Drinks and Creative Work?

This might be the future for the IF forum!.

Do please support your favourite contributors by taking some time to visit our sponsors.
Use the discount code GETLAMP to get 15% off your first month’s subscription.
That’s 15 Kg of artisanal roast coffee delivered to your door and selected every week by our in-house commodities futures buying professionals.

Don’t forget to visit patreon, telegram and bitchute for all the things we were arrested for saying on Twitter.



I am half about the ritual and routine and half about liking the taste of the drink. My history for most of my life is of drinking three cups of tea a day. One after brekkie, one after lunch, and one at some point after dinner (which I confusingly, generally also call ‘tea’. I remember once organising a date by SMSes, and with all the talk of tea in it, this lady said ‘What are you? Some kind of English Earl?’).

I never got into coffee until I had a day job right in the middle of Sydney. When I’d emerge at lunchtime, I had an hour break to enjoy. So I started trying some coffees at the zillion cafes about the place. I found I really enjoyed the ritual, with the fancier-than-at-home cups and the stronger taste. I am a Large Flat White person.

One day I ordered a Large at one place and it was this ridiculous soup-bowl-sized thing. I drank it all and then I got the physical jitters. Such a thing happens rarely now because I drink more coffee in general.

I still drink three drinks a day at the appointed times. But the lunchtime one is interchangeable for a bought coffee or a filter one if I’m at home, and my evening tea is now usually a filter coffee.



I used to drink coffee all day, every day. While I initially liked it with cream and sugar, I learned to do without such niceties as a poor student. I learned to like it black and bitter, and, by the time I had more money of my own, I no longer wanted anything different.

I lost my taste for coffee when I quit smoking. I enjoy making it for my spouse, though, because I still love the smell.

I used to think that whiskey helped me write, and I do think it helped me believe that I had something important or interesting to say, but that was just wishful thinking. None of the poems I wrote before getting sober ever got published.

Nowadays I drink tea for caffeine. Constant Comment (black tea and orange peel) or some such. I drink a lot of seltzer, too.


This is so sweet. The wording in your post was very pretty overall- (I wasn’t surprised to hear you’ve written poetry when I got to that bit) but this part especially stuck out to me as being such a lovely little gesture. And congratulations on quitting smoking- it’s no walk in the park!


Same tea of choice.


I loved tea when I was younger (earl grey especially) but found out I can’t process caffeine well as an adult and had to give most of it up. Now I typically start every day with a large mug of decaf coffee, which actually does have a tiny bit of caffeine in it (luckily not enough to upset my delicate physiological balance). Whether those few mgs actually make me more alert or it’s some sort of placebo I don’t know, but it’s become an enjoyable ritual. I’ve been drinking it black my whole life but have recently started adding a dash of oat milk purely to cool it down & increase the volume.

One of my favorite artists, Owen Pallett, has a “secret” writing technique of leaving tabs open on their computer with inspiring song lyrics, setting their alarm a couple hours early, and upon waking up immediately brewing a pot of strong coffee and getting to work. Due to my caffeine intolerance (and aversion for losing sleep) I have yet to test this out, but apparently it gets the wheels turning. I typically write late at night.


When I have a drink and I’m not “on”:
Me: sip
Me: sip
Me: (not typing)
Me: sip
Me: (going to the bathroom and refilling drink on the way back)
Me: sip (still not typing)

When I have a drink and I’m on:
Me: (knocks over drink and ruins keyboard, can’t write for a week out of frustration)
Me: (also ruins everything else on cluttered desk)

Don’t imbibe and inscribe, friends!


"It's rare that you drink any beverage besides water. Because that's the kind of bland, boring person that you are.

Yes, NYE2019 is very loosely autobiographical, or at least this part is. Despite being raised in a tea-drinking culture, I never got into the habit. Sometimes I do drink green tea, but I feel like it would worsen my already terrible sleeping schedule.

Anyway this thread made me really want to implement a tea option as one of the beverages in NYE2019…


I’m also on the tea-wagon - I try to stick to two cups a day to minimize the whole dependency thing, usually starting with Irish Breakfast first thing (which is typically when I do most of my writing since I’m an early riser) then doing an Earl Gray or lapsang souchong or something like that mid morning.

When I was doing my first game, which was a farcical comedy, I’d occasionally do some evening writing while having a beer (a porter or stout when I could scare one up - dark-beer-lovers are not especially catered to in the US at least!). Surprisingly I didn’t notice much of a difference in my coding, which I think is less about how good at programming I am when tipsy than it is about how bad my programming is when sober! At any rate when I made my second game, I wasn’t drinking in solidarity with my then-pregnant wife so that one was 100% caffeine-fueled.


I personally need (black) coffee in the morning to start functioning for the day. There’s no chance of creativity without it. Probably partly because I’m now dependant on it, but I’ve never been a morning person anyway, and it definitely doesn’t help that I’ve been on night duty for our kids (7 and 3) for a long time now. I’ll drink a little more coffee throughout the day, but not after 2 or 3 PM.

Apart from the required caffeine, I enjoy creative work the most while drinking beer or sipping some cognac in the evening. Just enough for a buzz, which gets the creative juices going.


Delicious. I do that for my afternoon brew. The morning batch is plain black and strong enough to hold a spoon upright. No sugar or milk, they take up cupspace that could be filled with caffeine.


When coding, I have one of three things, depending on my energy level and temperature:

Low energy, cold = hot chocolate (1 teaspoon of whichever drinking chocolate is in the cupboard)
Low/medium energy, not cold = orange/lemon/berry squash, 1:8 - 1:10 dilution (yes, that’s half or a bit under half the recommended amount of squash, because it’s light enough for the flavour to still come through)
Otherwise = tap water.

Drinking a mug of hot chocolate typically converts LOW Energy to HIGH Energy for 2-4 hours, which I have to be careful about, because if I’m in HIGH Energy mode I seem not to be able to concentrate on coding. However, I can do other parts of IF, such as writing, and it’s outright beneficial for creating music because I don’t make music very well unless I’m in at least MEDIUM Energy. (Art doesn’t seem to be connected with energy level for me). Drinking squash in MEDIUM energy may do the same, or it may not - I’ve not learned the pattern, and it’s more likely to either convert LOW Energy to MEDIUM Energy, or leave me at the same MEDIUM level.

Apart from the hot chocolate, if I’m going to have caffeine, it’ll be in chocolate bars (preference for dark chocolate, fruit enclosures preferred, but in reality I’m not that picky) or chocolate biscuits (bourbons, dark chocolate digestives or chocolate creams). This has the twin benefits of increasing caffeine at a rate I can more easily control, and doing so more slowly (thus giving me time to wrap up what I was doing at the previous Energy level). My computer area attests that I eat quite a few of these, although sometimes I don’t have any caffeine sources. (It also has my drink on a separate table to the computer, so if I did knock it over, the computer shouldn’t be affected).

I don’t drink alcohol at all; don’t like the taste.

I can and sometimes do write first thing in the morning before I’ve consumed anything whatsoever; my brain starts up pretty much immediately for writing purposes, though actual coding seems to go best in the evenings.