Coffee and Caffeine FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Coffee and Caffeine

Alejandro Lopez-Ortiz

   This FAQ is dedicated to all beverages and products that contain
   caffeine; including tea, coffee, chocolate, mate, caffeinated soft
   drinks, caffeinated pills, coffee beans, etc.
   There are several newsgroups in which these topics may be of relevance, including 
   alt.drugs.caffeine is preferred over and
    1. The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products
         1. How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]? 
         2. How much caffeine there is in blend X?
         3. Chemically speaking, what is caffeine?
         4. Is it true that tea has no caffeine/What is theine,
            theobromine, etc?
         5. Where can I find an image of the caffeine molecule? (well, here) 
         6. Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular
         7. How does caffeine taste?
         8. How much theobromine/theophylline there is in ...?
    2. How to brew the ultimate caffeine drink?
         1. What is the best temperature for drip coffee? 
         2. Quality of coffee
         3. Why you should never use percolators
    3. Peripherals and Secondary Storage
         1. Proper care of Coffee makers...
         2. How to store coffee?
         3. Equipment reviews?
         4. What is a French Press/Cafetiere/Bodum?
    4. Caffeine and your Health
         1. Caffeine Withdrawal 
         2. What happens when you overdose?
         3. Effects of caffeine on pregnant women.
         4. Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)
         5. Studies on the side-effects of caffeine...
         6. Caffeine and depression.
         7. Caffeine and your metabolism.
         1. How do you pronounce mate?
         2. How do you spell Colombia/Colombian?
         3. How do you spell Espresso?
   Coffee Recipes and other beverages.
         1. Espresso
         2. Chocolate covered espresso beans
         3. Cappuccino
         4. Frappe
         5. How to make your own chocolate
         6. How to make the best cup of coffee
         7. Turkish Coffee
         8. Irish Coffee
         9. Thai Iced Coffee
        10. Vietnamese Iced Coffee
        11. Melya   Administrivia
         1. List of Contributors
         2. Copyright
The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products

        According to the National Soft Drink Association, the following
            is the caffeine content in mgs per 12 oz can of soda:

   Afri-Cola            100.0  (?)
   Jolt                    71.2
   Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb     58.8
   Mountain Dew            55.0  (no caffeine in Canada)
   Diet Mountain Dew       55.0
   Mello Yellow            52.8
   Tab                     46.8
   Coca-Cola               45.6
   Diet Cola               45.6
   Shasta Cola             44.4
   Shasta Cherry Cola      44.4
   Shasta Diet Cola        44.4
   Mr. Pibb                40.8
   OK Soda                 40.5
   Dr. Pepper              39.6
   Pepsi Cola              37.2
   Aspen                   36.0
   Diet Pepsi              35.4
   RC Cola                 36.0
   Diet RC                 36.0
   Diet Rite               36.0
   Canada Dry Cola         30.0
   Canada Dry Diet Cola    1.2
   7 Up                    0

            By means of comparison, a 7 oz cup of coffee has the
            following caffeine (mg) amounts, according to Bunker and
            McWilliams in J. Am. Diet. 74:28-32, 1979:

   Drip                    115-175
   Espresso                100mg of caffeine
   1 serving (1.5-2oz)

   Brewed                  80-135
   Instant                 65-100
   Decaf, brewed           3-4
   Decaf, instant          2-3
   Tea, iced (12 ozs.)     70
   Tea, brewed, imported   60
   Tea, brewed, U.S.       40
   Tea, instant            30
   Mate                    25-150mg

            The variability in the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee
            or tea is relatively large even if prepared by the same
            person using the same equipment and ingredients day after
            day. Reference Variability in caffeine consumption from
            coffee and tea: Possible significance for epidemiological
            studies by B. Stavric, R. Klassen, B. Watkinson, K.
            Karpinski, R. Stapley, and P. Fried in "Foundations of
            Chemical Toxicology", Volume 26, number 2, pp. 111-118, 1988
            and an easy to read overview, Looking for the Perfect Brew by
            S. Eisenberg, "Science News", Volume 133, April 16, 1988, pp.
            According to Maxwell House at 1-800-432-6333 (USA only), the
            cappio caffeine content per 8oz bottle is as follows:

Coffee     100mg
Mocha       90mg
Cinnamon    85mg
Vanilla     90mg
            Quote from the lab manual:
     Caffeine is present in tea leaves and in coffee to the extent of
     about 4%. Tea also contains two other alkaloids, theobromine and
     theophylline. These last two relax the smooth muscles where
     caffeine stimulates the heart and respiratory systems.
            The effects of theobromine are, compared to caffeine and
            theophylline, relatively moderate. However, cocoa contains
            eight times more theophylline than caffeine. As well,
            caffeine has been shown to combine with other substances for
            added potency. Thus the effects of theobromine might be
            enhanced by the caffeine in chocolate.
            Theobromine is highly toxic to dogs and kills many
            canids/year via chocolate poisoning. It takes quite a dose to
            reach fatal levels (more than 200 mg/kg bodyweight) but some
            dogs have a bad habit of eating out of garbage cans and some
            owners have a bad habit of feeding dogs candy. A few oreos
            won't hurt a dog, but a pound of chocolate can do
            considerable damage.
            Clinical signs of theobromine toxicity in canids usually
            manifest 8 hours after ingestion and can include: thirst,
            vomiting, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, nervousness, clonic
            muscle spasms, seizures and coma. Any dog thought to have
            ingested a large quantity of chocolate should be brought to
            an emergency clinic asap, where treatment usually includes
            the use of emetics and activated charcoal. The dog will thus
            need to be monitored to maintain proper fluid and electrolyte
            Pathogenesis of theobromine toxicity: evidently large
            quantities of theobromine have a diuretic effect, relax
            smooth muscles, and stimulate the heart and cns.
            Fraser, Clarence M., et al, eds. The Merck Veterinary Manual,
            7th ed. Rahway, NJ: Merck & Co., Inc. 1991. pp. 1643-44.
            On humans caffeine acts particularly on the brain and
            skeletal muscles while theophylline targets heart, bronchia,
            and kidneys.
   Other data on caffeine:

Cup of coffee    90-150mg
Instant coffee   60-80mg
Tea              30-70mg
Mate             25-150mg
Cola             30-45mg
Chocolate bar    30mg
Stay-awake pill  100mg
Vivarin          200mg
Cold relief tablet  30mg
       The following information is from Bowes and Church's Food values
       of portions commonly used, by Anna De Planter Bowes. Lippincott,
       Phila. 1989. Pages 261-2: Caffeine.


