Caffeine Hit

Ever wondered just how much caffeine is in your morning cuppa? No? Well, I have, so this article was interesting to me.

Apparently Robusta has twice the caffeine content of the much nicer Arabica. It also produces a better crema – but tastes like burnt rubber (kudos to Coffee Dominion for that description). I wonder if there’s a link between caffeine content and crema?

Anyway. Here are some figures from the article by Jerry Baldwin – one of the cofounders of Starbucks (he sold his share in 1987).

“In a couple of studies testing 90 different Arabica cultivars, the caffeine content varied between 0.42 and 2.9%. My morning cup would then vary between 84 and 580 milligrams, depending on which of these varieties was in my cup.”

“If your morning cup came from a commercial roaster who included Robusta in the blend, we have another level of complexity. Caffeine content in these coffees, in one study, varied between 1.16 and 4.0%. A straight 12 oz. cup, using 20 grams of the 4% coffee, probably wouldn’t taste very good, but would definitely provide more buzz: 800 milligrams of caffeine.”

“An espresso made from 100% Arabica, on average, has about 70 milligrams of caffeine per shot; a 12 oz. cup of drip coffee made my way in a press pot, using two scoops of coffee per 12-ounce cup — would have 200 milligrams.”

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