Ding Ding… Let the ‘How much caffeine in coffee’ battle begin!
In the left corner wearing a mustache, skinny jeans and ironic t-shirt, we have Light Roast! And in the right corner wearing khakis, a button down shirt (medium starch) and holding today’s copy of the Wall Street Journal is Dark Roast!
With the new trend wave of coffee, there has been a slight rift between the older generations of coffee-lovers and the millennial coffee-lovers. Since the last coffee-obsessing wave that started in the 1970’s, brewing systems have changed, variety of beverages have changed, and (what causes the most fuss) the perspective of different roasts have changed.
For the classic generation, dark roasted beans seem to pack more punch than the lighter, giving that receiving end a bold blackness that will get them through their work day.
For the millennial beanie-wearing generation, the vintage generation got it all wrong and the lighter roasted coffee beans actually hold more caffeine than the darker. They say it’s because during the roasting process, as the beans grow darker, the caffeine is roasted out of the beans.
Here’s the thing, they are both wrong.
We aren’t about to advertise some special bean that has been holding all of the caffeine all along. Instead, we are going to shine a light in this darkness on this how much caffeine in coffee debate by saying that they contain the SAME caffeine levels.
Yes, they both win our first (and last) annual ‘how much caffeine in coffee’ contest.
The truth is, the level of caffeine in coffee stays pretty stable throughout the entirety of the roasting process. How much caffeine in coffee is actually determined by the farming process. Higher-elevated farms will grow coffee with less amounts of caffeine, whereas coffee grown at lower elevations contain more caffeine.
Now, you may feel confused because you’ve had darker/lighter beans in the past and have witnessed a major difference in caffeine levels after brewing your daily cup o’ joe. Don’t stress, you did sense a difference and you’re not going crazy.
It’s all about the weight.
During the roasting process, the more a bean is roasted, the larger it gets. It starts to expand, and as it expands, it loses mass due to loss of almost 90% of its water content.
With that said, if you were to measure your coffee out by weight, you will receive more caffeine in your dark roast cup because you brewed more beans than you would with light roast.
However, if you were to measure your coffee by scooping, the light roast would win in caffeine content because there would be more smaller beans per scoop than there would be with darker roasted beans.
And let’s be real, we know that no two beans are exactly the same, so there will always be differences between bean-types, but they will also be so minimal that we won’t be able to notice. So, this makes today the time for the rift to be dissolved between the classics and the millennials.
Let’s celebrate all of us losing/winning this caffeine in coffee war by making coffee the only exception to not judging things by their size.
Because when it comes to how much caffeine in coffee, size does matter.