After years of not drinking coffee, I drank coffee. Vanilla lattes. Then macchiatos. Soon I wanted it at home, to save money and not have to go anywhere. I decided "once a week as a treat" was a healthy exercise of self-control. On weekends, I spooned up coffee floats in 32 oz. mason jars. The swirl of almond milk and Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica ice cream made them look frothy and classic like rootbeer floats from a 50s diner. They were sooo delicious I started having them a few times a week. Then I wanted coffee in the morning instead of my religious cup of tea. I'd relax at the first rich sip, dropping in a lemon coin and drinking from my little "E" mug. I liked it so much, I began drinking coffee all day long, right up until bed.
In the beginning, I brought out the french press only once a week. I'd tuck it back in the cupboard until the next weekend when we opened the windows, cozied in bed and watched movies while eating veggie fried rice with our coffee floats. The whole experience tasted wonderfully decadent. But then I started leaving the press on the counter, not even washing it until the next use. It wouldn't be long between brews since I was up to four cups a day. I felt anxious with the first cup. By the fourth, I was racing.
Now, drinking coffee was a habit. Water, a sidenote. My teas sat lonely in the cabinet. I bought almond milk and stevia in mass. My body chemistry shifted. Sleeping patterns changed. I had more grip to drink coffee than energy to do yoga. Tastes pulled to sweeter, heavier foods that cushioned the anxiety. I whitened my teeth, but couldn't make it a single day without coffee, to let the effect take hold.
I didn't like the feeling of "I can't live without this." It wasn't the coffee. It was the feeling of needing it, to be Ok. And that wasn't love. Drinking coffee became something else altogether. Not at any specific time, any single moment, but through feeding the act until it became a need.