Chocolate                               mg caffeine
  baking choc, unsweetened, Bakers--1 oz(28 g) 25
  german sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)           8
  semi-sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)            13
Choc chips
  Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)                     13
  german sweet, Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)       15
Chocolate bar, Cadbury  -- 1 oz (28 g)         15
Chocolate milk  8oz                             8
Jello Pudding Pops, Choc (47 g)                 2
Choc mousse from Jell-O mix (95 g)              6
Jello choc fudge mousse (86 g)                 12

3 heaping teaspoons of choc powder mix          8
2 tablespoons choc syrup                        5
1 envelope hot cocoa mix                        5

Dietary formulas
ensure, plus, choc, Ross Labs -- 8 oz (259 g)  10
Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar

More stuff:
Guarana "Magic Power" (quite common in Germany),
15 ml alcohol with
5g Guarana Seeds        250.0 mg
Guarana capsules with
500 mg G. seeds          25.0 mg / capsule

(assuming 5% caffeine in seeds as stated in literature)
       Guarana soda pop is ubiquitous in Brazil and often available at
       tropical groceries here. It's really tasty and packs a wallop.
       Guarana wakes you up like crazy, but it doesn't cause coffee
       It is possible that in addition to caffeine, there is some other
       substance in guarana that also produces an effect, since it
       'feels' different than coffee. Same goes for mate.
   Caffeine Content in beans and blends
       (Source: Newsletter--Mountanos Bros. Coffee Co., San Francisco)

Brazil Bourbons  1.20%
Celebes Kalossi  1.22
Colombia Excelso  1.37
Colombia Supremo  1.37
Costa Rica Tarrazu  1.35
Ethiopian Harrar-Moka  1.13
Guatemala Antigua  1.32
Indian Mysore  1.37
Jamaican Blue Mtn/Wallensford Estate  1.24
Java Estate Kuyumas  1.20
Kenya AA  1.36
Kona Extra Prime  1.32
Mexico Pluma Altura  1.17
Mocha Mattari (Yemen)  1.01
New Guinea  1.30
Panama Organic  1.34
Sumatra Mandheling-Lintong  1.30
Tanzania Peaberry  1.42
Zimbabwe  1.10

Colombia Supremo Dark  1.37%
Espresso Roast  1.32
French Roast  1.22
Vienna Roast  1.27
Mocha-Java  1.17

DECAFS--all @ .02% with Swiss Water Process

        Caffeine is an alkaloid. There are numerous compounds called
       alkaloids, among them we have the methylxanthines, with three
       distinguished compounds: caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine,
       found in cola nuts, coffee, tea, cacao beans, mate and other
       plants. These compounds have different biochemical effects, and
       are present in different ratios in the different plant sources.
       These compounds are very similar and differ only by the presence
       of methyl groups in two positions of the chemical structure. They
       are easily oxidized to uric acid and other methyluric acids which
       are also similar in chemical structure.
       Sources: Coffee, tea, cola nuts, mate, guarana.
       Effects: Stimulant of central nervous system, cardiac muscle, and
       respiratory system, diuretic Delays fatigue.
       Sources: Tea
       Effects: Cariac stimulant, smooth muscle relaxant, diuretic,
       Sources: Principle alkaloid of the cocoa bean (1.5-3%) Cola nuts
       and tea
       Effects: Diuretic, smooth muscle relaxant, cardiac stimulant,
       (Info from Merck Index)
       The presence of the other alkaloids in colas and tea may explain
       why these sometimes have a stronger kick than coffee. Colas, which
       have lower caffeine contents than coffee are, reportedly,
       sometimes more active. Tea seems the strongest for some. Coffee
       seems more lasting for mental alertness and offers fewer jitters
       than the others.
       A search in CAS and produced these names and synonyms:

RN   58-08-2  REGISTRY
CN   1H-Purine-2,6-dione, 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl- (9CI)  (CA INDEX NAME)
CN   Caffeine (8CI)
CN   1,3,7-Trimethyl-2,6-dioxopurine
CN   1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine
CN   7-Methyltheophylline
CN   Alert-Pep
CN   Cafeina
CN   Caffein
CN   Cafipel
CN   Guaranine
CN   KoffeinCN   Mateina
CN   Methyltheobromine
CN   No-Doz
CN   Refresh'n
CN   Stim
CN   Thein
CN   Theine
CN   Tri-Aqua

MF   C8 H10 N4 O2
       The correct name is the first one,
       1H-Purine-2,6-diione,3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl- (This is the
       "inverted name") The "uninverted name" is
       Merck Index excerpt...
     Caffeine: 3,7-dihydro- 1,3,7-trimethyl- 1H-purine- 2,6-dione;
     1,3,7-trimethylxanthine; 1,3,7-trimethyl- 2,6-dioxopurine;
     coffeine; thein; guaranine; methyltheobromine; No-Doz.
     C8H10N4O2; mol wt 194.19. C 49.48%, H 5.19%, N 28.85%, O 16.48%.
     Occurs in tea, coffee, mate leaves; also in guarana paste and cola
     nuts: Shuman, U.S. pat. 2,508,545 (1950 to General Foods). Obtained
     as a by-product from the manuf of caffeine-free coffee: Barch, U.S.
     pat. 2,817,588 (1957 to Standard Brands); Nutting, U.S. pat.
     2,802,739 (1957 to Hill Bros. Coffee); Adler, Earle, U.S. pat.
     2,933,395 (1960 to General Foods).
     Crystal structure: Sutor, Acta Cryst. 11, 453, (1958). Synthesis:
     Fischer, Ach, Ber. 28, 2473, 3135 (1895); Gepner, Kreps, J. Gen.
     Chem. USSR 16, 179 (1946); Bredereck et al., Ber. 83, 201 (1950);
     Crippa, Crippa, Farmaco Ed. Sci. 10, 616 (1955); Swidinsky, Baizer,
     U.S. pats. 2,785,162 and 2,785,163 (1957 to Quinine Chem. Works);
     Bredereck, Gotsmann, Ber. 95, 1902 (1962).
     Hexagonal prisms by sublimation, mp 238 C. Sublimes 178 C. Fast
     sublimation is obtained at 160-165 C under 1mm press. at 5 mm
     distance. d 1.23. Kb at 19 C: 0.7 x 10^(-14). Ka at 25 C:
     Monohydrate, felted needles, contg 8.5% H2O. Efflorescent in air;
     complete dehydration takes place at 80 C. LD50 orally in rats: 200
     Acetate, C8H10N4O2.(CH3COOH)2, granules or powder; acetic acid
     odor; acid reaction. Loses acetic acid on exposure to air. Soluble
     in water or alcohol with hydrolysis into caffeine and acetic acid.
     Keep well stoppered.
     Hydrochloride dihydrate, C8H10N4O2.HCl.2H2O, crystals, dec 80-100 C
     with loss of water and HCl. Sol in water and in alcohol with dec.
     Therap Cat: Central stimulant.
     Therap Cat (Vet): Has been used as a cardiac and respiratory
     stimulant and as a diuretic. 
   From "Principles of biochemistry", Horton and al, 1993.
     Caffeine is sometimes called "theine" when it's in tea. This is
     probably due to an ancient misconception that the active
     constituent is different. Theophylline is present only in trace
     amounts. It is more diuretic, more toxic and less speedy.
     Coffee and tea contain caffeine and theophylline, respectively,
     which are methylated purine derivatives that inhibit cAMP
     phosphodiesterase. In the presence of these inhibitors, the effects
     of cAMP, and thus the stimulatory effects of the hormones that lead
     to its production, are prolonged and intensified. 
       Theobromine and theophylline are two dimethylxanthines that have
       two rather than three methyl groups. Theobromine is considerably
       weaker than caffeine and theophylline, having about one tenth the
       stimulating effect of either.
       Theobromine is found in cocoa products, tea (only in very small
       amounts) and kola nuts, but is not found in coffee. In cocoa, its
       concentration is generally about 7 times as great as caffeine.
       Although, caffeine is relatively scarce in cocoa, its mainly
       because of theobromine that cocoa is "stimulating".
       Theophylline is found in very small amounts in tea, but has a
       stronger effect on the heart and breathing than caffeine. For this
       reason it is often the drug of choice in home remedies for
       treating asthma bronchitis and emphysema. The theophylline found
       in medicine is made from extracts from coffee or tea.
       Caffeine = 1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine
       A different view of the caffeine molecule.
       The Department of Chemistry at Jamaica of the University of
       Western Indies has made available an avi and an mpeg of a rotation
       of the caffeine molecule, among other molecules and chemical
       processes. The index page contains more information and the links
       to the clips.

