Whatever you do, don't fall asleep.

Giant Caffeine Molecule
This page is my fault, not the guy's whose name is shown below. --Joe Z. This page is intentionally tacky and difficult to read.

Archive-Name: caffeine-faq
Last-modified: September 6, 1995
Version: 2.8

Frequently Asked Questions about Coffee and Caffeine


Alejandro Lopez-Ortiz


This FAQ is dedicated to all beverages and products that contain caffeine;
including tea, coffee, chocolate, mate, caffeinated soft drinks, caffeinated
pills, coffee beans, etc.

There are several newsgroups in which these topics may be of reelevance,
including but not limited to alt.drugs.caffeine,,,, etc. is preferred over and

  1.  The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products
       1. How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?
       2. How much caffeine there is in blend X?
       3.  Chemically speaking, what is caffeine?
       4.  Is it true that tea has no caffeine/What is theine, theobromine,
       5.  Where can I find a gif of the caffeine molecule?
       6.  Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee?
       7.  How does caffeine taste?
       8. How much theobromine/theophylline there is in ...?
  2. How to brew the ultimate caffeine drink?
       1.  What is the best temperature for drip coffee?
       2.  Quality of coffee
       3.  Why you should never use percolators
  3.  Peripherals and Secondary Storage
       1.  Proper care of Coffee makers...
       2. How to store coffee?
       3. Equipment reviews?
       4. What is a French Press/Cafetiere/Bodum?
  4.  Caffeine and your Health
       1. Caffeine Withdrawal
       2. What happens when you overdose?
       3. Effects of caffeine on pregnant women.
       4. Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)
       5.  Studies on the side-effects of caffeine...
       6.  Caffeine and depression.
       7.  Caffeine and your metabolism.
  5.  Miscellaneous
       1.  How do you pronounce mate?
       2.  How do you spell Colombia/Colombian?
       3.  How do you spell Espresso?
  6.  Coffee Recipes and other beverages.
       1.  Espresso
       2.  Chocolate covered espresso beans
       3.  Cappuccino
       4.  Frappe
       5.  How to make your own chocolate
       6.  How to make the best cup of coffee
       7.  Turkish Coffee
       8.  Irish Coffee
       9.  Thai Iced Coffee
      10.  Vietnamese Iced Coffee
      11.  Melya
  7.  Administrivia
       1.  List of Contributors
       2. Copyright

  1. The Chemistry of Caffeine and related products

       1. How much caffeine is there in [drink/food/pill]?

          According to the National Soft Drink Association, the following is
          the caffeine content in mgs per 12 oz can of soda:

             Afri-Cola            100.0  (?)
             Jolt                    71.2
             Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb     58.8
             Mountain Dew            55.0  (no caffeine in Canada)
             Diet Mountain Dew       55.0
             Mello Yellow            52.8
             Tab                     46.8
             Coca-Cola               45.6
             Diet Cola               45.6
             Shasta Cola             44.4
             Shasta Cherry Cola      44.4
             Shasta Diet Cola        44.4
             Mr. Pibb                40.8
             OK Soda                 40.5
             Dr. Pepper              39.6
             Pepsi Cola              37.2
             Aspen                   36.0
             Diet Pepsi              35.4
             RC Cola                 36.0
             Diet RC                 36.0
             Diet Rite               36.0
             Canada Dry Cola         30.0
             Canada Dry Diet Cola    1.2
             7 Up                    0

          By means of comparison, a 7 oz cup of coffee has the following
          caffeine (mg) amounts, according to Bunker and McWilliams in J. Am.
          Diet. 74:28-32, 1979:

             Drip                    115-175
             Espresso                100mg of caffeine
             1 serving (1.5-2oz)

             Brewed                  80-135
             Instant                 65-100
             Decaf, brewed           3-4
             Decaf, instant          2-3
             tea, iced (12 ozs.)     70
             tea, brewed, imported   60
             tea, brewed, U.S.       40
             tea, instant            30

          The variability in the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee or tea
          is relatively large even if prepared by the same person using the
          same equipment and ingredients day after day.

          Reference Variability in caffeine consumption from coffee and tea:
          Possible significance for epidemiological studies by B. Stavric, R.
          Klassen, B. Watkinson, K. Karpinski, R. Stapley, and P. Fried in
          "Foundations of Chemical Toxicology", Volume 26, number 2, pp.
          111-118, 1988 and an easy to read overview, Looking for the Perfect
          Brew by S. Eisenberg, "Science News", Volume 133, April 16, 1988, pp.

          According to Maxwell House at 1-800-432-6333 (USA only), the cappio
          caffeine content per 8oz bottle is as follows:

          Coffee     100mg
          Mocha       90mg
          Cinnamon    85mg
          Vanilla     90mg

          Quote from the lab manual:

               Caffeine is present in tea leaves and in coffee to the
               extent of about 4%. Tea also contains two other alkaloids,
               theobromine and theophylline. These last two relax the
               smooth muscles where caffeine stimulates the heart and
               respiratory systems.

          The effects of theobromine are, compared to caffeine and
          theophylline, relatively moderate. However, cocoa contains eight
          times more theophylline than caffeine. As well, caffeine has been
          shown to combine with other substances for added potency. Thus the
          effects of theobromine might be enhanced by the caffeine in

          Theobromine is highly toxic to dogs and kills many canids/year via
          chocolate poisoning. It takes quite a dose to reach fatal levels
          (more than 200 mg/kg bodyweight) but some dogs have a bad habit of
          eating out of garbage cans and some owners have a bad habit of
          feeding dogs candy. A few oreos won't hurt a dog, but a pound of
          chocolate can do considerable damage.

          Clinical signs of theobromine toxicity in canids usually manifest 8
          hours after ingestion and can include: thirst, vomiting, diarrhea,
          urinary incontinence, nervousness, clonic muscle spasms, seizures and
          coma. Any dog thought to have ingested a large quantity of chocolate
          should be brought to an emergency clinic asap, where treatment
          usually includes the use of emetics and activated charcoal. The dog
          will thus need to be monitored to maintain proper fluid and
          electrolyte balance.

          Pathogenesis of theobromine toxicity: evidently large quantities of
          theobromine have a diuretic effect, relax smooth muscles, and
          stimulate the heart and cns.


          Fraser, Clarence M., et al, eds. The Merck Veterinary Manual, 7th ed.
          Rahway, NJ: Merck & Co., Inc. 1991. pp. 1643-44.

          On humans caffeine acts particularly on the brain and skeletal
          muscles while theophylline targets heart, bronchia, and kidneys.

     Other data on caffeine:

     Cup of coffee    90-150mg
     Instant coffee   60-80mg
     Tea              30-70mg
     Cola             30-45mg
     Chocolate bar    30mg
     Stay-awake pill  100mg
     Vivarin          200mg
     Cold relief tablet  30mg

     The following information is from Bowes and Church's Food values of
     portions commonly used, by Anna De Planter Bowes. Lippincott, Phila. 1989.
     Pages 261-2: Caffeine.


