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Coffee and Caffeine's Frequently Asked Questions

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Archive-Name: caffeine-faq
Last-modified: January 7, 1998
Version: 2.98

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Frequently Asked Questions about Coffee and Caffeine


Alejandro Lopez-Ortiz


This FAQ is dedicated to all beverages and products that contain caffeine;
including tea, coffee, chocolate, mate, caffeinated soft drinks,
caffeinated pills, coffee beans, etc.

There are several newsgroups in which these topics may be of relevance,
including alt.drugs.caffeine,,,
and is preferred over and


  1. The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products
       1. How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?
       2. How much caffeine there is in blend X?
       3. Chemically speaking, what is caffeine?
       4. Is it true that tea has no caffeine/What is theine, theobromine,
       5. Where can I find a gif of the caffeine molecule?
       6. Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee?
       7. How does caffeine taste?
       8. How much theobromine/theophylline there is in ...?
  2. How to brew the ultimate caffeine drink?
       1. What is the best temperature for drip coffee?
       2. Quality of coffee
       3. Why you should never use percolators
  3. Peripherals and Secondary Storage
       1. Proper care of Coffee makers...
       2. How to store coffee?
       3. Equipment reviews?
       4. What is a French Press/Cafetiere/Bodum?
  4. Caffeine and your Health
       1. Caffeine Withdrawal
       2. What happens when you overdose?
       3. Effects of caffeine on pregnant women.
       4. Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)
       5. Studies on the side-effects of caffeine...
       6. Caffeine and depression.
       7. Caffeine and your metabolism.
  5. Miscellaneous
       1. How do you pronounce mate?
       2. How do you spell Colombia/Colombian?
       3. How do you spell Espresso?
       4. Where did the term "cup of joe" come from?
  6. Coffee Recipes and other beverages
       1. Espresso
       2. Chocolate covered espresso beans
       3. Cappuccino
       4. Frappe
       5. How to make your own chocolate
       6. How to make the best cup of coffee
       7. Turkish Coffee
       8. Irish Coffee
       9. Thai Iced Coffee
      10. Vietnamese Iced Coffee
      11. Melya
  7. Electronic Resources
  8. Administrivia
       1. List of Contributors
       2. Copyright

  1. The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products

       1. How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?

          According to the National Soft Drink Association, the following
          is the caffeine content in mgs per 12 oz can of soda:

             Afri-Cola            100.0  (?)
             Jolt                    71.2
             Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb     58.8
             Mountain Dew            55.0  (no caffeine in Canada)
             Diet Mountain Dew       55.0
             Kick citrus             54    (36mg per 8oz can, caffeine from guarana)
             Mello Yellow            52.8
             Surge                   51.0
             Tab                     46.8
             Battery  energy drink -- 140mg/l = 46.7mg/can
             Coca-Cola               45.6
             Diet Cola               45.6
             Shasta Cola             44.4
             Shasta Cherry Cola      44.4
             Shasta Diet Cola        44.4
             Mr. Pibb                40.8
             OK Soda                 40.5
             Dr. Pepper              39.6
             Pepsi Cola              37.2
             Aspen                   36.0
             Diet Pepsi              35.4
             RC Cola                 36.0
             Diet RC                 36.0
             Diet Rite               36.0
             Canada Dry Cola         30.0
             Canada Dry Diet Cola    1.2
             7 Up                    0

          Krank2o     sample 1     97.7mg/500ml sample 2    101.6mg/500ml
          Lab: Ameritech Labs, College Pt, NY; tested Sep 03, 96

          Krank2o    middle          96.4mg/500ml
          Lab: Ameritech Labs, tested Aug 29, 96

          By means of comparison, a 7 oz cup of coffee has the following
          caffeine (mg) amounts, according to Bunker and McWilliams in J.
          Am. Diet. 74:28-32, 1979:

             Drip                    115-175
             Espresso                100mg of caffeine
             1 serving (1.5-2oz)

             Brewed                  80-135
             Instant                 65-100
             Decaf, brewed           3-4
             Decaf, instant          2-3
             Tea, iced (12 ozs.)     70
             Tea, brewed, imported   60
             Tea, brewed, U.S.       40
             Tea, instant            30
             Mate                    25-150mg

          The variability in the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee or
          tea is relatively large even if prepared by the same person using
          the same equipment and ingredients day after day.

          Reference Variability in caffeine consumption from coffee and
          tea: Possible significance for epidemiological studies by B.
          Stavric, R. Klassen, B. Watkinson, K. Karpinski, R. Stapley, and
          P. Fried in "Foundations of Chemical Toxicology", Volume 26,
          number 2, pp. 111-118, 1988 and an easy to read overview, Looking
          for the Perfect Brew by S. Eisenberg, "Science News", Volume 133,
          April 16, 1988, pp. 252-253.

          Quote from the lab manual:

               Caffeine is present in tea leaves and in coffee to the
               extent of about 4%. Tea also contains two other
               alkaloids, theobromine and theophylline. These last two
               relax the smooth muscles where caffeine stimulates the
               heart and respiratory systems.

          The effects of theobromine are, compared to caffeine and
          theophylline, relatively moderate. However, cocoa contains eight
          times more theophylline than caffeine. As well, caffeine has been
          shown to combine with other substances for added potency. Thus
          the effects of theobromine might be enhanced by the caffeine in

          Theobromine is highly toxic to dogs and kills many canids/year
          via chocolate poisoning. It takes quite a dose to reach fatal
          levels (more than 200 mg/kg bodyweight) but some dogs have a bad
          habit of eating out of garbage cans and some owners have a bad
          habit of feeding dogs candy. A few oreos won't hurt a dog, but a
          pound of chocolate can do considerable damage.

          Clinical signs of theobromine toxicity in canids usually manifest
          8 hours after ingestion and can include: thirst, vomiting,
          diarrhea, urinary incontinence, nervousness, clonic muscle
          spasms, seizures and coma. Any dog thought to have ingested a
          large quantity of chocolate should be brought to an emergency
          clinic asap, where treatment usually includes the use of emetics
          and activated charcoal. The dog will thus need to be monitored to
          maintain proper fluid and electrolyte balance.

          Pathogenesis of theobromine toxicity: evidently large quantities
          of theobromine have a diuretic effect, relax smooth muscles, and
          stimulate the heart and cns.


          Fraser, Clarence M., et al, eds. The Merck Veterinary Manual, 7th
          ed. Rahway, NJ: Merck & Co., Inc. 1991. pp. 1643-44.

          On humans caffeine acts particularly on the brain and skeletal
          muscles while theophylline targets heart, bronchia, and kidneys.

     Other data on caffeine:

     Cup of coffee    90-150mg
     Instant coffee   60-80mg
     Tea              30-70mg
     Mate             25-150mg
     Cola             30-45mg
     Chocolate bar    30mg
     Stay-awake pill  100mg
     Vivarin          200mg
     Cold relief tablet  30mg

     The following information is from Bowes and Church's Food values of
     portions commonly used, by Anna De Planter Bowes. Lippincott, Phila.
     1989. Pages 261-2: Caffeine.


