The Basics of Caffeine for Coffee Lovers
Coffee is created from the Coffea Arabica plant, the most glorious plant that ever did bestow upon us a beverage! And as luck would have it, the beans from the plant, and the coffee beverage made from said plant, both contain caffeine. The presence of caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, and helps you stay awake and alert for all of the adult things you have to do in your life, like going to work, feeding your children, and binge watching Game of Thrones.
Did you know that an average cup of coffee contains approximately 75-150 milligrams of caffeine, which typically stays in your system for up to 8 hours? This is true, although it will generally be most effective only for the first two or three hours.
There are many different types of coffee, and each type features a different level of caffeine. Caffeine levels are determined by a number of factors, including the type of coffee, roast, and serving size. Let’s take a look at how different types of coffee manifest their own caffeine profile.
Caffeine and the Different Types of Coffee
Different types of coffee possess different amounts of caffeine — that much you may already know. An Americano, for example, has about 150mg of caffeine in it, while a cappuccino has 154mg.
When determining the amount of caffeine you would like to consume, you probably pay the most attention to the serving size. Even so, those 8oz cups of drip coffee will definitely add up if you’re drinking a dozen of them every day! Many larger coffee corporations like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts provide charts with information on the amount of caffeine in each of their beverages.
Other factors that influence the amount of caffeine you’re taking in based on your coffee beverage include the type of coffee beans you use in your brew.
The two types of coffee plants, Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora, each produce beans that contain varying amounts of the stimulant. And for what it’s worth, the Canephora variety contains more than double the amount of caffeine levels as the Arabica plant.
The type of roasting process your coffee beans undergo will also determine their caffeine content. A darker roast often reduces the amount of caffeine, contrary to the popular belief that a more bitter taste equals a larger supply of caffeine.
Decaffeinated or Caffeinated
The first choice that many consider when selecting their daily brew is between decaf coffee, or caffeinated. Your coffee beverage will probably taste great either way, but each comes with their own set of pros and cons. Decaf coffee does, in many cases, still contain some caffeine, just at a significantly lower level.
Decaffeinated coffee is filtered through activated charcoal, which removes the caffeine. This means that your coffee will taste just the same, without keeping you up all night. Coffee that is not decaffeinated will contain higher amounts of the stimulant, depending on what type of coffee you drink.
Brewed or Espresso
The buzz you get from a shot or two of espresso may prompt you to assume that espresso contains more caffeine than regular drip coffee, but you may be surprised to learn of your error. It is difficult to draw an exact comparison between brewed coffee or espresso, however, because they are not comparable on all levels.
If we compare their caffeine levels by the ounce, then the typical serving size of a cup of drip coffee is 8oz. This means there is a caffeine concentration of about 8-15 milligrams per ounce. In espresso, the amount equates to about 30-50 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. This high dose of caffeine is contained in a smaller amount of coffee, approximately 1oz of liquid.
Espresso has a higher dosage of caffeine, but in a smaller liquid amount, which means there is a higher concentration of caffeine in the tiny beverage. Serving size matters!
The scent of coffee that you experience when waking up means that you’ll soon be more alert, energized, and prepared for a productive day. Enjoy your caffeinated beverage with care – either hot or cold, it will be sure to get your heart racing!
[Photos Via: Caffeine in Coffee; Vanhoutte; Your Better Kitchen]