     Chocolate                               mg caffeine
       baking choc, unsweetened, Bakers--1 oz(28 g) 25
       german sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)           8
       semi-sweet, Bakers -- 1 oz (28 g)            13

     Choc chips
       Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)                     13
       german sweet, Bakers -- 1/4 cup (43 g)       15

     Chocolate bar, Cadbury  -- 1 oz (28 g)         15
     Chocolate milk  8oz                             8

     Jello Pudding Pops, Choc (47 g)                 2
     Choc mousse from Jell-O mix (95 g)              6
     Jello choc fudge mousse (86 g)                 12

     3 heaping teaspoons of choc powder mix          8
     2 tablespoons choc syrup                        5
     1 envelope hot cocoa mix                        5

     Dietary formulas
     ensure, plus, choc, Ross Labs -- 8 oz (259 g)  10
     Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar

     More stuff:

     Guarana "Magic Power" (quite common in Germany),
     15 ml alcohol with
     5g Guarana Seeds        250.0 mg
     Guarana capsules with
     500 mg G. seeds          25.0 mg / capsule

     (assuming 5% caffeine in seeds as stated in literature)

     Guarana soda pop is ubiquitous in Brazil and often available at tropical
     groceries here. It's really tasty and packs a wallop. Guarana wakes you up
     like crazy, but it doesn't cause coffee jitters.

     It is possible that in addition to caffeine, there is some other substance
     in guarana that also produces an effect, since it 'feels' different than
     coffee. Same goes for mate.

  2. How much caffeine there is in blend X?

     Caffeine Content in beans and blends

     (Source: Newsletter--Mountanos Bros. Coffee Co., San Francisco)

     Brazil Bourbons  1.20%
     Celebes Kalossi  1.22
     Colombia Excelso  1.37
     Colombia Supremo  1.37
     Costa Rica Tarrazu  1.35
     Ethiopian Harrar-Moka  1.13
     Guatemala Antigua  1.32
     Indian Mysore  1.37
     Jamaican Blue Mtn/Wallensford Estate  1.24
     Java Estate Kuyumas  1.20
     Kenya AA  1.36
     Kona Extra Prime  1.32
     Mexico Pluma Altura  1.17
     Mocha Mattari (Yemen)  1.01
     New Guinea  1.30
     Panama Organic  1.34
     Sumatra Mandheling-Lintong  1.30
     Tanzania Peaberry  1.42
     Zimbabwe  1.10

     Colombia Supremo Dark  1.37%
     Espresso Roast  1.32
     French Roast  1.22
     Vienna Roast  1.27
     Mocha-Java  1.17

     DECAFS--all @ .02% with Swiss Water Process

  3.  Chemically speaking, what is caffeine?

     Caffeine is an alkaloid. There are numerous compounds called alkaloids,
     among them we have the methylxanthines, with three distinguished
     compounds: caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, found in cola nuts,
     coffee, tea, cacao beans, mate and other plants. These compounds have
     different biochemical effects, and are present in different ratios in the
     different plant sources. These compounds are very similar and differ only
     by the presence of methyl groups in two positions of the chemical
     structure. They are easily oxidized to uric acid and other methyluric
     acids which are also similar in chemical structure.

     Sources: Coffee, tea, cola nuts, mate, guarana.
     Effects: Stimulant of central nervous system, cardiac muscle, and
     respiratory system, diuretic Delays fatigue.

     Sources: Tea
     Effects: Cariac stimulant, smooth muscle relaxant, diuretic, vasodilator

     Sources: Principle alkaloid of the cocoa bean (1.5-3%) Cola nuts and tea
     Effects: Diuretic, smooth muscle relaxant, cardiac stimulant, vasodilator.

     (Info from Merck Index)

     The presence of the other alkaloids in colas and tea may explain why these
     sometimes have a stronger kick than coffee. Colas, which have lower
     caffeine contents than coffee are, reportedly, sometimes more active. Tea
     seems the strongest for some. Coffee seems more lasting for mental
     alertness and offers fewer jitters than the others.

     A search in CAS and produced these names and synonyms:

     RN   58-08-2  REGISTRY
     CN   1H-Purine-2,6-dione, 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl- (9CI)  (CA INDEX NAME)
     CN   Caffeine (8CI)
     CN   1,3,7-Trimethyl-2,6-dioxopurine
     CN   1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine
     CN   7-Methyltheophylline
     CN   Alert-Pep
     CN   Cafeina
     CN   Caffein
     CN   Cafipel
     CN   Guaranine
     CN   Koffein
     CN   Mateina
     CN   Methyltheobromine
     CN   No-Doz
     CN   Refresh'n
     CN   Stim
     CN   Thein
     CN   Theine
     CN   Tri-Aqua

     MF   C8 H10 N4 O2

     The correct name is the first one,
     1H-Purine-2,6-diione,3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl- (This is the "inverted
     name") The "uninverted name" is

     Merck Index excerpt...

          Caffeine: 3,7-dihydro- 1,3,7-trimethyl- 1H-purine- 2,6-dione;
          1,3,7-trimethylxanthine; 1,3,7-trimethyl- 2,6-dioxopurine;
          coffeine; thein; guaranine; methyltheobromine; No-Doz.

          C8H10N4O2; mol wt 194.19. C 49.48%, H 5.19%, N 28.85%, O 16.48%.

          Occurs in tea, coffee, mate leaves; also in guarana paste and
          cola nuts: Shuman, U.S. pat. 2,508,545 (1950 to General Foods).
          Obtained as a by-product from the manuf of caffeine-free coffee:
          Barch, U.S. pat. 2,817,588 (1957 to Standard Brands); Nutting,
          U.S. pat. 2,802,739 (1957 to Hill Bros. Coffee); Adler, Earle,
          U.S. pat. 2,933,395 (1960 to General Foods).

          Crystal structure: Sutor, Acta Cryst. 11, 453, (1958).
          Synthesis: Fischer, Ach, Ber. 28, 2473, 3135 (1895); Gepner,
          Kreps, J. Gen. Chem. USSR 16, 179 (1946); Bredereck et al., Ber.
          83, 201 (1950); Crippa, Crippa, Farmaco Ed. Sci. 10, 616 (1955);
          Swidinsky, Baizer, U.S. pats. 2,785,162 and 2,785,163 (1957 to
          Quinine Chem. Works); Bredereck, Gotsmann, Ber. 95, 1902 (1962).

          Hexagonal prisms by sublimation, mp 238 C. Sublimes 178 C. Fast
          sublimation is obtained at 160-165 C under 1mm press. at 5 mm
          distance. d 1.23. Kb at 19 C: 0.7 x 10^(-14). Ka at 25 C: <1.0 x
          10^(-14). pH of 1% soln 6.9. Aq solns of caffeine salts
          dissociate quickly. Absorption spectrum: Hartley, J. Chem. Soc.
          87, 1802 (1905). One gram dissolves in 46 ml water, 5.5 ml water
          at 80 C, 1.5 ml boiling water, 66 ml alcohol, 22 ml alcohol at
          60 C, 50 ml acetone, 5.5 ml chloroform, 530 ml ether, 100 ml
          benzene, 22 ml boiling benzene. Freely sol in pyrrole; in
          tetrahydrofuran contg about 4% water; also sol in ethyl acetate;
          slightly in petr ether. Soly in water is increased by alkali
          benzoates, cinnamates, citrates, or salicylates.

          Monohydrate, felted needles, contg 8.5% H2O. Efflorescent in
          air; complete dehydration takes place at 80 C. LD50 orally in
          rats: 200 mg/kg.

          Acetate, C8H10N4O2.(CH3COOH)2, granules or powder; acetic acid
          odor; acid reaction. Loses acetic acid on exposure to air.
          Soluble in water or alcohol with hydrolysis into caffeine and
          acetic acid. Keep well stoppered.

