You Can Now Replace Your Coffee With ‘Caffeine Bracelets’ And I Want To Die

Most of us caffeine drinkers have at some point made  a dad-joke about “mainlining our coffee,” or the desire to pour pots of coffee straight into our bloodstream, causing an immediate and steady energy burst that will propel us through the chaos of our lives. Now, in our ever progressing and sterilized hellscape, there exists the Joule bracelet that does just that — infuses you with caffeine via replaceable patch.

Despite my history of hack jokes about infusing my blood with caffeine, actually imagining the coffee experience sans drinking coffee sounds deeply depressing. It’s like stripping away the aromatic comfort and heat and just leaving you with pure jitters and anxiety.

I have no problems with the makers of this product, they are obviously savvy and creating a product that will likely be enjoyed by many — it boasts of financial efficiency (the starter pack is $30 so it rounds to about $1 a day), physical efficiency (no bathroom breaks or stomach acid), and the caffeine patches are time-released so you have a steady stream of energy, rather than the buzz-and-crash of a regular coffee experience.

Why is this necessary? Coffee is proven to have health benefits, and outside of alcohol serves as one of the most universal bonding vices, must we sterilize the comforting ritual of coffee in order to save a few bucks and become more efficient?!?! Obviously, most products aren’t necessary — they’re out to garner revenue. But the selling points of the Joule bracelet, which is ultimately both financial and physical efficiency, directly reflects our current values. I think one of the most dehumanizing side effects of capitalism is our inability to recognize the value of ritual.

Making and drinking coffee is the most efficient way to caffeinated yourself, but it’s also a physical source of comfort, it’s a tradition that has spanned countries and centuries and encompasses a multitude of flavors and preparation techniques. The cult of coffee serves as an easy context to get to know someone, or meet with an old friend, or gear yourself up for a big day. You can make it at home to save money, you can replace it with tea to save your stomach, you can make it whatever style will agree with you.

But much in the way I can’t accept the scientifically stringent Soylent as a substitute for a warm physical meal, I refuse to replace my coffee ritual with a mechanical patch, it’s just not fucking worth it.