Stepfanie Lam

Microbiology major


November 10, 2013

I still remember my first cup of rich, dark coffee; it was love at first sip. It was a cold gusty day when I stumbled upon a quaint coffee shop called Volta located downtown, Gainesville. The smell wafted towards my face, and my body immediately felt a rush of adrenaline. I enjoyed the décor of the place; it gave off a modern vibe with the option to either sit on stools by the window or couches and chairs inside. Hesitantly, I wandered up to the counter and scanned the horizon for a menu. I settled on a caffè latte. The foamy milk blended seamlessly with the coffee, and in a matter of seconds, the cup was empty. I left the forlorn, decently sized, empty cup behind as I hurried off to class.

November 11, 2013

I could not get the taste out of my mind as my teacher droned on and on. Eagerly, I anticipated the afternoon I could hurry out to a new coffee shop near University Ave. My second cup was even better than the first cup. I was more adventurous this time—I ordered a cappuccino at Pascal’s. The ceiling had windows that allowed sunlight to stream through, and Pascal’s had an upstairs for more study space, with lots of electrical outlets for my laptop.

November15, 2013

Things are starting to get hectic. Finals will arrive in about three weeks, and I have 6 exams back-to-back. My coffee maker taunts me in the corner of my kitchen. The amount of false adrenaline that I receive from that addictive liquid tempts me to drink some every day. Coffee facilitates my nightlife… for academic purposes. I finally give in and drive downtown to Maude’s Classic Café whose homey vibe and coffee paired with tiramisu prepares me for a long night of studying.

December 4, 2013

I downed five cups of coffee today. I have become a regular at not only Volta and Pascal’s but also Coffee Culture, Opus Café, Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Company, Bay Islands Coffee Co., CYM Coffee Co. @ Cymplify, and Radical Press Coffee Collective.

December 16, 2013

With scarcely steady hands, I write this journal entry and enter in the Wi-Fi password at Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Company. I felt a sense of relief as I took a sip of my café con leche at Barnie’s, and with my purchase, I was handed the allotted 2-hour time limit to use their Wi-Fi. My addiction has spiraled out of control. Every waking moment is filled with thoughts of coffee. I can feel my body ignoring the millions of caffeine molecules bombarding my receptors. This prevents the adenosine, the molecules that naturally bind to these receptors, from binding. I guess this explains my immunity to coffee now. The more upscale environment to Barnie’s soothes my otherwise anxious self.

November 26, 2014

As a reformed coffee addict, I share with you my journal entries to warn you to drink coffee only in moderation. According to NPR, formerly known as National Public Radio, “In 2002, about 25 percent of 18-24 year olds reported drinking coffee sometime within a two week period. But by 2012, the percentage of young adults drinking coffee in that same time frame hit 39 percent.” There are many good health effects to coffee—but in moderation. According to Bruce Goldberger, a toxicologist at the University of Florida, “Brewed coffee contains much more caffeine than a cold cola beverage.” It has been found that a 12-ounce cup of coffee from Starbucks contains about 260 milligrams of caffeine, which is about five times more than a 12-ounce can of Diet Coke. The half-life of caffeine in the body can range from 2.5 -12 hours due to genetic differences among people. Typically, the half-life is probably five hours—meaning caffeine stays in the body for 10 hours or longer. “If someone has a cup of coffee at 7p.m., the caffeine they’ve ingested is still in the body when they’re going to bed. So, as a rule of thumb, if you want to go to sleep by midnight, it’s probably best not to drink coffee at 2p.m.” said Goldberger.

There are so many wonderful coffee shops in Gainesville that are great places to study in, but never replace sleep with an overdose of caffeine.

Your friend,