This thread is fascinating. I read through all of it yesterday and have been reflecting on the insights youíve shared. I have been debating the pros/cons of coffee myself for a good while now, so it's super helpful to read about your (very positive) experience.
As you mentioned, nearly all of the material from health/fitness pros these days indicates coffee is amazing (anti-cancer properties, caffeine boosts workouts, etc!). But there's no doubt in my mind that it also can cause problems -- anxiety, joint pain, reduced gains, and more. That may especially be true for someone who consumes excessively, like me; I drink 5-6 cups a day.
I would not be surprised if cutting out coffee completely, or at least reducing it dramatically, solved many of my issues.
I am on a cut until my honeymoon in early March, and I'm using up my mental fortitude on that. It's unrealistic and often detrimental to try to make too many dramatic changes at one time (see "Willpower" by Roy Baumeister). Once I reach my desired bodyfat %, I will begin Operation Eliminate Coffee. I'll lower my coffee consumption, decreasing it with the help of half-caf and tea until it is nonexistent. Iíll report back to let everyone know how it goes.
I should also note that I did eliminate coffee last year for 3 weeks as part of the Elimination Diet. I did not notice any benefits ó and of course had a difficult withdrawal experience ó but Iím guessing that wasnít a long-enough trial period to really offer any useful results.