I love coffee.  Unfortunately, coffee no longer loves me.  The high acidity of coffee, along with the massive intake of caffeine throughout the work day, made my body revolt and forced me to recognize my acidy stomach and accelerated, exploding, heart rate were not beneficial to my long term well being in the galaxy.


Ten years ago, I hopped off the caffeine truck and coffee train and drank only hot water for a year. 

Then, the aroma — and the pull of a socially accepted addiction to coffee — led me back into the black of a ritualistic, early morning, caffeine high. 

My coffee days are now behind me.

To replace the experience of drinking something chewy and fun in the morning, I have successfully moved my taste buds over to Pero:

PERO is a 100% natural beverage with a coffee-like taste. It’s 100%
naturally caffeine free and blended from select all-natural
ingredients–malted barley, chicory, and rye. And because PERO contains
no stimulants, it will not elevate heart rate or blood pressure, cause
sleeplessness or create any adverse physical ailments typically
associated with caffeine consumption. Plus the low acidity of this
natural beverage makes it easy to enjoy morning, noon or night without
the fear of stomach upset.

I like Pero a lot.  Who knew chicory was so tasty? 

I find that Pero has a non-coffee, grainy, taste that pleases me.  Each serving has a single calorie.  I drink it all day long and well into the evening without ill effects. 

The other Big Name in Grains Beverages is: Cafix.  I am not a big fan of Cafix.  It has a more bitter taste than Pero and it is made with Malted Barley, Barley, Chicory, Figs and Beet Roots. I drink one cup of Cafix to 20 cups of Pero. 

It’s good to have choices in life, and Cafix is a good palate cleanser for Pero because Cafix always reminds you of how much better tasting Pero is than Cafix.

Growing up in Nebraska, I often drank Postum to warm me up during the cold winter months when I didn’t want to get a forced caffeine high from coffee.

Postum is “the original grain” drink — but in January of this year, Kraft Foods decided to cease production — even though the beverage had been part of the American landscape since 1895.

Postum always tasted like drinking chalk — but you drank it because it was supposed to be good for you, and so we swallowed it with smiles on our faces and groaning in our hearts.

Now that I’ve broken free from my caffeine addiction — it took a week of going cold turkey to completely remove all traces of involuntary caffeine withdrawal muscle twitching — I find it amazing now how many people are non-functional in the morning until they get their daily dose of juice to start their day.

I don’t think it’s healthy to rely on outside stimulants to help you stay awake throughout the day — and while I miss the taste of my morning coffee ritual — I do not miss its adverse effects on my body. 

Caffeine is made to shake you up — but it always shreds you more than it perks you up.

27 Comments

  1. Hi David,
    I am a coffee freak but I don’t have any addiction – I can go without coffee if I have to, I will miss it a little though!
    I am glad you found a substitute of coffee.
    Someone asked me to drink “Postum” once, she infact made me buy one. I felt like dumping the entire container on her head after taking a sip. Disgusting taste!

  2. Katha —
    How can you be a “coffee freak” but not have a caffeine dependence? Are you getting a caffeine fix via some other method when you aren’t drinking coffee? Or are you only drinking decaf coffee?
    I agree Postum gives all grain drinks a terrible name. It was the healthful original, but its time has passed, I think.

  3. Hi David!
    I love my morning coffee! But that’s it for the day. The only other drink I have regularly is a kind of blended mixed fruit juice that I have at the halfway point during my walk. It contains finely chopped apples, oranges, dates, pineapples, bananas and a few other fruits. Fabulous taste, great texture and very refreshing.
    And sometimes when they are all out, I have to go to the other shop nearby, but their fruit mix is not nearly as good as this. I had to have it today 🙁

  4. Dananjay! Yes, many people love that morning cup of coffee to get their bodies moving and it sounds like you’re managing its effects in a good way. I was an all day coffee drinker. Morning, noon, night and even all night when on deadline! I actually threw away our coffee machine. I don’t even drink “decaf” anything because there’s still caffeine in it.
    I love your fruit juice mix! That’s a great meal. You’re getting packed will all the right good things. Good for you!

  5. I occasionally treat myself to the Holy Grail of Coffees – Jamaican Blue Mountain. Once a month on average I allow myself to savor its magnificent goodness. I have a good friend who stocks me up when he visits.
    I cannot abide instant coffee – I gave it up in my 20’s – I drink water, tea, diluted fruit juice and smoothies. I also gave up Coke/diet coke after my surgery 6 years ago – makes my teeth stand on edge now.

  6. You’re smart to start the process of cleansing caffeine from you body, Gordon. Janna is still sort of hooked. She’s off coffee and most pop, but she still needs her hit of non-decaf green tea a couple of times a day. It’s pretty rough on her because she needs the energy to wake up. She now accuses me of still being hyperactive even while being totally caffeine-free. SMILE!
    Water is the simplest solution — but not bottled water!

