Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Caffeine Discussion in Specialty Coffee Retailer

Sept. 2011
This month's issue of Specialty Coffee Retailer offers a summary of a common discussion I have. "How bad is caffeine for you anyhow?" And if you drink decaf, "how bad are the "chemicals" in decaf"? Jack Groot, owner of JP's Coffee in Holland, Michigan, is a friend and I appreciate his comments in this column. Read it here.

At the beginning, he rightly muses that the caffeine in coffee is much purer than the caffeine in soft drinks because with coffee you don't automatically get the sugar with it. You control the sugar content.

He also explains a little known fact -- the caffeine used as an artificial additive in many products, including soft drinks, comes from coffee. Typically, it's pulled during the decaffeination process. Question -- which is the by-product? The raw caffeine (for sale to CPG cos) or the decaffeinated coffee?

In the middle of the article, Jack somewhat mysteriously jumps to the topic of decaf coffee and the misperception that some of it contains dangerous chemicals. THANK YOU JACK for clearly laying out with facts and reputable sources that coffee decaffeinated with methylene chloride is not dangerous by any stretch of the imagination.

So just the last paragraph is confusing -- Jack states that studies indicate moderate caffeine consumption is beneficial so keep drinking regular coffee (with all it's associated headaches, migraines and bad hangovers). Don't those same studies indicate that moderation to the tune of only 3% (i.e. the caffeine content of decaf compared to regular) is therefore ideal?!

Maybe in your next column, Jack!

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