          Hydrochloride dihydrate, C8H10N4O2.HCl.2H2O, crystals, dec
          80-100 C with loss of water and HCl. Sol in water and in alcohol
          with dec.

          Therap Cat: Central stimulant.

          Therap Cat (Vet): Has been used as a cardiac and respiratory
          stimulant and as a diuretic.


     Is it true that tea has no caffeine/What is theine, theobromine, etc?

     From "Principles of biochemistry", Horton and al, 1993.

          Caffeine is sometimes called "theine" when it's in tea. This is
          probably due to an ancient misconception that the active
          constituent is different. Theophylline is present only in trace
          amounts. It is more diuretic, more toxic and less speedy.


          Coffee and tea contain caffeine and theophylline, respectively,
          which are methylated purine derivatives that inhibit cAMP
          phosphodiesterase. In the presence of these inhibitors, the
          effects of cAMP, and thus the stimulatory effects of the
          hormones that lead to its production, are prolonged and

     Theobromine and theophylline are two dimethylxanthines that have two
     rather than three methyl groups. Theobromine is considerably weaker than
     caffeine and theophylline, having about one tenth the stimulating effect
     of either.

     Theobromine is found in cocoa products, tea (only in very small amounts)
     and kola nuts, but is not found in coffee. In cocoa, its concentration is
     generally about 7 times as great as caffeine. Although, caffeine is
     relatively scarce in cocoa, its mainly because of theobromine that cocoa
     is "stimulating".

     Theophylline is found in very small amounts in tea, but has a stronger
     effect on the heart and breathing than caffeine. For this reason it is
     often the drug of choice in home remedies for treating asthma bronchitis
     and emphysema. The theophylline found in medicine is made from extracts
     from coffee or tea.

  5.  Where can I find a gif of the caffeine molecule?

     Caffeine = 1,3,7-Trimethylxanthine

     A different view of the caffeine molecule.

     The Department of Chemistry at Jamaica of the University of Western Indies
     has made available an avi and an mpeg of a rotation of the caffeine
     molecule, among other molecules and chemical processes. The index page
     contains more information and the links to the clips.

                      / \
                N----C   C==O
               ||   ||   |
               ||   ||   |
               CH    C   N--CH3
                 \  / \ /
                  N    C
                  |   ||
                 CH3   O

     There is a gif picture at the ftp site or any of its
     mirror sites under



     Theobromine is also a common component of coffee, tea, chocolate, and mate
     (particularly in these last two).


                      / \
                N----C   C==O
               ||   ||   |
               ||   ||   |
               CH    C   N--H
                 \  / \ /
                  N    C
                  |   ||
                 CH3   O

     Theophylline was once thought to be a major component of tea. This is not
     correct. Tea contains significantly more amounts of caffeine than of


                      / \
                N----C   C==O
               ||   ||   |
               ||   ||   |
               CH    C   N--CH3
                 \  / \ /
                  N    C
                  |   ||
                  H    O


     Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee?

     Yes and no. An espresso cup has about as much caffeine as a cup of dark
     brew. But servings for espresso are much smaller. Which means that the
     content of caffeine per millilitre are much higher than with a regular
     brew. Moreover, caffeine is more quickly assimilated when taken in
     concentrated dosages, such as an espresso cup.

     The myth of lower caffeine espresso comes comes from the fact that the
     darker roast beans used for espresso do have less caffeine than regularly
     roasted beans as roasting is supposed to break up the caffeine in the
     beans (I have read this quote on research articles, but found no
     scientific studies supporting it. Anybody out there?). But espresso is
     prepared using pressurized steam which extracts a higher percentage of
     caffeine from the ground beans than regular drip.

     Here's the caffeine content of Drip/Espresso/Brewed Coffee:

     Drip            115-175
     Espresso        100         1 serving (1.5-2oz)
     Brewed          80-135


     How does caffeine taste?

     Caffeine is very bitter. Barq's Root Beer contains caffeine and the
     company says that it has "12.78mg per 6oz" and that they "add it as a
     flavouring agent for the sharp bitterness"


     How much theobromine/theophylline there is in ...?

     Sources: Physicians Desk Reference and Institute of Food Technologies from
     Pafai and Jankiewicz (1991) DRUGS AND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

     cocoa                      250mg theobromine
     bittersweet choc. bar      130mg theobromine
     5 oz cup brewed coffee     no theobromine
     tea 5oz cup brewed 3min
     with teabag                3-4 mg theophylline
     Diet Coke                  no theobromine or theophylline

*  How to brew the ultimate caffeine drink?

  1.  What is the best temperature for drip coffee?

     According to chemical studies, the optimal water temperature for drip
     coffee is 95-98C. According to my notes, colder water doesn't extract
     enough caffeine/essential oils from the beans, and above such temperature
     the acidity increases wildly.

  2.  Quality of coffee

     The quality of a brew depend on the following factors (in no particular

       1.  Time since grinding the beans.
       2.  Time since roasting.
       3.  Cleanliness with brewing equipment.
       4.  Bean quality (what crop etc).
       5.  Water quality.

     Fact: Unless you are buying some major debris, bean quality is not very
     important, as compared to 1-3 and 5.

     Fact: The prepackaged stuff you buy in supermarkets is major debris, (in

     Fact: Once you have freshly roasted and ground coffee, filtered water and
     equipment free of oil residues from the last brew, quality of beans makes
     a huge difference.

     Many times "inferior beans" are due to (a) adultered beans, either with
     the skin of the coffee bean or with peanut derivatives, or (b) old grounds
     and roast.

  3.  Why you should never use percolators.

     Percolators violate most of the natural laws about brewing coffee.

        o  Don't overextract the oils and flavour. Percolators work by taking
          coffee and reheating it and throwing it over the grounds over and
          over and over again.
        o  Never reheat/boil coffee. This destroys the flavour. For best
          flavour, boil the water, pass it over the grounds and retain the
          heat. Don't reheat it.

     Violating these rules may not sound like much, but these are about the
     only rules there are. The effect of a percolator is to keep passing
     boiling water/coffee over the grounds until there is no flavour left and
     the flavour in the coffee is so dead that it's a worthless waste.

Peripherals and Secondary Storage

  1.  Proper care of coffee makers...

     It is very important that you wash your coffee maker pot and filter
     container thoroughly at least once a week. Bitter oils stick to the glass
     container and plastic filter holder.

     I used to wash the plastic filter container and rinse the glass pot.
     Coffee started to taste bad. When I was told to wash both thoroughly with
     plenty of soap the flavour improved instantly. Note: To the naked eye
     rinsed and soap washed pots look the same (clean that is).

     Some drip coffee makers require periodic cleansing with a solution of
     water and vinegar.

     If you have a coffee/teapot, the inside of which is stained with oily
     brown residues - also plastic/metal coffee filters, tea strainers, and
     stainless steel sinks in caffeine-o-phile houses - they can be restored to
     a shining, brand-spanking-new state by washing in hot washing powder

     Get a large plastic jug, add 2..3 heaped tablespoons of Daz Automatic or
     Bold or whatever, and about a pint of hot water - just off the boil is the

     Swill the jug around until the detergent is dissolved, and then pour into
     tea/coffeepot, and let it stand for 5 minutes, swilling the pot around
     occasionally, just to keep the detergent moving. Put the lid on and shake
     it a few times (care: slippery + hot)

     Repeat as necessary. Keep it hot with a little boiling water if needed. If
     you have a cafetiere, dissemble it, and soak the parts in the mixture for
     a few minutes, agitating occasionally.

