by Erin Fell
The vast majority of the world consumes some sort of caffeine on the daily. It is primal for some people with caffeine addictions, or just good for an added pep in your step for others. Caffeine consumption varies widely, and knowing the amount of caffeine and how it’s prepared in different caffeinated drinks can be super helpful for picking your daily drinks..
Different types of tea yield different amounts of caffeine, but in general, tea does contain more caffeine than coffee, because the tea leaves themselves contain more caffeine than coffee beans. The caffeine in tea is milder and kicks in more gradually and gently. This allows for a more prolonged source of energy and focus that is much less noticeable. This is why tea is associated with winding down and relaxing rather than enduring a busy and fast-paced day.
Caffeine in espresso shots is incredibly concentrated, and usually served with more milk to cut the bitterness of all that concentrate. Despite being prepared differently than black coffee, there aren’t many apparent differences. Espresso shots work best by giving jolts of energy to act as a “wake up” to the drinker. It can often cause jitters, migraines, anxiety, etc. by consuming too much in one sitting. There’s no coffee filter required to make espresso, so coffee’s natural oils and minerals add to the overall sensation of espresso.
Cold brew concentrates are made like coffee, but with a ratio of more beans to less water. This equates to more caffeine than coffee as well. The flavor is more dark and earthy than your typical espresso shot (which is nuttier and warmer). Cold brew tends to digest in your system easier than espresso, and works as a metabolism booster. It’s also a much lighter drink and can feel more refreshing.
Hot chocolate happens to contain the least amount of caffeine in these drinks listed. However it should not be put out of the running for a little energy boost. It contains theobromine, found in cocoa plants, which can mimic caffeine, creating a euphoric change in mood. This ingredient does not cause the insomnia and jitters that coffee drinks can have. However, hot chocolate does contain the most sugar than the rest of these listed, so a possible sugar high should not be overlooked when considering this sweet and indulgent option.
Energy drinks in general are hard to gauge because each one is different. Most energy drinks do contain added sugars, which are a less healthy option for a habit of caffeine consumption versus the plain coffee option. That being said, energy drinks can also have a multitude of different vitamins, proteins, and amino acids.
Although it’s saddening to hear for so many soda lovers, it is true that soda is the least healthy method of caffeine consumption. Its artificial manufacturing poses a detriment to the average person’s gut health. Soda is a man-made drink that can cause serious spikes in blood sugar, leaving the drinker feeling tired and sluggish. Sodas also have stronger acidity, giving them their tart flavor.
At the end of the day, caffeine is caffeine. Considering its abundance of forms, there is caffeine out there suited for everyone’s unique tastes and different reasons. All ways of caffeine consumption are okay in moderation, just like everything in life worth enjoying.