    Problem #5: All plastic bottles, even reusable ones, are bad for your health. That’s right, even your trusty Nalgene is probably making you sick with Bisphenol A- in small amounts, this chemical compound would be fine, but new studies have shown that humans are being exposed to so much that it may be causing negative health affects. Bisphenol A emulates estrogen, and when enough of it end up in our bodies (from our plastic food containers, plastic bottles, CDs, etc. ) it may lead to health problems. The increased use of Bisphenol A has mirrored the increase of problems such as obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and hyperactivity, indicating much more research needs to be done on this compound.

    http://tusb.stanford.edu/2007/10/the_war_against_bottled_water_1.html

  7. Hmpsh. Lucky you. I drink coffee all the time. I get the hotshots at Dunkin and Starbucks where they throw espresso in a regular coffee for more caffeine. I take Viviran tabs. I drink soda. I’m addicted to chocolate…

  8. I was in the same caffeine ship you are on, Anne. You need to keep taking in more and more to keep your body “functioning” when all you’re really doing is burning out your heart with caffeine.
    If you want to try to cut back, drop the Viviran pills first — they’re not really doing you much good anyway, and then lose the espresso shots. Then drink a little less coffee and pop during the day. Transitioning to tea can help because tea has much less caffeine than coffee.
    Getting more sleep will also help your body repair from the inside. It will take awhile to wean yourself. I gave myself a week to feel fully recovered. I went cold turkey. If you don’t do it cold, I think you risk a cycle of caffeine withdrawal headaches coming and going as your body loses the caffeine and aches you to take more in… and then you give in to the headache and feed your body caffeine.
    Beware of headache remedies like Excedrin. You can get 65mg of caffeine in each Excedrin tablet… when you’re just trying to make your caffeine withdrawal feel better!
    http://www.excedrin.com/faqs.shtml

  9. What a great review !
    It is my ultimate indulgence. I hide it in the other cupboard so it NEVER gets used by mistake!
    I dilute my fruit juice because my digestion cannot take too much acidity – it also makes it go further and is cheaper and better for you than fruit squash.

  10. David,
    I don’t know the chemistry or physics behind the mystery – but that’s the way it is.
    I start my day with a cup of black coffee religiously (no “decaf” please), probably it has started when I was 18/19 – it used to be with milk and suger before – now it’s without anything.
    I used to drink 7/8 cups (that cup is actually a beer mug presented by my relative once) a day – now it is 4.
    It does get me going but I don’t stop functioning in case I don’t drink a single cup of coffee a day. Fortunately, I don’t need any substitute except water.
    Information overload again – I was a chain smoker when I was 19, continued till 23 and then just stopped smoking one morning.
    I suffered from a serious withdrwal symptom but that’s a different story.

  11. Hi Katha —
    But if you’re drinking that amount of coffee, you’re still getting a daily jolt of caffeine. Do you think you need that chemical in your body? Have you ever gone longer than three days without having any caffeine?
    I’m surprised you were a chain smoker. That seems out of character. What was your favorite brand and why did you decide to stop?

  12. Hi David,
    Yes, I stayed without a single drop of coffee for more than 3 days. I am extremely brand specific as far as few thing go, coffee is one of them. So when I am on the “go” or in the hotel – I don’t drink coffee. I don’t prefer to drink tea either as I don’t enjoy the flavor. It’s only water or fruit juice.
    I know my being chain smoker is weird. But I used to enjoy the flavor, later realized I got heavily addicted to it, I was unable to go even an hour without smoking – so, I quit – just like that.
    My usual brand was a local one –
    http://en.marketgid.com/goods/27753/
    I tried a couple of international brands but couldn’t smoke daily as I couldn’t afford it at that point; I liked “Benson & Hedges” the most.

  13. Hi David,
    There are some pros and cons of staying alone from a very young age – wanting to taste life is one of them.
    It’s not that I started smoking 20 cigerettes/day from the day one, it started as fun, then I enjoyed the flavor – smoked even when I was alone in my own room…I was pretty confident that I would be able to quit it the day I would want to – but it didn’t happen that way which shattered my idea.
    I brought it down to 5/6 cigerettes/day – still couldn’t quit – so just stopped smoking one morning.
    At that age I didn’t really understand anything regarding health – continuing the habit would have been hazardous.
    No peer pressure David, in fact all my smoking friends were male and everybody used to ask me not to smoke.

  14. People have no idea how much sugar is in even hand-squeezed fruit juice, Nicola. In many ways sugar is more dangerous to the body than caffeine. People don’t think veggies are packed with sugar, but corn will really spike you out if you aren’t careful.

  15. You want my neighbors to call the police David?
    It’s 11:30 pm and I am laughing so hard that it probably can be heard 4 blocks away from my place!
    Here are your answers –
    Never, they look so scary!
    Always…
    Not a single instance, I was never much of a alcohol fan…
    Sorry to disappoint you! 🙂