Coffee is an acquired taste.
Why do I say that?
Well, over the years I've taken a liking to coffee more and more. At first, as a young teenager, I only liked things like coffee-flavored candy and ice cream, and I certainly like coffee cake (although those don't necessarily have coffee in them). Soon after, I took to having coffee with lots and lots of cream and sugar to emulate those desserts- which I'm sure a lot of younger people do- and I certainly had no qualms about those fancy-schmancy coffees served at Starbucks and such with all that whipped cream and chocolate and vanilla and cinnamon and nutmeg and other miscellaneous flavorings normally associated with Christmas. I certainly do like mochas.
Thing is, over the years I've gotten used to the flavor of coffee, and have gradually lessened the amount of cream and sugar that I put in it. As of now I put at the very least three half-and-half creamers and about two small scoops of sugar in it- the minimum amount to cool the temperature to something that won't burn my tastebuds, and to disguise the bitter flavor of black coffee. I seriously doubt that I'll ever switch to pure black coffee.
I've even come to know what sort of coffee I like- anything that doesn't say "dark" or "french" in the name. Those taste burnt. From what I've had at the free samples at Trader Joe's, I like anything from exotic places like South America or some island that hovers around the equator, or something domestic, but not generic like Folger's. For some reason the latter tends to be Southwestern. Curiously enough, Trader Joe's Diner Blend seems to make what would normally be crummy, generic big-name-brand coffee and makes it actually taste good.
I've also taken a liking to iced coffee. I don't think there are any brands out there that don't have milk and sugar in them already, so I don't really have any preference. They have a ton of them in the local Japanese markets, so it would seem that the Japanese are crazy about it- I almost never see so many different brands of the same product in the same place!
There's also this brand of coffee soda called Java Pop, which is nice.
I don't think coffee affects my wakefulness at all- at least not noticeably so. The only time I ever feel hyper is after having large amounts of cane sugar- cane sugar, mind you, not corn syrup- especially cane sugar soda in glass bottles.
Although recently I made the mistake of having my own homemade iced coffee (I stuck a cup of it in the freezer) sometime in the late evening, and that gave me some pretty bad jitters.
Ultimately coffee isn't my first choice when it comes to sweet drinks, but I will have it at every opportunity. I certainly don't rely on it to wake myself up, because I definitely don't want to become an addict... I've got my own methods of waking myself up, and I feel fine once I do it.
UPDATE: Having taken note of my newfound interest in coffee, my mom recently bought me a small Mr. Coffee machine for me to use. We bought some "Smooth and Mellow" blend from Trader Joe's to grind, which has been very satisfactory. I've taken to having at least two cups per week, which I'm sure is WAY under the average amount...
UPDATE2: Chicory coffee is pretty nice. Not the best, since its darker and needs more sugar to suit my taste than usual, but still.
Actually, it seems that coffee makes me relaxed more than anything. I dunno if it's a placebo effect due to this story Criswell told me about a guy who gets sleepy when he has caffeine- he would be out like a light if he had an energy drink- but it's rather nice, and certainly better than being made jittery.