     Chocolate                               mg caffeine
       baking choc, unsweetened, Bakers--1 oz(28 g) 25
       german sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)           8
       semi-sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)            13

     Choc chips
       Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)                     13
       german sweet, Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)       15

     Chocolate bar, Cadbury  -- 1 oz (28 g)         15
     Chocolate milk  8oz                             8

     Jello Pudding Pops, Choc (47 g)                 2
     Choc mousse from Jell-O mix (95 g)              6
     Jello choc fudge mousse (86 g)                 12

     3 heaping teaspoons of choc powder mix          8
     2 tablespoons choc syrup                        5
     1 envelope hot cocoa mix                        5

     Dietary formulas
     ensure, plus, choc, Ross Labs -- 8 oz (259 g)  10
     Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar

     More stuff:

     Guarana "Magic Power" (quite common in Germany),
     15 ml alcohol with
     5g Guarana Seeds        250.0 mg
     Guarana capsules with
     500 mg G. seeds          25.0 mg / capsule

     (assuming 5% caffeine in seeds as stated in literature)

     Guarana soda pop is ubiquitous in Brazil and often available at
     tropical groceries here. It's really tasty and packs a wallop. Guarana
     wakes you up like crazy, but it doesn't cause coffee jitters.

     It is possible that in addition to caffeine, there is some other
     substance in guarana that also produces an effect, since it 'feels'
     different than coffee. Same goes for mate.

  2. How much caffeine there is in blend X?

     Caffeine Content in beans and blends

     (Source: Newsletter--Mountanos Bros. Coffee Co., San Francisco)

     Brazil Bourbons  1.20%
     Celebes Kalossi  1.22
     Colombia Excelso  1.37
     Colombia Supremo  1.37
     Costa Rica Tarrazu  1.35
     Ethiopian Harrar-Moka  1.13
     Guatemala Antigua  1.32
     Indian Mysore  1.37
     Jamaican Blue Mtn/Wallensford Estate  1.24
     Java Estate Kuyumas  1.20
     Kenya AA  1.36
     Kona Extra Prime  1.32
     Mexico Pluma Altura  1.17
     Mocha Mattari (Yemen)  1.01
     New Guinea  1.30
     Panama Organic  1.34
     Sumatra Mandheling-Lintong  1.30
     Tanzania Peaberry  1.42
     Zimbabwe  1.10

     Colombia Supremo Dark  1.37%
     Espresso Roast  1.32
     French Roast  1.22
     Vienna Roast  1.27
     Mocha-Java  1.17

     DECAFS--all @ .02% with Swiss Water Process

  3. Chemically speaking, what is caffeine?

     Caffeine is an alkaloid. There are numerous compounds called
     alkaloids, among them we have the methylxanthines, with three
     distinguished compounds: caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine,
     found in cola nuts, coffee, tea, cacao beans, mate and other plants.
     These compounds have different biochemical effects, and are present in
     different ratios in the different plant sources. These compounds are
     very similar and differ only by the presence of methyl groups in two
     positions of the chemical structure. They are easily oxidized to uric
     acid and other methyluric acids which are also similar in chemical

     Sources: Coffee, tea, cola nuts, mate, guarana.
     Effects: Stimulant of central nervous system, cardiac muscle, and
     respiratory system, diuretic Delays fatigue.

     Sources: Tea
     Effects: Cariac stimulant, smooth muscle relaxant, diuretic,

     Sources: Principle alkaloid of the cocoa bean (1.5-3%) Cola nuts and
     Effects: Diuretic, smooth muscle relaxant, cardiac stimulant,

     (Info from Merck Index)

     The presence of the other alkaloids in colas and tea may explain why
     these sometimes have a stronger kick than coffee. Colas, which have
     lower caffeine contents than coffee are, reportedly, sometimes more
     active. Tea seems the strongest for some. Coffee seems more lasting
     for mental alertness and offers fewer jitters than the others.

     A search in CAS and produced these names and synonyms:

     RN   58-08-2  REGISTRY
     CN   1H-Purine-2,6-dione, 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl- (9CI)  (CA INDEX NAME)
     CN   Caffeine (8CI)
     CN   1,3,7-Trimethyl-2,6-dioxopurine
     CN   1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine
     CN   7-Methyltheophylline
     CN   Alert-Pep
     CN   Cafeina
     CN   Caffein
     CN   Cafipel
     CN   Guaranine
     CN   Koffein
     CN   Mateina
     CN   Methyltheobromine
     CN   No-Doz
     CN   Refresh'n
     CN   Stim
     CN   Thein
     CN   Theine
     CN   Tri-Aqua

     MF   C8 H10 N4 O2

     The correct name is the first one,
     1H-Purine-2,6-diione,3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl- (This is the
     "inverted name") The "uninverted name" is

     Merck Index excerpt...

          Caffeine: 3,7-dihydro- 1,3,7-trimethyl- 1H-purine-
          2,6-dione; 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine; 1,3,7-trimethyl-
          2,6-dioxopurine; coffeine; thein; guaranine;
          methyltheobromine; No-Doz.

          C8H10N4O2; mol wt 194.19. C 49.48%, H 5.19%, N 28.85%, O

          Occurs in tea, coffee, mate leaves; also in guarana paste
          and cola nuts: Shuman, U.S. pat. 2,508,545 (1950 to General
          Foods). Obtained as a by-product from the manuf of
          caffeine-free coffee: Barch, U.S. pat. 2,817,588 (1957 to
          Standard Brands); Nutting, U.S. pat. 2,802,739 (1957 to Hill
          Bros. Coffee); Adler, Earle, U.S. pat. 2,933,395 (1960 to
          General Foods).

          Crystal structure: Sutor, Acta Cryst. 11, 453, (1958).
          Synthesis: Fischer, Ach, Ber. 28, 2473, 3135 (1895); Gepner,
          Kreps, J. Gen. Chem. USSR 16, 179 (1946); Bredereck et al.,
          Ber. 83, 201 (1950); Crippa, Crippa, Farmaco Ed. Sci. 10,
          616 (1955); Swidinsky, Baizer, U.S. pats. 2,785,162 and
          2,785,163 (1957 to Quinine Chem. Works); Bredereck,
          Gotsmann, Ber. 95, 1902 (1962).

          Hexagonal prisms by sublimation, mp 238 C. Sublimes 178 C.
          Fast sublimation is obtained at 160-165 C under 1mm press.
          at 5 mm distance. d 1.23. Kb at 19 C: 0.7 x 10^(-14). Ka at
          25 C: <1.0 x 10^(-14). pH of 1% soln 6.9. Aq solns of
          caffeine salts dissociate quickly. Absorption spectrum:
          Hartley, J. Chem. Soc. 87, 1802 (1905). One gram dissolves
          in 46 ml water, 5.5 ml water at 80 C, 1.5 ml boiling water,
          66 ml alcohol, 22 ml alcohol at 60 C, 50 ml acetone, 5.5 ml
          chloroform, 530 ml ether, 100 ml benzene, 22 ml boiling
          benzene. Freely sol in pyrrole; in tetrahydrofuran contg
          about 4% water; also sol in ethyl acetate; slightly in petr
          ether. Soly in water is increased by alkali benzoates,
          cinnamates, citrates, or salicylates.

          Monohydrate, felted needles, contg 8.5% H2O. Efflorescent in
          air; complete dehydration takes place at 80 C. LD50 orally
          in rats: 200 mg/kg.

          Acetate, C8H10N4O2.(CH3COOH)2, granules or powder; acetic
          acid odor; acid reaction. Loses acetic acid on exposure to
          air. Soluble in water or alcohol with hydrolysis into
          caffeine and acetic acid. Keep well stoppered.

          Hydrochloride dihydrate, C8H10N4O2.HCl.2H2O, crystals, dec
          80-100 C with loss of water and HCl. Sol in water and in
          alcohol with dec.

          Therap Cat: Central stimulant.

          Therap Cat (Vet): Has been used as a cardiac and respiratory
          stimulant and as a diuretic.

  4. Is it true that tea has no caffeine/What is theine, theobromine, etc?

     From "Principles of biochemistry", Horton and al, 1993.

