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An eclectic collection of facts, histories, information and trivia about various foods, beverages, equipment, plants, and animals etc. from around the world

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CAFFEINE TRIVIA

The main sources of caffeine are tea, coffee, cola (kola), cocoa (chocolate), guarana, yerba mate and their relatives. All were discovered and used by primitive man.
* see below for information on other plant sources of caffeine

Excessive intake of caffeine can result in elevated blood pressure, rapid breathing and heart palpitations, diarrhea and insomnia.

North Carolina molecular scientist Robert Bohannon has developed 'Buzz Donuts' and 'Buzzed Bagels'- caffeinated donuts and bagels.  They contain the caffeine equivalent of 2 cups of coffee. (Jan, 2007)

APPROXIMATE CAFFEINE CONTENT - Beverages

    Coffee (5 oz. cup)
    Drip method  - 110-150 mg
    Percolated    - 65-125 mg
    Instant       - 40-110 mg

    Tea (5 oz cup)
    1 minute brew - 10-35 mg
    3 minute brew - 20-45 mg
    Instant Tea   - 12-30 mg

    Soft drinks (12 oz. can)
    Coca Cola    - 45 mg
    Pepsi Cola   - 39 mg
    Dr Pepper    - 40 mg
    Mountain Dew - 54 mg

CAFFEINE CONTENT - CHOCOLATE

    White chocolate 3 ounce bar or 1 cup chips 
    Caffeine 0.0 mg
    Theobromine 0.0 mg
     
    Baking chocolate, unsweetened 1 ounce 
    Caffeine 57.120 mg
    Theobromine 346.360 mg
     
    Semisweet chocolate 1 ounce (chocolate chips)
    Caffeine 17.577 mg
    Theobromine 137.781mg
     
    Milk Chocolate 1.55 ounce bar
    Caffeine 11.440 mg
    Theobromine 74.360 mg
     
    Cocoa mix 1 envelope/3 heaping tsp
    Caffeine 5.040 mg
    Theobromine 169.680 mg
     
    Cocoa powder, unsweetened 1 tbsp
    Caffeine 12.420 mg
    Theobromine 111.078 mg
     

Does Carob contain caffeine?
Carob itself does not contain any caffeine. However, it does contain traces of theobromine and theobromine is occasionally added to carob.

Theobromine is related to caffeine, but it is a milder stimulant. It is the stimulant found in chocolate.

(One hundred grams of carob contains no caffeine and only three milligrams of theobromine; 100 grams of chocolate contains 180 milligrams of caffeine and 2,320 milligrams of theobromine.)

Because of the small amounts of the caffeine related theobromine, and because carob is sometimes used in combination with chocolate, most sources call carob a low caffeine alternative to be on the safe side.
 

* October 13, 2006 Email from John King
Hi! Just a correction for your comment regarding caffeine. Caffeine is also found among many members of the botanical family Rhamnaceae. Most notably in the leaves, branches and stems of the genera Ceanothus and Rhamnus.

   The only Ceanothus species found naturally on the East Coast was historically known as New Jersey Tea. It was a tea substitute following the Boston Tea party. Other species are very abundant in western states; as are members of the closely related genus Rhamnus. The latter are often known as coffeeberry. The fruit and seeds do resemble coffee in appearance; and, contain caffeine. I have known deer to become addicted to eating the plant. And, yes, all were widely used by Native Americans as a stimulating tea; although some Rhamnus species were cathartics or purgatives (cascara).

   Ledum species in the heath or heather family, Ericaceae, have long been known as Labrador tea for a reason. Finally, Paullinia cupana, Sapindaceae, is the source of guarana and the active ingredient in the commercial product Zoom. It has a comparable amount of caffeine as coffee and theobromine as cacao. It continues to be harvested in the Amazonian wild as no one has developed an effective means for growing it outside of its natural range. In Brasil, people often add a spoonful or more of this to their morning espresso; and, the dancing begins ....
John King

 

 

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