Thursday, April 15, 2004
Caffeine Variance Among Coffee Sellers
Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world, and is available in a wide variety of beverages -- notably, tea, coffee, and many sodas. We are used to a regime of "free availability" of caffeine -- even children can buy these beverages -- but there have been times and places with stricter regulations. Coffee has been banned in the past in Turkey, for instance, and was nearly banned in Britain, largely due to its connections with political activity unliked by those in power.
There are health effects from drinking coffee, it seems -- some negative, some positive -- but in moderate doses coffee consumption is not very dangerous (though perhaps people with heart ailments should steer clear of it.)
The Wall Street Journal has compared the caffeine concentration in popular coffees. The study was picked up by many TV stations; here is a quote from a Houston TV station that relayed the story: "The [Wall Street Journal] study found that house blends at Starbucks, Gloria Jean's and other gourmet-coffee chains have an average of 56 percent more caffeine than samples from 7-11, and 29 percent more than Dunkin' Donuts." I guess I am not surprised: I drink larger servings of Dunkin' Donuts coffee than I do of Starbucks.
Co-blogger Nikkie's previous post ended with "Breaking News" about Air America; here's the New York Times story (registration required) on the contract dispute.