Posted by: zenmamajo | February 22, 2011

Dunkin Donuts Decaf Delirium

i sensed something was askew as we returned from our sunday morning family errands when my dear husband bounced along to the “wheels on the bus” song playing in the van as i asked him about scheduling an appointment with our lawyer to update our wills. i’m not talkin’ a modest, inconspicuous shoulder bounce, people. i’m talkin’ his eyes were wide and LOCKED on me as if saying: “i’m hanging on to every word you’re saying!” as the REST OF HIS ENTIRE 175lb frame jolted UP and DOWN in the passenger seat.

(me – incredulously) “seriously? can you please not dance along to “wheels on the bus” while i’m asking you about planning something so important?”
(him) laughs sheepishly about the ridiculousness of the situation…

as the day progressed – i started feeling…sassier than normal (which, i’m pretty brazen on a given day…) – i wasn’t sure what got in to me but my head also started feeling ‘loopy’ as the day went on…during lunch my husband said he felt ‘jittery’ and claimed it was the dunkin donuts coffee we had that morning…

(me) “the decaf??? no way. i’m sure it has some caffeine in it but not enough to cause all of these symptoms in us. i think you’re feeling like that because you had a dr. pepper this morning…i think i might be coming down with something…”

a little mini autobiography…i use to drink a ton of caffeine – like, four to six cups a day – 2 sugars, 2 creamers, please! (yikes!) i started experiencing frequent heart palpitations and severe morning withdrawal headaches and that was enough for me to turn to Jesus (who helped me quit through prayer)! so i rarely consume caffeine these days. like, practically never unless it’s in the 6.8oz, hersey’s symphony creamy milk chocolate almonds and toffee chip giant chocolate bar (stop me now, someone! stop me before i reach for one!), the chocolate syrup i drizzle on top of my bowl of breyers pralines and cream ice cream or the occasional cup of folgers decaf that i brew…the medium-sized dunkin donuts decaf we had that morning was a ‘special treat’ and there couldn’t be that much more caffeine in there than our home brewed coffee…

in our bewilderment – we did what any logical couple would do at this point – we consulted our mediator: dr. google. we learned how variations in the brewing process, amount of beans used, etc can effect the amount of caffeine in a cup of (decaf or caff) coffee. in fact, consumer reports conducted a small study in 2007 that measured the level of caffeine in decaf coffee from several popular chains. one of the six cups of dunkin donuts decaf had 32mg of caffeine! that’s nearly as much as a coca-cola (34mg)!

oh – and while i’m on my soapbox – i have it in mind to contact julian assage to expose companies who sell highly caffeinated “decaf” products!

i’m so glad my husband persisted and found that study! it was clear by the way we felt that we were victims of consuming two cups of caffeinated decaf coffees! (or maybe we were “mistakenly” given caffeinated coffee? the story is definitely more interesting if we assume they were decaf so let’s stick with that assumption…) how much caffeine? who knows. all i know is that i spent the next several hours fending off decaf delirium which kept me awake until 2am AND i woke up with a caffeine withdrawal headache!

‘special treat’ alright…they (es)pecially treated me to feeling physically AWFUL and lost sleep! curse the dunkin! and curse me if i ever talk myself in to drinking one of those wretched ‘decafs’ (but not) coffees again!



  1. The caffeine withdrawal headache is a special and terrifying breed. I will henceforth be boycotting Dunkin’ Donuts on your behalf.

    • can i just share that at least three people found this blog using google searches for:
      “dunkin donuts coffee…heart palpitations”
      “dunkin donuts coffee…caffeinated decaf”
      “amount of caffeine dunkin donuts coffee”
      hopefully those three readers will join us :o)

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