It goes without saying that one of the many reasons people drink coffee is due of the caffeine content in addition to the heavenly flavor. I realize that caffeine is a drug of sorts, and that (similar to everything else in life) moderation is key.

It also goes without saying that espresso and other arabica bean products have a noticibly lower caffeine content then their robusta bean counterparts. Now, what about the customers looking for BOTH a quality latte, or cappuccino, or other espresso-based drink AND a 'dose' of caffeine to keep them awake and alert?

This in mind, I was wondering if anyone has seen or used any sort of caffeine additive option. That is, a 'shot' of caffeine as an option similar to offering a 'shot' of syrup?

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Caffeine by itself is very very bitter. It's probably a bad idea to add a "shot" of caffeine to any drink. Just add more espresso. It tastes better that way anyway.

Also, a lot of espresso blends contain some percentage of robusta anyway to add color and body. Your espresso blend may already have some robusta in it, thus boosting caffeine content.

Coffee itself, arabica or otherwise, has a sufficient amount of caffeine for the average person. The advent of energy drinks has upped people's expectation of the buzz they will get, but let's face it, these people probably have a problem.

In conclusion, you can always drink more coffee for more caffeine, so there would be no reason to add a shot of caffeine to a drink.
You made some great points Eric. Now, what if there was some commercial product out there that was able to deliver a 'shot' of caffeine without the flavor impact?

I suppose I'm just curious about being able to deliver the same cup of coffee or espresso product and have another option for those caffeine rangers to choose to meet their needs. I think adding more of the coffee base is certainly an option, but does it have to be the only option?


Eric Tissot said:
Caffeine by itself is very very bitter. It's probably a bad idea to add a "shot" of caffeine to any drink. Just add more espresso. It tastes better that way anyway.

Also, a lot of espresso blends contain some percentage of robusta anyway to add color and body. Your espresso blend may already have some robusta in it, thus boosting caffeine content.

Coffee itself, arabica or otherwise, has a sufficient amount of caffeine for the average person. The advent of energy drinks has upped people's expectation of the buzz they will get, but let's face it, these people probably have a problem.

In conclusion, you can always drink more coffee for more caffeine, so there would be no reason to add a shot of caffeine to a drink.
My opinion; For what it's worth.

As a barista, and a coffee advocate, The idea of this offends me. Don't take that the wrong way... I understand and appreciate the need for caffeine and peoples perception of coffee as a convenient means to get it. However as barista's it is our duty to open people's eyes to all that coffee has to offer, and for those people who are looking to get totally jacked on caffeine, I feel like they are abusing the product that is to me the most important part of my life.

My way of dealing with customers like this is to explain to them, in as simple a way as possible, how caffeine affects the body, how caffeine content in coffee works, and why it isn't necessary for them to crack themselves on caffeine.

Try offering an americano instead of a drip and adding an extra shot. Though caffeine content is lower in espresso, it is more easily absorbed and stimulative in the human body. Or try and simply tell them "we're offering a great product, give it a try, and maybe if you start coming here more often for our coffee, your caffeine needs may lower to where is actually healthy" worded appropriately of course

you know what I'm saying?
Chris, I absolutely understand and appreciate your opinion on this. Caffeine, like almost every other potentially harmful product, should never be abused.

I personally believe caffeine is a magnificent byproduct of a good cup of coffee if used appropriately. For me, a cup of drip coffee is a great pick-me-up for the morning or a pleasant way of staying alert/productive on a long workday. I don't always feel that I need it, but, admittedly, there are times I buy coffee because I like the taste but really because I want the caffeine. I don't abuse coffee and don't feel that most people who drink coffee in part due to the caffeine content do either.

Here's an example for contemplation: Say a college student comes into a coffee shop before heading back to their room to write a paper on managerial economics theories (trust me, not the most fun) after a long day in classes. This customer wants a nice coffee drink to go with the paper-writing but also to keep him (or her) awake. He (or she) buys a large instead of a small mocha latte because it is their favorite coffee beverage due to the taste. This customer would have been better served by a drip coffee for the sake of the latter need, but instead goes with the large latte to try and fill both when they only truly wanted a small. Is there a problem with this customer's decision matrix? What if they were offered a shot of caffeine along with the shot of chocolate syrup in a small-sized latte equivalent to that of the large-size?

I just feel that this could be a viable option to meet the needs of customers out there who would like a little extra in their coffee without having to necessarily change their order. Again, I do not mean to enable anyone who is abusing the fact that coffee contains caffeine. Rather, I only mean to identify a need some customers have and propose an alternative solution.

I'm hoping to spur some more dialogue on this!


Chris Tellez said:
My opinion; For what it's worth.

As a barista, and a coffee advocate, The idea of this offends me. Don't take that the wrong way... I understand and appreciate the need for caffeine and peoples perception of coffee as a convenient means to get it. However as barista's it is our duty to open people's eyes to all that coffee has to offer, and for those people who are looking to get totally jacked on caffeine, I feel like they are abusing the product that is to me the most important part of my life.

My way of dealing with customers like this is to explain to them, in as simple a way as possible, how caffeine affects the body, how caffeine content in coffee works, and why it isn't necessary for them to crack themselves on caffeine.

Try offering an americano instead of a drip and adding an extra shot. Though caffeine content is lower in espresso, it is more easily absorbed and stimulative in the human body. Or try and simply tell them "we're offering a great product, give it a try, and maybe if you start coming here more often for our coffee, your caffeine needs may lower to where is actually healthy" worded appropriately of course

you know what I'm saying?

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