Bit of a Geek

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Bit of a Geek

Jan 31, 2023
Reaction score
Hi, I'm Barrie, but I go by Bit of a Geek (or BoaG), because I am, well, a bit of a geek. I'm never content to know just THAT something works. I really want to know why? how? That way, I'm much more likely to understand it.
Been making wine for a couple of years now, from shop bought kits, from foraged fruits and from carton juice. Already have a couple of favourites, but am still looking to try new recipes. Also hoping to run into some of the guys from another winemaking forum, which closed recently. Wurzel, Ohbeary, Fermenting Tom, to name but a few.
Remember when 'geek' mean't biting the head off of an animal? ha! I need more coffee

Not sure if I've already posted this?


Caffeine levels in high street coffees vary significantly, Which Magazine (UK) finds

If you regularly buy coffees from high-street chains you could be getting much more - or less - than you bargained for.

We compared caffeine content for espresso, cappuccino and filter coffee options from high street chains including Costa, Pret and Starbucks.

These are UK chains. USA may be different?

Our research revealed that some coffee chains may leave you feeling shortchanged, while others could give you an unexpectedly strong coffee buzz.

A cappuccino from Costa contains more than four and a half times as much caffeine as one from rival chain Starbucks, while a single espresso at Pret has six times as much caffeine as one at Starbucks.

Sign up to our free monthly Food & Health newsletter for the latest tips on staying healthy and shopping on a budget

How much caffeine is in your cup of coffee?

How much caffeine is in your coffee depends on what type of coffee you buy and where you buy it from, our research reveals. It can be hard to tell as levels vary so much, even in seemingly identical coffees.

We asked brands about the caffeine content for similar-sized drinks using three popular types as an example.

High street coffee caffeine content compared

Costa and Pret have some of the highest caffeine contents, while Starbucks has the lowest.

Costa's medium cappuccino (362ml) has 325mg caffeine compared to 66mg caffeine in Starbucks' Tall (350ml) version, which has less caffeine than you'd find in a mug of tea (75mg) or a mug of instant coffee (100mg).

Similar sized cappuccinos from Caffè Nero will give you 110-115mg of caffeine, Gregg's 197mg and Pret 180mg.

Knocking back two medium cappuccinos from Costa in a day could therefore put you over the safe limit of caffeine intake, while Starbucks' version may not be quite the wake-up call you were hoping for.

Best ground coffee - see our top picks for cheaper coffee at home

How much caffeine is safe?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that affects your brain and nervous system. It makes you more alert, increases attention and has been shown to increase performance in short-term high-intensity and endurance exercises.

Most people can safely consume 300-400mg a day, but having more than 600mg a day has been linked to insomnia, nervousness, irritability, increased blood pressure and upset stomachs.

Pregnant women should have no more than 200mg a day as higher intakes have been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage or low-birth weight babies.

But as we've shown it's hard to know exactly how much you're consuming. Caffeine isn't just in coffee, either. It's also in tea, cola, chocolate, energy drinks and some cold and flu remedies, so it's worth being in the know about how much you may be unintentionally consuming.

Typical caffeine content in other food and drink:

Mug of tea = 75mg caffeine

Energy drink (250ml) = 80mg caffeine

Coca cola = 30mg caffeine

Chocolate approx 45g bar = 9mg caffeine (milk), 18mg (dark)

Caffeine aside, there is emerging evidence that coffee has some health benefits.

These include greater diversity of the gut microbiome in regular coffee drinkers due to the polyphenols it contains, which help fuel good gut bacteria.

Other studies have shown people who drink coffee to have a lower risk of stroke and liver disease. So, like many things, it's best enjoyed in moderation.

The difference in caffeine content between different chains and drinks is partly down to how much coffee is used in the drink. Most coffee shop brews will have at least two shots of espresso in them, but some have more, meaning your caffeine intake can quickly add up.

Other factors can also affect the caffeine content, including the type of coffee beans used to make the drink.

There are two main types of coffee bean - Arabica and Robusta. Charles Love, tea and coffee expert at Whittard of Chelsea, told us: "Arabica contains around half the caffeine levels of Robusta. While most chains use a 100% Arabica blend, those that use a mix of Arabica and Robusta naturally have more caffeine in their drinks".

The level of roast can also impact caffeine levels.

Giles Hilton, freelance coffee and tea specialist told us: "Light and medium roasted beans contain more caffeine than higher roasts as the caffeine burns away as the roast level increases".

Where the beans originate from can also make a difference: "Just like wine, different regions produce different characters of coffee because of differences in climate, altitude and soil."

And there's more. Colin Smith, managing director of Smiths of London, an artisan coffee roasters, told us: "Steeping time, size and quality of grind, and water temperature also affect the final caffeine content. For example, a finer grind will result in a higher caffeine content".

If you're concerned, you can ask about the caffeine content, or opt for fewer shots in your coffee.

What's the difference between a flat white, cappuccino and a latte?

A shot of espresso is the base of most coffees, with variants depending on how much and what type of milk or water is added.

An Americano is an espresso diluted with hot water. With milky coffees it's all about the ratio of coffee to milk (and sometimes foam):

Cappuccino - a shot (or two) of espresso which is topped up with equal measures of both steamed milk and foam or froth.

Latte - double shot of espresso topped with steamed milk in a ratio of one part espresso to two parts milk.

Flat white - double (or triple) shot of espresso topped up with an equal measure of steamed milk.
Last edited:

Latest posts