          Caffeine is sometimes called "theine" when it's in tea. This
          is probably due to an ancient misconception that the active
          constituent is different. Theophylline is present only in
          trace amounts. It is more diuretic, more toxic and less


          Coffee and tea contain caffeine and theophylline,
          respectively, which are methylated purine derivatives that
          inhibit cAMP phosphodiesterase. In the presence of these
          inhibitors, the effects of cAMP, and thus the stimulatory
          effects of the hormones that lead to its production, are
          prolonged and intensified.

     Theobromine and theophylline are two dimethylxanthines that have two
     rather than three methyl groups. Theobromine is considerably weaker
     than caffeine and theophylline, having about one tenth the stimulating
     effect of either.

     Theobromine is found in cocoa products, tea (only in very small
     amounts) and kola nuts, but is not found in coffee. In cocoa, its
     concentration is generally about 7 times as great as caffeine.
     Although, caffeine is relatively scarce in cocoa, its mainly because
     of theobromine that cocoa is "stimulating".

     Theophylline is found in very small amounts in tea, but has a stronger
     effect on the heart and breathing than caffeine. For this reason it is
     often the drug of choice in home remedies for treating asthma
     bronchitis and emphysema. The theophylline found in medicine is made
     from extracts from coffee or tea.

  5. Where can I find a gif of the caffeine molecule?

     Caffeine = 1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine

     A different view of the caffeine molecule.

     The Department of Chemistry at Jamaica of the University of Western
     Indies has made available an avi and an mpeg of a rotation of the
     caffeine molecule, among other molecules and chemical processes. The
     index page contains more information and the links to the clips.

                      / \
                N----C   C==O
               ||   ||   |
               ||   ||   |
               CH    C   N--CH3
                 \  / \ /
                  N    C
                  |   ||
                 CH3   O

     There is a gif picture at the ftp site or any of
     its mirror sites under



     Theobromine is also a common component of coffee, tea, chocolate, and
     mate (particularly in these last two).


                      / \
                N----C   C==O
               ||   ||   |
               ||   ||   |
               CH    C   N--H
                 \  / \ /
                  N    C
                  |   ||
                 CH3   O

     Theophylline was once thought to be a major component of tea. This is
     not correct. Tea contains significantly more amounts of caffeine than
     of theophylline.


                      / \
                N----C   C==O
               ||   ||   |
               ||   ||   |
               CH    C   N--CH3
                 \  / \ /
                  N    C
                  |   ||
                  H    O

  6. Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee?

     Yes and no. An espresso cup has about as much caffeine as a cup of
     dark brew. But servings for espresso are much smaller. Which means
     that the content of caffeine per millilitre are much higher than with
     a regular brew. Moreover, caffeine is more quickly assimilated when
     taken in concentrated dosages, such as an espresso cup.

     The myth of lower caffeine espresso comes comes from the fact that the
     darker roast beans used for espresso do have less caffeine than
     regularly roasted beans as roasting is supposed to break up or
     sublimate the caffeine in the beans (I have read this quote on
     research articles, but found no scientific studies supporting it.
     Anybody out there?). But espresso is prepared using pressurized water
     through significantly more ground (twice as much?) than regular drip
     coffee, resulting in a higher percentage of caffeine per millilitre.

     Here's the caffeine content of Drip/Espresso/Brewed Coffee:

     Drip            115-175
     Espresso        100         1 serving (1.5-2oz)
     Brewed          80-135

  7. How does caffeine taste?

     Caffeine is very bitter. Barq's Root Beer contains caffeine and the
     company says that it has "12.78mg per 6oz" and that they "add it as a
     flavouring agent for the sharp bitterness"

  8. How much theobromine/theophylline there is in ...?

     Sources: Physicians Desk Reference and Institute of Food Technologies
     from Pafai and Jankiewicz (1991) DRUGS AND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

     cocoa                      250mg theobromine
     bittersweet choc. bar      130mg theobromine
     5 oz cup brewed coffee     no theobromine
     tea 5oz cup brewed 3min
     with teabag                3-4 mg theophylline
     Diet Coke                  no theobromine or theophylline

* How to brew the ultimate caffeine drink?

  1. What is the best temperature for drip coffee?

     According to chemical studies, the optimal water temperature for drip
     coffee is 95-98C. According to my notes, colder water doesn't extract
     enough caffeine/essential oils from the beans, and above such
     temperature the acidity increases wildly.

  2. Quality of coffee

     The quality of a brew depend on the following factors (in no
     particular order):

       1. Time since grinding the beans.
       2. Time since roasting.
       3. Cleanliness with brewing equipment.
       4. Bean quality (what crop etc).
       5. Water quality.

     Fact: Unless you are buying some major debris, bean quality is not
     very important, as compared to 1-3 and 5.

     Fact: A coffee can in the supermarket often contains major debris, so
     be careful when you choose. (See note below).

     Fact: Once you have freshly roasted and ground coffee, filtered water
     and equipment free of oil residues from the last brew, quality of
     beans makes a huge difference.

     NOTE: A coffee can in the supermarket often contains a blend of
     Arabica and robusta beans while most coffee houses sell only arabica
     beans. Arabica beans are usually flavour rich, while robusta beans
     have more caffeine, less flavour and are cheaper to produce.

     When you buy coffee, whether in a coffee house or in a supermarket,
     you want to get 100% arabica, except for espresso blends, which are a
     combination of both.

     For freshness, in a coffee house it is better to buy popular blends
     that move fast, while in a supermarket vacuum packaged containers with
     expiry date are your best bet.

  3. Why you should never use percolators.

     Percolators violate most of the natural laws about brewing coffee.

        o Don't overextract the oils and flavour. Percolators work by
          taking coffee and reheating it and throwing it over the grounds
          over and over and over again.
        o Never reheat/boil coffee. This destroys the flavour. For best
          flavour, boil the water, pass it over the grounds and retain the
          heat. Don't reheat it.

     Violating these rules may not sound like much, but these are about the
     only rules there are. The effect of a percolator is to keep passing
     boiling water/coffee over the grounds until there is no flavour left
     and the flavour in the coffee is so dead that it's a worthless waste.

* Peripherals and Secondary Storage

  1. Proper care of coffee makers...

     It is very important that you wash your coffee maker pot and filter
     container thoroughly at least once a week. Bitter oils stick to the
     glass container and plastic filter holder.

     I used to wash the plastic filter container and rinse the glass pot.
     Coffee started to taste bad. When I was told to wash both thoroughly
     with plenty of soap the flavour improved instantly. Note: To the naked
     eye rinsed and soap washed pots look the same (clean that is).

     Some drip coffee makers require periodic cleansing with a solution of
     water and vinegar.

     If you have a coffee/teapot, the inside of which is stained with oily
     brown residues - also plastic/metal coffee filters, tea strainers, and
     stainless steel sinks in caffeine-o-phile houses - they can be
     restored to a shining, brand-spanking-new state by washing in hot
     washing powder (detergent).

     Get a large plastic jug, add 2..3 heaped tablespoons of Daz Automatic
     or Bold or whatever, and about a pint of hot water - just off the boil
     is the best.

     Swill the jug around until the detergent is dissolved, and then pour
     into tea/coffeepot, and let it stand for 5 minutes, swilling the pot
     around occasionally, just to keep the detergent moving. Put the lid on
     and shake it a few times (care: slippery + hot)

     Repeat as necessary. Keep it hot with a little boiling water if
     needed. If you have a cafetiere, dissemble it, and soak the parts in
     the mixture for a few minutes, agitating occasionally.

