Nearly every step in the coffee-making process from plant to pour makes a difference in the flavor and caffeine content. Caffeine, in general, has been shown to have positive effects on alertness, focus, endurance, and memory, not to mention helping to stave off Alzheimer's and reducting liver cancer and heart disease. Of course, too much coffee can cause health issues (we're talking to those of your who are drinking half a dozen cups a day), in no small part because of the caffeine. But if you're having one or two cups, why not make them strong? Here, Kevin Sinnott, author of The Art and Craft of Coffee, guides us through how to control the caffeine in your cup while still getting great flavor.
Roast makes a huge difference in the caffeine content, as well as the flavor. Beans that are identical before the roasting process can produce very different flavors, depending on how long they were roasted. Contrary to what you might guess, the darker a coffee's roast, the less caffeine it will likely have. This is because prolonged exposure to heat breaks down the caffeine. In terms of flavor, Sinnott says roasting trends come and go. Darks were recently popular but now, he says, light roasts are the rage.
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