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Back to work: What’s the best coffee to energize you?

By Stephanie Chao, the Eye on Taiwan staff writer

The Chinese New Year holidays were over and many workplaces have resumed business as usual. To reduce the blue Monday effects, most employees might turn to coffee to boost their work motivation.

The best coffee to give you that boost of energy is widely dependent on the type of beans and flavor, the local Chinese-language health magazine CommonHealth reported.

They also debunked the popular idea that the stronger the coffee is, the more caffeine it has and hence, more energy for the drinker.

Taipei Special Coffee Association Director Huang Ming-de said the taste of a coffee is dependent on how much water is used when brewing and has nothing to do with caffeine levels.

Coffee beans, how it is grounded, brewed, time length and temperatures are all factors that would affect a cup of coffee’s caffeine and energy-boosting levels, Huang said.

The type of coffee beans is a major factor in deciding caffeine levels. The most popular type of coffee beans widely used around the world are Arabica and Robusta; the former has a milder, smoother flavor, making it more popular among the general public, while the latter is more resistant against parasites and such, the taste is more bitter and commonly used in budget-type coffee or as seasoning.

Despite its popularity and favorable flavor, Arabica beans hold less caffeine (around 1.2%  of a bean’s weight on average) than Robusta beans (around 2.2% of a bean’s weight on average).

While Arabica beans are more popular in Taiwan’s shops, if one cannot handle Robusta’s bitter flavor, consider well-grounded Arabica coffee, as the more grounded coffee powder is, the more caffeine it will produce when brewed.

For the frequent Starbucks consumers, CommonHealth suggested buying the daily special over the usual latte, as a medium-sized cup will only have 75 milligrams of caffeine on average compared to a daily special’s 240 milligrams of caffeine.

Still, despite the popularity of coffee, consumers are advised to consume a daily intake of no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine, according to the Scientific Committee on Food under the European Union, which equals to two to three cups of coffee.

Overdosing on coffee and caffeine will likely lead to the body becoming over-reliant on the stimulators and once the consumer stops drinking coffee, the body will more likely exhibit withdrawal symptoms, ranging from headaches, fatigue, depression, and nausea, CommonHealth reported.

 

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