The gateway drug.
October 7, 2009 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Help me get my caffeine.

I drink a lot of tea that I brew quite strong, but sometimes I like a pretty good dose of caffeine, and I'd rather not drink energy drinks (though that's what I do when such a desire arises). What can I do without drinking gallons of tea?

I'm not really into coffee. I'd prefer an organic solution, though as long as I'm loading my body with caffeine, I'm not going to worry about it if it's better than the chemistry-set-in-a-can energy drinks.
posted by cmoj to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How about caffeine pills like Vivarin or No-Doze?
posted by jclovebrew at 11:36 AM on October 7, 2009

Water and vivarin...and no, I'm not trying to be a smartass.
posted by snap_dragon at 11:36 AM on October 7, 2009

I know you said no to coffee, but I'm going to suggest it anyway. Specifically, cold-press coffee - have you ever had it? There is very little acidity to it, plenty of caffeine (as far as I know), and I think it tastes a bit like milk.
posted by Think_Long at 11:38 AM on October 7, 2009

How do you feel about chocolate-covered espresso beans? I enjoyed these for years before I really ever got into coffee.

Alternately, Penguin Mints got me through a few marathon coding sessions in college. Sugar-free, so you don't even have to worry about ruining your teeth!

I really don't know how I made it through college without being a coffee drinker.
posted by explosion at 11:40 AM on October 7, 2009

Take an excedrin.
posted by condour75 at 11:41 AM on October 7, 2009

Seconding explosion: Caffeine mints or chocolate covered espresso beans.
posted by hariya at 11:43 AM on October 7, 2009

Thirding caffeine tablets. The main con is that it's definitely not as socially acceptable to be taking caffeine tablets than, say, drinking tea/coffee (if this matters to you), but the main pro I note is that dosage is always metered to 200 milligrams per tablets, versus the variance in between different types of tea and different brews of coffee.

Always use discretion when consuming caffeine tablets, though. Not more than one every three or four hours and you should be okay. (A friend never bothered to read the warning label on the package and always took two in one go; this definitely ran into overdose range and he always felt jittery and generally miserable/terrible.) I've personally had anxious situations exacerbated by caffeine use (my sorta natural leaning to being a bit high-strung didn't help), so just a bit of unsolicited warning here too.
posted by zer0render at 11:50 AM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

* per tablet. I seem to never be able to make a post to MeFi without making a typo somewhere.
posted by zer0render at 11:51 AM on October 7, 2009

Start drinking decaf tea, and after about a week or so, the next time you need a caffeine boost, have a cup of regular tea and BLAMMO, you're good to go. I switch over to decaf every now and then for a couple weeks, and am doing so right now, and over the weekend my wife made some regular coffee in the morning, and I was almost shaking from the caffeine after just one cup!
posted by Grither at 11:52 AM on October 7, 2009

Brew some good coffee properly.
posted by The Michael The at 11:53 AM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Stay Alert Gum, as well. Marketed to US military personnel. 100mg of caffeine per piece. It'll have you vibrating on your own frequency.
posted by zarq at 11:55 AM on October 7, 2009

I'd actually recommend trying Yerba Mate if you haven't.
posted by General Malaise at 12:03 PM on October 7, 2009

Yerba Mate is a nice kick in the ass.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:06 PM on October 7, 2009

Make some nice, strong Yerba Mate. I'm a pretty serious coffee drinker and that stuff is like amphetamines.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:08 PM on October 7, 2009

General Malaise beat me to it :)
One note about Yerba Mate: for some people (me), it also has a mild entheogenic effect. I find this to be rather...nice. Others may find it surprising. YMMV. Oh, and don't drink it piping hot. Check General Malaise's wiki link regarding temperature and throat cancer.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:10 PM on October 7, 2009

I will also advocate chocolate-covered espresso beans, but enjoy them in carefully dosed out moderation. A date and I picked some up without reading the label, thinking they were chocolately treats, then began to nom away. Next thing we knew, it was about 4:30 am and we were jabbering away at each other and wondering why we weren't tired in between three other conversations we were having and it was a good thing we had all of those cleaning supplies out because the sudden crash was not pretty.

