The 5 Stages of Coffee Addiction
The 5 Stages of Coffee Addiction

The 5 Stages of Coffee Addiction

If you drink coffee more than water, have more mugs than regular cups and/or collect coffee related things, it's already begun.
April 6, 2016
7 mins read

Another Cup of Coffee?

If you drink coffee more than water, have more mugs than regular cups and/or collect coffee related things, it’s already begun.

By Mykaela Alvey, Anderson University

Every once and a while I meet someone who tells me they don’t like coffee.

After receiving such devastating news, I try to remind myself they are still decent human beings and they deserve my love, despite their poor life choices.

Having a coffee addiction does not need to be some horrible issue. There are worse things to be addiction to, right? Someone passing me on the streets wouldn’t be able to guess my “issue,” so why make a big deal out of the situation?

So what if my social manners are lacking without my multiple cups of caffeinated heaven? I don’t see why anyone has to have a problem with my choices.

The 5 Stages of Coffee Addiction

Regardless, I may as well walk you through the steps of the process if you fear you may be on the verge.

In reality, you have a pretty strong dependence if you’ve reached the third step, but many of us, myself included, go on to more extreme versions of dependence.

1. You enjoy the occasional coffee.

As far as science knows, the wonderful drink doesn’t really have any negative effects on your health, so if you enjoy drinking a cup or two when it’s available, you have nothing to worry about.

Shockingly enough, I actually have a friend who has managed to remain in this category. She enjoys having a cup, but doesn’t feel a constant need to do so like so many of us. Can you imagine living a life free from the firm grasp of caffeine? I can’t.

I have a lot of friends who, like her, didn’t learn to like coffee until they came to college. With the late night studying and early mornings though, the necessity for caffeine becomes pretty high.

As a result the inclination for coffee usually grows naturally, ratcheting up as schoolwork increases over the years. Others, though, like my sister, force themselves to like coffee specifically because they know the extra caffeine will allow them to cope with the added stress and work load of school.

2. Your morning routine has adjusted to fit your dependency.

If you’re like most people, your occasional treat will soon turn into an every morning thing. At least a cup will be required before you head out to your first class. At the very least, if you can’t drink a cup before you leave, you will definitely be taking one with you to class. Aren’t travel mugs a wonderful gift to the world?

You don’t usually notice you’re in this stage until the worst thing imaginable happens. You wake up late for your class.

Everything is a mad dash as you try to compact forty minutes of getting ready into ten. Obviously, there isn’t time to grind the beans in your home coffee grinder to make your regular cup of joe, so you go without. There isn’t any reason for an issue, right?


Without caffeine in your system you are finally able to notice just how exhausted you are. Days involving normal human interaction are so much more challenging. Whether you’re at home or at a coffeeshop in Amsterdam, you depend on your routine. You have finally reached the point where you realize your slight, but significant, dependence on its profound abilities.

3. When you don’t have coffee, you get a small headache.

After you’ve been in the second stage for a while, you’ll begin to notice you can’t miss your cup in the morning or not only do you get tired, you get a headache. Suddenly your slight dependence has turned into a something you can’t avoid or run away from.

I know some people who reach this place, and—aware they’re developing a problem—work on moving back to stage two.

But is there really such a huge problem? So, you have to drink coffee every day. I don’t see an issue with the scenario. In my opinion, the easiest way to fix the problem is simply to drink more coffee!

4. Caffeine is necessary for normal human interaction.

If you haven’t yet wondered at the possibility of receiving your caffeine supply intravenously, you haven’t really reached the fourth stage. By now you aren’t just drinking a cup in the morning anymore. You are now a real deal addict, of coffee at least.

Likely by this point you have a schedule for when you need to drink more.

My regular schedule is usually 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, usually some other time in the evening while I’m doing homework and maybe even a cup or two more if I need to stay up a little later to get my work done.

If I miss any of the predetermined times, especially during the early part of the day, I find my social skills don’t seem to work as well and I have trouble keeping my eyes open in class. Soon your friends will notice you drinking coffee more than any other beverage.

5. Your mood is determined by the number of coffees you’ve had.

The final stage is seen by your friends before you even realize what is happening. You are now chained, body and soul, to coffee. You can’t do anything without it, and trust me, no one is eager to see you try because the picture isn’t pretty.

You haven’t truly reached the last step until you’ve had someone point out a difference in your personality when you haven’t had any caffeine. Trust me, there is so much truth to the statement. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called salty or sassy when there is no caffeine in my system.

Mornings? Don’t even expect me to try them if there isn’t a promise of my favorite beverage.

I often find my mood to be drastically altered when I’ve consumed a couple cups of coffee. My outlook on life is much brighter when I’m properly caffeinated.

Honestly though, if I’m going to be addicted to something, let’s all be thankful I chose coffee.


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