     In both cases, the residue just falls off with almost no scrubbing. It
     does great things with over-used filter machine filters, too.

     Important: Rinse off all detergent afterwards, use lots of fresh

  2. How to store coffee?

     One should always store coffee beans in a glass, air tight container.
     Air is coffee's principle enemy. Glass is best because it doesn't
     retain the odors of the beans or the oils, which could contaminate
     future beans stored in the same container. However, if you use glass,
     make sure the container is not exposed to light, as sunlight is
     believed to reduce freshness.

     For consumption within:

     1 week
          room temperature is fine
     2 weeks to a month
          freeze them

     This prevents the chemical reactions that produce stale beans and
     lifeless coffee.

  3. Equipment reviews?

  4. What is a French Press/Cafetiere/Bodum

     French presses are usually glass containers with a wire mesh attached
     to a plunger. To make coffee, you first boil water, then pour water
     into the container which should contain one or two spoons of coffee
     per cup. You let it rest for 2-3 minutes and then plunge the wire
     mesh. This filters the coffee.

* Caffeine and your Health

Important: This information was excerpted from several sources, no claims
are made to its accuracy. The FAQ mantainer is not a medical doctor and
cannot vouch for the accuracy of this information.

  1. Caffeine Withdrawal: Procedures and Symptoms.

     How to cut caffeine intake?

     Most people report a very good success ratio by cutting down caffeine
     intake at the rate of 1/2 cup of coffee a day. This is known as
     Caffeine Fading. Alternatively you might try reducing coffee intake in
     discrete steps of two-five cups of coffee less per week (depending on
     how high is your initial intake). If you are drinking more than 10
     cups of coffee a day, you should seriously consider cutting down.

     The best way to proceed is to consume caffeine regularly for a week,
     while keeping a precise log of the times and amounts of caffeine
     intake (remember that chocolate, tea, soda beverages and many headache
     pills contain caffeine as well as coffee). At the end of the week
     proceed to reduce your coffee intake at the rate recommended above.
     Remember to have substitutes available for drinking: if you are not
     going to have a hot cup of coffee at your 10 minute break, you might
     consider having hot chocolate or herbal tea, but NOT decaff, since
     decaff has also been shown to be addictive. This should take you
     through the works without much problem.

     Some other people quit cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms are quite
     nasty this way (see section below) but they can usually be countered
     with lots of sleep and exercise. Many people report being able to stop
     drinking caffeine almost cold-turkey while on holidays on the beach.
     If quitting cold turkey is proving too hard even in the beach,
     drinking a coke might help.

     What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

     Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When
     caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to
     adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops
     dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not
     necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.

     This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from
     one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as
     aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several
     analgesics contain caffeine dosages).

     Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable,
     unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as
     having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been


     Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress in
     Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed. Alan
     R. Liss Inc, 1984.

  2. What happens when you overdose?

     From Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-3-R (American
     Psychiatric Association, 1987):

          Caffeine-Induced Organic Mental Disorder 305.90 Caffeine

            1. Recent consumption of caffeine, usually in excess of
               250 mg.
            2. At least five of the following signs:
                 1. restlessness
                 2. nervousness
                 3. excitement
                 4. insomnia
                 5. flushed face
                 6. diuresis
                 7. gastrointestinal disturbance
                 8. muscle twitching
                 9. rambling flow of thought and speech
                10. tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia
                11. periods of inexhaustibility
                12. psychomotor agitation
            3. Not due to any physical or other mental disorder, such
               as an Anxiety Disorder.

     Basically, overdosing on caffeine will probably be very very
     unpleasant but not kill or deliver permanent damage. However, People
     do die from it.

     Toxic dose

          The LD_50 of caffeine (that is the lethal dosage reported to kill
          50% of the population) is estimated at 10 grams for oral
          administration. As it is usually the case, lethal dosage varies
          from individual to individual according to weight. Ingestion of
          150mg/kg of caffeine seems to be the LD_50 for all people. That
          is, people weighting 50 kilos have an LD_50 of approx. 7.5 grams,
          people weighting 80 kilos have an LD_50 of about 12 grams.

          In cups of coffee the LD_50 varies from 50 to 200 cups of coffee
          or about 50 vivarins (200mg each).

          One exceptional case documents survival after ingesting 24 grams.
          The minimum lethal dose ever reported was 3.2 grams
          intravenously, this does not represent the oral MLD (minimum
          lethal dose).

          In small children ingestion of 35 mg/kg can lead to moderate
          toxicity. The amount of caffeine in an average cup of coffee is
          50 - 200 mg. Infants metabolize caffeine very slowly.

             + Acute caffeine poisoning gives early symptoms of anorexia,
               tremor, and restlessness. Followed by nausea, vomiting,
               tachycardia, and confusion. Serious intoxication may cause
               delirium, seizures, supraventricular and ventricular
               tachyarrhythmias, hypokalemia, and hyperglycemia.
             + Chronic high-dose caffeine intake can lead to nervousness,
               irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching,
               insomnia, palpitations and hyperreflexia. For blood testing,
               cross-reaction with theophylline assays will detect toxic
               amounts. (Method IA) Blood concentration of 1-10 mg/L is
               normal in coffee drinkers, while 80 mg/L has been associated
               with death.
             + Emergency Measures
                  + Maintain the airway and assist ventilation. (See
                    Appendix A)
                  + Treat seizures & hypotension if they occur.
                  + Hypokalemia usually goes away by itself.
                  + Monitor Vital Signs.
             + Specific drugs & antidotes. Beta blockers effectively
               reverse cardiotoxic effects mediated by excessive
               beta-adrenergic stimulation. Treat hypotension or
               tachyarrhythmias with intravenous propanolol, .01 - .02
               mg/kg. , or esmolol, .05 mg/kg , carefully titrated with low
               doses. Esmolol is preferred because of its short half life
               and low cardioselectivity.
             + Decontamination
                  + Induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage.
                  + Administer activated charcoal and cathartic.
                  + Gut emptying is probably not needed if 1 2 are
                    performed promptly.
     Appendix A
          Performing airway assistance.
            1. If no neck injury is suspected, place in the "Sniffing"
               position by tilting the head back and extending the front of
               the neck.
            2. Apply the "Jaw Thrust" to move the tongue out of the way
               without flexing the neck: Place thumb fingers from both
               hands under the back of the jaw and thrust the jaw forward
               so that the chin sticks out. This should also hurt the
               patient, allowing you to judge depth of coma. :)
            3. Tilt the head to the side to allow vomit and snot to drain
     From conversations on alt.drugs.caffeine:

     The toxic dose is going to vary from person to person, depending
     primarily on built-up tolerance. A couple people report swallowing 10
     to 13 vivarin and ending up in the hospital with their stomaches
     pumped, while a few say they've taken that many and barely stayed

     A symptom lacking in the clinical manual but reported by at least two
     people on the net is a loss of motor ability: inability to move,
     speak, or even blink. The experience is consistently described as very
     unpleasant and not fun at all, even by those very familiar with
     caffeine nausea and headaches.

  3. Effects of caffeine on pregnant women.

     Caffeine has long been suspect of causing mal-formations in fetus, and
     that it may reduce fertility rates.

     These reports have proved controversial. What is known is that
     caffeine does causes malformations in rats, when ingested at rates
     comparable to 70 cups a day for humans. Many other species respond
     equally to such large amounts of caffeine.

     Data is scant, as experimentation on humans is not feasible. In any
     case moderation in caffeine ingestion seems to be a prudent course for
     pregnant women. Recent references are Pastore and Savitz, Case-control
     study of caffeinated beverages and preterm delivery. American Journal
     of Epidemiology, Jan 1995.

     On men, it has been shown that caffeine reduces rates of sperm
     motility which may account for some findings of reduced fertility.

  4. Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)

     From the Journal of AMA: (JAMA, 26 Jan. 1994, p. 280-3.)

     "There was a significant association between (drinking more)
     caffeinated coffee and decreasing bone mineral density at both the hip
     and the spine, independent of age, obesity, years since menopause, and
     the use of tobacco, estrogen, alcohol, thiazides, and calcium
     supplements [in women]."

     Except when:

     "Bone density did not vary [...] in women who reported drinking at
     least one glass of milk per day during most of their adult lives."

     That is, if you drink a glass of milk a day, there is no need to worry
     about the caffeine related loss of calcium.

  5. Studies on the side-effects of caffeine.

     OAKLAND, California (UPI) -- Coffee may be good for life. A major
     study has found fewer suicides among coffee drinkers than those who
     abstained from the hot black brew.

     The study of nearly 130,000 Northern California residents and the
     records of 4,500 who have died looked at the effects of coffee and tea
     on mortality.

     Cardiologist Arthur Klatsky said of the surprising results, ``This is
     not a fluke finding because our study was very large, involved a
     multiracial population, men, women, and examined closely numerous
     factors related to mortality such as alcohol consumption and

     The unique survey also found no link between coffee consumption and
     death risk. And it confirmed a ``weak'' connection of coffee or tea to
     heart attack risk -- but not to other cardiovascular conditions such
     as stroke.

     The study was conducted by the health maintenance organization Kaiser
     Permanente and was reported Wednesday in the Annals of Epidemiology.

  6. Caffeine and depression.

  7. Caffeine and your metabolism.

     Caffeine increases the level of circulating fatty acids. This has been
     shown to increase the oxidation of these fuels, hence enhancing fat
     oxidation. Caffeine has been used for years by runners and endurance
     people to enhance fatty acid metabolism. It's particularly effective
     in those who are not habitual users.

     Caffeine is not an appetite suppressant. It does affect metabolism,
     though it is a good question whether its use truly makes any
     difference during a diet. The questionable rationale for its original
     inclusion in diet pills was to make a poor man's amphetamine-like
     preparation from the non-stimulant sympathomimetic phenylpropanolamine
     and the stimulant caffeine. (That you end up with something very
     non-amphetamine like is neither here nor there.) The combination drugs
     were called "Dexatrim" or Dexa-whosis (as in Dexedrine) for a reason,
     namely, to assert its similarity in the minds of prospective buyers.
     However, caffeine has not been in OTC diet pills for many years per
     order of the FDA, which stated that there was no evidence of efficacy
     for such a combination.

     From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics:

          Caffeine in combination with an analgesic, such as aspirin,
          is widely used in the treatment of ordinary types of
          headache. There are few data to substantiate its efficacy
          for this purpose. Caffeine is also used in combination with
          an ergot alkaloid in the treatment of migrane (Chapter 39).

          Ergotamine is usually administered orally (in combination
          with caffeine) or sublingually [...] If a patient cannot
          tolerate ergotamine orally, rectal administration of a
          mixture of caffeine and ergotamine tartarate may be

          The bioavailability [of ergotamine] after sublingual
          administration is also poor and is often inadequate for
          therapeutic purposes [...] the concurrent administration of
          caffeine (50-100 mg per mg of ergotamine) improves both the
          rate and extent of absorption [...] However, there is little
          correspondence between the concentration of ergotamine in
          plasma and the intensity or duration of therapeutic or toxic

          Caffeine enhances the action of the ergot alkaloids in the
          treatment of migrane, a discovery that must be credited to
          the sufferers from the disease who observed that strong
          coffee gave symptomatic relief, especially when combined
          with the ergot alkaloids. As mentioned, caffeine increases
          the oral and rectal absorption of ergotamine, and it is
          widely believed that this accounts for its enhancement of
          therapeutic effects.

     Nowadays most of researchers believe that the stimulatory actions are
     attributable to the antagonism of the adenosine. Agonists at the
     adenosine receptors produce sedation while antagonists at these sites,
     like caffeine and theophylline induce stimulation, and what is even
     more important, the latter substance also reverse agonists-induced
     symptoms of sedation, thus indicating that this effects go through
     these receptors.

     Another possibility, however, is that methylxanthines enhance release
     of excitatory aminoacids, like glutamate and aspartate, which are the
     main stimulatory neurotransmitters in the brain.

     As to the side effects: methylxanthines inhibit protective activity of
     common antiepileptic drugs in exptl. animals in doses comparable to
     those used in humans when correction to the surface area is made. It
     should be underlined, that although tolerance develop to the
     stimulatory effects of theo or caffeine when administered on a chronic
     base, we found no tolerance to the above effects . This hazardous
     influence was even enhanced over time. Therefore, it should be
     emphasized that individuals suffering from epilepsy should avoid, or
     at least reduce consumption of coffee and other caffeine-containing

* Miscellaneous

  1. How do you pronounce mate?

     MAH-teh. MAH like in malt, and -teh like in Gral. Patten.

  2. How do you spell Colombia/Colombian?

  3. How do you spell Espresso?

     By far, the most common spelling used throughout the world today is
     "espresso". This is a shortened form of the original Italian name for
     the drink "caffe espresso" (accent marks omitted). This spelling is
     considered to be the correct spelling by the vast majority of of
     coffee consumers, vendors, retailers, and producers.

     Some English language dictionaries also list "expresso" as a variant
     spelling. However, this does not mean the spelling is 'equally valid'.
     (see the post by Jesse Sheidlower included below)

     It was pointed out during the great "espresso vs. expresso" debate
     (spring 94) that the Italian alphabet does not even contain the letter
     "X", which is incorrect.

     Further, it was discovered that at least three dictionaries contained
     incorrect definitions of the word "espresso". The American Heritage
     Dictionary gave the following definition:

          "A strong coffee brewed by forcing steam under pressure
          through darkly roasted, powdered coffee beans."

     The Oxford English Dictionary said:

          "Coffee brewed by forcing steam through powdered coffee

     The Webster New World Dictionary gives:

          "coffee prepared in a special machine from finely ground
          coffee beans, through which steam under high pressure is

     All three of these are wrong. In fact, espresso is a strong coffee
     brewed by quickly forcing hot water through darkly roasted, finely
     ground coffee beans.

     (Some espresso makers do use steam, but only to force the hot water
     through the ground coffee. The steam NEVER touches the coffee. Many
     espresso makers use no steam at all. Instead, they use either a pump
     or a piston to quickly force hot water through the ground coffee.)

     Once these errors and the origins of the word "espresso" had been
     pointed out, the argument "but expresso is in the dictionary" quickly
     began to crumble. The final death blow to this position came in a post
     by dictionary editor Jesse Sheidlower. This post is reproduced in its
     entirety below:

          Jesse Sheidlower writes

          I find this thread fascinating. I regret that it
          demonstrates an unfamiliarity with dictionaries and how to
          use them, but no matter. I believe that I am the only
          dictionary editor to participate in this discussion, so let
          me waste a bit more bandwidth addressing some of the points
          made so far, and introducing a few others:

             o The OED, Second Edition, does include _espresso_ and
               _expresso_, the latter being a variant of the former.
               It correctly derives it from Italian _caffe espresso_.
               [Accents left off here.] Whoever claimed it derives the
               term from a would-be Italian _caffe expresso_ was in
             o There _is_ an "x" in Latin and Italian.

               Mike Oliver points out that there are two italian
               alphabets, one (il tradizionale) with no w, x or y, and
               the other one with all the letters in the english
               alphabet. The latter seems to be the one currently in
               use. (Reference: Il grande dizionario Garzanti della
               lingua italiana, Garzanti Editore s.p.a, 1987).
             o There are four major American dictionaries (published
               by Merriam Webster, Webster's New World, Random House,
               and American Heritage). The most recent edition of each
               gives _espresso_ as the main form, and _expresso_ as a
               variant only. The fact that _expresso_ is listed in the
               dictionary does not mean that it is equally common: the
               front matter for each dictionary explains this. The
               person who claimed that three dictionaries including
               OED give _expresso_ as "equally valid" was in error.
             o Dictionaries, in general, do not dictate usage: they
               reflect the usage that exists in the language. If a
               dictionary says that _espresso_ is the main spelling,
               it means that in the experience of its editors (based
               on an examination of the language), _espresso_ is
               notably more common. It does not mean that the editors
               have a vendetta against _expresso_.
             o To the linguist who rejects the authority of
               dictionaries: I agree that language is constantly
               changing; I'm sure that every dictionary editor in the
               country does as well. Dictionaries are outdated before
               they go to press. But I think they remain accurate to a
               large extent. Also, if you are going to disagree with
               the conclusions of a dictionary, you should be prepared
               to back yourself up. I can defend, with extensive
               written evidence, our decision to give _espresso_ as
               the preferred form.
             o The spelling _espresso_ is the form used by the copy
               desks of the _New York Times,_ _Gourmet,_ _Bon
               Appetit,_ The _Wine Spectator,_ the _Wall St. Journal,_
               the _L.A. Times,_ _Time,_ _Newsweek,_ and to my
               knowledge every other major or minor newspaper or
               magazine, general or food-related, in the
               English-speaking world. The fact that a handwritten
               menu on an Italian restaurant door spells it "expresso"
               is trivial by comparison.
             o In sum: though both _espresso_ and _expresso_ are
               found, the former is by far the more common. It is also
               to be favored on immediate etymological evidence, since
               the Italian word from which it is directly borrowed is
               spelled _espresso_. The form _espresso_ is clearly
               preferred by all mainstream sources.

  4. Where did the term "cup of joe" come from?

     Legend has it that the origin is a follows

     The U.S. Navy used to serve alcoholic beverages on board ships.
     However, when Admiral Josephus "Joe" Daniels became Chief of Naval
     Operations, he outlawed alcohol onboard ships, except for very special
     occasions. Coffee then became the beverage of choice, hence the term
     "Cup of Joe."

* Coffee Recipes and other beverages.

  1. Espresso

     After living in Italy (Rome) for two years and living off espresso,
     Mr. X have found American espresso doesn't cut it. Heres how to do it.

        o Get good dark roasted espresso beans, imported Italian brand if
          you can find it.
        o Pack your strainer real full. Pack it hard. your instructions
          will say NOT to pack it, but don't listen.
        o Don't use too much water. Espresso in Italy is as thick as syrup.
          Very thick.
        o Add two spoons of sugar, it's a sweet, thick liquid in Italy.

     Drink fast.


     If using a stove top espresso machine, clean after each use, paying
     attention to the seal and strainer.

       1. For best results, get arabica beans that have been roasted dark
          ("Italian Roast" is darkest) and are oily-looking. Other roasts
          are for other types of brewing: espresso machines won't draw the
          earthy flavour of Sumatran out, for example. A small amount of
          other beans might add a nice note to the flavour, though (I've
          had surprising success adding a few of Thanksgiving Coffee's
          "High-Caffeine Pony Express" beans, which are actually robusta
          beans from Thailand).
       2. Grind those beans until they're very fine, but not quite a
          powder. Put them into the appropriate piece of your machine and
          tamp it down (but don't pack all the grounds in tight).
       3. Watch the espresso as it drips down. Does a nice layer of foam
          form on the top? If it does, all is well; that foam is made from
          the flavourful oils, and it is called crema. If not, go to the
          coffee roaster and demand quadruple your money back.
       4. Never make more than 2oz at a time. If you're making two cups of
          espresso, make two separate shots. This is important. The idea is
          that the water rushes through and draws out only the most
          flavourful part of the grounds. More than 2oz and you're drawing
          out less flavourful stuff and diluting your espresso. If you're
          really hardcore, make only 1oz at a time; this is called caffe

  2. Chocolate covered espresso beans

     You won't get single, glossy beans, but the taste is there!

       1. Put dark roast coffee beans on a waxpaper-covered baking sheet.
       2. Melt some chocolate by puting a container with the chocolate in a
          pan of boiling water, stir the chocolate when it is getting hot.
          Some experimentation regarding what chocolate to use is in place.
          I used chocolate chips of from Girardelli. One should probably
          aim for dark and not too sweet chocolate.
       3. Pour the chocolate over the beans and smear it so that each bean
          is covered - you should have a single layer of covered beans not
          too far apart.
       4. When the beans have cooled off a little bit, put the sheet in the
       5. When solid, break off a piece and enjoy.

  3. Cappuccino

     Disclaimer: People prepare cappuccino in many different ways, and in
     their very own way each one of them is correct. The following recipe,
     which is commonly used in Latin countries, has been tasted by several
     of my North-American friends and they unanimously agreed that
     cappuccino prepared using this recipe tastes much better than the
     standard fare in USA/Canada.

     Start with cold milk (it doesn't really need to be ice-cold), use homo
     milk or carnation. 2% or skim is just not thick enough (admittedly, it
     is easier to produce foam with skim milk).

     Place the milk on a special cappuccino glass with a cappuccino basket.
     (Cappuccino glasses have a thinner bottom).

     Aerate the milk near the top, within 2cm (1 in) of the top. Move the
     glass down as the milk aerates. It is a good idea to have an
     oscillating motion while aerating the milk.

     Aerating the milk in another container, then pouring in a glass and
     adding the foam with a spoon is sacrilege.

     Anybody who has done so should make a pilgrimage to San Francisco's
     Girardelli's. Otherwise entry to heaven will be denied (god, is after
     all, Italian. At least the catholic one).

     If you need to aerate the milk on a separate container, aerate exactly
     the amount of milk required for one cup, so no need to add foam with a

     Once the milk has been aerated, promptly clean the aerator with a wet
     rag. Failure to do so will quickly result in rotten milk flavour
     coming from the aerator.

     Another warning on similar lines applies to restaurant type coffee
     machines: leave the aerator valve open when powering the machine up
     and down. When the machine is off a partial vacuum is formed in the
     boiler that will suck milk residue into the boiler. This then coats
     the inside of the boiler and can cause bad smelling steam until the
     boiler is flushed. Some machines have a vacuum bleed valve to prevent
     this problem but many don't.

     Wait for the steam pressure to build up again (for some cappuccino
     makers wait time is near zero, for others it maybe as long as 60

     Prepare the espresso coffee, you may add it directly on to the glass
     if possible or use a cup and then pour it from the cup on the milk.

     According to Jym Dyer: In Italy, the milk is added TO the espresso,
     not the other way around, that way the milk is floating; on top, where
     you then add the sugar, and stir it up.

     Cappuccino tastes better when is really hot, and has two teaspoons of
     sugar. (small teaspoons, like the ones in expensive silverware).

