Monday, May 24, 2010

Caffeine Content and Roast Profiles

A few days ago, my sister called me out of the blue with a simple but important coffee-related question. She is a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and is in the middle of her finals week, meaning she's burning the midnight oil trying to finish up last-minute papers and projects. Faced with limited hours at local coffee shops, she needed bang for her buck and needed to know how to get the most caffeine from the bean. Her question: Is dark or medium-roast coffee STRONGER?

The tricky word here is stronger. Many people have a preference between dark roast and medium roast coffees, but many people also associate darkness with “strength” and strength with caffeine content. However, this is not the case.

The darker the bean, the lower the caffeine. So there is actually an inverse relationship between darkness and caffeine content. Dark-roast coffees may taste “strong” but they will not keep you awake for that cram session as well as a medium-roast coffee.

The reason behind this difference is dark-roast coffees are roasted longer and to a higher temperature in order to cook the beans to a bolder, darker taste. In the process, some caffeine molecules are physically burned out of the bean, becoming smoke.

If you come by Blanchard's coffee shop seeking a little (or a lot) more caffeine in your cup, follow this simple advice: Drop some espresso in it! That is, Make a Red Eye (coffee+one or more espresso shots)!

Article above written by "The Man, The Myth, The Legend - Jonathan Lesko".

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