A Few Cups Too Many

My boyfriend’s not much of a coffee fan.  He likes a good, hot mug every morning, but that’s it.  My family and childhood friends, on the other hand, are big coffee drinkers.  They’re from New Jersey and New York, where coffee is not only a means to wake up; it’s an essential socializing accessory.  After a few months together, I brought my boyfriend to meet them.  We spent a day visiting different people in their apartments, and every time, they offered us coffee.  My boyfriend was too polite to say no.  He even ended up having an extra mug when one of my friends was disappointed that the pot hadn’t been finished. 

The day went well: my loved ones loved my boyfriend.  We started to walk back to the friend’s place we were staying at, and I can only imagine my boyfriend felt relieved.  That is until he suddenly started shaking and having heart palpitations. By the time we got back to my friend’s apartment, my boyfriend could barely breathe.  Terrified, we headed to the nearest hospital. 

A few hours later, we got the diagnosis: caffeine overdose – obviously from all that coffee he’d been too polite to turn down. I recently read an article on NPR’s blog The Salt, called  How Many Cups of Coffee Per Day Are Too Many?  According to the Mayo Clinic, people under 55 should have no more than 4 cups per day.  That afternoon, my boyfriend had consumed at least eight. Ah, the things we do for love…. 

Several years and one expensive hospital bill later, we still sit together at the breakfast table and my boyfriend still drinks his morning cup of coffee.  But if anyone offers him another cup after that, he has no problem saying no!

National Coffee Day is Sunday, September 29th.  Meet a friend at your local cafe and catch up over a steamy mug of coffee.  But do keep in mind my tale of caffeine woe and beware of that 5th cup.

Best to you,

Alysa Salzberg –  Paris, Ile de France

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