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Sunday, 20 October 2013


The 24 year-old German analytical chemist Friedrich Runge started conducting chemical experiments at a young age. In 1819  the writer Johann Goethe encouraged him to analyze coffee. Arising from these investigations he isolated a major purine alkaloid found in coffee- caffeine. 

Most mid nineteenth century writers habitually took a stimulant to help them keep awake at night to write. Often this would be caffeine consumed in strong coffee, or green tea.

Decaffeinated coffee was developed in 1903 after a German coffee importer, Ludwig Roselius, turned a batch of ruined coffee beans over to researchers. Although not the first to remove caffeine, he perfected the process of removing caffeine from the beans without destroying their flavor.

Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about five cups of coffee.

There are 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee, ten milligrams in a six-ounce cup of cocoa, five to ten milligrams in one ounce of bittersweet chocolate, and five milligrams in one ounce of milk chocolate.

In 2015, two students at Northumbria University in North East England were accidentally given a lethal dose of caffeine during a scientific experiment. They received 30g instead of the planned 0.3g and immediately suffered side effects, including dizziness, blurred vision, shaking and a rapid heartbeat. The error was caused by a misplaced decimal point on the phone used to calculate the caffeine dosage.  The university was fined £400,000.

Coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States.

Tea contains half the amount of caffeine found in coffee.

Retail espresso vendors report an increase in decaffeinated sales in the month of January due to New Year's resolutions to decrease caffeine intake.

Special studies conducted about the human body revealed it will usually absorb up to about 300 milligrams of caffeine at a given time. About four normal cups.

The American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V handbook classifies caffeine withdrawal as a mental disorder.

In Canada it's illegal for clear or non-dark sodas to contain caffeine.

Decaf coffee is not caffeine-free. About 1-2% of the caffeine is still present in decaffeinated drinks.

Certified organic decaf coffee must be made with the Swiss Water Method, which only uses water to extract caffeine from the beans.

After the decaffeinating process, processing companies don't throw the caffeine away; they sell it to soft drink and pharmaceutical companies.

Caffeine acts as a natural pesticide in plants and it can also be toxic to household pets such as cats and dogs,

The chemical dichloromethane (DCM), used to extract caffeine from coffee and tea, is very bad for the ozone layer — with twice as much in the atmosphere in 2017 as there was in 2000.

The tiny borer beetle can ingest high levels of caffeine—the equivalent of a 150-pound person throwing back 500 shots of espresso.

You would have to drink 100 cups of coffee in four hours to get a lethal dose of caffeine–ten grams.

Sharon Stone is allergic to caffeine.

The chemical name for caffeine is 1,3,7-trimethylzantihine.

Coffee has about five times the amount of caffeine as a can of Coke.

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