How To Quit Coffee: In 4 Simple Steps

While we love coffee here, you can have too much of a good thing which is why some people ask how to quit coffee.

How to quit coffee
Quitting coffee can't be done overnight

I wish I could drink coffee all day, but caffeine makes me feel very jittery – but somehow still tired, so coffee is something I’ve had to cut back on myself. 

There are several approaches for quitting coffee, but it’s not something that can be done overnight if you’re pretty dependent on it. It’s easy to get hooked on caffeine and harder to cut down once you’ve become dependent on its effects, but not impossible. You need some time, patience, and willpower – and maybe some decaf to help ween yourself off. 

Caffeine can be addictive and seriously disrupt your sleep, so some people feel the need to cut back. It can also heighten anxiety and nervousness, so it’s safe to say that coffee and caffeine are not for everyone. 

Materials Needed

  • Decaffeinated Coffee 
  • Willpower 
  • Water or tea (optional)

How To Quit Coffee In 4 Simple Steps

Step 1: Switch A Cup For Decaf

A cup of coffee placed on top of white saucer on a wooden table
Decaf is a bandaid solution

Lots of people cry “death before decaf,” but if you’re trying to quit coffee or caffeine just makes you jittery, then decaf is one solution to your problem or, at the very least, is a bandaid solution until you can drop coffee for good.

Fortunately, most decaf coffee brands taste identical to regular coffee, so if you love coffee for the taste, you should still be satisfied. Decaf is not entirely caffeine-free. The decaffeination process removes around 97% or more of the caffeine.

There is only around 2 mg of caffeine in a cup of decaf, compared to an average of 95 mg in a cup of regular coffee. Decaffeinated dark roasts tend to have even less caffeine than decaf that is a medium or light roast.

Assuming you drink three cups of coffee a day. Start off by switching one of those cups out for decaf. For three weeks (or whatever amount of time you feel comfortable with), drink your two cups of regular coffee and one cup of decaf. 

It’s best to work backward when cutting out coffee. This means cutting out the last cup of coffee you would normally drink in favor of decaf. Cutting out the first might leave you feeling groggy for the day, so at least with an evening cup, you should be closer to bedtime or nearing the end of a workday.

Step 2: Add More Decaf

When you feel ready, remove another cup of coffee in favor of decaf instead.

In this article, we explain how much caffeine is in decaf and why you don’t need to worry.

Step 3: Repeat

Repeat step two as again if needed. 

If you were drinking more than three cups, to begin with, then you can continue on with the process of switching out your regular coffee for decaf. 

Step 4: Remove The Decaf

Replace decaf with a cup of tea or warm water

After you have removed the last cup of coffee for decaf, you can start incorporating other warm beverages into your lifestyle instead. Feel free to replace the decaf with a cup of tea or a glass of water. There is caffeine in some teas like black tea or green tea, but not as much as a standard cup of coffee would contain. 

Alternative method

Step One: Cut Back On Cup At A Time

Rather than drinking decaf, you can also just slowly ween yourself off of regular coffee one cup at a time. If you drink three cups of coffee a day, remove one cup. Limit yourself to two cups of coffee for around one month.

I would suggest starting this on a weekend, so you have some time to adjust before work on a Monday morning.

Step Two: Remove Another Cup

a cup of a weak coffee
Maintain one cup for a few weeks

Once you’re used to running on a reduced amount of coffee, cut out another cup. If you’re down to one cup of coffee by this step, maintain that for a few weeks until you’re used to it.

Step Three: Repeat If Needed

If you were drinking a lot of coffee, to begin with, this process would take longer as you cut back on coffee one cup at a time. You might need to repeat this step as many times as necessary.

Step Four: Go Cold Turkey 

After you’ve gotten used to having one cup of coffee a day, it’s time to say goodbye to your last cup! Again, I would recommend doing this over the weekend if you’re worried about being fatigued on a Monday morning before work. 


If you like this article, read our guide does coffee get rid of headaches.

In this article, we cover coffee vs. soda.


  • Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies.