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Thread: Caffeine hit? For me that's a miss.

  1. #1
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Caffeine hit? For me that's a miss.

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    You hear people say they need their caffeine hit.
    That they need a heart-starter.
    That they need a coffee to kick start them into the day.

    I've never understood any of that.

    Coffee for me has always just been a beverage, drunk because I like the taste and/or to be sociable.

    With or without a morning coffee I feel the same, and so does my mood or day.

    I don't feel more alert with or without it.

    Yes, I am aware caffeine is classified as a drug. And I don't do drugs. Never have. I would never take a substance which alters mind or mood.

    Having said all that, there was a time many years ago when I led an extremely stressful work life and felt the need to take control to reduce my on-the-go hyperactivity.

    Among other thinhs, I cut out all coffee.

    This lasted for a few years, during which a thing called Karo was the ersatz base for a capuccino. Neither decaff nor lattes had been invented then, folks. Ah, the 1980s.

    Years later, when asking for a decaff cappuccino no longer was met with blank stares in cafes, I ventured back into coffees. I was brought up on stove top espressos and had missed the ugly black brew, with or without steamed milk.

    But about 10 minutes after having a decaff cappuccino, a very foreign and pronounced sensation would overcome me.

    Hard to describe, but unmistakable, like something gripping my mental state. Why? It was decaff after all.

    It took weeks but I found the culprit---not the coffee, but the chocolate sprinkled on top.

    For a body which had been clean and clear of coffee it was like serving a few whiskeys to a teetotaler.

    Anyway, after months back on the (decaff) coffee, the sensation ceased and I even went back to normal coffees, caffeine and all.

    And that's where I am, drinking two or three shots a day (gastritis precludes more) but I am "normal" my heart rate is 50-60, blood pressure good, and caffeine rush non-existent.
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  2. #2
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    I've got a similar thing! Never really felt a difference in terms of energy. Just do it for the taste and warmth
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  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Ditto for me...

    Never used to bother me having a couple of nice brews (for the beautiful coffee flavour) after dinner either.
    Sleep like a log...

    Mal.

  4. #4
    Member LauriG's Avatar
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    I can easily have a coffee last thing before going to bed.

    Sometimes coffee keeps me awake at night, though; I find myself lying in bed, wondering if there's still some beans in the hopper, whether the machine is still hot enough for a quick one.... Nothing like a quiet brew when the family is asleep.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I wish caffeine didn't do much to me. A few months ago I cut down from a 20g dose in the morning to 10g because I realised my productivity between about 9am-11am was likely poor due to overstimulation. It does mean I can have a top-up coffee later more regularly.

    My wife, on the other hand, can drink it whenever without issue. Her father is the same, he regularly has 2-3+ double shots a day, including one at night. My MIL used to have one in the morning and one at night (had done for years) until she had a lot of trouble getting to sleep for months. Turned out to be silent reflux due to the caffeine and acidity of coffee. She's switched to no caffeine after 11am and no more than 1 decaf a day.

    If there was some sort of machine or grinder upgrade that would allow me to down it like my FIL I know I'd be super keen!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    L3N, you and I are in the same boat. I am very sensitive to caffeine, my wife is as sensitive as a brick: I can't drink coffee in the afternoon, she can drink a shot with 5 g of extract* just before bed.

    Most of the year I can go without in the morning with no real diminution of work rate but vintage runs on caffeine and always has, so I have a second machine in the winery.


    * For the arithmetically challenged: 25% extraction from 20g of beans = 5 g of extract.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    ^^^

    Try drinking tea on a morning instead of coffee. Tea quenches your thirst more than coffee too. I recommend Tetley extra strong tea bags.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    I'm a bit of a tea nut, to the extent that I never order tea when out because it is always dissapointing.

    I would recommend a single garden Darjeeling brewed at 90 degrees for 5 minutes. I'm currently drinking Springside and Balasun* as 2nd flushes, I have some first flush from Tukdah as well but I prevaricate over whether the extra delicacy is worth the 100% markup. When I am in the mood it is as glorious as a good Burgundy but much of the time it passes me by. There are around 90 single gardens in Darjeeling, to try a tea from every one is on my bucket list, I'm not very far advanced yet.

    BTW I hate Tetley and all English major brand tea with a passion: if you want decent tea, go to the source (India, China) or to France or Germany.

    The English know nothing about tea. Overwhelming evidence: they put milk in it. The only reason to add milk to tea is to fine out the polyphenols. Buy better tea and you won't have to: the people who grow the stuff don't.

    Secondary evidence: having planted the best tea area outside China (Darjeeling) the English don't buy the tea therefrom, much of it goes to France and Germany, hence the comment above.


