About Caffeine

The caffeine that contained in coffee beans were well-known since the first they were discovered, but unfortunately, there are not much of people who really understood about caffeine.


What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a white in colour crystalline substance that is odourless and slightly bitter in taste. Caffeine is made up of oxygen, carbon hydrogen and nitrogen. Usually found in coffee beans, tea leaves, yerba mate, chocolate and cola nuts.


How was Caffeine discovered?

The power of caffeine was the main reason why coffee was discovered. In back then, a goatherd name Kaldi from the 6th century noticed that his goats were unusually playful and frisky after they had eaten the red berries of a particular tree. These were the unknown coffee berries containing the stimulation seeds, the coffee beans. It tooks until the early 19th century for caffeine as a substance to be fully investigated and extracted.

This discovery was the result of a chance encounter between a scientist – Runge, and Goethe. As a consumer of large quantities of coffee and aware of its power, Goethe was curious and wanting to learn more. He then presented a box of rare arabica mocha beans. Within a few months he had successfully extracted and purified the caffeine.


How does Caffeine affects human body?

We know that the caffeine actually has the ability to infiltrate every cell in human body, such as the cardiac, respiratory, nervous and digestive systems. It will passes through the cells in the body evenly and will be found in equal proportions in the blood, urine, saliva, breast milk and semen.

The most obvious and common effect of caffeine is by making people’s mind alert and stopping them from sleeping. It is because of the diuretic, some people find that they have to urinate more frequently. Sometimes, caffeine can ward off a headache or a mild asthma attack, but it should not be used medically. There are numbers of research that positively relates less-obvious anti-oxidant effects of caffeine with, for example, cancer, heart health, digestion and gallstones.


Are some people more sensitive to Caffeine than others?

It depends on individuals as some cannot consume even one cup of coffee in the evening or late afternoon without running the risk of a sleepless night. Some can consume as many cups as they want even before bed and sleep like a baby. Others say that caffeine gives them heart palpitations, particularly if they consume a lot of coffee with alcohol. For those sensitive individuals, a small amount of caffeine can cause them headache, digestive upsets and tremors. It is possible to have an allergy to caffeine. But for most of them, caffeine in moderation may be useful and pleasurable as well as totally harmless. Nevertheless, there is a decaffeinated coffee that is available for people who are sensitive.


Will Caffeine cause addiction?

Many people said that coffee-drinking habit is addictive but whether this is due entirely to its caffeine content is debatable. There are other addictive components to the drinking of coffee including the need for a break. There are also some people experience withdrawal symptoms when they give up coffee such as slight headache and lethargy for few days. Moderate consumption of a few cups of coffee a day does not rate in medical terms as addictive for any individual.


How much Caffeine is there in a cup?

Caffeine levels usually depends on many things. Like how they made the coffee beverage. While coffee beverage that is made by a espresso machine has less caffeine than the one that is made by drip filter or plunger.

Caffeine level also depends on the beans. Arabica have approximately half the caffeine of robusta beans (Difference between arabica and robusta). Beans from some countries naturally have more caffeine than others. Last but not least, the length of roasting time affects the amount of caffeine too. A light roast has slightly more caffeine than dark roast. Therefore, it is difficult to say how much caffeine there is in a cup. There will be somewhere in the range of 30 to 50milligrams for an espresso and more for beverages made using other methods and instant coffee.


How much caffeine can I consume?

Drinking two or three cups of coffee per day wouldn’t be considered as consuming too much of caffeine. Caffeine is dangerously toxic at an estimated dose of 10 grams. That would be roughly drinking 100 cups of strong filter coffee one after other.


How long does the Caffeine stay in the body?

Caffeine is rapidly metabolized and excreted from the body. Generally it has a half-life of four hours but can vary from 2 to 10 hours depending on individuals. Non-smoker metabolize caffeine slower than smokers, and women who are pregnant or using the contraceptive pill tend to metabolize it more slowly.