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All About Caffeine (and your favorite coffee drinks)

Lovers of lattes, cold brew, and good old drip coffee congregate at their local coffee shop to enjoy their favorite brews and flavor concoctions, but there’s an underlying thread that unites them.

It’s not the cozy interior of Chelsea Coffee’s Ocala location (though we pride ourselves on our family-friendly and welcoming community). It’s not necessarily the delicious beverages our baristas pull from dreams and turn into reality.

No, it’s that special something that helps so many people around the globe kickstart their days and see the bright side of life. That’s right; we’re talking about caffeine.

Scrabble tiles spell CAFFEINE on a marble table with coffee beans and flowers scattered about.

Different drinks brewed up by your local coffee bar have varying levels of caffeine content. So, if you’re trying to keep your intake to a minimum or looking for a jolt of energy, you should familiarize yourself with the potency of your favorite coffees.

Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine

While there are certain mystical properties associated with caffeine, and we won’t claim to be experts on the scientific and magical ins and outs of it, there are some things you should know about caffeine, its effects, and the amount you consume.

At Chelsea, we’re all about tasty treats and mouthwatering food, but we also believe that what you put in your body is just as important as how it tastes. That’s why we insist on the highest-quality ingredients in everything we make—from the Sweetwater Organic coffee beans we use in our drinks to the premium Boar’s Head products that compose our sandwiches.

What is Caffeine?

We all know that caffeine is a favorite among functioning adults. While reports do vary, it’s estimated that around 90% of North American adults have caffeine on a daily basis.

A local coffee shop barista scoops coffee beans from a canvas bag.

To keep things as basic as possible—this is a coffee blog, not a chemistry class—caffeine is a natural stimulant derived from plants. Specifically, caffeine can be found in cacao, coffee, and tea plants (among less common others).

How Does Caffeine Work?

Known for its ability to reduce feelings of tiredness and increase focus, caffeine is a powerful natural stimulant beloved by studying students, hard-working professionals, and late-night gamers alike. So, how does it work?

Caffeine’s effect on the brain—and how it gives you the perception of increased energy—revolves around adenosine. If you aren’t familiar with this term (we certainly weren’t), it is essentially a neurotransmitter that makes you feel tired and leads to sleep. Typically, it builds up throughout the day, increasing the fatigue you experience.

Caffeine counteracts these effects by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. This prevents the brain from registering that you may be tired, thereby giving you the feeling of energy. Caffeine is also known to increase dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline, all of which stimulate the brain and increase alertness.

What are the Positive Effects of Caffeine?

With a reputation for boosting energy and mood, caffeine is a go-to for many people seeking a pick-me-up. While superficial effects are obvious to most from an experiential perspective, there are deeper things at play in terms of how caffeine affects your body.

The molecular structure of caffeine made out of coffee beans and full cups of coffee.

Caffeine is well-known for improving brain function by increasing alertness, but the mental benefits don’t stop there. Short-term memory, reaction time, and mood can all be positively influenced by the consumption of caffeine. There is also a link between the regular use of caffeine and reduced risk of depression, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Physically, caffeine can contribute to fat burning by increasing metabolism. Related to this effect is the increased athletic performance associated with caffeine. Muscular fatigue and perceived exhaustion are slowed by caffeine, making it a great supplement to take before exercising.

Other health benefits may include a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and more. In other words, there are far more benefits of regular caffeine consumption than the energy and focus we all know and love!

The Side Effects of Caffeine

While caffeine is considered safe—even when consumed regularly—there are some side effects and potential downsides to be aware of. For example, caffeine is habit-forming. Since it is a largely safe and beneficial substance, this isn’t a concern for the majority of people—especially coffee drinkers.

A work setup at Chelsea Coffee, with a laptop, notebooks, headphones, and a delicious cup of Sweetwater Coffee.

Caffeine can cause restlessness, trouble sleeping, and anxiety in some people. It has also been linked to high blood pressure and migraines in some people. For pregnant women and people on certain medications, caffeine intake should be limited or avoided altogether.

By and large, caffeine is a safe, effective stimulant that can benefit most people. If you are unsure of how it will interact with your health or experience side effects, it’s always best to consult a doctor!

The Caffeine Content of Coffee

To experience the advantages of caffeine without going overboard, you should limit your intake to around 400 milligrams or less per day. Remember, your sensitivity to caffeine and its effects might differ from someone else’s, so this is simply a guideline that should be adapted to your particular experience.

With this maximum daily intake in mind, it’s important to know the caffeine content of your favorite coffee drinks. Lucky for you, we’re experts on all things coffee, so let’s get into it!

Caffeine in Espresso

Walk into your favorite local coffee house, and you’ll hear the sweet sound of the espresso machine. As the base for the majority of specialty drinks—including lattes, cappuccinos, and more—espresso is one of the most popular forms coffee takes.

The caffeine content of an espresso shot can vary greatly, but it typically ranges from as little as 30 milligrams to nearly 100 milligrams. With this in mind, 64 milligrams is about average. So, if your latte contains two shots of espresso, it can have as much as 200 milligrams of caffeine in it but should have about 126 milligrams.

Drip Coffee Caffeine Content

For an eight-ounce serving of typical brewed coffee, you can expect around 96 milligrams of caffeine, making a serving comparable to an average latte. Just be aware of this level of caffeine when reaching for your third (or fourth) cup of the day!

Instant Coffee Caffeine

If you’re the type of caffeine connoisseur who will take their coffee in any form, instant coffee may appeal to you. While the caffeine content of instant coffee can vary based on the brand, you can expect approximately 62 milligrams of caffeine in a typical eight-ounce serving.

Chelsea Coffee cold brew coffee in a glass with an orange straw.

Caffeine Content of Cold Brew Coffee

Thanks to its prolonged brewing process, cold brew coffee tends to have a higher content than its drip coffee counterpart. For a 16-ounce serving of cold brew, you should anticipate between 200 and 300 milligrams of caffeine, making it a potent source of the stimulant.

Chelsea Coffee – Your Headquarters for Caffeine

Whether you’re a casual consumer of coffee or a caffeine fiend, Chelsea Coffee is your go-to local coffee shop in Ocala, FL. With an extensive menu, plenty of specialty drinks to sample, and a welcoming environment, you’ll feel happy and at home in our cozy shop.

Stop by for a caffeine fix or settle in to enjoy our delicious baked goods and lunch items. With over 10 years serving the Ocala area, Chelsea Coffee is your favorite local coffee house—all you have to do is come experience it for yourself!

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