In a February 2023 Which^ report by Shefalee Loth Freelance Nutritionist & Writer highlighted the variation of caffeine levels in some well-known high street coffee brands.
The report highlighted the significant differences in the caffeine content across several similar coffee-based drinks. This created numerous headlines on the web and in the papers, along with interviews with various well-known professionals from the coffee industry.
Most people do not need to worry about how much coffee they consume. On balance coffee – and the hundreds of compounds it contains – seem to come with health benefits and three to four cups a day (adding up to 300-400 mg of caffeine) is fine for most people. ^^
But the NHS recommends pregnant women should consume no more than 200mg of caffeine per day, which would rule out a Costa cappuccino (325mg) and almost a Greggs (197mg) & PRET Cappuccino (180mg) too. Especially if you were going to have a cup of tea later.
As well, the British Diabetic Association (BDA) writes “Coffee is not the same world over and it’s unlikely that the coffee in many of the studies carried out around the world are the same as the one served in your local coffee shop such as the salted caramel latte with extra whipped cream and sprinkles!”
They go on to say “Coffee is a rich source of potassium and is linked to lower blood pressure. Having said that, people with kidney disease may need to lay off the coffee – especially as many people add milk which increases the potassium content even more.” ^^^
^^ Caffeine Consumption through Coffee: Content in the Beverage, Metabolism, Health Benefits and Risks
^^^ British Diabetic Association
The Risks – Arabica v Robusta
Whatever the type of coffee beans used, the roasting process does not affect the caffeine content. At all roasting levels the same amount of caffeine is retained.
However, differences will occur on the plantations. This was borne out by Eric Whitham, Director at Sons of Amazon. He said, “Our coffee is designed to produce 350/400gms of caffeine in an 8oz/12oz drink.
This achieved by working directly with the plantations in north Brazil and growing the Arabica & Robusta coffees in the same area and conditions.” He went on “This method of cooperation ensures coffee quality and consistency to meet our specific customer requirements”.
Read more here.