                 / \
           N----C   C==O
          ||   ||   |
          ||   ||   |
          CH    C   N--CH3
            \  / \ /
             N    C
             |   ||
            CH3   O

   There is a gif picture at the ftp site or any of
       its mirror sites under


   Theobromine is also a common component of coffee, tea, chocolate, and
       mate (particularly in these last two).


                 / \
           N----C   C==O          ||   ||   |
          ||   ||   |
          CH    C   N--H
            \  / \ /
             N    C
             |   ||
            CH3   O
   Theophylline was once thought to be a major component of tea. This is
       not correct. Tea contains significantly more amounts of caffeine
       than of theophylline.


                 / \
           N----C   C==O
          ||   ||   |
          ||   ||   |
          CH    C   N--CH3
            \  / \ /
             N    C
             |   ||
             H    O

       Yes and no. An espresso cup has about as much caffeine as a cup of
       dark brew. But servings for espresso are much smaller. Which means
       that the content of caffeine per millilitre are much higher than
       with a regular brew. Moreover, caffeine is more quickly
       assimilated when taken in concentrated dosages, such as an
       espresso cup.
       The myth of lower caffeine espresso comes comes from the fact that
       the darker roast beans used for espresso do have less caffeine
       than regularly roasted beans as roasting is supposed to break up
       or sublimate the caffeine in the beans (I have read this quote on
       research articles, but found no scientific studies supporting it.
       Anybody out there?). But espresso is prepared using pressurized
       water through significant twice as much grounds as regular drip
       coffee, resulting in a higher percentage of caffeine per
       Here's the caffeine content of Drip/Espresso/Brewed Coffee:

Drip            115-175
Espresso        100         1 serving (1.5-2oz)
Brewed          80-135
       Caffeine is very bitter. Barq's Root Beer contains caffeine and
       the company says that it has "12.78mg per 6oz" and that they "add       it as a flavouring agent for the sharp bitterness"
       Sources: Physicians Desk Reference and Institute of Food
       Technologies from Pafai and Jankiewicz (1991) DRUGS AND HUMAN

cocoa                      250mg theobromine
bittersweet choc. bar      130mg theobromine
5 oz cup brewed coffee     no theobromine
tea 5oz cup brewed 3min
with teabag                3-4 mg theophylline
Diet Coke                  no theobromine or theophylline

How to brew the ultimate caffeine drink?
       According to chemical studies, the optimal water temperature for
       drip coffee is 95-98C. According to my notes, colder water doesn't
       extract enough caffeine/essential oils from the beans, and above
       such temperature the acidity increases wildly.
       The quality of a brew depend on the following factors (in no
       particular order):
         1. Time since grinding the beans.
         2. Time since roasting.
         3. Cleanliness with brewing equipment.
         4. Bean quality (what crop etc).
         5. Water quality.
       Fact: Unless you are buying some major debris, bean quality is not
       very important, as compared to 1-3 and 5.
       Fact: A coffee can in the supermarket often contains major debris,
       so be careful when you choose. (See note below).
       Fact: Once you have freshly roasted and ground coffee, filtered
       water and equipment free of oil residues from the last brew,
       quality of beans makes a huge difference.
       NOTE: A coffee can in the supermarket often contains a blend of
       Arabica and robusta beans while most coffee houses sell only
       arabica beans. Arabica beans are usually flavour rich, while
       robusta beans have more caffeine, less flavour and are cheaper to
       When you buy coffee, whether in a coffee house or in a
       supermarket, you want to get 100% arabica, except for espresso
       blends, which are a combination of both.
       For freshness, in a coffee house it is better to buy popular
       blends that move fast, while in a supermarket vacuum packaged
       containers with expiry date are your best bet.
       Percolators violate most of the natural laws about brewing coffee.
          + Don't overextract the oils and flavour. Percolators work by
            taking coffee and reheating it and throwing it over the
            grounds over and over and over again.
          + Never reheat/boil coffee. This destroys the flavour. For best
            flavour, boil the water, pass it over the grounds and retain
            the heat. Don't reheat it.
       Violating these rules may not sound like much, but these are about
       the only rules there are. The effect of a percolator is to keep
       passing boiling water/coffee over the grounds until there is no
       flavour left and the flavour in the coffee is so dead that it's a
       worthless waste.
Peripherals and Secondary Storage

       It is very important that you wash your coffee maker pot and
       filter container thoroughly at least once a week. Bitter oils
       stick to the glass container and plastic filter holder.
       I used to wash the plastic filter container and rinse the glass
       pot. Coffee started to taste bad. When I was told to wash both
       thoroughly with plenty of soap the flavour improved instantly.
       Note: To the naked eye rinsed and soap washed pots look the same
       (clean that is).
       Some drip coffee makers require periodic cleansing with a solution
       of water and vinegar.
       If you have a coffee/teapot, the inside of which is stained with
       oily brown residues - also plastic/metal coffee filters, tea
       strainers, and stainless steel sinks in caffeine-o-phile houses -
       they can be restored to a shining, brand-spanking-new state by
       washing in hot washing powder (detergent).
       Get a large plastic jug, add 2..3 heaped tablespoons of Daz
       Automatic or Bold or whatever, and about a pint of hot water -
       just off the boil is the best.
       Swill the jug around until the detergent is dissolved, and then
       pour into tea/coffeepot, and let it stand for 5 minutes, swilling
       the pot around occasionally, just to keep the detergent moving.
       Put the lid on and shake it a few times (care: slippery + hot)
       Repeat as necessary. Keep it hot with a little boiling water if
       needed. If you have a cafetiere, dissemble it, and soak the parts
       in the mixture for a few minutes, agitating occasionally.
       In both cases, the residue just falls off with almost no
       scrubbing. It does great things with over-used filter machine
       filters, too.
       Important: Rinse off all detergent afterwards, use lots of fresh
       One should always store coffee beans in a glass, air tight
       container. Air is coffee's principle enemy. Glass is best because
       it doesn't retain the odors of the beans or the oils, which could
       contaminate future beans stored in the same container.
       For consumption within:
        1 week
                room temperature is fine
        2 weeks to a month
                freeze them
       This prevents the chemical reactions that produce stale beans and
       lifeless coffee.
   French presses are usually glass containers with a wire mesh attached
       to a plunger. To make coffee, you first boil water, then pour
       water into the container which should contain one or two spoons of
       coffee per cup. You let it rest for 2-3 minutes and then plunge
       the wire mesh. This filters the coffee.
Caffeine and your Health

   Important: This information was excerpted from several sources, no
   claims are made to its accuracy. The FAQ mantainer is not a medical
   doctor and cannot vouch for the accuracy of this information.
    How to cut caffeine intake?
   Most people report a very good success ratio by cutting down caffeine
       intake at the rate of 1/2 cup of coffee a day. This is known as
       Caffeine Fading. Alternatively you might try reducing coffee       intake in discrete steps of two-five cups of coffee less per week
       (depending on how high is your initial intake). If you are
       drinking more than 10 cups of coffee a day, you should seriously
       consider cutting down.
       The best way to proceed is to consume caffeine regularly for a
       week, while keeping a precise log of the times and amounts of
       caffeine intake (remember that chocolate, tea, soda beverages and
       many headache pills contain caffeine as well as coffee). At the
       end of the week proceed to reduce your coffee intake at the rate
       recommended above. Remember to have substitutes available for
       drinking: if you are not going to have a hot cup of coffee at your
       10 minute break, you might consider having hot chocolate or herbal
       tea, but NOT decaff, since decaff has been shown to also be
       addictive. This should take you through the works without much
       Some other people quit cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms are quite
       nasty this way (see section below) but they can usually be
       countered with lots of sleep and exercise. Many people report
       being able to stop drinking caffeine almost cold-turkey while on
       holidays on the beach. If quitting cold turkey is proving too hard
       even in the beach, drinking a coke might help.
    What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?
       Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When
       caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to
       adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure
       drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though
       not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.
       This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts
       from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such
       as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact
       several analgesics contain caffeine dosages).
       Often, people which are reducing caffeine intake report being
       irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, amd feeling sleepy,
       as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and
       vomiting has also been reported.
       Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress
       in Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed.
       Alan R. Liss Inc, 1984.
       From Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-3-R
       (American Psychiatric Association, 1987):
     Caffeine-Induced Organic Mental Disorder 305.90 Caffeine
         1. Recent consumption of caffeine, usually in excess of 250 mg.
         2. At least five of the following signs:
              1. restlessness
              2. nervousness
              3. excitement
              4. insomnia
              5. flushed face
              6. diuresis
              7. gastrointestinal disturbance
              8. muscle twitching
              9. rambling flow of thought and speech
             10. tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia
             11. periods of inexhaustibility
             12. psychomotor agitation
         3. Not due to any physical or other mental disorder, such as an
            Anxiety Disorder. 
       Basically, overdosing on caffeine will probably be very very
       unpleasant but not kill or deliver permanent damage. However,
       People do die from it.
        Toxic dose
                The LD_50 of caffeine (that is the lethal dosage reported
                to kill 50% of the population) is estimated at 10 grams
                for oral administration. As it is usually the case,
                lethal dosage varies from individual to individual
                according to weight. Ingestion of 150mg/kg of caffeine
                seems to be the LD_50 for all people. That is, people
                weighting 50 kilos have an LD_50 of approx. 7.5 grams,
                people weighting 80 kilos have an LD_50 of about 12
                In cups of coffee the LD_50 varies from 50 to 200 cups of
                coffee or about 50 vivarins (200mg each).
                One exceptional case documents survival after ingesting
                24 grams. The minimum lethal dose ever reported was 3.2
                grams intravenously, this does not represent the oral MLD
                (minimum lethal dose).
                In small children ingestion of 35 mg/kg can lead to
                moderate toxicity. The amount of caffeine in an average
                cup of coffee is 50 - 200 mg. Infants metabolize caffeine
                very slowly.
               o Acute caffeine poisoning gives early symptoms of
                 anorexia, tremor, and restlessness. Followed by nausea,
                 vomiting, tachycardia, and confusion. Serious
                 intoxication may cause delirium, seizures,
                 supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias,
                 hypokalemia, and hyperglycemia.
               o Chronic high-dose caffeine intake can lead to
                 nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremulousness,
                 muscle twitching, insomnia, palpitations and
                 hyperreflexia. For blood testing, cross-reaction with
                 theophylline assays will detect toxic amounts. (Method
                 IA) Blood concentration of 1-10 mg/L is normal in coffee
                 drinkers, while 80 mg/L has been associated with death.
               o Emergency Measures
                    # Maintain the airway and assist ventilation. (See
                      Appendix A)
                    # Treat seizures & hypotension if they occur.
                    # Hypokalemia usually goes away by itself.
                    # Monitor Vital Signs.
               o Specific drugs & antidotes. Beta blockers effectively
                 reverse cardiotoxic effects mediated by excessive
                 beta-adrenergic stimulation. Treat hypotension or
                 tachyarrhythmias with intravenous propanolol, .01 - .02
                 mg/kg. , or esmolol, .05 mg/kg , carefully titrated with
                 low doses. Esmolol is preferred because of its short
                 half life and low cardioselectivity.
               o Decontamination
                    # Induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage.
                    # Administer activated charcoal and cathartic.
                    # Gut emptying is probably not needed if 1 2 are
                      performed promptly.
        Appendix A
                Performing airway assistance.
              1. If no neck injury is suspected, place in the "Sniffing"
                 position by tilting the head back and extending the
                 front of the neck.
              2. Apply the "Jaw Thrust" to move the tongue out of the way
                 without flexing the neck: Place thumb fingers from both
                 hands under the back of the jaw and thrust the jaw
                 forward so that the chin sticks out. This should also
                 hurt the patient, allowing you to judge depth of coma.
              3. Tilt the head to the side to allow vomit and snot to
                 drain out.
   From conversations on alt.drugs.caffeine:
       The toxic dose is going to vary from person to person, depending
       primarily on built-up tolerance. A couple people report swallowing
       10 to 13 vivarin and ending up in the hospital with their
       stomaches pumped, while a few say they've taken that many and
       barely stayed awake.
       A symptom lacking in the clinical manual but reported by at least
       two people on the net is a loss of motor ability: inability to
       move, speak, or even blink. The experience is consistently
       described as very unpleasant and not fun at all, even by those
       very familiar with caffeine nausea and headaches.
        Caffeine has long been suspect of causing mal-formations in
       fetus, and that it may reduce fertility rates.
       These reports have proved controversial. What is known is that
       caffeine does causes malformations in rats, when ingested at rates
       comparable to 70 cups a day for humans. Many other species respond
       equally to such large amounts of caffeine.
       Data is scant, as experimentation on humans is not feasible. In
       any case moderation in caffeine ingestion seems to be a prudent
       course for pregnant women. Recent references are Pastore and
       Savitz, Case-control study of caffeinated beverages and preterm
       delivery. American Journal of Epidemiology, Jan 1995.
       On men, it has been shown that caffeine reduces rates of sperm
       motility which may account for some findings of reduced fertility.
        From the Journal of AMA: (JAMA, 26 Jan. 1994, p. 280-3.)
       "There was a significant association between (drinking more)
       caffeinated coffee and decreasing bone mineral density at both the
       hip and the spine, independent of age, obesity, years since
       menopause, and the use of tobacco, estrogen, alcohol, thiazides,
       and calcium supplements [in women]."
       Except when:
       "Bone density did not vary [...] in women who reported drinking at
       least one glass of milk per day during most of their adult lives."
       That is, if you drink a glass of milk a day, there is no need to
       worry about the caffeine related loss of calcium.
        OAKLAND, California (UPI) -- Coffee may be good for life. A major
       study has found fewer suicides among coffee drinkers than those
       who abstained from the hot black brew.
       The study of nearly 130,000 Northern California residents and the
       records of 4,500 who have died looked at the effects of coffee and
       tea on mortality.
       Cardiologist Arthur Klatsky said of the surprising results, ``This
       is not a fluke finding because our study was very large, involved
       a multiracial population, men, women, and examined closely
       numerous factors related to mortality such as alcohol consumption
       and smoking.''
       The unique survey also found no link between coffee consumption
       and death risk. And it confirmed a ``weak'' connection of coffee
       or tea to heart attack risk -- but not to other cardiovascular
       conditions such as stroke.
       The study was conducted by the health maintenance organization
       Kaiser Permanente and was reported Wednesday in the Annals of
       Caffeine increases the level of circulating fatty acids. This has
       been shown to increase the oxidation of these fuels, hence
       enhancing fat oxidation. Caffeine has been used for years by
       runners and endurance people to enhance fatty acid metabolism.
       It's particularly effective in those who are not habitual users.
       Caffeine is not an appetite suppressant. It does affect
       metabolism, though it is a good question whether its use truly
       makes any difference during a diet. The questionable rationale for
       its original inclusion in diet pills was to make a poor man's
       amphetamine-like preparation from the non-stimulant
       sympathomimetic phenylpropanolamine and the stimulant caffeine.
       (That you end up with something very non-amphetamine like is
       neither here nor there.) The combination drugs were called
       "Dexatrim" or Dexa-whosis (as in Dexedrine) for a reason, namely,
       to assert its similarity in the minds of prospective buyers.
       However, caffeine has not been in OTC diet pills for many years
       per order of the FDA, which stated that there was no evidence of
       efficacy for such a combination.
       From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of
     Caffeine in combination with an analgesic, such as aspirin, is
     widely used in the treatment of ordinary types of headache. There
     are few data to substantiate its efficacy for this purpose.
     Caffeine is also used in combination with an ergot alkaloid in the
     treatment of migrane (Chapter 39).
     Ergotamine is usually administered orally (in combination with
     caffeine) or sublingually [...] If a patient cannot tolerate
     ergotamine orally, rectal administration of a mixture of caffeine
     and ergotamine tartarate may be attempted.
     The bioavailability [of ergotamine] after sublingual administration
     is also poor and is often inadequate for therapeutic purposes [...]
     the concurrent administration of caffeine (50-100 mg per mg of
     ergotamine) improves both the rate and extent of absorption [...]
     However, there is little correspondence between the concentration
     of ergotamine in plasma and the intensity or duration of
     therapeutic or toxic effects.
     Caffeine enhances the action of the ergot alkaloids in the
     treatment of migrane, a discovery that must be credited to the
     sufferers from the disease who observed that strong coffee gave
     symptomatic relief, especially when combined with the ergot
     alkaloids. As mentioned, caffeine increases the oral and rectal
     absorption of ergotamine, and it is widely believed that this
     accounts for its enhancement of therapeutic effects. 
       Nowadays most of researchers believe that the stimulatory actions
       are attributable to the antagonism of the adenosine. Agonists at
       the adenosine receptors produce sedation while antagonists at
       these sites, like caffeine and theophylline induce stimulation,
       and what is even more important, the latter substance also reverse
       agonists-induced symptoms of sedation, thus indicating that this
       effects go through these receptors.
       Another possibility, however, is that methylxanthines enhance
       release of excitatory aminoacids, like glutamate and aspartate,
       which are the main stimulatory neurotransmitters in the brain.
       As to the side effects: methylxanthines inhibit protective
       activity of common antiepileptic drugs in exptl. animals in doses
       comparable to those used in humans when correction to the surface
       area is made. It should be underlined, that although tolerance
       develop to the stimulatory effects of theo or caffeine when
       administered on a chronic base, we found no tolerance to the above
       effects . This hazardous influence was even enhanced over time.
       Therefore, it should be emphasized that individuals suffering from
       epilepsy should avoid, or at least reduce consumption of coffee
       and other caffeine-containing beverages.

