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CAFFEINE finally Exposed

Can't get sick of your espresso? 

Drinking 6 cups of joe a day? Going crazy on caffeine because you just LOVE it? Well, today is the day you'll be finding out all about caffeine, be it the whos, whats, wheres, whys and the HOW much caffeine you have been consuming.

Well, finding out the amount of caffeine in your cup gets complicated. Unless you're telling me you own a classified stash full of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to figure out the stated question here, otherwise, there's no definite answer to this argument. But there's a proven researched range behind it all, soREAD ON to unravel the truth in the beans! Its when you know what's in your cup and body that you'll enjoy and respect it more. Well, knowledge does play part in enjoyment. Before we get on to some numbers, lets find out about theyou know who.

Who is Caffeine?

Guess what? She's the most consumed drug in the world! And you'll know why. Because its prescribed by yourself, not your 30 minute wait-away doctor at your to-go family clinic. Well, HEH. Perhaps that's not the reason why it's popular. But perhaps the true superstar behind it all.. CAFFEINE. Kopi or Latte, it doesn't really matter, studying teens, working adults, the elderly, you, me, WE LOVE it and WE KNOW why. Caffeine, the mind-blowing drug, the study-drug, the wake-up drug, the work-harder drug or more commonly known, the increase in productivity and de-stressing drug here in Singapore. She's no stranger so linger, my sager!   

How does caffeine work?

Caffeine is a stimulant, a chemical. Its primary function? To block a brain neurotransmitter hormone named Adenosine, which naturally connects with an adenosine receptor; this bondage makes us feel tired. When Caffeine comes into the picture, it binds to the adenosine receptor instead hence making us feel crazily energetic. In fact, caffeine increases the release of 2 other hormones,dopamine and norepinephrine, the fight or flight hormone. That's why you and I feel like superman after our morning cup of Joe. Caffeine increases the function of the brain, making us feel more alert. Increases your heart and respiration rates and to tip it off, caffeine also increases production of serotonin (happy hormones), hmm.. that probably explains why people who drink coffee are happier and why we love to drink coffee. Increased happiness, energy levels and better stress management? I really can't see a reason why I shouldn't be drinking coffee. Well hey, enough science. Let's brew one coffee before we head on shall we?

 Where Caffeine is found?

Oh Yes, don't be surprised. Caffeine does exist in food. Its naturally found in certain leaves and fruits of plants. Be it tea, chocolate, soft drinks, breath fresheners, weight lost pills, caffeine pills, oh yes she's hiding somewhere. On a side note to the pregnant ladies out there, please stick within your recommended upper limit of 300mg daily. That's probably the only valid reason why we would ever ask someone to stop drinking coffee. 

How much caffeine have you been consuming? 

Oh you've been waiting for this haven't you? Do take these numbers as a good guide and a pinch of salt as origin of bean, roast profile, extraction factors such as water temperature, grind size, coffee-water ratio, agitation and time of extraction does indeed play a part in the amount of caffeine extracted.


A good rule of thumb? 65mg of caffeine present in a single shot of espresso or 100mg of caffeine for a cup of coffee considering the fact that double shots are always used for a cup of coffee. 

How much is too much?

Well, you'll probably be wondering now, how much caffeine then should I be consuming daily?

Similar to how coffee tastes bad when it stales, the name of coffee gets tarnish again and again by research like as if it was drink created by the devil! Stop demonizing the drink! Yes, perhaps if you drank 10 cups daily, you could get withdrawal symptoms and feel pretty off on certain days when you missed your Joe, but lets be practical, most of us drink 2-4cups a day which is proven to be highly moderate and scientifically proven to be healthy. 400-500 mg of caffeineis a well known recommendation for an upper limit based on numerous food regulatory organizations and agencies if you're out there looking for a number to hang on to. 
On the otherhand, many drink more than 6 cups a day and still are as fine as a fruit. Well. "COFFEE CAN BE FATAL IF YOU DRINK TOO MUCH" is usually a quote well heard.. that being said, drinking more than 100 cups in a day, you'll probably pass out due to the amount of liquid ingested instead. Additionally, some people can sleep right after drinking coffee. Meaning, the effects and tolerance of caffeine depends on your genetic makeup and varies from person to person. Conceivably, we should be looking at the bigger problems that makes coffee bad, as it may be. Studies do suggest that its not so much the caffeine in coffee, but the sugar, artificial chemicals and sweeteners we load our coffee with that tarnishes our health and well-being. Bottom line? If you love coffee, what's stopping you from drinking? By all means keep within the golden rule of moderation, BUT HEY! There's always that special day and season out there where you just want several cups of Joe accompanied by a book or movie.  

Is there a secret caffeine intake number?

So what's your verdict? Drinking 4 cups or 10 cups a day? Whatever it is, stay hydrated with water and keep off the sugar, it's healthier that way. On a side note, if you're caffeine-sensitive, keep it Arabica for a lighter caffeine intake and avoid the Robustas, they contain twice the amount of caffeine than Arabicas. Flavour difference between the two is a world apart too. Perhaps, I'll leave it for a future blog post to talk about!
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