    * Literally, there is a half empty cup of Balasun by my hand as I type this.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:25 PM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post

    BTW I hate Tetley tea with a passion. IMO the English know nothing about tea: if you want decent tea, go to the source (India, China) or to France or Germany.

    Overwhelming evidence: they put milk in it. The only reason to add milk to tea is to fine out the polyphenols. Buy better tea and you won't have to: the people who grow the stuff don't.

    Secondary evidence: having planted the best tea area outside China (Darjeeling) the English don't buy the tea therefrom (but the French and Germans do, hence the comment above).
    Or maybe you like the taste of tea with milk (I drink it with and without milk)? The Indians do occasionally brew tea in milk. Tastes good to me....but is just a different drink.

    I quite like the Ginigathena Estate on Beanbay (both black and with a little milk).

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    I take it Ginigathena is in Nuwaraeliya, I've tried several teas from around there and they were good but I still prefer the Darjeelings.

    BTW I have a minor peculiarity in that I will not drink anything that is mixed. If it isn't worth drinking by itself it isn't worth drinking.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    The English know nothing about tea. Overwhelming evidence: they put milk in it.
    Try a few manners when you're talking about tea.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Spoken like my Grandma: she was a displaced upper class Brit*: she made appalling tea but it was served with great ceremony. The pot plants were happy.


    * Displaced and disgraced by marrying an Australian soldier after WW1.
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  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're definitely a TeaSnob Lb...

    I enjoy a range of single estate teas from mainly India and China and a couple of Ceylon teas now and again; mostly Central to Southern China origins and North Eastern India.
    Currently enjoying a most delightful single estate Keemun (Qimen) and have a nice batch of a lovely S.E. Assam waiting to be imbibed too.
    Afraid my palate is too coarse to fully appreciate the subtle nuances of excellent Darjeeling, which Andy managed to acquire some years ago.

    Don't believe that I will graduate to Single Garden teas as such, more than happy with the S.E. varieties I've found over the years.

    Mal.

  14. #14
    Senior Member CoffeeHack's Avatar
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    I have a mind to report all these posts about tea. The mods may have to move this thread to 'Off Topic'...
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  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Sorry CH...

    Mal.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member CoffeeHack's Avatar
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    That's okay, I can't stay mad at you all. I'll even admit that I'm a heathen who drinks my tea with milk...
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    I wish caffeine didn't do much to me. A few months ago I cut down from a 20g dose in the morning to 10g because I realised my productivity between about 9am-11am was likely poor due to overstimulation. It does mean I can have a top-up coffee later more regularly.

    My wife, on the other hand, can drink it whenever without issue. Her father is the same, he regularly has 2-3+ double shots a day, including one at night. My MIL used to have one in the morning and one at night (had done for years) until she had a lot of trouble getting to sleep for months. Turned out to be silent reflux due to the caffeine and acidity of coffee. She's switched to no caffeine after 11am and no more than 1 decaf a day.

    If there was some sort of machine or grinder upgrade that would allow me to down it like my FIL I know I'd be super keen!
    G'day level3ninja

    Partly to bring this thread back on topic.

    There are a few simple ways to reduce caffeine - one way is the way I do my cuppas. BTW, nothing directly to do with selecting roasts / roast depth - pick your own poison for that.

    According to Illy "Coffee Quality - the Science of Espresso" (my ultimate reference, although dated in some areas) all the caffeine dissolves in the first few seconds.

    For those on CS who think Illy is wrong, consider this: drop some whole beans in a gently running stream for 48 hours and the caffeine is mostly gone. Funny, that is how the early "non chemical decaf" was made... Most of the other compounds in coffee take a lot longer to dissolve, so the flavour is (relatively) intact.

    More even particle spread = potential higher (coffee) extraction ratio whilst the caffeine mass stays (fairly) constant. So my VST / Vario is about 25%, standard baskets / grinder are about 15% = 2/3rds the caffeine.

    Letting the shot run longer means the level of caffeine as a %age will drop. Mind you, balancing the flavour is far more important in my view.

    I hope this helps.

    TampIt
    PS That is also why some of those seeking a caffeine hit prefer plunger (or Turkish) coffee. Using a lot more beans to get a result means the caffeine %age is way up.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    G'day level3ninja

    Partly to bring this thread back on topic.

    There are a few simple ways to reduce caffeine - one way is the way I do my cuppas. BTW, nothing directly to do with selecting roasts / roast depth - pick your own poison for that.

    According to Illy "Coffee Quality - the Science of Espresso" (my ultimate reference, although dated in some areas) all the caffeine dissolves in the first few seconds.