            MAH-teh. MAH like in malt, and -teh like in Gral. Patten.
            By far, the most common spelling used throughout the world
            today is "espresso". This is a shortened form of the original
            Italian name for the drink "caffe espresso" (accent marks
            omitted). This spelling is considered to be the correct
            spelling by the vast majority of of coffee consumers,
            vendors, retailers, and producers.
            Some English language dictionaries also list "expresso" as a
            variant spelling. However, this does not mean the spelling is
            'equally valid'. (see the post by Jesse Sheidlower included
            It was pointed out during the great "espresso vs. expresso"
            debate (spring 94) that the Italian alphabet does not even
            contain the letter "X", which is incorrect.
            Further, it was discovered that at least three dictionaries
            contained incorrect definitions of the word "espresso". The
            American Heritage Dictionary gave the following definition:
     "A strong coffee brewed by forcing steam under pressure through
     darkly roasted, powdered coffee beans." 
            The Oxford English Dictionary said:
     "Coffee brewed by forcing steam through powdered coffee beans" 
            The Webster New World Dictionary gives:
     "coffee prepared in a special machine from finely ground coffee
     beans, through which steam under high pressure is forced." 
            All three of these are wrong. In fact, espresso is a strong
            coffee brewed by quickly forcing hot water through darkly
            roasted, finely ground coffee beans.
            (Some espresso makers do use steam, but only to force the hot
            water through the ground coffee. The steam NEVER touches the
            coffee. Many espresso makers use no steam at all. Instead,
            they use either a pump or a piston to quickly force hot water
            through the ground coffee.)
            Once these errors and the origins of the word "espresso" had
            been pointed out, the argument "but expresso is in the
            dictionary" quickly began to crumble. The final death blow to
            this position came in a post by dictionary editor Jesse
            Sheidlower. This post is reproduced in its entirety below:
     Jesse Sheidlower writes
     I find this thread fascinating. I regret that it demonstrates an
     unfamiliarity with dictionaries and how to use them, but no matter.
     I believe that I am the only dictionary editor to participate in
     this discussion, so let me waste a bit more bandwidth addressing
     some of the points made so far, and introducing a few others:
               o The OED, Second Edition, does include _espresso_ and
                 _expresso_, the latter being a variant of the former.
                 It correctly derives it from Italian _caffe espresso_.
                 [Accents left off here.] Whoever claimed it derives the
                 term from a would-be Italian _caffe expresso_ was in
               o There _is_ an "x" in Latin and Italian.
               o There are four major American dictionaries (published
                 by Merriam Webster, Webster's New World, Random House,
                 and American Heritage). The most recent edition of each
                 gives _espresso_ as the main form, and _expresso_ as a
                 variant only. The fact that _expresso_ is listed in the
                 dictionary does not mean that it is equally common: the
                 front matter for each dictionary explains this. The
                 person who claimed that three dictionaries including
                 OED give _expresso_ as "equally valid" was in error.
               o Dictionaries, in general, do not dictate usage: they
                 reflect the usage that exists in the language. If a
                 dictionary says that _espresso_ is the main spelling,
                 it means that in the experience of its editors (based
                 on an examination of the language), _espresso_ is
                 notably more common. It does not mean that the editors
                 have a vendetta against _expresso_.
               o To the linguist who rejects the authority of
                 dictionaries: I agree that language is constantly
                 changing; I'm sure that every dictionary editor in the
                 country does as well. Dictionaries are outdated before
                 they go to press. But I think they remain accurate to a
                 large extent. Also, if you are going to disagree with
                 the conclusions of a dictionary, you should be prepared
                 to back yourself up. I can defend, with extensive
                 written evidence, our decision to give _espresso_ as
                 the preferred form.
               o The spelling _espresso_ is the form used by the copy
                 desks of the _New York Times,_ _Gourmet,_ _Bon
                 Appetit,_ The _Wine Spectator,_ the _Wall St. Journal,_
                 the _L.A. Times,_ _Time,_ _Newsweek,_ and to my
                 knowledge every other major or minor newspaper or
                 magazine, general or food-related, in the
                 English-speaking world. The fact that a handwritten
                 menu on an Italian restaurant door spells it "expresso"
                 is trivial by comparison.
               o In sum: though both _espresso_ and _expresso_ are
                 found, the former is by far the more common. It is also
                 to be favored on immediate etymological evidence, since
                 the Italian word from which it is directly borrowed is
                 spelled _espresso_. The form _espresso_ is clearly
                 preferred by all mainstream sources. 
Coffee Recipes and other beverages.