     Then accompany said cappuccino with a warm tea bisquet or english
     muffin with marmalade, or alternatively with a baguette sandwich or

  4. Frappe

     Frappe coffee is widely consumed in parts of Europe and LatinAmerica
     especially in summer. Originally was made with cold espresso. Nowadays
     is prepared in most places by shaking into a shaker 1-2 teaspoons of
     instant coffee with sugar, water and ice-cubes and it is served in a
     long glass with ice, milk to taste and a straw. The important thing is
     the thick froth on top of the glass.

  5. How to make your own chocolate

     Here's the recipe for making a real chocolate beverage. Important
     steps are in boldface.


        o 1-2kg (2-4pounds) of cocoa beans.
        o A manually operated grinder.


        o Sift through the beans removing any impurities (pieces of grass,
          leaves, etc).
        o Place the beans in a pan (no teflon) and roast them. Stir
          frequently. As the beans roast they start making "pop" sounds
          like popcorn. Beans are ready when you estimate that approx
          50-75% of the beans have popped. Do not let the beans burn,
          though a bit of black on each bean is ok.
        o Peel the beans. Peeling roasted cocoa beans is like peeling baked
          potatoes: The hotter they are the easier it is to peel the darn
          things, at the expense of third degree burns on your fingers.
          (Tip: Use kitchen mittens and brush the beans in your hands). If
          the beans are too hard to peel roast them a bit longer.
        o Grind the beans into a pan. They produce a dark oily paste called
          "cocoa paste".
        o The oil in the cocoa has a bitter taste that you have to get used
          to. I like it this way, but not all people do. Here are the

          With oil, which gives you a richer flavour:

          Spread aluminum foil on a table and make small pies of chocolate,
          about 1/4 of an inch high, and 6 inches in diameter. Let them
          rest overnight. The morning after they are hard tablets. Remove
          them from the aluminum foil and rap them in it. Store in the

          Without oil, some flavour is gone, less bitter, weaker (whimper)

          Put the paste inside a thin cloth (like linen), close the cloth
          and squeeze until the oil comes out. If you manage to get most of
          the oil out, what is left is high quality cocoa powder, like

          What is left now is either bitter tablets or bitter cocoa powder.

     You can now make a nice beverage as follows:

        o Boil a liter of milk (or water, like in ancient Mexican style.
          Like water for chocolate, "Como agua para chocolate": you know).
        o When the milk is warm (not hot) add a chocolate pie in pieces.
          Stir with a blender (but be careful! the blender's electric cord
          should NOT touch the pot or any other hot thing around it).
        o When the chocolate has dissolved add 1/2-3/4 cups of sugar
          (depending how sweet you like your chocolate) and blend in fast.
          Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the chocolate
          otherwise it would be bitter no matter how much sugar you may add
        o Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or natural vanilla flavour (artificial
          vanilla flavour with chocolate results in an awful medicine like
          flavour) if you like, and blend again.
        o Let the mixture boil, when it starts to get bubbly quickly remove
          the pan from the stove top, and rest the bottom against a soaked
          cloth. Put again on stove top, it should get bubbly almost
          immediately, remove once again and repeat one last time. This
          aerates the chocolate which enhances flavour.
        o In a mug, put about 1/2-3/4 of the chocolate mixture, and add
          cold milk, until the temperature and/or the concentration of the
          flavour is right for your tastes. Accompany with French Pastries.
          Yum Yum!!


  6. How to make the best cup of coffee?

     The best coffee I ever tasted was while in the coffee growing regions
     of Mexico, in the state of Veracruz, in the town of Coatepec. The
     quality of the coffee was mostly due to the method of preparation than
     to the quality of the grains (which is at about the same level as an
     average colombian coffee). Here's how to make it:

        o Grind the coffee grains from coarse to very coarse.
        o Boil in a pan a litre of water (four cups).
        o When the water is boiling, turn off the stove and add 8-12 table
          spoons of coffee (2-3 spoons per each cup).
        o Add two-three teaspoons of sugar per cup (for a total of 8-12
          spoons of sugar).
        o Stir very slowly (the water is so hot that the sugar dissolves
          mostly on its own).
        o Let the coffee rest for about 5 minutes.
        o Strain the coffee using a metal strainer! Like the ones used for
          cooking. The strainer should be like the ones used by granny for
          making tea. The diameter is a bit smaller that a cup, with a
          semi-sphere shape.
        o This coffee has grit in the bottom, even after being strained.
          Therefore do not stir the pot or the cup. If the coffee is
          shaked, let it rest for about five minutes. Needless to say, do
          not drink the last sip of coffee from the cup: it's all grit. If
          you want to add milk, add carnation.

     Warning: This coffee may fool you 'cause it has a very smooth taste
     but is extremely strong. Caffeine content per millilitre is right
     there with espresso, but you can't tell!

     Note: For some strange reason, when preparing this coffee I tend to
     have a success ratio of about one out of two attempts. I still don't
     know what I'm doing wrong, since, as far as I can tell, always repeat
     the same steps. Perhaps sometimes I don't let the coffee rest long

     This type of coffee is similar in nature to the French press. And in
     principle, you could possibly add sugar to the ground coffee, then
     pour water, and lastly press with the strainer.

  7. Turkish Coffee

     Turkish coffee is prepared using a little copper pot called raqwa.

     Use a heaping teaspoon of very finely ground coffee and, optionally,
     one heaping teaspoon of sugar (to taste). Use about 3oz of coffee.
     [Add the sugar only just before boiling point.] Turkish coffee without
     sugar is called sade, with a little sugar is "orta s,ekerli" and with
     lots of sugar is "c,ok s,ekerli".

     The trick of it is to heat it until it froths pour the froth into the
     coffee dup and heat it a second time. When it froths again, pour the
     rest into the cup.

     The grounds will settle to the bottom of the cup as you drink the
     coffee and towards the end, it'll start to taste bitter and the
     texture will be more like wet coffee grounds than a drink. As soon as
     this happens stop or your next sip will taste really, really bitter.
     Instead, turn your cup upside down on the saucer, and let someone read
     your fortune!

  8. Irish Coffee

        o Sturdy wine glass or glass with stem
        o 1 teaspoon sugar
        o 1 or 2 tablespoon Irish whiskey
        o black coffee
        o cream, lightly whipped
       1. Place spoon in glass. Heat glass by pouring in warm water. When
          glass is warm, pour out the water. Leave spoon in glass.
       2. Put sugar, whiskey and coffee in glass. Stir to dissolve sugar.
          Still leave spoon in glass.
       3. Now for the tricky bit: Put dollop of cream on top, allow the
          cream to slide down the back of spoon (the spoon which was in the
          coffee), the tip of the spoon should remain in the coffee.
     Be careful not to stir after the cream has been added. The cream
     should form a foamy layer about 1 cm (or half an inch) thick on top of
     the black coffee.

  9. Thai Iced Coffee

     Make very strong coffee (50-100% more coffee to water than usual), use
     something like Cafe Du Monde which has chicory in it. Pour 6-8 oz into
     cup and add about 1 Tbs sweetened condensed milk. Stir, then pour over

     You'll have to experiment with the strength and milk so you get lots
     of taste after the ice/water dilutes it.

