Living Without Coffee For 20+ Years

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No coffee drinking is a lifestyle attitude. I bet this post title will freak out some of you, but it’s true. I have been living without coffee for 20+ years now. And hey, guess what?! I have never regretted it. But let me run down with you this little story of mine. Promise, it’s fun. I’ll even show you how to make my once favorite cold serve of frappé coffee – the cult Greek cold coffee of my generation.

A frappe coffee served in a glass with a sea view in the background. Image by Antonis Drakakis. Copyright Te Esse.

I first started drinking coffee at the age of thirteen. I hated milk (still do) and I discovered that adding Nescafe to it made it drinkable. I actually added a spoonful of coffee in my condensed evaporated morning milk, popped it in the fridge for an hour and drank it in one go. Nuts, right?!

Soon, I needed more of it. So I added, a cup of coffee in my routine at my school’s cafeteria during lunch break. Shorty, afterwards I used to drink regularly about 4 to 5 cups a day of black coffee. Until one day at the age of 18,  woke up in the morning wondering if I really need coffee to make it through the day or was it just a mental fix?

Needless to say, that I didn’t have coffee ever again, except two times to taste a freddo cappuccino and a freddoccino. (You see back in my younger days frappé was just about the coolest thing to drink – sipping on it for hours at a Greek Café). Anyway, yes I did have horrible headaches. For a week. But after that week was out, I was a new person.

My addiction to coffee ended in just a week (it includes tea and energy drinks). It also dawned on me how incredibly empowering it is to be able to set your mind on something and have it done – but catch this: not because I had to for any reason whatsoever. It was merely a spontaneous wish that acted upon, like a test I passed with flying colors just for the heck of it. (The reason I’m pointing this out is because the two mindsets behind any such decisive move are completely different).

No coffee drinking : Life without it

So what’s it been like without coffee? Well, I think I could write a whole book on that, but let me briefly state these three facts:

For starters, it spoils (in a way) your dating life! Lol! Really, it does! Try to visualize this: a super cute guy asking you to go for a cup of coffee and you saying ‘Sorry, I don’t drink coffee!’ Almost every guy I ever gave that reply run fast. And I mean fast. I actually came up with two theories on that.

The first theory is that he reckoned that I was a real stiff and an even bigger liar and the second theory is that my reply was a real hint of my unwillingness to ever go out with them which coincidentally was totally true in some cases. On the bright side of things, the guys who stayed on to find out why I didn’t drink coffee where the ones that were actually interested in getting to know me better. 🙂

Life without coffee is doable. Believe it or not, our body can live and perform perfectly without it. I’m living proof of it. I didn’t need coffee while studying for my exams at University. I didn’t need it when I stayed out all night partying and had to go to work in the morning. And I didn’t need coffee while nursing my children in the early hours even if I was up on my feet for over 24 hours. I don’t need it, because life without coffee is possible! As for the argument that caffeine is an anti-oxidant, let’s just say that I rather get anti-oxidants from another source, like a freshly squeezed orange juice instead.

Life without coffee also means better stress handling. For example, I don’t shake anymore. I used to shake my leg nervously while seated, all the time. I could tell that it was a nasty habit that got on other people’s nerves, but in reality it was about the state of my nerves. I was a wreck! For no real reason other than my addiction to coffee that brought it on.

My sleep routine was in no better shape either. But after quitting on coffee, I can honestly say that I listen to my real body needs more closely. When I’m tired and sleepy, then it’s time to hit the sack. Sometimes, I’ll have a good seven hour sleep and other times only three, but my body always copes no matter what the case in much better ways. Looking at it all in the long run, I can honestly say that the most important benefit for me is that I feel that I show my body more respect by letting it function under “norm” conditions.


Now, I have no intention to convince any of you to abide to no more coffee drinking or caffeine-drinks. I liked coffee. I also love the way its smell fills the room. But, I don’t feel the need to have it. I do however, feel a little nostalgic about the days in my teen years I spent drinking frappé coffee with friends and laughing ourselves to tears. That’s why I’m about to share with you how to make this cult drink that has been somewhat pushed aside by the younger generations…

How to Make Frappé Coffee

A pin with a glass of frappe coffee in the foreground and a sea view in the background.

Four ingredients are required to make the original Greek frappé coffee. Ice cubes, sugar, Nescafe instant coffee and chilled water. Milk is optional. There are three versions of it depending on the amount of sugar.

However, it seems that more versions of the frappé coffee have lately been developed in other countries with milk used instead of water or ice cream and even Oreo cookies. But, the essence of this coffee is in the thick foam that doesn’t really go flat like in a cappuccino. The harder you agitate the mix with a whisker, the thicker the foam…And the longer you can take to drink this coffee. No wonder why it was so easy to get one at a Café and drink it while socializing for hours!

The ingredients for a frappe coffee. Three bowls with ice on the left, sugar in the middle and Nescafe coffee on the right. Image by Antonis Drakakis.
Adding a spoon of sugar, instant coffee and water in a beaker to make frappe coffee. Images by Antonis Drakakis.
Whisking the ingredients, pouring the frappe mix in a glass with ice cubes, the thick foam is the hallmark of this coffee and finally down the right bottom a glass with frappe coffee and a pink straw. Images by Antonis Drakakis.

Do note this: every coffee house in Greece serves coffee with natural water. Therefore, don’t forget to drink up and keep hydrated.

Suggested read: Hydrating the right way!

So it’s a wrap! Hope you enjoyed this little story of mine… What I would you to takeaway from this is that if you set your mind then it’s possible.


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P.S. All imagery is courtesy of Antonis Drakakis for Te Esse.


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