We help a 3-pot-a-day java junkie kick his habit-or at least postpone it for a week.
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3 min read

This story appears in the November 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Of the 400 billion cups of coffee consumed each year, Americans drink approximately one-third, and entrepreneurs are among coffee's biggest fans, using it to fuel their long workdays and get their eyes open in the morning to face the stress of running their businesses. Anyone who's met Scott White, 46, may accuse him of drinking half the U.S. total. The president and co-founder of BizCom Associates, a PR firm in Dallas (named third fastest-growing agency in the nation by PR Week magazine) confesses to gulping down three to four pots of java from 5:30 a.m. till he finally sleeps. A hardcore caffeine addict with no chance of rehabilitation? We put White to the test-give up caffeine for one week, and let us explore the psyche of our java-free guinea pig.


My staff says I'm not my usual excited self. I don't feel different, but it was hard to walk past the coffee pot. I seem to have trouble concentrating-a little jittery, but no splitting headaches. [I was] a little out of sorts today making important or potentially stressful calls without my coffee crutch. Did you know this is "National Headache Week"?

Entrepreneur's spy at BizCom, vice president Monica Feid, verified White avoided caffeine, and instead chugged an entire 3 gallons of water, which the entire office of eight usually shares.

Bean Counter
  Fifty-four percent of the U.S. adult population drinks coffee every day.

Another 25 percent of the population drinks coffee occasionally.

Coffee drinkers consume an average of 3.1 cups of coffee per day.

Gourmet coffee (i.e., premium whole bean varieties, mocha, latte, blended drinks, etc.) is a daily part of the lives of 9.8 percent of American adults.



I slept better than I have in a long time. I feel good, but my energy level is [yo-yoing]. Have a slight headache. I was tempted at lunch by Monica and John [BizCom co-founders], who ordered coffee. These are the kinds of caring partners everyone should have.


I've been waiting for three days for a massive headache to take me down, but nothing has happened yet. I had zero energy all day and various joints in my body ached off and on, but it could just be the onset of old age. I could never seem to get focused on whatever I was working on. That seems to be the biggest problem right now . . . that and not yawning.


Wow. Hit a big wall. Had to get up and walk around at 2:35 p.m. But I'm actually feeling as good as I've felt in a long time. I'm still a little jittery at times and having a little more trouble staying focused, but haven't experienced any major side effects. Just some occasional slowdowns.


I did it. Other than a few aches and pains, I feel better than usual. I had to get up a few times to refocus. I discovered I still have enough discipline to do something like this-and there were times when I was craving a good steaming hot cup of coffee. So that's it, no violent illness, dementia or bouncing off the walls. No more than usual, anyway.

White fell off the wagon Saturday night with a grande black coffee at Starbucks. He has cut down to a pot a day.


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