Monday, 10 September 2012
September 10, 2012: One Interesting Thing - Starbucks & Caffeine
"Hi. My name is Steve ..." Yes. I have to admit it - I'm an addict. It's not to anything ghastly. Not heroine or cocaine or marijuana; not alcohol or tobacco. I'm an addict to caffeine. Not even a lot of caffeine, but I need a certain amount every day. Generally speaking, I drink two cups of relatively strong coffee first thing in the morning. I brew it myself, because I know exactly how strong I like it to be. And I know that if I don't have my two cups of relatively strong coffee in the morning, I'll be dragging most of the day and I'll probably have a headache before noon. That's called withdrawal! So, yes, I'm a caffeine addict. Interestingly enough, I need coffee to get over this. Other caffeinated drinks don't work. Tea doesn't help; Coca-Cola doesn't help. It has to be coffee. Maybe that's just a psychological barrier. Who knows. Anyway, I was surprised to recently discover how much caffeine is in a Starbucks coffee. I don't go to Starbucks very much. The nearest one to me is about 40 km away at least, so there's no real option on a regular basis. However, when I've been in Chicago, there was a Starbucks pretty close to where I stayed, so I often went there for a pick me up - because at the residence, where I didn't always get to make the coffee, the coffee wasn't always strong enough. So the choice was - drag and have a headache, or be alert and cheerful. Generally, I would choose alert and cheerful. And no wonder it made me cheerful. A Starbucks Grande coffee has 330 mg of caffeine in it! Now, that needs some context. A Red Bull energy drink (which I've never tried) has 80 mg of caffeine. To my surprise, that's actually less caffeine than in a typical cup of coffee, that, based on what I've come across, has about 80-130 mg of caffeine. Black tea has 40-120 mg; Coca-Cola has 34 mg. But 330 mg in a Starbucks Grande? Which was my drink of choice! No wonder I was also so cheerful in Chicago!