Monthly Archives: April 2011

14 Cups of Coffee

My friend Lisa Francis sent me this link to a collection of “14 Great Coffee Cup Pictures.”

This one, Still Coffee by Geoff Powell, is my favorite:

This picture could never depict my morning cup, however, because I would have chosen a different cookie. These look like store-bought gingersnaps.

I have nothing against gingersnaps. But I do have great love for danishes. And brownies.

(They’re selling these great blueberry danish in the GeDunk right now that look like hands. Soo delicious.)

…On second thought, this picture wouldn’t work nearly as well if there was a giant danish dropped in that cup. We would have to title it “Morning Mess by Jayni Juedes.”

How Much Caffeine Are You Drinking?

One summer in junior high I went to camp.

There was a long list of items you weren’t allowed to bring: knives, fireworks, C4 … etc. I remember a girl named Danielle. Not because she brought C4. One night, fairly early on in the week, she showed me a can of Coca Cola that she was hiding.

I thought this was weird. Why hide a soft-drink? She was doing so because she didn’t want anyone to drink it (okay, normal) because if she got a headache, she would need to drink it. (wait, what?) She insisted only a coke could cure a headache.

Well folks, poor Danielle got headaches that we recognize today as a symptom of caffeine withdrawal.

To this end, I think that it is important to realize just how much caffeine we consume each day. And I’m not just talking about coffee. There are large amounts of caffeine in tea, and even root beer – frequently advertised as being caffeine free, has half the amount of caffeine that’s in a Mountain Dew if it’s Barq’s.

Type of coffee Caffeine
(milligrams)
Dunkin’ Donuts, brewed, 16 oz (480 mL) 143-206
Generic brewed, 8 oz (240 mL) 95-200
Generic brewed, decaffeinated, 8 oz (240 mL) 2-12
Generic instant, 8 oz (240 mL) 27-173
Generic instant, decaffeinated, 8 oz (240 mL) 2-12
Starbucks Espresso, 1 oz (30 mL) 58-75
Starbucks Vanilla Latte, 16 oz (480 mL) 150

 

Type of tea Caffeine
(milligrams)
Brewed tea  
Black tea, 8 oz (240 mL) 40-120
Black tea, decaffeinated, 8 oz (240 mL) 2-10
Starbucks Tazo Chai Tea Latte, 16 oz (480 mL) 100
Stash Premium Green, 6 oz (180 mL) 26
Iced Tea  
AriZona Green Tea, 16 oz (480 mL) 15
Generic instant mix, unsweetened, 1 tsp (5 mL) 27
Generic instant mix, decaffeinated, unsweetened, 1 tsp (5 mL) 1
Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea, 12 oz (355 mL) 7
Nestea Iced Tea, 12 oz (355 mL) 26
Snapple Plain Unsweetened, 16 oz (480 mL) 18

 

Soft drink, 12 ounces (355 milliliters) Caffeine (milligrams)
7Up, regular or diet 0
Barq’s Root Beer, regular or diet 23
Coca-Cola Cherry, regular or diet 35
Coca-Cola Classic 35
Coca-Cola Zero 35
Diet Coke and Diet Coke With Lime 47
Dr Pepper, regular or diet 42-44
Fanta, all flavors 0
Mello Yello 53
Mountain Dew, regular or diet 54
Mountain Dew Code Red, regular or diet 54
Mug Root Beer, regular or diet 0
Pepsi, regular or diet 36-38
Sprite, regular or diet 0
TaB 47
Vault 71
Wild Cherry Pepsi, regular or diet 38

 

Sports or energy drink Caffeine
(milligrams)
AMP, 8.4 oz (250 mL) 74
Enviga, 12 oz (355 mL) 100
Full Throttle, 16 oz (480 mL) 144
Monster Energy, 16 oz (480 mL) 160
No Fear, 8 oz (240 mL) 83
No Name (formerly known as Cocaine), 8.4 oz (250 mL) 280
Red Bull, 8.3 oz (250 mL) 76
Rockstar, 8 oz (240 mL) 80

 

info taken from the Mayo Clinic website, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffeine/AN01211

Dorm Options: How You Can Avoid (the terrible cafeteria coffee)

 My last post explained why the cafeteria coffee tastes like burnt sludge. This entry aims to outline a few different options that you as a student have to make your own coffee.

Electric Coffee Machines: The basic solution, however, unviable if you live in the dorms (okay if you live in Colonial) because appliances with hotplates are illegal in the dorms. Yes. Your coffeepot could burn MAP down. Obviously.

So what are some other solutions, save buying a latte every day?

French Press: Yes, I’m biased. I love my French Press. It’s such a simple process that creates such delicious coffee. You merely fill the press with as much hot water as coffee you’d like to yield, and add an appropriate amount of grounds. Let sit for a few minutes to brew, push the plunger down, pour and enjoy.

The entire process takes 5-7 minutes if you heat the water with an electric kettle.

One drawback is that you must use  coarsely ground coffee beans. You can often buy beans in bulk at your local grocery store and grind them right there. I recommend Here’s Howe … Café Frangelica beans “taste like cake” as my little sister succinctly stated. Delicious.

Keurig Machine:  allows you to brew one cup at a time with no mess! You merely insert the container of coffee (or cocoa … there’s a large variety) and press a button. After the cup is done brewing, merely flip the top open and the grounds are still contained in the plastic container they come in. Toss this and you’re good to go.

The simplicity and mess-free design are an obvious plus. The downsides are that the machine itself is fairly pricey and you can only use the pre-packaged plastic cups of coffee. Which are also pricey. The machine also makes only one cup at a time: convenient if you only want one cup, worthless if you want two.

Instant coffee: Oh yesss, I said it. Whether it’s the individual plastic-packet type or the tin of “cappuccino goodness” it’s generally disgusting. If you’re looking for a quick caffeine fix, however, all it takes is hot water and a spoon.

Why the Cafeteria Coffee is Terrible

Initially, I was excited about free cafeteria coffee. And it was Here’s Howe! …I didn’t know what that was, but it sure sounded fancy.

Unfortunately, like everyone else I soon discovered that the cafeteria coffee was useful only in a pinch. Say, during midterms and final’s week. Though admittedly,  for daily use I would occasionally add a small amount to a cup of cocoa for an added shot of caffeine (the chocolate raspberry worked the best.)

There are two reasons why the cafeteria coffee is (as a general rule) disgusting.

 

  1. The water temperature is too high
  2. They coffee sits in a carafe until it is empty

 

The high-volume drip brewing machines paired with carafes is the problem. The water dripped through the grounds is at least 200F. High heat brings out the “flavor” of the coffee faster, but it is not a good flavor. This is exactly why the coffee has a very strong coffee taste yet someone seems watery. The high temperature of the water neglects to properly extract the oils from the beans, leaving the coffee with a very bitter, burnt taste that can’t be disguised.

Once brewed, drip coffee has a shelf life of one hour. Now, this is based on the idea that the coffee is of high-quality and delicious tasting in the first place. After an hour, the coffee tastes stale. Once again, this has to do with the oils in the beans. In the cafeteria and in many other places where people don’t actually know what they’re doing with coffee, a batch is brewed and allowed to sit in a carafe until it is either empty or cold. Even then, sometimes it is merely reheated.

 

 

Stay tuned for Dorm Options: How You Can Avoid (the terrible cafeteria coffee)

 

 

How Coffee Beans Are Processed

Rather than try and explain this myself, I turned to Youtube. This video has very simple, very obnoxious music but does a good job of explaining the basic process.

Enjoy!