            After living in Italy (Rome) for two years and living off
            espresso, Mr. X have found American espresso doesn't cut it.
            Heres how to do it.
               o Get good dark roasted espresso beans, imported Italian
                 brand if you can find it.
               o Pack your strainer real full. Pack it hard. your
                 instructions will say NOT to pack it, but don't listen.
               o Don't use too much water. Espresso in Italy is as thick
                 as syrup. Very thick.
               o Add two spoons of sugar, it's a sweet, thick liquid in
            Drink fast.
            If using a stove top espresso machine, clean after each use,
            paying attention to the seal and strainer.
              1. For best results, get arabica beans that have been
                 roasted dark ("Italian Roast" is darkest) and are
                 oily-looking. Other roasts are for other types of
                 brewing: espresso machines won't draw the earthy flavour
                 of Sumatran out, for example. A small amount of other
                 beans might add a nice note to the flavour, though (I've
                 had surprising success adding a few of Thanksgiving
                 Coffee's "High-Caffeine Pony Express" beans, which are
                 actually robusta beans from Thailand).
              2. Grind those beans until they're very fine, but not quite
                 a powder. Put them into the appropriate piece of your
                 machine and tamp it down (but don't pack all the grounds
                 in tight).
              3. Watch the espresso as it drips down. Does a nice layer
                 of foam form on the top? If it does, all is well; that
                 foam is made from the flavourful oils, and it is called
                 crema. If not, go to the coffee roaster and demand
                 quadruple your money back.
              4. Never make more than 2oz at a time. If you're making two
                 cups of espresso, make two separate shots. This is
                 important. The idea is that the water rushes through and
                 draws out only the most flavourful part of the grounds.
                 More than 2oz and you're drawing out less flavourful
                 stuff and diluting your espresso. If you're really
                 hardcore, make only 1oz at a time; this is called caffe
            You won't get single, glossy beans, but the taste is there!
              1. Put dark roast coffee beans on a waxpaper-covered baking
              2. Melt some chocolate by puting a container with the
                 chocolate in a pan of boiling water, stir the chocolate
                 when it is getting hot. Some experimentation regarding
                 what chocolate to use is in place. I used chocolate
                 chips of from Girardelli. One should probably aim for
                 dark and not too sweet chocolate.
              3. Pour the chocolate over the beans and smear it so that
                 each bean is covered - you should have a single layer of
                 covered beans not too far apart.
              4. When the beans have cooled off a little bit, put the
                 sheet in the fridge/freezer.
              5. When solid, break off a piece and enjoy.
            Disclaimer: People prepare cappuccino in many different ways,
            and in their very own way each one of them is correct. The
            following recipe, which is commonly used in Latin countries,
            has been tasted by several of my North-American friends and
            they unanimously agreed that cappuccino prepared using this
            recipe tastes much better than the standard fare in
            Start with cold milk (it doesn't really need to be ice-cold),
            use homo milk or carnation. 2% or skim is just not thick
            enough (admittedly, it is easier to produce foam with skim
            Place the milk on a special cappuccino glass with a
            cappuccino basket. (Cappuccino glasses have a thinner
            Aerate the milk near the top, within 2cm (1 in) of the top.
            Move the glass down as the milk aerates. It is a good idea to
            have an oscillating motion while aerating the milk.
            Aerating the milk in another container, then pouring in a
            glass and adding the foam with a spoon is sacrilege.
            Anybody who has done so should make a pilgrimage to San
            Francisco's Girardelli's. Otherwise entry to heaven will be
            denied (god, is after all, Italian. At least the catholic
            If you need to aerate the milk on a separate container,
            aerate exactly the amount of milk required for one cup, so no
            need to add foam with a spoon.
            Once the milk has been aerated, promptly clean the aerator
            with a wet rag. Failure to do so will quickly result in
            rotten milk flavour coming from the aerator.
            Another warning on similar lines applies to restaurant type
            coffee machines: leave the aerator valve open when powering
            the machine up and down. When the machine is off a partial
            vacuum is formed in the boiler that will suck milk residue            into the boiler. This then coats the inside of the boiler and
            can cause bad smelling steam until the boiler is flushed.
            Some machines have a vacuum bleed valve to prevent this
            problem but many don't.
            Wait for the steam pressure to build up again (for some
            cappuccino makers wait time is near zero, for others it maybe
            as long as 60 secs).
            Prepare the espresso coffee, you may add it directly on to
            the glass if possible or use a cup and then pour it from the
            cup on the milk.
            According to Jym Dyer: In Italy, the milk is added TO the
            espresso, not the other way around, that way the milk is
            floating; on top, where you then add the sugar, and stir it
            Cappuccino tastes better when is really hot, and has two
            teaspoons of sugar. (small teaspoons, like the ones in
            expensive silverware).
            Then accompany said cappuccino with a warm tea bisquet or
            english muffin with marmalade, or alternatively with a
            baguette sandwich or panini.
            Frappe coffee is widely consumed in parts of Europe and
            LatinAmerica especially in summer. Originally was made with
            cold espresso. Nowadays is prepared in most places by shaking
            into a shaker 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee with sugar,
            water and ice-cubes and it is served in a long glass with
            ice, milk to taste and a straw. The important thing is the
            thick froth on top of the glass.
            Here's the recipe for making a real chocolate beverage.
            Important steps are in boldface.
               o 1-2kg (2-4pounds) of cocoa beans.
               o A manually operated grinder.
               o Sift through the beans removing any impurities (pieces
                 of grass, leaves, etc).
               o Place the beans in a pan (no teflon) and roast them.
                 Stir frequently. As the beans roast they start making
                 "pop" sounds like popcorn. Beans are ready when you
                 estimate that approx 50-75% of the beans have popped. Do
                 not let the beans burn, though a bit of black on each
                 bean is ok.
               o Peel the beans. Peeling roasted cocoa beans is like
                 peeling baked potatoes: The hotter they are the easier
                 it is to peel the darn things, at the expense of third
                 degree burns on your fingers. (Tip: Use kitchen mittens
                 and brush the beans in your hands). If the beans are too
                 hard to peel roast them a bit longer.
               o Grind the beans into a pan. They produce a dark oily
                 paste called "cocoa paste".
               o The oil in the cocoa has a bitter taste that you have to
                 get used to. I like it this way, but not all people do.
                 Here are the alternatives:
                 With oil, which gives you a richer flavour:
                 Spread aluminum foil on a table and make small pies of
                 chocolate, about 1/4 of an inch high, and 6 inches in
                 diameter. Let them rest overnight. The morning after
                 they are hard tablets. Remove them from the aluminum
                 foil and rap them in it. Store in the freezer.
                 Without oil, some flavour is gone, less bitter, weaker
                 (whimper) chocolate:
                 Put the paste inside a thin cloth (like linen), close
                 the cloth and squeeze until the oil comes out. If you
                 manage to get most of the oil out, what is left is high
                 quality cocoa powder, like Droste's.
                 What is left now is either bitter tablets or bitter
                 cocoa powder.
            You can now make a nice beverage as follows:
               o Boil a liter of milk (or water, like in ancient Mexican
                 style. Like water for chocolate, "Como agua para
                 chocolate": you know).
               o When the milk is warm (not hot) add a chocolate pie in
                 pieces. Stir with a blender (but be careful! the
                 blender's electric cord should NOT touch the pot or any
                 other hot thing around it).
               o When the chocolate has dissolved add 1/2-3/4 cups of
                 sugar (depending how sweet you like your chocolate) and
                 blend in fast. Make sure the sugar is completely
                 dissolved in the chocolate otherwise it would be bitter
                 no matter how much sugar you may add afterwards.
               o Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or natural vanilla flavour
                 (artificial vanilla flavour with chocolate results in an
                 awful medicine like flavour) if you like, and blend
               o Let the mixture boil, when it starts to get bubbly
                 quickly remove the pan from the stove top, and rest the
                 bottom against a soaked cloth. Put again on stove top,
                 it should get bubbly almost immediately, remove once
                 again and repeat one last time. This aerates the
                 chocolate which enhances flavour.
               o In a mug, put about 1/2-3/4 of the chocolate mixture,
                 and add cold milk, until the temperature and/or the
                 concentration of the flavour is right for your tastes.
                 Accompany with French Pastries. Yum Yum!!
            The best coffee I ever tasted was while in the coffee growing
            regions of Mexico, in the state of Veracruz, in the town of
            Coatepec. The quality of the coffee was mostly due to the
            method of preparation than to the quality of the grains
            (which is at about the same level as an average colombian
            coffee). Here's how to make it:
               o Grind the coffee grains from coarse to very coarse.
               o Boil in a pan a litre of water (four cups).
               o When the water is boiling, turn off the stove and add
                 8-12 table spoons of coffee (2-3 spoons per each cup).
               o Add two-three teaspoons of sugar per cup (for a total of
                 8-12 spoons of sugar).
               o Stir very slowly (the water is so hot that the sugar
                 dissolves mostly on its own).
               o Let the coffee rest for about 5 minutes.
               o Strain the coffee using a metal strainer! Like the ones
                 used for cooking. The strainer should be like the ones
                 used by granny for making tea. The diameter is a bit
                 smaller that a cup, with a semi-sphere shape.
               o This coffee has grit in the bottom, even after being
