Issue Date: December 15, 2008
Caffeine And Coffee
IN A RECENT LETTER to the editor, Jose M. Sentmanat asked about the caffeine content of coffees (C&EN, Nov. 3, page 4). I would like to point him to several excellent articles (J. Anal. Toxicol. 2003, 27, 520, and 2006, 30, 112 and 611).
To answer his question regarding the amount of caffeine in dark roasted coffee and espresso: The darker the roast, the lower the caffeine, presumably because the caffeine sublimes or decomposes at the roasting temperature. Another interesting fact is the variability of caffeine content in the brew (>150% relative standard deviation) for Starbucks coffee on different days from the same location.
J. Graham Rankin
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