Need a Lift? Caffeine Levels in Coffee vs. Espresso

When we lived in on the Big Island of Hawaii, I visited numerous coffee farms to get the low down on what made Kona Coffee so amazing. While I was there, I learned that espresso is not what I thought it was. Before moving to the island, I worked in a restaurant in San Diego where the chefs would come to the bar for espresso shots like it was water. I just assumed that the caffeine kept them going through their 18 hour shifts. Little did I know that espresso has the LEAST amount of caffeine. I guess that’s why they needed so much!

Ali and I toured Greenwell Farms with our tour guide, Jonelle. She walked us through the farm explaining the process from picking to roasting. The most interesting part was when we went up to the Hoshidanas (see picture). See where the man is standing? This platform is where the sun drying process of the coffee parchment takes place. According to Jonelle, our guide, the longer the beans are in the sun, the higher the caffeine content. So a dark roast will have the most caffeine and espresso the least because it isn’t in the sun as long. Who knew! If you need a lift, drink a cup of dark roast vs. a shot of espresso.

According to USDA National Nutrient Database For Standard Reference, 1 cup (8fl. oz.) of coffee brewed from grounds with tap water, contains 95 mg. of caffeine.  One ounce of espresso contains 64 mg. of caffeine per oz. If you have a double shot then you might be in business. I am on my third cup  o’joe of the morning and I am PRO-DUC-TIVE. Cheers to you and enjoy! Cyn

Resources
Picture from Greenwell Farms. To take a virtual tour, click here.

United States Department of Agriculture. USDA National Nutrient Database For Standard Reference, 2010. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/. September 8, 2010.

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