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.
The Type of Bean
There are two basic coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is the good, flavorful stuff. Robusta, not so much. "Robusta really didn't even become marketable until there was a coffee blight, a big, massive worldwide scourge," says Sinnott. At the time, Robusta was a wild plant but you can now find it in most instant coffees. However, there might be a reason to shop specifically for Robusta: It has twice as much caffeine as Arabica.
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