Maybe in one of those little pill boxes, is what I'm getting at.
posted by adipocere at 12:25 PM on October 7, 2009

I like PowerEdge which is a water-flavoring tube that has 160 mg of caffeine per tube (although they say 1 tube is 2 servings). I have only been able to find it at Wal-Mart or online. It does not taste like an energy drink at all... I took my first ever sip of an Amp the other day and nearly gagged.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:31 PM on October 7, 2009

Yeah watch out for the choco-espresso beans they will get you up all night if you aren't careful.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:36 PM on October 7, 2009

It's all chemicals, but some of the Crystal Lite packets - the wild strawberry, the peach mango green tea, and the citrus something-or-other - have caffeine. Mixed with Grape Propel packets, and you're drinkin' candy - in flavors Mother Nature never intended.
posted by notsnot at 12:46 PM on October 7, 2009

ThinkGeek, true to their audience, has entire sections of caffeinated drinks and caffeinated candy.
posted by clerestory at 1:46 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree about Yerba Mate. It tastes good (maybe a little bit like green tea, but more "plant-like" if that makes sense) and it's good for you, apart from the caffiene.
posted by k. at 2:36 PM on October 7, 2009

Oops: caffeine.
posted by k. at 2:37 PM on October 7, 2009

Damn...I think I want The Michael The working in the office space next to me.

(Agent Cooper: Damn Good Cup of Coffee...and HOT!)
posted by snap_dragon at 2:51 PM on October 7, 2009

clerestory beat me to it. ThinkGeek is your friend. Your dangerously overcaffeinated friend who won't stop texting you, but man are they dosed.
posted by chlorus at 2:53 PM on October 7, 2009

Actually, explosion beat both of us - I didn't notice that his link went there, just read for mention of the company name.

They also sell caffeinated soap, body wash and lip balm - because internal absorption is never enough!

I hadn't seen these energy potions before, and I'm trying to talk myself down.
posted by clerestory at 3:34 PM on October 7, 2009

Just buy some caffeine. You can get it from body-building supplement suppliers. It's incredibly cheap. You'll also want a reasonably accurate scale. This way you can consume exactly as much caffeine as you like, in whatever food or drink you'd like to mix it with. Apple juice works well. Or you could just add some extra caffeine to a cup of tea.
posted by xchmp at 6:21 PM on October 7, 2009

I was previously not a coffee drinker. A penguin mint under the tongue goes further than you think it would. Caffeine tablets are nice but can involve being jittery, to ease that you can break them into pieces and take a little at a time so it doesn't hit you all at once.

I did however learn to like coffee over time. I make lattes using an Aeropress. But I still prefer the tablets for a quick fix. Amazon has a nice package of six bottles of 100 200mg tablets each for about $25 with free shipping. That's ~1200 cups of coffee right there, without the time or trouble. If I want my caffeine fix quick, it's there. I make coffee because I want coffee, not to wake up.
posted by larkspur at 9:17 PM on October 7, 2009

Walmart sells bottles of "Jet Alert", 90 pills, 200mg caffeine, $2.97. Check near No-Doze, which should be near Tylenol or aspirin.

All that sugary crap will give you a sugar crash.
posted by mhuckaba at 10:06 PM on October 7, 2009

Both my answers have been said already. Caffeine pills (these) they are plain white, look like an aspirin or mint and 200 mg. I chop a few in half and keep them in a mint tin. I think a normal redbull is about 70-80 mg.

More socially acceptable, a specific chocolate recommendation. I believe they are about 150 mg. Peanut butter and orange are the least caffeine-y tasting.
posted by syntheticfaith at 3:25 AM on October 8, 2009

Make your tea or coffee with Water Joe caffeinated water.
posted by workerant at 9:56 AM on October 8, 2009

Caffeine pills or (much cheaper) caffeine powder.
posted by turkeyphant at 9:53 AM on October 9, 2009

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