May 12th, 2020 | Updated on May 19th, 2020
Caffeine is a miracle drug for many people. It’s that little pick me up on a morning to get you going, or that much needed cup of coffee halfway through the night shift to keep you ticking till the end.
It’s clear to see why coffee has become the second most drunk beverage around the world today, only beaten by water.
We use it socially to have a catch up with friends, or to round up an evening meal, but we need to make sure that we don’t become dependent on it.
It’s all too easy to drink too much coffee, which can lead to negative health effects.
Having coffee, or caffeine everyday isn’t a bad thing, in fact it can actually be beneficial, just keep the moderation.
400mg Of Caffeine
They both say that you shouldn’t consume more than 200mg in one dose though. A cup of coffee contains around 90mg-100mg of caffeine, so you’re good there.
It’s not just coffee that contains caffeine though, it’s also found in chocolate and tea, even breakfast cereals.
So make sure that when you’re counting up your caffeine intake for the day, you account for everything.
Don’t Drink Coffee Too Late In The Day
With caffeine falling under the category of a stimulant drug, there’s no surprise that it can have an effect on your sleep.
Caffeine has a half life of 6 hours, meaning it takes that long for your body to get rid of half of the caffeine in your system.
If you’re having a tasty cup of joe in the late afternoon, you’re going to find it harder to switch off. Not only that, but the caffeine is going to affect the quality of your sleep too.
Try to limit your coffee to before 2 in the afternoon, this gives your body enough time to flush out the caffeine.
Coffee should never be a substitute for water. Although coffee contains a lot of water and can hydrate you, caffeine works in the complete opposite way, which can leave you feeling dehydrated.
Try having a cup of water with your coffee, or at least make sure you drink a glass of water afterwards.
This can actually help with the taste of your coffee too, as the water will reset your palette, allowing your tastebuds to tingle with every sip.
When To Do A Caffeine Detox
This isn’t necessary for everyone, but there are a few signs you should look out for that could indicate you need a break. For example:
- Lack Of Concentration
- Depressed mood
- Low Energy
If you experience some of these signs when you go 24 hours without a coffee, then this is probably caffeine withdrawal.
Don’t worry though, they don’t last very long, only between two and nine days with them peaking between 24 and 51 hours in.
If you push through a couple of days of feeling a bit down, you’ll come out the otherside feeling energised and being able to concentrate without the need of caffeine.
You can reset your caffeine tolerance and create a better, healthier habit.
A Few Brewing Tips And Tricks
So we’ve established the responsible and important stuff of creating a healthy caffeine habit, so i’ll now share with you some golden rules to improve the quality of your brew.
Buy Whole Beans
If you’re prioritising quality and flavour, then get yourself a decent Burr grinder and grind up your own beans.
As soon as those whole beans have been ground, the flavour starts to be lost due to reacting with the moisture in the air.
Of course you can get some tasty pre-ground beans, but try a cup of each straight after each other and without a doubt you’ll notice the difference.
Make sure you get a ‘burr’ grinder though, and stay away from ‘blade’ grinders. Burr grinders allow you to change the grind size of your coffee, which is equally important, and leads me on to my next point.
The Right Grind Size
This is key for an optimal extraction process. Basically, the longer your brewing method takes, the more coarse you need your grind size.
For example, an espresso shot that takes seconds needs quite a fine grind, whereas a french press that takes about 4 or 5 minutes needs a coarse grind size.
This has got to do with the surface area of coffee that is exposed to the water that runs through.
The more surface area, the more flavour and compounds that are exposed to the water, and so less time is needed to extract everything to make a good cuppa.
A few people complain that coffee gives them a bad stomach, or heartburn, and have found that once they switch to organic coffee this disappears.
This won’t change the flavour of the coffee much, but if we’re talking about enjoyment then not having heartburn after your coffee is definitely something to aim for.
If you do have trouble with any of these problems, try giving organic coffee a go to see if it helps.
I was a sucker for this for such a long time before clocking on that the temperature of water matters.
I was always getting bitter coffee and discarding beautiful dark roasts because I thought they were rubbish, but the problem was my brewing method.
I would sort my moka pot out, get it ready on the hob, and wack it up full blast.
Being pretty excited for my morning cuppa, this brewed my coffee quicker! But I didn’t realise this was the reason my coffee tasted far from flavourful.
Brew your coffee with a water temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
A medium heat on the hob should be good. If you really want to get specific, you can get a thermometer for pretty cheap these days.
Author Bio: Tom Bolland quit his job 3 years ago and has been travelling the world ever since. He has always had a passion for coffee but it grew bigger after seeing the different coffee cultures around the world. His blog Happybarista.com serves to help people get the most out of their coffee experiences. If Tom isn’t drinking coffee, you can find him fishing, skydiving, or booking a plane ticket.