     In both cases, the residue just falls off with almost no scrubbing. It
     does great things with over-used filter machine filters, too.

     Important: Rinse off all detergent afterwards, use lots of fresh water.

  2.  How to store coffee?

     One should always store coffee beans in a glass, air tight container. Air
     is coffee's principle enemy. Glass is best because it doesn't retain the
     odors of the beans or the oils, which could contaminate future beans
     stored in the same container.

     For consumption within:

     1 week
          room temperature is fine
     2 weeks to a month
          freeze them

     This prevents the chemical reactions that produce stale beans and lifeless

  3.  Equipment reviews?

  4.  What is a French Press/Cafetiere/Bodum

* Caffeine and your Health

Important: This information was excerpted from several sources, no claims are
made to its accuracy. The FAQ mantainer is not a medical doctor and cannot
vouch for the accuracy of this information.

  1. Caffeine Withdrawal: Procedures and Symptoms.

     How to cut caffeine intake?

     Most people report a very good success ratio by cutting down caffeine
     intake at the rate of 1/2 cup of coffee a day. This is known as Caffeine
     Fading. Alternatively you might try reducing coffee intake in discrete
     steps of two-five cups of coffee less per week (depending on how high is
     your initial intake). If you are drinking more than 10 cups of coffee a
     day, you should seriously consider cutting down.

     The best way to proceed is to consume caffeine regularly for a week, while
     keeping a precise log of the times and amounts of caffeine intake
     (remember that chocolate, tea, soda beverages and many headache pills
     contain caffeine as well as coffee). At the end of the week proceed to
     reduce your coffee intake at the rate recommended above. Remember to have
     substitutes available for drinking: if you are not going to have a hot cup
     of coffee at your 10 minute break, you might consider having hot chocolate
     or herbal tea, but NOT decaff, since decaff has been shown to also be
     addictive. This should take you through the works without much problem.

     Some other people quit cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms are quite nasty
     this way (see section below) but they can usually be counted with lots of
     sleep and exercise. Many people report being able to stop drinking
     caffeine almost cold-turkey while on holidays on the beach. If quitting
     cold turkey is proving too hard even in the beach, drinking a coke might

     What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

     Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When
     caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine.
     In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops dramatically,
     causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the
     brain), leading to a headache.

     This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to
     five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is
     also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain
     caffeine dosages).

     Often, people which are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable,
     unable to work, nervous, restless, amd feeling sleepy, as well as having a
     headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.


     Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress in
     Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed. Alan R.
     Liss Inc, 1984.

  2. What happens when you overdose?

     From Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-3-R (American
     Psychiatric Association, 1987):

          Caffeine-Induced Organic Mental Disorder 305.90 Caffeine

            1.  Recent consumption of caffeine, usually in excess of 250
            2.  At least five of the following signs:
                 1.  restlessness
                 2.  nervousness
                 3.  excitement
                 4.  insomnia
                 5.  flushed face
                 6.  diuresis
                 7.  gastrointestinal disturbance
                 8.  muscle twitching
                 9.  rambling flow of thought and speech
                10.  tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia
                11.  periods of inexhaustibility
                12.  psychomotor agitation
            3.  Not due to any physical or other mental disorder, such as
               an Anxiety Disorder.

     Basically, overdosing on caffeine will probably be very very unpleasant
     but not kill or deliver permanent damage. However, People do die from it.

     Toxic dose

          The LD_50 of caffeine (that is the lethal dosage reported to kill 50%
          of the population) is estimated at 10 grams for oral administration.
          As it is usually the case, lethal dosage varies from individual to
          individual according to weight. Ingestion of 150mg/kg of caffeine
          seems to be the LD_50 for all people. That is, people weighting 50
          kilos have an LD_50 of approx. 7.5 grams, people weighting 80 kilos
          have an LD_50 of about 12 grams.

          In cups of coffee the LD_50 varies from 50 to 200 cups of coffee or
          about 50 vivarins (200mg each).

          One exceptional case documents survival after ingesting 24 grams. The
          minimum lethal dose ever reported was 3.2 grams intravenously, this
          does not represent the oral MLD (minimum lethal dose).

          In small children ingestion of 35 mg/kg can lead to moderate
          toxicity. The amount of caffeine in an average cup of coffee is 50 -
          200 mg. Infants metabolize caffeine very slowly.

             +  Acute caffeine poisoning gives early symptoms of anorexia,
               tremor, and restlessness. Followed by nausea, vomiting,
               tachycardia, and confusion. Serious intoxication may cause
               delirium, seizures, supraventricular and ventricular
               tachyarrhythmias, hypokalemia, and hyperglycemia.
             +  Chronic high-dose caffeine intake can lead to nervousness,
               irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching,
               insomnia, palpitations and hyperreflexia. For blood testing,
               cross-reaction with theophylline assays will detect toxic
               amounts. (Method IA) Blood concentration of 1-10 mg/L is normal
               in coffee drinkers, while 80 mg/L has been associated with
             +  Emergency Measures
                  +  Maintain the airway and assist ventilation. (See Appendix
                  +  Treat seizures & hypotension if they occur.
                  +  Hypokalemia usually goes away by itself.
                  +  Monitor Vital Signs.
             +  Specific drugs & antidotes. Beta blockers effectively reverse
               cardiotoxic effects mediated by excessive beta-adrenergic
               stimulation. Treat hypotension or tachyarrhythmias with
               intravenous propanolol, .01 - .02 mg/kg. , or esmolol, .05 mg/kg
               , carefully titrated with low doses. Esmolol is preferred
               because of its short half life and low cardioselectivity.
             +  Decontamination
                  +  Induce vomiting or perform gastric lavage.
                  +  Administer activated charcoal and cathartic.
                  +  Gut emptying is probably not needed if 1 2 are performed
     Appendix A
          Performing airway assistance.
            1.  If no neck injury is suspected, place in the "Sniffing"
               position by tilting the head back and extending the front of the
            2.  Apply the "Jaw Thrust" to move the tongue out of the way
               without flexing the neck: Place thumb fingers from both hands
               under the back of the jaw and thrust the jaw forward so that the
               chin sticks out. This should also hurt the patient, allowing you
               to judge depth of coma. :)
            3.  Tilt the head to the side to allow vomit and snot to drain out.
     From conversations on alt.drugs.caffeine:

     The toxic dose is going to vary from person to person, depending primarily
     on built-up tolerance. A couple people report swallowing 10 to 13 vivarin
     and ending up in the hospital with their stomaches pumped, while a few say
     they've taken that many and barely stayed awake.

     A symptom lacking in the clinical manual but reported by at least two
     people on the net is a loss of motor ability: inability to move, speak, or
     even blink. The experience is consistently described as very unpleasant
     and not fun at all, even by those very familiar with caffeine nausea and

  3. Effects of caffeine on pregnant women.

     Caffeine has long been suspect of causing mal-formations in fetus, and
     that it may reduce fertility rates.

     This reports have proved controversial. What is known is that caffeine
     does causes malformations in rats, when ingested at rates comparable to 70
     cups a day for humans. Many other species respond equally to such large
     amounts of caffeine.

     Data is scant, as experimentation on humans is not feasible. In any case
     moderation in caffeine ingestion seems to be a prudent course for regnant
     women. Recent references are Pastore and Savitz, Case-control study of
     caffeinated beverages and preterm delivery. American Journal of
     Epidemiology, Jan 1995.

     On men, it has been shown that caffeine reduces rates of sperm motility
     which may account for some findings of reduced fertility.

  4. Caffeine and Osteoporosis (Calcium loss)

     From the Journal of AMA: (JAMA, 26 Jan. 1994, p. 280-3.)

     "There was a significant association between (drinking more) caffeinated
     coffee and decreasing bone mineral density at both the hip and the spine,
     independent of age, obesity, years since menopause, and the use of
     tobacco, estrogen, alcohol, thiazides, and calcium supplements [in

     Except when:

     "Bone density did not vary [...] in women who reported drinking at least
     one glass of milk per day during most of their adult lives."

     That is, if you drink a glass of milk a day, there is no need to worry
     about the caffeine related loss of calcium.

  5.  Studies on the side-effects of caffeine.

     OAKLAND, California (UPI) -- Coffee may be good for life. A major study
     has found fewer suicides among coffee drinkers than those who abstained
     from the hot black brew.

     The study of nearly 130,000 Northern California residents and the records
     of 4,500 who have died looked at the effects of coffee and tea on

     Cardiologist Arthur Klatsky said of the surprising results, ``This is not
     a fluke finding because our study was very large, involved a multiracial
     population, men, women, and examined closely numerous factors related to
     mortality such as alcohol consumption and smoking.''

     The unique survey also found no link between coffee consumption and death
     risk. And it confirmed a ``weak'' connection of coffee or tea to heart
     attack risk -- but not to other cardiovascular conditions such as stroke.

     The study was conducted by the health maintenance organization Kaiser
     Permanente and was reported Wednesday in the Annals of Epidemiology.

  6.  Caffeine and depression.

  7.  Caffeine and your metabolism.

     Caffeine increases the level of circulating fatty acids. This has been
     shown to increase the oxidation of these fuels, hence enhancing fat
     oxidation. Caffeine has been used for years by runners and endurance
     people to enhance fatty acid metabolism. It's particularly effective in
     those who are not habitual users.

     Caffeine is not an appetite suppressant. It does affect metabolism, though
     it is a good question whether its use truly makes any difference during a
     diet. The questionable rationale for its original inclusion in diet pills
     was to make a poor man's amphetamine-like preparation from the
     non-stimulant sympathomimetic phenylpropanolamine and the stimulant
     caffeine. (That you end up with something very non-amphetamine like is
     neither here nor there.) The combination drugs were called "Dexatrim" or
     Dexa-whosis (as in Dexedrine) for a reason, namely, to assert its
     similarity in the minds of prospective buyers. However, caffeine has not
     been in OTC diet pills for many years per order of the FDA, which stated
     that there was no evidence of efficacy for such a combination.

     From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics:

          Caffeine in combination with an analgesic, such as aspirin, is
          widely used in the treatment of ordinary types of headache.
          There are few data to substantiate its efficacy for this
          purpose. Caffeine is also used in combination with an ergot
          alkaloid in the treatment of migrane (Chapter 39).

          Ergotamine is usually administered orally (in combination with
          caffeine) or sublingually [...] If a patient cannot tolerate
          ergotamine orally, rectal administration of a mixture of
          caffeine and ergotamine tartarate may be attempted.

          The bioavailability [of ergotamine] after sublingual
          administration is also poor and is often inadequate for
          therapeutic purposes [...] the concurrent administration of
          caffeine (50-100 mg per mg of ergotamine) improves both the rate
          and extent of absorption [...] However, there is little
          correspondence between the concentration of ergotamine in plasma
          and the intensity or duration of therapeutic or toxic effects.

          Caffeine enhances the action of the ergot alkaloids in the
          treatment of migrane, a discovery that must be credited to the
          sufferers from the disease who observed that strong coffee gave
          symptomatic relief, especially when combined with the ergot
          alkaloids. As mentioned, caffeine increases the oral and rectal
          absorption of ergotamine, and it is widely believed that this
          accounts for its enhancement of therapeutic effects.

     Nowadays most of researchers believe that the stimulatory actions are
     attributable to the antagonism of the adenosine. Agonists at the adenosine
     receptors produce sedation while antagonists at these sites, like caffeine
     and theophylline induce stimulation, and what is even more important, the
     latter substance also reverse agonists-induced symptoms of sedation, thus
     indicating that this effects go through these receptors.

     Another possibility, however, is that methylxanthines enhance release of
     excitatory aminoacids, like glutamate and aspartate, which are the main
     stimulatory neurotransmitters in the brain.

     As to the side effects: methylxanthines inhibit protective activity of
     common antiepileptic drugs in exptl. animals in doses comparable to those
     used in humans when correction to the surface area is made. It should be
     underlined, that although tolerance develop to the stimulatory effects of
     theo or caffeine when administered on a chronic base, we found no
     tolerance to the above effects . This hazardous influence was even
     enhanced over time. Therefore, it should be emphasized that individuals
     suffering from epilepsy should avoid, or at least reduce consumption of
     coffee and other caffeine-containing beverages.

* Miscellaneous

  1.  How do you pronounce mate?

     MAH-teh. MAH like in malt, and -teh like in Gral. Patten.

  2.  How do you spell Colombia/Colombian?

  3.  How do you spell Espresso?

     By far, the most common spelling used throughout the world today is
     "espresso". This is a shortened form of the original Italian name for the
     drink "caffe espresso" (accent marks omitted). This spelling is considered
     to be the correct spelling by the vast majority of of coffee consumers,
     vendors, retailers, and producers.

     Some English language dictionaries also list "expresso" as a variant
     spelling. However, this does not mean the spelling is 'equally valid'.
     (see the post by Jesse Sheidlower included below)

     It was pointed out during the great "espresso vs. expresso" debate (spring
     94) that the Italian alphabet does not even contain the letter "X", which
     is incorrect.

     Further, it was discovered that at least three dictionaries contained
     incorrect definitions of the word "espresso". The American Heritage
     Dictionary gave the following definition:

          "A strong coffee brewed by forcing steam under pressure through
          darkly roasted, powdered coffee beans."

     The Oxford English Dictionary said:

          "Coffee brewed by forcing steam through powdered coffee beans"

     The Webster New World Dictionary gives:

          "coffee prepared in a special machine from finely ground coffee
          beans, through which steam under high pressure is forced."

     All three of these are wrong. In fact, espresso is a strong coffee brewed
     by quickly forcing hot water through darkly roasted, finely ground coffee

     (Some espresso makers do use steam, but only to force the hot water
     through the ground coffee. The steam NEVER touches the coffee. Many
     espresso makers use no steam at all. Instead, they use either a pump or a
     piston to quickly force hot water through the ground coffee.)

     Once these errors and the origins of the word "espresso" had been pointed
     out, the argument "but expresso is in the dictionary" quickly began to
     crumble. The final death blow to this position came in a post by
     dictionary editor Jesse Sheidlower. This post is reproduced in its
     entirety below:

          Jesse Sheidlower writes

          I find this thread fascinating. I regret that it demonstrates an
          unfamiliarity with dictionaries and how to use them, but no
          matter. I believe that I am the only dictionary editor to
          participate in this discussion, so let me waste a bit more
          bandwidth addressing some of the points made so far, and
          introducing a few others:

             o  The OED, Second Edition, does include _espresso_ and
               _expresso_, the latter being a variant of the former. It
               correctly derives it from Italian _caffe espresso_.
               [Accents left off here.] Whoever claimed it derives the
               term from a would-be Italian _caffe expresso_ was in error.
             o  There _is_ an "x" in Latin and Italian.
             o  There are four major American dictionaries (published by
               Merriam Webster, Webster's New World, Random House, and
               American Heritage). The most recent edition of each gives
               _espresso_ as the main form, and _expresso_ as a variant
               only. The fact that _expresso_ is listed in the dictionary
               does not mean that it is equally common: the front matter
               for each dictionary explains this. The person who claimed
               that three dictionaries including OED give _expresso_ as
               "equally valid" was in error.
             o  Dictionaries, in general, do not dictate usage: they
               reflect the usage that exists in the language. If a
               dictionary says that _espresso_ is the main spelling, it
               means that in the experience of its editors (based on an
               examination of the language), _espresso_ is notably more
               common. It does not mean that the editors have a vendetta
               against _expresso_.
             o  To the linguist who rejects the authority of dictionaries:
               I agree that language is constantly changing; I'm sure that
               every dictionary editor in the country does as well.
               Dictionaries are outdated before they go to press. But I
               think they remain accurate to a large extent. Also, if you
               are going to disagree with the conclusions of a dictionary,
               you should be prepared to back yourself up. I can defend,
               with extensive written evidence, our decision to give
               _espresso_ as the preferred form.
             o  The spelling _espresso_ is the form used by the copy desks
               of the _New York Times,_ _Gourmet,_ _Bon Appetit,_ The
               _Wine Spectator,_ the _Wall St. Journal,_ the _L.A. Times,_
               _Time,_ _Newsweek,_ and to my knowledge every other major
               or minor newspaper or magazine, general or food-related, in
               the English-speaking world. The fact that a handwritten
               menu on an Italian restaurant door spells it "expresso" is
               trivial by comparison.
             o  In sum: though both _espresso_ and _expresso_ are found,
               the former is by far the more common. It is also to be
               favored on immediate etymological evidence, since the
               Italian word from which it is directly borrowed is spelled
               _espresso_. The form _espresso_ is clearly preferred by all
               mainstream sources.

* Coffee Recipes and other beverages.

  1.  Espresso

     After living in Italy (Rome) for two years and living off espresso, Mr. X
     have found American espresso doesn't cut it. Heres how to do it.

        o  Get good dark roasted espresso beans, imported Italian brand if you
          can find it.
        o  Pack your strainer real full. Pack it hard. your instructions will
          say NOT to pack it, but don't listen.
        o  Don't use too much water. Espresso in Italy is as thick as syrup.
          Very thick.
        o  Add two spoons of sugar, it's a sweet, thick liquid in Italy.

     Drink fast.


     If using a stove top espresso machine, clean after each use, paying
     attention to the seal and strainer.

       1.  For best results, get arabica beans that have been roasted dark
          ("Italian Roast" is darkest) and are oily-looking. Other roasts are
          for other types of brewing: espresso machines won't draw the earthy
          flavour of Sumatran out, for example. A small amount of other beans
          might add a nice note to the flavour, though (I've had surprising
          success adding a few of Thanksgiving Coffee's "High-Caffeine Pony
          Express" beans, which are actually robusta beans from Thailand).
       2.  Grind those beans until they're very fine, but not quite a powder.
          Put them into the appropriate piece of your machine and tamp it down
          (but don't pack all the grounds in tight).
       3.  Watch the espresso as it drips down. Does a nice layer of foam form
          on the top? If it does, all is well; that foam is made from the
          flavourful oils, and it is called crema. If not, go to the coffee
          roaster and demand quadruple your money back.
       4.  Never make more than 2oz at a time. If you're making two cups of
          espresso, make two separate shots. This is important. The idea is
          that the water rushes through and draws out only the most flavourful
          part of the grounds. More than 2oz and you're drawing out less
          flavourful stuff and diluting your espresso. If you're really
          hardcore, make only 1oz at a time; this is called caffe ristretto.

  2. Chocolate covered espresso beans

     You won't get single, glossy beans, but the taste is there!

       1. Put dark roast coffee beans on a waxpaper-covered baking sheet.
       2.  Melt some chocolate by puting a container with the chocolate in a
          pan of boiling water, stir the chocolate when it is getting hot. Some
          experimentation regarding what chocolate to use is in place. I used
          chocolate chips of from Girardelli. One should probably aim for dark
          and not too sweet chocolate.
       3.  Pour the chocolate over the beans and smear it so that each bean is
          covered - you should have a single layer of covered beans not too far
       4.  When the beans have cooled off a little bit, put the sheet in the
       5.  When solid, break off a piece and enjoy.

  3.  Cappuccino

     Disclaimer: People prepare cappuccino in many different ways, and in their
     very own way each one of them is correct. The following recipe, which is
     commonly used in Latin countries, has been tasted by several of my
     North-American friends and they unanimously agreed that cappuccino
     prepared using this recipe tastes much better than the standard fare in

     Start with cold milk (it doesn't really need to be ice-cold), use homo
     milk or carnation. 2% or skim is just not thick enough (admittedly, it is
     easier to produce foam with skim milk).

     Place the milk on a special cappuccino glass with a cappuccino basket.
     (Cappuccino glasses have a thinner bottom).

     Aerate the milk near the top, within 2cm (1 in) of the top. Move the glass
     down as the milk aerates. It is a good idea to have an oscillating motion
     while aerating the milk.

     Aerating the milk in another container, then pouring in a glass and adding
     the foam with a spoon is sacrilege.

     Anybody who has done so should make a pilgrimage to San Francisco's
     Girardelli's. Otherwise entry to heaven will be denied (god, is after all,
     Italian. At least the catholic one).

     If you need to aerate the milk on a separate container, aerate exactly the
     amount of milk required for one cup, so no need to add foam with a spoon.

     Once the milk has been aerated, promptly clean the aerator with a wet rag.
     Failure to do so will quickly result in rotten milk flavour coming from
     the aerator.

     Another warning on similar lines applies to restaurant type coffee
     machines: leave the aerator valve open when powering the machine up and
     down. When the machine is off a partial vacuum is formed in the boiler
     that will suck milk residue into the boiler. This then coats the inside of
     the boiler and can cause bad smelling steam until the boiler is flushed.
     Some machines have a vacuum bleed valve to prevent this problem but many

     Wait for the steam pressure to build up again (for some cappuccino makers
     wait time is near zero, for others it maybe as long as 60 secs).

     Prepare the espresso coffee, you may add it directly on to the glass if
     possible or use a cup and then pour it from the cup on the milk.

     According to Jym Dyer: In Italy, the milk is added TO the espresso, not
     the other way around, that way the milk is floating; on top, where you
     then add the sugar, and stir it up.

     Cappuccino tastes better when is really hot, and has two teaspoons of
     sugar. (small teaspoons, like the ones in expensive silverware).

     Then accompany said cappuccino with a warm tea bisquet or english muffin
     with marmalade, or alternatively with a baguette sandwich or panini.

  4.  Frappe

     Frappe coffee is widely consumed in parts of Europe and LatinAmerica
     especially in summer. Originally was made with cold espresso. Nowadays is
     prepared in most places by shaking into a shaker 1-2 teaspoons of instant
     coffee with sugar, water and ice-cubes and it is served in a long glass
     with ice, milk to taste and a straw. The important thing is the thick
     froth on top of the glass.

