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Different Coffee Beans Give Different Buzzes
Researched by Thomas DeMichelePublished - January 20, 2016 Last Updated - October 13, 2016
How Do Coffee Beans Affect Coffee Buzz?
All coffee beans contain the same caffeine compound but in different amounts. The way the caffeine buzz affects you depends on the roast, bean type, and other factors.
The less common Robusta species of coffee bean will typically have around twice the caffeine as the common Arabica you find the grocery store. About 75% of the world’s coffee is a strain of Arabica.
Roasting a coffee bean can actually burn away a bit of caffeine, make it lighter, and make it bigger. A dark roast will deliver more caffeine than an light roast (or non-roast) ounce-for-ounce due to its decreased weight. A light roast will deliver more caffeine inch-for-inch because the light roast beans are bigger. With a normal roast the caffeine difference per bean is negligible.
The exact properties of a bean yield depend on the climate where it’s grown and how the coffee tree is cared for.
Different sub-species of beans, different hybrids, and different mixes of bean types will have different caffeine levels and effects.
Different preparations of coffee (espresso, drip, cold press, etc.) create the biggest difference in terms of the caffeine buzz created.
FACT: Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, legal and unregulated in most parts of the world. On that note, caffeine is a drug and you can get help for caffeine addiction here. You can overdose on caffeine and it can be toxic at about 50–100 normal cups of coffee (or the caffeine equivalent).
Is it Just the Amount of Caffeine or is it the Bean Type that Affects Buzz?
Science says caffeine is caffeine, it’s the amount and not which of the 60 plants on earth you get it from that matters. It would seem like a poorly cared for Robusta wouldn’t give the same buzz as the perfect Arabica, or that a caffeine pill would have a different buzz than a chocolate bar, but to science all caffeine is the same.
The molecular formula for caffeine: C8H10N4O2
Arabica V. Robusta
There are two strains of coffee:
Arabica is a common and preferred strain with less caffeine. Arabica trees require more attention, produce more flavorful beans, and are typically higher proceed. Strains of Arabica are called “cultivars”, each has it’s own flavor and caffeine amounts. Types of Arabica include: Typica, Burbon, Caturra, Catuai, Mundo Novo, Blue Mountain, and more.
Robusta is a less common strain with more caffeine. The trees are low maintenance and typically it is less expensive than Arabica.
Strains can be mixed to create a hybrid of Arabica and Robusta, and their subtypes.
Another look at Arabica versus Robusta?
Caffeine beans are grown and cared for in different ways in different parts of the world. This produces a lot of quality, flavor, and caffeine amount differences between beans.
Dark Roast V. Light Roast
When a bean is roasted some caffeine is burned away, but the now lighter beans will deliver more caffeine ounce-for-ounce. Like-wise a lightly roasted bean will deliver more caffeine by the scoop due to smaller beans. Roasting has more to do with flavor than caffeine delivery. Both light and dark roast are roasted at the same temperature for almost the same time. The typically roasting temp is far below what it would take to roast away a meaningful amount of caffeine.
Light Roast versus dark roast.
FACT: According to scribblerscoffee.com “any significant variation would require a roasting temperature above 600°F. Since temperatures rarely exceed 470°F, a bean’s caffeine remains relatively static across all roast levels.”
Preparation of Coffee and Caffeine Strength
One of the biggest differences in regards to caffeine buzz has less to do with the bean and more to do with preparation. Different coffee preparations create different amounts of caffeine by volume.
Different beans don’t contain different types of caffeine (there is only one compound called caffeine), but they do contain different amounts of caffeine and other biochemicals depending on a number of factors, and this results in different types of buzzes. The difference between buzzes is mostly do the how much caffeine is ultimately absorbed into the body, but that isn’t the only factor to consider.
There seems to be a bit of a difference between what science says and what experince says, but ultimately the buzz depends on bean, preparation, and roast for a number of simple (like net weight after roast) and complex (like the effects of bioactives in different beans) reasons.
Thomas DeMichele is the content creator behind ObamaCareFacts.com, FactMyth.com, CryptocurrencyFacts.com, and other DogMediaSolutions.com and Massive Dog properties. He also contributes to MakerDAO and other cryptocurrency-based projects. Tom's focus in all...