Dietary Manipulation (Part 3) – Coffee

Reading time ~ 2 minutes

This line of articles just doesn’t seem to want to die!

Okay, so….

Today is day 3 of the filter coffee machine near where my team sits being broken despite repeated repair attempts.

There’s one on the floor below but that means carrying full cups of hot coffee all over the building – it seems most of us have been drinking alternatives most of the time for a few days.

We weren’t really aware of the effect this was having on us until we spotted it yesterday!

Sat in a team meeting. A usually energised team were so lethargic we actually called the session short, had lunch and took a walk to the pub to wake ourselves up!

If that’s the impact going cold-turkey on filter coffee had on a 30 minute team meeting, I’m dreading seeing what it did to team productivity this week.


Anyone that’s given up smoking will know that by day 3, the worst seems to be over, as nicotine levels in the body drop further and withdrawal dies down.

Today had been my most productive day all week.

  • It might be that I’ve finally capitulated to instant caffeinated coffee rather than very good – but not very caffeinated – tea.
  • It might be that the half-life of coffee in my system has dropped below withdrawal symptom level.
  • It might just be that I’ve gotten over a momentum hurdle on some of my work.

Chatting to another of the team, their sentiment is the same so I don’t think it’s just me. Now we’ve recognised the risk, we’re making the effort to reach the other machine.

Regardless – it’s a little disturbing (but in hindsight quite obvious) how much the continuous supply of good filter coffee impacts the energy levels of a development team!

Advice to managers – good coffee is a necessity, not a perk.

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