    For those on CS who think Illy is wrong, consider this: drop some whole beans in a gently running stream for 48 hours and the caffeine is mostly gone. Funny, that is how the early "non chemical decaf" was made... Most of the other compounds in coffee take a lot longer to dissolve, so the flavour is (relatively) intact.

    More even particle spread = potential higher (coffee) extraction ratio whilst the caffeine mass stays (fairly) constant. So my VST / Vario is about 25%, standard baskets / grinder are about 15% = 2/3rds the caffeine.

    Letting the shot run longer means the level of caffeine as a %age will drop. Mind you, balancing the flavour is far more important in my view.

    I hope this helps.

    TampIt
    PS That is also why some of those seeking a caffeine hit prefer plunger (or Turkish) coffee. Using a lot more beans to get a result means the caffeine %age is way up.
    Dear TampIt, Thank you very much for the great advice and explanations. I also have red some Illy's papers and books, and started to believe that caffeine was extracted in the first seconds of espresso making under 93 degree with 9 bars. Unfortunately, there are many soluble solids (and flavours) also extracted at the same time as caffeine itself. Therefore espresso flavour is affected. From my experience, if I remove my espresso extract after first 3-5 seconds of extraction, and drink only the rest, I could not test the body of my espresso shot. It is like drinking de-caf or Luwak coffee.
    Do you (or other CS) know any other way to reduce caffeine in espresso shot without affecting body and flavour???

  19. #19
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    Dear TampIt, Sorry, I forgot to mention that I played with grind of coffee beans for my espresso shot and found that the finer grind has more caffeine extracted in my shot. But again I need to keep the balance between flavour and body of my shot and caffeine concentration in my shot. There is a good (but very scientific) paper was published about extraction of coffee:See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265133947 Comparison of nine common coffee extraction methods: Instrumental and sensory analysisArticle in European Food Research and Technology · January 2013 DOI: 10.1007/s00217-013-1917-x (Comparison of nine common coffee extraction methods: instrumental and sensory analysis. Alexia N. Gloess • Barbara Scho ¨nba ¨chler • Babette Klopprogge • Lucio D‘Ambrosio • Karin Chatelain • Annette Bongartz • Andre ´ Strittmatter • Markus Rast • Chahan Yeretzian)
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilichev View Post
    Dear TampIt, Thank you very much for the great advice and explanations. I also have red some Illy's papers and books, and started to believe that caffeine was extracted in the first seconds of espresso making under 93 degree with 9 bars. Unfortunately, there are many soluble solids (and flavours) also extracted at the same time as caffeine itself. Therefore espresso flavour is affected. From my experience, if I remove my espresso extract after first 3-5 seconds of extraction, and drink only the rest, I could not test the body of my espresso shot. It is like drinking de-caf or Luwak coffee.
    Do you (or other CS) know any other way to reduce caffeine in espresso shot without affecting body and flavour???
    Apart from upping the extraction rate via a grinder with a more even particle spread (which may unlock more, clearer and better flavour without changing the overall impression) and getting VST baskets (same effect at a different point in the chain) there are no other convenient options. Oh, I always use a naked P/F, as it also adds a bit more oomph to the flavour quantity. All three of those actually act in synergy so the overall effect is multiplied - which is why I ended up (after 30+ years of doubles) using 7g (single) VST baskets as the 15g double was actually far too strong to enjoy the cuppa.

    Quote Originally Posted by ilichev View Post
    Dear TampIt, Sorry, I forgot to mention that I played with grind of coffee beans for my espresso shot and found that the finer grind has more caffeine extracted in my shot. But again I need to keep the balance between flavour and body of my shot and caffeine concentration in my shot. There is a good (but very scientific) paper was published about extraction of coffee:See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265133947 Comparison of nine common coffee extraction methods: Instrumental and sensory analysisArticle in European Food Research and Technology · January 2013 DOI: 10.1007/s00217-013-1917-x (Comparison of nine common coffee extraction methods: instrumental and sensory analysis. Alexia N. Gloess • Barbara Scho ¨nba ¨chler • Babette Klopprogge • Lucio D‘Ambrosio • Karin Chatelain • Annette Bongartz • Andre ´ Strittmatter • Markus Rast • Chahan Yeretzian)
    Interesting article. See https://www.scottrao.com/blog/2018/1...-rate-grinders as well.

    I reckon your only other "utterly not convenient" option is to decaf the beans yourself (i.e. slowly running water and tinker with the time to minimise the flavour impact). FWIW, I still reckon it adversely affects the flavour and it may not be worth the effort. YMMV.

    Enjoy your cuppa, whatever caffeine hit it has.

    TampIt



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