                 strained. Therefore do not stir the pot or the cup. If
                 the coffee is shaked, let it rest for about five
                 minutes. Needless to say, do not drink the last sip of
                 coffee from the cup: it's all grit. If you want to add
                 milk, add carnation.
            Warning: This coffee may fool you 'cause it has a very smooth
            taste but is extremely strong. Caffeine content per
            millilitre is right there with espresso, but you can't tell!
            Note: For some strange reason, when preparing this coffee I
            tend to have a success ratio of about one out of two
            attempts. I still don't know what I'm doing wrong, since, as
            far as I can tell, always repeat the same steps. Perhaps
            sometimes I don't let the coffee rest long enough.
            This type of coffee is similar in nature to the French press.
            And in principle, you could possibly add sugar to the ground
            coffee, then pour water, and lastly press with the strainer.
            Turkish coffee is prepared using a little copper pot called
            Use a heaping teaspoon of very finely ground coffee and,
            optionally, one heaping teaspoon of sugar (to taste). Use
            about 3oz of coffee.
   [Add the sugar only just before boiling point.] Turkish coffee without
       sugar is called sade, with a little sugar is "orta s,ekerli" and
       with lots of sugar is "c,ok s,ekerli".
       The trick of it is to heat it until it froths pour the froth into
       the coffee dup and heat it a second time. When it froths again,
       pour the rest into the cup.
       The grounds will settle to the bottom of the cup as you drink the
       coffee and towards the end, it'll start to taste bitter and the
       texture will be more like wet coffee grounds than a drink. As soon
       as this happens stop or your next sip will taste really, really
       bitter. Instead, turn your cup upside down on the saucer, and let
       someone read your fortune!
          + Sturdy wine glass or glass with stem
          + 1 teaspoon sugar
          + 1 or 2 tablespoon Irish whiskey
          + black coffee
          + cream, lightly whipped
         1. Place spoon in glass. Heat glass by pouring in warm water.
            When glass is warm, pour out the water. Leave spoon in glass.
         2. Put sugar, whiskey and coffee in glass. Stir to dissolve
            sugar. Still leave spoon in glass.
         3. Now for the tricky bit: Put dollop of cream on top, allow the
            cream to slide down the back of spoon (the spoon which was in
            the coffee), the tip of the spoon should remain in the
   Be careful not to stir after the cream has been added. The cream
       should form a foamy layer about 1 cm (or half an inch) thick on
       top of the black coffee.
       Make very strong coffee (50-100% more coffee to water than usual),
       use something like Cafe Du Monde which has chicory in it. Pour 6-8
       oz into cup and add about 1 Tbs sweetened condensed milk. Stir,
       then pour over ice.
       You'll have to experiment with the strength and milk so you get
       lots of taste after the ice/water dilutes it.
       Alternatively, this version which comes from a newspaper article
       of many years ago simply calls for grinding two or three fresh
       cardamom pods and putting them in with the coffee grounds. Make a
       strong coffee with a fresh dark roast, chill it, sweeten and add
       half-and-half to taste.
       Lastly, we have the following recipe:
       Makes 1 8-cup pot of coffee
          + 6 tablespoons whole rich coffee beans, ground fine
          + 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander powder
          + 4 or 5 whole green cardamom pods, ground
          + Place the coffee and spices in the filter cone of your coffee
            maker. Brew coffee as usual; let it cool.
          + In a tall glass, dissolve 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar in an
            ounce of the coffee (it's easier to dissolve than if you put
            it right over ice). Add 5-6 ice cubes and pour coffee to
            within about 1" of the top of the glass.
          + Rest a spoon on top of the coffee and slowly pour whipping
            cream into the spoon. This will make the cream float on top
            of the coffee rather than dispersing into it right away.
          + To be totally cool, serve with Flexi-Straws and paper
       One other fun note: I got a fresh vanilla bean recently and put it
       to good use by sealing it in an airtight container with my sugar.
       The sugar gets the faintest vanilla aroma and is incredible in
       Real Chocolate Milk (TM) and iced coffee.
       One final note: this would probably be even better with iced
       espresso, because the espresso is so much more powerful and loses
       its taste less when it's cold.
       Another recipe:
          + Strong, black ground coffee
          + Sugar
          + Evaporated (not condensed) milk
          + Cardamom pods
       Prepare a pot of coffee at a good European strength (Miriam Nadel
       suggests 2 tablespoons per cup, which I'd say is about right). In
       the ground coffee, add 2 or 3 freshly ground cardamom pods. (I've
       used green ones, I imagine the brown ones would give a slightly
       different flavour.) Sweeten while hot, then cool quickly.
       Serve over ice, with unsweetened evaporated milk (or heavy cream
       if you're feeling extra indulgent). To get the layered effect,
       place a spoon atop the coffee and pour the milk carefully into the
       spoon so that it floats on the top of the coffee.
       The recipe I have calls for:
          + 1/4 cup strong French roasted coffee
          + 1/2 cup boiling water
          + 2 tsp sweetened condensed milk
          + Mix the above and pour over ice.
       I'd probably use less water and more coffee and milk.
       There is also a stronger version of Thai coffee called "Oleng"
       which is very strong to me and to a lot of coffee lovers.
       6 to 8 tablespoons ground espresso or French roast coffee 4 to 6
       green cardamom pods, crushed Sugar to taste Half-and-half or cream
       Ice cubes
       Put the cardamom pods and the ground dark-roast coffee into a
       coffee press, espresso maker, or the filter of a drip coffee maker
       (if using a drip-style coffee maker, use half the water). Brew
       coffee as for espresso, stir in sugar.
       Fill a large glass with ice and pour coffee over ice, leaving
       about 1/2 inch at the top. Place a spoon at the surface of the
       coffee and slowly pour half-and-half or cream into the spoon, so
       that it spreads across the top of the coffee rather than sinking
       in. (You'll stir it in yourself anyway, but this is a much
       prettier presentation and it's as used in most Thai restaurants.)
       As with Vietnamese coffee, the struggle here is to keep from
       downing this all in ten seconds.
       Same coffee as above. Sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk
       Make even stronger coffee, preferably in a Vietnamese coffee
       maker. (This is a metal cylinder with tiny holes in the bottom and
       a perforated disc that fits into it; you put coffee in the bottom
       of the cylinder, place the disc atop it, then fill with boiling
       water and a very rich infusion of coffee drips slowly from the
       If you are using a Vietnamese coffee maker, put two tablespoons of
       sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a cup and put the coffee
       maker on top of the cup. If you are making espresso or cafe filter
       (the infusion method where you press the plunger down through the
       grounds after several minutes of infusion), mix the sweetened
       condensed milk and the coffee any way you like.
       When the milk is dissolved in the coffee (yes, dissolved *is* the
       right word here!), pour the combination over ice and sip.
       Thai and Vietnamese coffees are very different.
       Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese style iced coffee)
          + 2 to 4 tablespoons finely ground dark roast coffee
            (preferably with chicory)
          + 2 to 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (e.g., Borden
            Eagle Brand, not evaporated milk!)
          + Boiling water
          + Vietnamese coffee press [see notes]
          + Ice cubes
       Place ground coffee in Vietnamese coffee press and screw lid down
       on the grounds. Put the sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of
       a coffee cup and set the coffee maker on the rim. Pour boiling
       water over the screw lid of the press; adjust the tension on the
       screw lid just till bubbles appear through the water, and the
       coffee drips slowly out the bottom of the press.
       When all water has dripped through, stir the milk and coffee
       together. You can drink them like this, just warm, as ca phe sua
       neng, but I prefer it over ice, as ca phe sua da. To serve it that
       way, pour the milk-coffee mixture over ice, stir, and drink as
       slowly as you can manage. I always gulp mine too fast. :-)
       A Vietnamese coffee press looks like a stainless steel top hat.
       There's a "brim" that rests on the coffee cup; in the middle of
       that is a cylinder with tiny perforations in the bottom. Above
       that rises a threaded rod, to which you screw the top of the
       press, which is a disc with similar tiny perforations. Water
       trickles through these, extracts flavour from the coffee, and then
       trickles through the bottom perforations. It is excruciatingly
       slow. Loosening the top disc speeds the process, but also weakens
       the resulting coffee and adds sediment to the brew.
       If you can't find a Vietnamese coffee press, regular-strength
       espresso is an adequate substitute, particularly if made with
       French-roast beans or with a dark coffee with chicory. I've seen
       the commonly available Medaglia d'Oro brand coffee cans in
       Vietnamese restaurants, and it works, though you'll lose some of
       the subtle bitterness that the chicory offers. I think Luzianne
       brand coffee comes with chicory and is usable in Vietnamese
       coffee, though at home I generally get French roast from my normal
       coffee provider.
       Of these two coffees, Vietnamese coffee should taste more or less
       like melted Haagen-Dasz coffee ice cream, while Thai iced coffee
       has a more fragrant and lighter flavour from the cardamom and
       half-and-half rather than the condensed milk. Both are exquisite,
       and not difficult to make once you've got the equipment.
       As a final tip, I often use my old-fashioned on-the-stove espresso
       maker (the one shaped like an hourglass, where you put water in
       the bottom, coffee in the middle, and as it boils the coffee comes
       out in the top) for Thai iced coffee. The simplest way is merely
       to put the cardamom and sugar right in with the coffee, so that
       what comes out the top is ready to pour over ice and add half and
       half. It makes a delicious and very passable version of
       restaurant-style Thai iced coffee.
          + Espresso
          + Honey
          + Unsweetened cocoa
       Brew espresso; for this purpose, a Bialetti-style stovetop will
       work. In a coffee mug, place 1 teaspoon of unsweetened powdered
       cocoa; then cover a teaspoon with honey and drizzle it into the
       cup. Stir while the coffee brews; this is the fun part. The cocoa
       seems to coat the honey without mixing, so you get a dusty, sticky
       mass that looks as though it will never mix. Then all at once,
       presto! It looks like dark chocolate sauce. Pour hot espresso over
       the honey, stirring to dissolve. Serve with cream (optional). I
       have never served this cold but I imagine it would be interesting;
       I use it as a great hot drink for cold days, though, so all my
       memories are of grey skies, heavy sweaters, damp feet and big

