Ask the Coffee Expert: How to Brew the Perfect Cup and More

We all know that one of the most important elements of coffee is caffeine, a naturally occurring component of the coffee bean. Some people can’t get enough of it and some people try to avoid it or risk not being able to get to sleep. So, let’s talk about caffeine and discuss some facts and myths.

Speaking in averages, regular coffee has about 90-150mg of caffeine. In comparison, tea has about 30-70, soda contains 30-45, there’s about 30 in a chocolate bar, and those infamous energy drinks give you about 74-160. For some people, one cup is enough to keep them up all night.  For others with decreased sensitivity to caffeine, drinking four cups won’t even make the cut. Just like any other drink or food, coffee and the caffeine in it affects every person differently.

Decaffeinated coffee has as close to 0mg of caffeine as possible. There are several ways to remove the caffeine from coffee including using CO2 or a derivative of embalming fluid! As you could imagine, Hampton Coffee does not use either of these methods, but an all-natural organic method called the Swiss Water Process. The raw beans get sent to the Swiss Water Company in Canada and they use only water in a special process to literally “rinse” the caffeine out of the beans. The results are naturally decaffeinated beans and separate caffeinated water which they can use to make soda. Our Swiss Water Decaf Hampton Coffee varieties like our Colombian Supremo Swiss Water Decaf are about 99.9% caffeine free and we’d bet you can’t tell the difference. With a high quality bean and the Swiss Water Method, you retain all the coffee bean’s exquisite flavor. For more information, you can visit www.swisswater.com.

“Give me the high test, I need to stay awake.” is what we hear from some customers. Or some customers choose our French Roast because it’s deep and bold and smoky and seems like then it will keep them going longer than if they chose our Hampton Classic Blend. Is that true or false? Well, actually all regular coffee beans (that don’t have artificial caffeine added to them on purpose) have about the same amount of caffeine, so whether you choose a lighter or a darker roast, the results will be the same.

Finally, we get a lot of customers on the way to a big night out (or a long day at work) asking for a double espresso rather than their usual cup of brewed coffee (like our Organic Peru Norte) so that they get more caffeine in them, and as a result, can function better for their big day or night. Does this really work? Actually, the concentrated coffee that is espresso WOULD have more caffeine in it than an EQUAL amount of brewed coffee but when you order an espresso, you are only getting a few ounces of concentrated “coffee.”  So, a 3oz Double Espresso would have the same caffeine as a 16oz brewed coffee for example.  You’ll just get down the 3oz portion quicker!

Medical Research Shows Health Benefits of Coffee

We love sharing coffee health news with our fellow coffee lovers! Did you know that coffee can make exercise easier? Exercisers who drank 24 ounces of coffee (our XL size) before running, walking, or weight training for one to two hours “perceived their exertion as significantly lower than the non-coffee drinkers did,” according to a study at the University of South Carolina. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign add to this with a study suggesting that having one or two cups of Joe an hour before the gym can reduce muscle pain and enhance performance. The theory is that caffeine blocks adenosine, a pain-stimulating chemical.

Finally, the age-old question: Does consuming caffeine really help college students cramming for a test the next morning do better? Well, yes AND no. Grabbing a cup of Hampton Coffee on the way to study group really can improve short-term memory and concentration, but some studies seem to show that it only works for test-takers who didn’t routinely drink coffee.

Coming Up Next!

Well, that’s it for my Spring column, I think we’ve covered everything you ever wanted to know about caffeine! I hope you enjoyed reading it on Danshamptons.com. More coffee news coming soon!  If you have an idea for the next column or have a coffee-related question we can help you out with in the meantime, please e-mail me at HamptonCoffee@aol.com, or visit me at Hampton Coffee Company in Water Mill where I can be found in the Roasting Room. Feel free to ask for me or ask any member of our team and we will help you.

Dwight Amade lives in Wainscott and is the Roastmaster at Hampton Coffee Company Espresso Bar and Cafe in Water Mill and a member of the prestigious Roasters Guild of America.  Located next to The Green Thumb Farmstand, Hampton Coffee Company is an 18-year-old family-owned local espresso bar and cafe company with a second outpost in Westhampton Beach (on the Six Corners Roundabout next to Village Hall) and a custom-built Mobile Espresso Unit.  In addition to their own freshly baked muffins and famous scones, they also feature homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, Panini, and wraps.  Their Water Mill location also features a full-service, sit-down Zagat-rated breakfast and lunch cafe with outdoor seating in season.  Highlights include Breakfast Burritos, Belgian Waffles, housemade Hamburgers, and an Authentic Mexican Grill.  You can find out more about them at www.hamptoncoffeecompany.com.

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