Do you embrace your morning brew like your BFF? The sad truth is that most people are more interested in getting a quick “jolt” from their average three cups a day, rather than the subtle nuances of grind or roast. But even among elite espresso lovers, I’ve found a number of interesting facts most are not even aware of. Check these out to see how well-versed you are on your favorite drink.
Lighter roasts are actually heavier in caffeine.
The dark French or Italian roast you try to avoid is fooling you. Altlhough it may taste stronger, the truth is it’s likely to be a bit anemic on the caffeine index. The reason is that the process of roasting beans actually burns off caffeine. So the lighter the roast, the more caffeine remains. Yes, it seems counter-intuitive, but that’s the skinny according to this report on National Public Radio. There’s a positive twist, though. The darker the roast, the less impact it’ll have on a sensitive stomache.
Caffeine levels vary widely across different brands.
Different coffee chains can deliver a tall one with markedly different caffeine levels. The caffeine content of a cup can vary more than the difference between the Flagon With the Dragon and the Brew That Is True. Measured in milligrams of caffeine per ounce of brew. Starbucks seems to pack more than twice as much as a tamer cup from that Scottish place (McDonald’s) — 20.6 mg compared to 9.1 mg in one recent survey.
People react widely differently to the same cup of joe.
Caffeine is a drug the same as alcohol, sugar and nicotine. And your metabolism determines how strongly you’ll react to it and how quickly it will be flushed through your system. Oddly, women usually handle it more efficiently than men, unless they’re on birth control pills which seems to slow things down. Smokers must be building up tolerance to foreign substances; they metabolize caffeine twice as fast as abstainers. Go figure.
The grind will get to you.
The same beans and roast will deliver a different effect depending on how the beans were ground. Those burr-type grinders produce a rougher grind, and as a result there is actually more surface area on the bean to leach out more caffeine. Grinders that use simple blades produce a smoother result, and a tamer brew.
Time to debunk the dehydration myth.
As with just about everything in life, continued exposure makes you more tolerant. That holds true to the diuretic effects of java. The old wives’ tale that you should drink water to offset the dehydrating effect of caffeine has been put to rest by a study at University of Birmingham. Since it is principally water, common sense tells you that coffee can hydrate you as well as water. But if you want to get snarky about it, research data showed “there were no significant differences across a wide range of haematological and urinary markers of hydration status between trials.” And then there’s anecdotal evidence: astronaut Alan Shepard was considerably hydrated by his four cups before an early Mercury flight, as showcased in the film “The Right Stuff.”
Coffee aces Red Bull if you’re seeking “wings.”
You’ll get a more nitrous boost from a simple cuppa than popping the tab on that overpricd pretender in the skinny can. On average coffee provides more caffeine per serving than any of those so-called energy drinks. Red Bull offers a measly 80mg vs. anywhere from 95 to a whopping 200mg in straight coffee. And it’s saner; they also corrupt their shot with needless sugar and unprounceable chemical additives which may produce other effects… unless that’s what you’re really after. Then again, you could chew a chunk of qat.
For some folk coffee aces sex or martinis.
There are those of us who need a good cup of brew to get our eyes open in the morning, much less get it up. But a startling 53% of respondents to a recent survey reported preferring a morning cup to a morning cuddle. So here’s a little tip for you minority morning larks married to night owls: If you long to start your day with a little nookie, consider a three-way with Mr. Coffee on your nightstand.
= = =
In fact, here’s a nice unit that wouldn’t look out of place in the boudoir:
Some great features of this product include:
- Entry-Level Simplicity – It doesn’t get any easier to use than the EC270. Sporting a pressurized portafilter, you will never need a high-end grinder to achieve consistent results.
- Easy Clean – With a removable 35-ounce water tank and drip tray, you can easily keep the components clean.
- Dual Thermostats – A great feature of the EC270 is the separate thermostats for water and steam. – Pump Driven – 15 bars of pressure make great crema.
- Self-Priming – System primes itself before brewing begins so you don’t have to.
- 220V Will Not Work In USA
The DeLonghi EC270 Espresso Machine’s striking design is backed up by 15 bars of pressure and an adjustable frothing wand that creates clouds of fluffy cappuccino-ready milk. A great value and a spacesaver for your countertop, the EC270 is a super handy machine!
Get it on with DeLonghi!