       This FAQ is a collective effort. Here's a list of most (all?) of
       the contributors.
          + Oktay Ahiska (
          + Marc Aurel (
          + Scott Austin (
          + Tom Benjamin (
          + Jennifer Beyer (
          + Steve Bliss (
          + David Alan Bozak (dab@moxie)
          + Rajiv (
          + Jack Carter (
          + Richard Drapeau
          + Jym Dyer (
          + Steve Dyer (
          + Stefan Engstrom (stefan@helios.UCSC.EDU)
          + Lemieux Francois (lemieuxf@ERE.UMontreal.CA)
          + Scott Fisher (
          + Dave Huddle (
          + Tom F Karlsson (
          + Bob Kummerfeld (
          + Dr. Robert Lancashire (
          + John Levine (
          + Alex Lopez-Ortiz (
          + Steven Miale (
          + Alec Muffett (
          + Dana Myers (myers@cypress.West.Sun.COM)
          + Tim Nemec (
          + Jim Pailin (
          + Dave Palmer (
          + Stuart Phillips (
          + Siobhan Purcell (PURCELLS@IRLEARN.UCD.IE)
          + Cary A. Sandvig (
          + Jesse T Sheidlower (
          + Stepahine da Silva (
          + Michael A Smith (
          + Mari J. Stoddard (
          + Thom (
          + Deanna K. Tobin T.E. ( Nick
            Tsoukas (
          + Adam Turoff (
          + Ganesh Uttam (
          + David R. B. Walker ( Orion Wilson
          + Piotr Wlaz (wlaz@plumcs11.umcs.lublin.ed)
          + Ted Young (theodric@MIT.EDU)
          + Steven Zikopoulos (
       This FAQ is Copyright (C) 1994,1995 by Alex Lopez-Ortiz. This
       text, in whole or in part, may not be sold in any medium,
       including, but not limited to, electronic, CD-ROM, or published in
       print, without the explicit, written permission of Alex


Alex Lopez-Ortiz                                          Research Scientist
Open Text Corp.            185 Columbia St W Waterloo, Ont N2L 3L3  Canada
Alex Lopez-Ortiz                                          Research Scientist
Open Text Corp.            185 Columbia St W Waterloo, Ont N2L 3L3  Canada