can You Be Addicted to Coffee

Can You Be Addicted to Coffee? 

Allow us to start at the beginning. Is it possible to be addicted to Coffee? Yes, although, at times, and in some circles, it can be complicated. The word “addiction” has negative connotations associated with it, the name alone evoking images of Class A and B drug use.

A significant and often fierce debate persists as to whether it is justified to call excessive Coffee use as such.

That isn’t to say, however, that it should be dismissed outright. We’ll even say straight up that it shouldn’t be. While there is little in the way of Coffee addiction statistics, there are, unmistakably, health concerns.

These we will discuss in detail later. We first need to address what makes Coffee so addictive before moving on to the root causes of Coffee addiction.

Why is Coffee so Addictive?

Why is Coffee so Addictive?

Most important, perhaps, is addressing the question, “Why is Coffee addictive?” Because, technically speaking, it contains a drug, and that drug is caffeine.

This stimulant exists in over 60 plants, including Coffee (Coffea), Tea (Camellia sinensis) and Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis). It functions by blocking adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter capable of relaxing the brain.

Caffeine’s ability to inhibit adenosine has the opposite effect: It makes you feel more energised and less sleepy. As a result, when you need help getting out of bed in the morning, there is no better choice.

But it likewise ensures that it is the most commonly used drug in the world. And a drug, no matter its widespread acceptance globally, is a drug. So what are the causes of caffeine addiction?

Causes of Coffee Addiction

Causes of Coffee Addiction

Coffee addiction’s scientific name is, in many respects, caffeine dependence. It is arguably more about this stimulating chemical compound than it is the brew itself.

Sure, plenty of people would claim that their love for its taste, profile and character is why they keep putting the kettle on, and that carries weight. However, fundamentally, for the vast majority of people, even without knowing, it's the caffeine content.

Consuming too much too often is the obvious cause. This is how caffeine takes hold, cup by cup, leading to your being addicted to Coffee. It is truly as simple as that. Your first step to countering its effects is acknowledging the issue at hand.

Ask yourself whether the amount you drink is excessive, whether your friends and family have noticed, and, crucially, whether you could stop at a moment’s notice.

Long Term Effects of Coffee Addiction

Long Term Effects of This

We’ve written a previous article on the Effects of Caffeine, showcasing mainly its capacity to boost your energy levels. However, it is now time to better understand the long term effects of Coffee addiction, specifically, which are another kettle of fish.

The bottom line is that overconsumption can lead to several potential side effects. Most notably, it can bring about jitteriness, sleeplessness and dehydration. 

There is also the possibility of caffeine fueling stress hormones, which may impact mental health. Additionally, it can increase the risk of digestive issues, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and, somewhat ironically, fatigue.

Even when you try to cut down, Coffee addiction withdrawal symptoms might include headaches and irritability. So what is a workable solution? 

How to Break Coffee Addiction

How to Break Coffee Addiction

Let’s assume you’ve noticed the signs of Coffee addiction. That’s terrific news. Unfortunately, however, it is likely only the start of your journey. Overcoming Coffee addiction isn’t always - indeed isn’t often - as straightforward as saying to yourself, “No More.”

It requires hard work and determination - and, above all else, perseverance. There is no rehab for Coffee addiction; the change will need to be prompted by you.

Consider weaning yourself off it gradually, reducing the amount of caffeine you have each day. Step down the dose about 10-30 mg less every three days until you achieve zero.

Despite taking longer to detox in such a manner, you’ll be able to function more efficiently. You’ll then be able to start searching for a low-caffeine or caffeine-free alternative, which is something we can help with.

Alternatives for people

Alternatives for People Addicted to Coffee

There is no such thing as a 100% caffeine-free Coffee, but the next best thing is a Decaf Coffee. This is where beans have undergone decaffeination, resulting in no more than a few milligrams of the stimulant remaining.

Making the switch could either facilitate the weaning process or ultimately serve as an excellent alternative. Should you intend to make a clean cut, then there is one more option.

Herbal Tea has become increasingly popular in recent years, not only as a substitute to so-called “real” Tea but likewise Coffee.

From Peppermint Tea to Camomile; Hibiscus to Lemongrass, the possibilities are almost endless. Dandelion Root Tea, in particular, is much sought-after among former Coffee drinkers due to its roasted character. Even better, it comes with Dandelion Tea Benefits.

Conclusion - Coffee Addiction

Those who’re addicted to Coffee should recognise that a) their plight is real b) the primary cause is the overconsumption of caffeine and c) there are side effects.

It isn’t all doom and gloom, though, as realising the issue marks the start of your recovery. The best solution appears to be slow-and-steady-wins-the-race. Pace yourself, be kind, and, with time, you’ll get there.

You can buy the finest Coffee from us, of course, but it might depend on your circumstances. Think about opting for a Decaf Coffee instead or even a caffeine-free Herbal Tea.

Whatever you decide, take comfort in knowing that we pack every product fresh to order. This is our way of ensuring not only quality but also consistency with every cuppa brewed.

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.