Years and years ago I said a fond farewell to most things containing caffeine. (If you want to know why, read my story “Queen of the Mouse Riders” in Unexpected Critters.)
Gone were the days of high-octane mochas at independent coffee shops and death-by-chocolate brownies and even s’mores, which I’d never had until four years ago, go figure. I explored various types of decaf teas and decaf lattes and limited my intake of all things chocolate down to a relatively small amount of milk chocolate chips straight from the bag. I prefer semi-sweet, darker chocolate, but like high-octane coffee, that was no longer an option.
Then came the pandemic and political upheaval and the stress caused by actually keeping up with these issues in the news, and suddenly even decaf things were off the menu. So were any kind of artificial sweeteners. I’d eliminated most sugar quite some time ago, but now even artificial sugar had to go.
That change was nine months ago. There have been some positive and unexpected health results in those nine months. Maintenance meds needed adjusting, and in the process of working with my doctor on that, I learned something interesting.
Decaf lattes are back on the menu.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve discovered some absolutely awesome herbal alternatives to any type of coffee. Milk teas made with certain types of herbal chai are the bomb. I still can’t stand chamomile teas, but Tazo Glazed Lemon Loaf herbal tea is wonderful!
Today I had my first homemade decaf latte in ages, made with Crazy Cups decaf Chocolate Coconut Dream (no added sugar or artificial sweeteners). I’m using the grounds to stain a fairly large piece of cross-stitch fabric to prep it for a Halloween pattern, so not only did my latte taste amazing, but my kitchen smells utterly delicious.
Sometimes it’s the little things, the unexpected things, that can totally put a spring back in your step. For today, for me, it’s a decaf Chocolate Coconut Dream latte.