  5.  How to make your own chocolate

     Here's the recipe for making a real chocolate beverage. Important steps
     are in boldface.


        o  1-2kg (2-4pounds) of cocoa beans.
        o  A manually operated grinder.


        o  Sift through the beans removing any impurities (pieces of grass,
          leaves, etc).
        o  Place the beans in a pan (no teflon) and roast them. Stir
          frequently. As the beans roast they start making "pop" sounds like
          popcorn. Beans are ready when you estimate that approx 50-75% of the
          beans have popped. Do not let the beans burn, though a bit of black
          on each bean is ok.
        o  Peel the beans. Peeling roasted cocoa beans is like peeling baked
          potatoes: The hotter they are the easier it is to peel the darn
          things, at the expense of third degree burns on your fingers. (Tip:
          Use kitchen mittens and brush the beans in your hands). If the beans
          are too hard to peel roast them a bit longer.
        o  Grind the beans into a pan. They produce a dark oily paste called
          "cocoa paste".
        o  The oil in the cocoa has a bitter taste that you have to get used
          to. I like it this way, but not all people do. Here are the

          With oil, which gives you a richer flavour:

          Spread aluminum foil on a table and make small pies of chocolate,
          about 1/4 of an inch high, and 6 inches in diameter. Let them rest
          overnight. The morning after they are hard tablets. Remove them from
          the aluminum foil and rap them in it. Store in the freezer.

          Without oil, some flavour is gone, less bitter, weaker (whimper)

          Put the paste inside a thin cloth (like linen), close the cloth and
          squeeze until the oil comes out. If you manage to get most of the oil
          out, what is left is high quality cocoa powder, like Droste's.

          What is left now is either bitter tablets or bitter cocoa powder.

     You can now make a nice beverage as follows:

        o Boil a liter of milk (or water, like in ancient Mexican style. Like
          water for chocolate, "Como agua para chocolate": you know).
        o  When the milk is warm (not hot) add a chocolate pie in pieces. Stir
          with a blender (but be careful! the blender's electric cord should
          NOT touch the pot or any other hot thing around it).
        o  When the chocolate has dissolved add 1/2-3/4 cups of sugar
          (depending how sweet you like your chocolate) and blend in fast. Make
          sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the chocolate otherwise it
          would be bitter no matter how much sugar you may add afterwards.
        o  Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or natural vanilla flavour (artificial
          vanilla flavour with chocolate results in an awful medicine like
          flavour) if you like, and blend again.
        o  Let the mixture boil, when it starts to get bubbly quickly remove
          the pan from the stove top, and rest the bottom against a soaked
          cloth. Put again on stove top, it should get bubbly almost
          immediately, remove once again and repeat one last time. This aerates
          the chocolate which enhances flavour.
        o  In a mug, put about 1/2-3/4 of the chocolate mixture, and add cold
          milk, until the temperature and/or the concentration of the flavour
          is right for your tastes. Accompany with French Pastries. Yum Yum!!


  6.  How to make the best cup of coffee?

     The best coffee I ever tasted was while in the coffee growing regions of
     Mexico, in the state of Veracruz, in the town of Coatepec. The quality of
     the coffee was mostly due to the method of preparation than to the quality
     of the grains (which is at about the same level as an average colombian
     coffee). Here's how to make it:

        o  Grind the coffee grains from coarse to very coarse.
        o  Boil in a pan a litre of water (four cups).
        o  When the water is boiling, turn off the stove and add 8-12 table
          spoons of coffee (2-3 spoons per each cup).
        o  Add two-three teaspoons of sugar per cup (for a total of 8-12 spoons
          of sugar).
        o  Stir very slowly (the water is so hot that the sugar dissolves
          mostly on its own).
        o  Let the coffee rest for about 5 minutes.
        o  Strain the coffee using a metal strainer! Like the ones used for
          cooking. The strainer should be like the ones used by granny for
          making tea. The diameter is a bit smaller that a cup, with a
          semi-sphere shape.
        o  This coffee has grit in the bottom, even after being strained.
          Therefore do not stir the pot or the cup. If the coffee is shaked,
          let it rest for about five minutes. Needless to say, do not drink the
          last sip of coffee from the cup: it's all grit. If you want to add
          milk, add carnation.

     Warning: This coffee may fool you 'cause it has a very smooth taste but is
     extremely strong. Caffeine content per millilitre is right there with
     espresso, but you can't tell!

     Note: For some strange reason, when preparing this coffee I tend to have a
     success ratio of about one out of two attempts. I still don't know what
     I'm doing wrong, since, as far as I can tell, always repeat the same
     steps. Perhaps sometimes I don't let the coffee rest long enough.

     This type of coffee is similar in nature to the French press. And in
     principle, you could possibly add sugar to the ground coffee, then pour
     water, and lastly press with the strainer.

  7.  Turkish Coffee

     Turkish coffee is prepared using a little copper pot called briki.

     Use a heaping teaspoon of very finely ground coffee and, optionally, one
     heaping teaspoon of sugar (to taste). Use about 3oz of coffee. [Add the
     sugar only just before boiling point.] Turkish coffee without sugar is
     called sade, with a little sugar is "orta s,ekerli" and with lots of sugar
     is "c,ok s,ekerli".

     The trick of it is to heat it until it froths pour the froth into the
     coffee dup and heat it a second time. When it froths again, pour the rest
     into the cup.

     The grounds will settle to the bottom of the cup as you drink the coffee
     and towards the end, it'll start to taste bitter and the texture will be
     more like wet coffee grounds than a drink. As soon as this happens stop or
     your next sip will taste really, really bitter. Instead, turn your cup
     upside down on the saucer, and let someone read your fortune!

  8.  Irish Coffee

        o Sturdy wine glass or glass with stem
        o  1 teaspoon sugar
        o 1 or 2 tablespoon Irish whiskey
        o  black coffee
        o  cream, lightly whipped
       1.  Place spoon in glass. Heat glass by pouring in warm water. When
          glass is warm, pour out the water. Leave spoon in glass.
       2.  Put sugar, whiskey and coffee in glass. Stir to dissolve sugar.
          Still leave spoon in glass.
       3.  Now for the tricky bit: Put dollop of cream on top, allow the cream
          to slide down the back of spoon (the spoon which was in the coffee),
          the tip of the spoon should remain in the coffee.
     Be careful not to stir after the cream has been added. The cream should
     form a foamy layer about 1 cm (or half an inch) thick on top of the black

  9.  Thai Iced Coffee

     Make very strong coffee (50-100% more coffee to water than usual), use
     something like Cafe Du Monde which has chicory in it. Pour 6-8 oz into cup
     and add about 1 Tbs sweetened condensed milk. Stir, then pour over ice.

     You'll have to experiment with the strength and milk so you get lots of
     taste after the ice/water dilutes it.

     Alternatively, this version which comes from a newspaper article of many
     years ago simply calls for grinding two or three fresh cardamom pods and
     putting them in with the coffee grounds. Make a strong coffee with a fresh
     dark roast, chill it, sweeten and add half-and-half to taste.

     Lastly, we have the following recipe:

     Makes 1 8-cup pot of coffee

        o  6 tablespoons whole rich coffee beans, ground fine
        o  1/4 teaspoon ground coriander powder
        o  4 or 5 whole green cardamom pods, ground
        o  Place the coffee and spices in the filter cone of your coffee maker.
          Brew coffee as usual; let it cool.
        o  In a tall glass, dissolve 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar in an ounce of
          the coffee (it's easier to dissolve than if you put it right over
          ice). Add 5-6 ice cubes and pour coffee to within about 1" of the top
          of the glass.
        o  Rest a spoon on top of the coffee and slowly pour whipping cream
          into the spoon. This will make the cream float on top of the coffee
          rather than dispersing into it right away.
        o  To be totally cool, serve with Flexi-Straws and paper umbrellas...

