Happy Question: Yaz how/why don’t you drink coffee?

Your fellow Happy, Steph, asked me this yesterday:

“Yaz – I noticed, either here or on Primped, that you don’t drink coffee – can you cover that for us? How did you give it up? Why did you give it up? What did you replace it with? I’m trying to kick the habit (for health reasons) but I can’t seem to break it”.

Hey Steph,

Your investigation is spot on, I don’t drink coffee (unless I’m in Guatemala where they are famous for their coffee, in which case I take one for the team and deal with consequences later) but generally speaking, coffee and I are absolutely not mates.

I’ve always found to have a great sensitivity to caffeine, even when I did drink coffee everyday I found it to make me extremely jittery, nervous, anxious, hot, clouded, and generally feeling like shit. I adore the taste, and the whole ritual of having a warming drink at my desk in the morning, but the health consequences far outweighed the ritual for me.

Since I’ve started getting more and more involved in health, food, lifestyle and general awareness of what I put in my body, I’ve found through reading books and studies that coffee takes a serious toll on your body, your nervous system, and your ability to absorb essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, as well as B vitamins.

I’m reading a remarkable book at the moment called Integrated Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal which goes into the negative effects of drinking coffee. He mentions the findings above, as well as claiming that the adrenaline boost coffee gives us jolts our central nervous system into thinking it’s time to wake up and get moving. Over time, this unnatural kick start to our system create stress levels that can damage our immune system.

The initial reason for me giving up coffee was because I didn’t like that jittery feeling, and I also found I was putting on weight. I knew the stuff just didn’t agree with me, so I decided to cut it out. That said, I was never ‘addicted’ to coffee, I just went through a stage of a few months of having one daily, so my experience of detoxing from it might be a little different to yours.

What I would suggest for you is to slowly remove coffee from your life. You’ll notice nasty side-effects like headaches, mood swings, lethargy, and tiredness but hang in there and know that what you’re doing will be well worth it. Start by cutting down the number of coffees you have, as well as switching from full-strength, to half-strength, to decaf.

Then, start mastering the art of reading tea leaves. Or at least tasting them. I drink green tea daily now, I absolutely love it and mix it with all kinds of other interesting blends like Gun Powder and Japanese. Green Tea still contains caffeine but on a much lesser scale, so you’re not having to go too far in the opposite direction.

Other substitutes include chai, dandelion (a soy dandy latte is heaven), Oolong, Rooibos tea, a caffeine-free coffee substitute called Pero, and so many more. Once you start playing around with different blends and tastes you like, coffee will be an easy thing to give up. Trust me. I’m not sure where you live but T2 have many great teas, or your local Chinatown will have an abundance of fun things to try.

Enjoy, and I hope that helps.

Stay Happy,




  1. memybestandi · October 7, 2011

    Oh Yaz- your posts are always so timely and relative to my life. I’m just doing the coffee wean.. down to 1/week day. Still cant break the ties to my Friday treat though…. Am loving rooibis tea at the mo too, the Vital one is so yummy & organic.

  2. Steph · October 7, 2011

    Thank you so much Yaz! This is so helpful and appreciated. You just reinforced exactly why I need to say goodbye to coffee for my health and happiness! I’ll let you know how I go. Steph xx

  3. www.thesahaspace.com · October 7, 2011

    Hey Yaz.. exact reasons why I avoid coffee. I love it, and will treat myself once every now and then, but I don’t crave it in an obsessive way. If I have a craving I’ll determine how badly I need it and often the craving only crops up if it’s a real necessity (like today). Otherwise, I’m off it! And better for it.

    Great post.

    Claire x

  4. jayneuk · October 7, 2011

    Ha this is so timely for me! I hardly ever drink the stuff but was bought a large cappucino in work yesterday and sipped every last drop at my desk. Well, fast forward a couple of hours and I felt moody, lethargic, sluggish, headachey and actually a bit sick! My poor hubby bared the brunt of it at home. I am going to stick to my green and white tea (love gunpowder too) oh and my boring boiled water! xx

  5. Yaz Turker · October 7, 2011

    I’m so glad it helped, Steph (and everyone else too). I feel so much better now that I don’t have it in my life daily, and when I do have it very occasionally, it’s a treat for about 10 minutes and then I quickly remember why I don’t drink it. Ha! Enjoy xxxx

  6. hannahfong14 · October 9, 2011

    Really great article 🙂 I do drink coffee, probably twice a week, and I totally agree on the negative side affects! I’ve been trying to take herbal tea bags in my keepcup to uni too now, so I’m consciously cutting down on coffee.

  7. Kylie Ward · October 9, 2011

    Dear Yaz, I love tea too it makes me feel refreshed and just delighted with the world. I saw on the latest GOOP newsletter that Dr Perricone recommended green jasmine tea “Enjoy a cup of green tea after your meal and don’t worry about the caffeine, since a compound in green tea called theonine blocks the negative effects of caffeine” so thats why we don’t get jittery I always wondered. Love your work!

  8. Anonymous · October 12, 2011

    A great tea that T2 have is Liquorice Legs – very similar to the Aveda herbal tea. It is heaven!

  9. Nadia · October 30, 2011

    Hey Yaz! I was just wondering how you make a dandelion latte? I have dandelion tea at home and I adore the flavour, so I’m intrigued about the soy latte 🙂 Thanks x

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