Thursday, June 20, 2013

Is the Caffeine Content in Coffee the Reason for its Popularity?

There are a lot of advantages to drinking coffee, ranging from the appealing flavor to the supposed health benefits, but it's got to be the caffeine content that's mostly responsible for its massive popularity. Millions of people depend on the caffeine content in coffee to wake them up, increase their alertness, and prepare them for the challenges of the day. The right amount of caffeine can also improve mental efficiency, athletic performance, and exercising endurance. The question that many people are asking is "How much caffeine is too much"?

Since everyone's physiology, body weight, and tolerance to caffeine is different, there's no magic number that would apply to all coffee drinkers. To complicate matters, a lot of factors affect caffeine content, including the method of roasting, grinding, and brewing the coffee. One of the most authoritative source on caffeine content is Mayo Clinic Web site, which not only lists the amount of milligrams of caffeine in different sizes and types of coffee, but it also suggests a maximum amount of caffeine that coffee drinkers should keep in mind--especially those who experience side effects or caffeine sensitivity. While 500 mgs every day would be too much caffeine for some people and inconsequential for others, it's a helpful reference point for people who want to monitor their caffeine intake.

Considering that an 8 ounce cup of generic brewed coffee can contain between 95 and 200 mgs of caffeine, it might not take that long to reach the 500 mg  threshold--especially since many people opt for the medium and large sizes. If you're interested in getting specific information on how much caffeine is in coffee at Starbucks and McDonalds, the Mayo Clinic site can shed some light on those questions. (I don't know why Dunkin Donuts isn't included in its chart on caffeine content.) They do, however, provide information on the amount of caffeine in espresso, instant coffee, and decaffeinated coffee.

Decaffeinated coffee? "How can their be caffeine in coffee that is decaffeinated?" you might ask. To borrow a weasel word from the advertising industry, most types of decaffeinated coffee is "virtually" caffeine free. What that boils down to in actual numbers is that the amount of caffeine in decaf coffee is typically between 0 mgs and 25 mgs. So the caffeine content is at least 75% less than the typical cup of regular coffee, but it's helpful to be aware that the decaffeinating process can still leave a little residual caffeine in the coffee beans.

As a coffee lover and blogger, myself, I would find it difficult to start my day without a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee. Objectively speaking, though, limiting caffeine consumption--or avoiding it altogether--is a decision that's probably correct for a certain percentage of the population.

By the way...if your supply of freshly roasted coffee beans has run dry, don't despair! Visit the Daily Grind's online coffee store for a great selection of coffee beans from Ethiopia, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia, India, and a few other primo coffee growing spots from around the world.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Coffee Blog Created at Daily

For the immediate future, I'm focusing my blogging energies on writing posts for a new blog for The Daily Grind. The first post is called Good News about the Benefits of Coffee. Check it out when you get a chance!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Benefits of Coffee and Why I'm a Coffee Blogger

In my 30 years as a writer, journalist, and marketer, I've written about (and for) a lot of different businesses. One of my favorite marketing projects involves blogging about coffee for an online coffee store and independently run cafe in Albany and Troy, NY, called The Daily Grind. They're a family-owned coffee retailing business that has been roasting their own coffee beans at their Albany cafe since 1976, and they've had a Web site since 1996--which probably makes them one of the first cafes and coffee retailers to take the plunge into the new world of e-commerce and Internet marketing. In my mind, the Internet didn't start to catch on until 1995 or so, so you got to hand it to small businesses that hopped onto the bandwagon before it even was a bandwagon. If anything, the Daily Grind helped create the bandwagon that other cafes, coffee shops, and coffee retailers hopped on to! It's also interesting that they've endured and apparently thrived in the ensuing years, in spite of the fact that competition has increased, the economy has had a lot of peaks and valleys, the coffee market has become more fragmented, and restaurants tend to have a higher-than-average failure rate. My impression is that the Daily Grind has done well over the years because the owners know how to run a small business, treat their customers and employees well, and care about quality. If you're not from New York's Capital District, you can get a good flavor of what their cafe and coffee roasting business is all about by visiting their recently updated coffee website. By the way, the excellent website design was done by a company I work with, on occasion, called Tech Valley Webs.

I'm not the kind of coffee blogger that can tell you how to use a Chemex coffee maker or the best ways to make French press coffee because I mostly use a Keurig coffee maker at home. The thing that really fascinates me about coffee is the many benefits that it offers. It provides an extra jolt of energy that most people need first thing in the morning and helps you stay more alert, responsive, and aware--all of which can be extremely helpful in everyday life, especially in work situations. There's also scientific evidence that coffee consumption may reduce one's chances of getting certain diseases, including some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Coffee isn't perfect and it does negatively affect some people, but if you do not have a sensitivity to caffeine, then, for most people, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. The benefits of coffee also include the way it brings people together. Life just wouldn't be the same if you couldn't meet a friend for a cup of coffee at a local cafe or restaurant. The role coffee plays in our lives is huge, and that's the focus of this blog.

BTW...This is the third coffee blog I've created, which may mean that I'm as addicted to coffee blogging as I am to caffeine (JK!). On my other coffee blogs, I examine several topics of interest to coffee lovers, including the following:
I also created a Squidoo Lens on coffee, in general, and The Daily Grind online coffee store, in particular.