     One other fun note: I got a fresh vanilla bean recently and put it to good
     use by sealing it in an airtight container with my sugar. The sugar gets
     the faintest vanilla aroma and is incredible in Real Chocolate Milk (TM)
     and iced coffee.

     One final note: this would probably be even better with iced espresso,
     because the espresso is so much more powerful and loses its taste less
     when it's cold.

     Another recipe:
        o  Strong, black ground coffee
        o  Sugar
        o  Evaporated (not condensed) milk
        o  Cardamom pods

     Prepare a pot of coffee at a good European strength (Miriam Nadel suggests
     2 tablespoons per cup, which I'd say is about right). In the ground
     coffee, add 2 or 3 freshly ground cardamom pods. (I've used green ones, I
     imagine the brown ones would give a slightly different flavour.) Sweeten
     while hot, then cool quickly.

     Serve over ice, with unsweetened evaporated milk (or heavy cream if you're
     feeling extra indulgent). To get the layered effect, place a spoon atop
     the coffee and pour the milk carefully into the spoon so that it floats on
     the top of the coffee.

     The recipe I have calls for:

        o  1/4 cup strong French roasted coffee
        o  1/2 cup boiling water
        o  2 tsp sweetened condensed milk
        o  Mix the above and pour over ice.

     I'd probably use less water and more coffee and milk.

     There is also a stronger version of Thai coffee called "Oleng" which is
     very strong to me and to a lot of coffee lovers.

     6 to 8 tablespoons ground espresso or French roast coffee 4 to 6 green
     cardamom pods, crushed Sugar to taste Half-and-half or cream Ice cubes

     Put the cardamom pods and the ground dark-roast coffee into a coffee
     press, espresso maker, or the filter of a drip coffee maker (if using a
     drip-style coffee maker, use half the water). Brew coffee as for espresso,
     stir in sugar.

     Fill a large glass with ice and pour coffee over ice, leaving about 1/2
     inch at the top. Place a spoon at the surface of the coffee and slowly
     pour half-and-half or cream into the spoon, so that it spreads across the
     top of the coffee rather than sinking in. (You'll stir it in yourself
     anyway, but this is a much prettier presentation and it's as used in most
     Thai restaurants.)

     As with Vietnamese coffee, the struggle here is to keep from downing this
     all in ten seconds.

 10.  Vietnamese Iced Coffee

     Same coffee as above. Sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk Ice

     Make even stronger coffee, preferably in a Vietnamese coffee maker. (This
     is a metal cylinder with tiny holes in the bottom and a perforated disc
     that fits into it; you put coffee in the bottom of the cylinder, place the
     disc atop it, then fill with boiling water and a very rich infusion of
     coffee drips slowly from the bottom.)

     If you are using a Vietnamese coffee maker, put two tablespoons of
     sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a cup and put the coffee maker
     on top of the cup. If you are making espresso or cafe filter (the infusion
     method where you press the plunger down through the grounds after several
     minutes of infusion), mix the sweetened condensed milk and the coffee any
     way you like.

     When the milk is dissolved in the coffee (yes, dissolved *is* the right
     word here!), pour the combination over ice and sip.

     Thai and Vietnamese coffees are very different.

     Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese style iced coffee)

        o  2 to 4 tablespoons finely ground dark roast coffee (preferably with
        o  2 to 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (e.g., Borden Eagle
          Brand, not evaporated milk!)
        o  Boiling water
        o  Vietnamese coffee press [see notes]
        o  Ice cubes

     Place ground coffee in Vietnamese coffee press and screw lid down on the
     grounds. Put the sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a coffee cup
     and set the coffee maker on the rim. Pour boiling water over the screw lid
     of the press; adjust the tension on the screw lid just till bubbles appear
     through the water, and the coffee drips slowly out the bottom of the

     When all water has dripped through, stir the milk and coffee together. You
     can drink them like this, just warm, as ca phe sua neng, but I prefer it
     over ice, as ca phe sua da. To serve it that way, pour the milk-coffee
     mixture over ice, stir, and drink as slowly as you can manage. I always
     gulp mine too fast. :-)


     A Vietnamese coffee press looks like a stainless steel top hat. There's a
     "brim" that rests on the coffee cup; in the middle of that is a cylinder
     with tiny perforations in the bottom. Above that rises a threaded rod, to
     which you screw the top of the press, which is a disc with similar tiny
     perforations. Water trickles through these, extracts flavour from the
     coffee, and then trickles through the bottom perforations. It is
     excruciatingly slow. Loosening the top disc speeds the process, but also
     weakens the resulting coffee and adds sediment to the brew.

     If you can't find a Vietnamese coffee press, regular-strength espresso is
     an adequate substitute, particularly if made with French-roast beans or
     with a dark coffee with chicory. I've seen the commonly available Medaglia
     d'Oro brand coffee cans in Vietnamese restaurants, and it works, though
     you'll lose some of the subtle bitterness that the chicory offers. I think
     Luzianne brand coffee comes with chicory and is usable in Vietnamese
     coffee, though at home I generally get French roast from my normal coffee

     Of these two coffees, Vietnamese coffee should taste more or less like
     melted Haagen-Dasz coffee ice cream, while Thai iced coffee has a more
     fragrant and lighter flavour from the cardamom and half-and-half rather
     than the condensed milk. Both are exquisite, and not difficult to make
     once you've got the equipment.

     As a final tip, I often use my old-fashioned on-the-stove espresso maker
     (the one shaped like an hourglass, where you put water in the bottom,
     coffee in the middle, and as it boils the coffee comes out in the top) for
     Thai iced coffee. The simplest way is merely to put the cardamom and sugar
     right in with the coffee, so that what comes out the top is ready to pour
     over ice and add half and half. It makes a delicious and very passable
     version of restaurant-style Thai iced coffee.

 11.  Melya

        o  Espresso
        o  Honey
        o  Unsweetened cocoa

     Brew espresso; for this purpose, a Bialetti-style stovetop will work. In a
     coffee mug, place 1 teaspoon of unsweetened powdered cocoa; then cover a
     teaspoon with honey and drizzle it into the cup. Stir while the coffee
     brews; this is the fun part. The cocoa seems to coat the honey without
     mixing, so you get a dusty, sticky mass that looks as though it will never
     mix. Then all at once, presto! It looks like dark chocolate sauce. Pour
     hot espresso over the honey, stirring to dissolve. Serve with cream
     (optional). I have never served this cold but I imagine it would be
     interesting; I use it as a great hot drink for cold days, though, so all
     my memories are of grey skies, heavy sweaters, damp feet and big smiles.

* Administrivia

  1.  List of Contributors

     This FAQ is a collective effort. Here's a list of most (all?) of the

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  2.  Copyright

     This FAQ is Copyright (C) 1994,1995 by Alex Lopez-Ortiz. This text, in
     whole or in part, may not be sold in any medium, including, but not
     limited to, electronic, CD-ROM, or published in print, without the
     explicit, written permission of Alex Lopez-Ortiz.

Copyright (C) 1994, Alex Lspez-Ortiz.
Alex Lopez-Ortiz                                        FAX (519)-885-1208
Department of Computer Science                      University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1                                           Canada


Last update: 3-15-98

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