     Alternatively, this version which comes from a newspaper article of
     many years ago simply calls for grinding two or three fresh cardamom
     pods and putting them in with the coffee grounds. Make a strong coffee
     with a fresh dark roast, chill it, sweeten and add half-and-half to

     Lastly, we have the following recipe:

     Makes 1 8-cup pot of coffee

        o 6 tablespoons whole rich coffee beans, ground fine
        o 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander powder
        o 4 or 5 whole green cardamom pods, ground
        o Place the coffee and spices in the filter cone of your coffee
          maker. Brew coffee as usual; let it cool.
        o In a tall glass, dissolve 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar in an ounce
          of the coffee (it's easier to dissolve than if you put it right
          over ice). Add 5-6 ice cubes and pour coffee to within about 1"
          of the top of the glass.
        o Rest a spoon on top of the coffee and slowly pour whipping cream
          into the spoon. This will make the cream float on top of the
          coffee rather than dispersing into it right away.
        o To be totally cool, serve with Flexi-Straws and paper

     One other fun note: I got a fresh vanilla bean recently and put it to
     good use by sealing it in an airtight container with my sugar. The
     sugar gets the faintest vanilla aroma and is incredible in Real
     Chocolate Milk (TM) and iced coffee.

     One final note: this would probably be even better with iced espresso,
     because the espresso is so much more powerful and loses its taste less
     when it's cold.

     Another recipe:
        o Strong, black ground coffee
        o Sugar
        o Evaporated (not condensed) milk
        o Cardamom pods

     Prepare a pot of coffee at a good European strength (Miriam Nadel
     suggests 2 tablespoons per cup, which I'd say is about right). In the
     ground coffee, add 2 or 3 freshly ground cardamom pods. (I've used
     green ones, I imagine the brown ones would give a slightly different
     flavour.) Sweeten while hot, then cool quickly.

     Serve over ice, with unsweetened evaporated milk (or heavy cream if
     you're feeling extra indulgent). To get the layered effect, place a
     spoon atop the coffee and pour the milk carefully into the spoon so
     that it floats on the top of the coffee.

     The recipe I have calls for:

        o 1/4 cup strong French roasted coffee
        o 1/2 cup boiling water
        o 2 tsp sweetened condensed milk
        o Mix the above and pour over ice.

     I'd probably use less water and more coffee and milk.

     There is also a stronger version of Thai coffee called "Oleng" which
     is very strong to me and to a lot of coffee lovers.

     6 to 8 tablespoons ground espresso or French roast coffee 4 to 6 green
     cardamom pods, crushed Sugar to taste Half-and-half or cream Ice cubes

     Put the cardamom pods and the ground dark-roast coffee into a coffee
     press, espresso maker, or the filter of a drip coffee maker (if using
     a drip-style coffee maker, use half the water). Brew coffee as for
     espresso, stir in sugar.

     Fill a large glass with ice and pour coffee over ice, leaving about
     1/2 inch at the top. Place a spoon at the surface of the coffee and
     slowly pour half-and-half or cream into the spoon, so that it spreads
     across the top of the coffee rather than sinking in. (You'll stir it
     in yourself anyway, but this is a much prettier presentation and it's
     as used in most Thai restaurants.)

     As with Vietnamese coffee, the struggle here is to keep from downing
     this all in ten seconds.

 10. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

     Same coffee as above. Sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk Ice

     Make even stronger coffee, preferably in a Vietnamese coffee maker.
     (This is a metal cylinder with tiny holes in the bottom and a
     perforated disc that fits into it; you put coffee in the bottom of the
     cylinder, place the disc atop it, then fill with boiling water and a
     very rich infusion of coffee drips slowly from the bottom.)

     If you are using a Vietnamese coffee maker, put two tablespoons of
     sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a cup and put the coffee
     maker on top of the cup. If you are making espresso or cafe filter
     (the infusion method where you press the plunger down through the
     grounds after several minutes of infusion), mix the sweetened
     condensed milk and the coffee any way you like.

     When the milk is dissolved in the coffee (yes, dissolved *is* the
     right word here!), pour the combination over ice and sip.

     Thai and Vietnamese coffees are very different.

     Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese style iced coffee)

        o 2 to 4 tablespoons finely ground dark roast coffee (preferably
          with chicory)
        o 2 to 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (e.g., Borden Eagle
          Brand, not evaporated milk!)
        o Boiling water
        o Vietnamese coffee press [see notes]
        o Ice cubes

     Place ground coffee in Vietnamese coffee press and screw lid down on
     the grounds. Put the sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a
     coffee cup and set the coffee maker on the rim. Pour boiling water
     over the screw lid of the press; adjust the tension on the screw lid
     just till bubbles appear through the water, and the coffee drips
     slowly out the bottom of the press.

     When all water has dripped through, stir the milk and coffee together.
     You can drink them like this, just warm, as ca phe sua neng, but I
     prefer it over ice, as ca phe sua da. To serve it that way, pour the
     milk-coffee mixture over ice, stir, and drink as slowly as you can
     manage. I always gulp mine too fast. :-)


     A Vietnamese coffee press looks like a stainless steel top hat.
     There's a "brim" that rests on the coffee cup; in the middle of that
     is a cylinder with tiny perforations in the bottom. Above that rises a
     threaded rod, to which you screw the top of the press, which is a disc
     with similar tiny perforations. Water trickles through these, extracts
     flavour from the coffee, and then trickles through the bottom
     perforations. It is excruciatingly slow. Loosening the top disc speeds
     the process, but also weakens the resulting coffee and adds sediment
     to the brew.

     If you can't find a Vietnamese coffee press, regular-strength espresso
     is an adequate substitute, particularly if made with French-roast
     beans or with a dark coffee with chicory. I've seen the commonly
     available Medaglia d'Oro brand coffee cans in Vietnamese restaurants,
     and it works, though you'll lose some of the subtle bitterness that
     the chicory offers. I think Luzianne brand coffee comes with chicory
     and is usable in Vietnamese coffee, though at home I generally get
     French roast from my normal coffee provider.

     Of these two coffees, Vietnamese coffee should taste more or less like
     melted Haagen-Dasz coffee ice cream, while Thai iced coffee has a more
     fragrant and lighter flavour from the cardamom and half-and-half
     rather than the condensed milk. Both are exquisite, and not difficult
     to make once you've got the equipment.

     As a final tip, I often use my old-fashioned on-the-stove espresso
     maker (the one shaped like an hourglass, where you put water in the
     bottom, coffee in the middle, and as it boils the coffee comes out in
     the top) for Thai iced coffee. The simplest way is merely to put the
     cardamom and sugar right in with the coffee, so that what comes out
     the top is ready to pour over ice and add half and half. It makes a
     delicious and very passable version of restaurant-style Thai iced

 11. Melya

        o Espresso
        o Honey
        o Unsweetened cocoa

     Brew espresso; for this purpose, a Bialetti-style stovetop will work.
     In a coffee mug, place 1 teaspoon of unsweetened powdered cocoa; then
     cover a teaspoon with honey and drizzle it into the cup. Stir while
     the coffee brews; this is the fun part. The cocoa seems to coat the
     honey without mixing, so you get a dusty, sticky mass that looks as
     though it will never mix. Then all at once, presto! It looks like dark
     chocolate sauce. Pour hot espresso over the honey, stirring to
     dissolve. Serve with cream (optional). I have never served this cold
     but I imagine it would be interesting; I use it as a great hot drink
     for cold days, though, so all my memories are of grey skies, heavy
     sweaters, damp feet and big smiles.

* Electronic Resources

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* Administrivia

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  2. Copyright

     This FAQ is Copyright (C) 1994,1995 by Alex Lopez-Ortiz. This text, in
     whole or in part, may not be sold in any medium, including, but not
     limited to, electronic, CD-ROM, or published in print, without the
     explicit, written permission of Alex Lopez-Ortiz.

Copyright (C) 1994, Alex Lspez-Ortiz.
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Alex Lopez-Ortiz                                                          Assistant Professor	
Faculty of Computer Science                    University of New Brunswick
Alex Lopez-Ortiz                                                          Assistant Professor	
Faculty of Computer Science                    University of New Brunswick

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