Chocolate covered espresso beans -- how much caffeine?

rubytwoshoes

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Does anyone have any idea how much caffeine is in chocolate covered espresso beans? I'd assume more than (liquid) coffee since one consumes the bean itself.

Thanks!
 

topher

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You actually get more caffeine from the chocolate...it takes and average of 32 espresso beans to make a single espresso :wink:
 
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rubytwoshoes

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Thanks for replying, Topher.

That would make sense. So I assume actually chewing and eating espresso beans doesn't mean you're getting more caffeine than grounding and making a drink from it?
 

Natalie's

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eating vs. drinking

I'm going to go out on a limb and reply to the quote about getting more caffeine by eating the beans.

I'm no gastro-intestinal specialist, but if I were to give some input for thought... I'd say that you would probably get less caffeine if you actually ate the bean. Here's my theory:

If you grind up the bean and then brew it, you are exposing a great deal more surface area of the coffee and then passing water through it and extracting the caffeine pretty efficiently into your cup. Then you consume it as liquid which is quickly passed to your bloodstream

If you eat the bean, your teeth could never chew the bean up enough to even come close to the mechanically ground method (much less surface area). Also when you subsequently swallow the beans partially ground/broken big pieces etc., your body would not be able to break down, digest and process the bean fully enough to get enough caffeine into your blood stream like getting it from the liquid example above :wink:
 
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rubytwoshoes

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That's a smart scientific anaylysis. I never thought of it that way. You're right about the coffee grounds having more surface area and the liquid form having a greater, more immediate effect on the blood.

Thanks for your input! :-D
 

Jellrey

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I see what the guy is saying about the surface area and the brewing process. However, you can only extract so much caffeine out of the bean whether it’s ground or not. At the end of the day, the bean itself is the supply of caffeine. Think of sugar in a piece of candy as analogous to caffeine in an espresso bean. You can suck on a piece of candy for a while, but it’s not going to give you as much sugar as swallowing the candy whole until the piece of candy totally dissolves in your mouth.

Under this theory, eating one bean would have to put more caffeine in your body then brewing a cup of coffee with one bean ground up in the coffee maker. The only question then is how many beans must be ground up and brewed to equal one bean eaten. Of course, that doesn’t speak to how much actually get into your blood stream, but that’s a different question.
I''m going to eat a couple more :-D
 

LoveJava

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I don't know about the scientific basis, but from personal experience, I feel the impact a huge amount more from just eating a few of these vs drinking coffee or espresso. So much so, that my former manager used to bribe me and the rest of our team by providing these on a regular basis. Ah, how I miss working for him!
 

nazpastor

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Caffiene

OK, I am a chemist and here is my take on the question. There is only so much caffiene per bean. If there is 5 milligrams of caffiene/bean and you eat 30 beans or make espresso with 30 beans, the most caffiene you can get is 150 milligrams of caffiene. Caffiene is a very easy to extract compound, it goes into water very readily. This is an assumption, I have not checked it in the lab, that pretty close to 100% of the caffiene is received into the body with either approach. The difference lies in the metabolism of the caffiene carrier. A liquid is processed by the body in one fashion and a solid is processed another. I don't believe there would be a difference in the caffiene content, just in the metabolic rate that it is absorbed into the body. As you can tell by body size, two people metabolism food of all sorts differently. That is why two people with different metabolisms can eat the same food and dramatically have different weight gains/loses. Caffiene intake is going to effect different people the same way. You might eat the beans and get a quicker buzz, or you might drink espresso and get a quicker buzz. It is based in your metabolism more than actual caffiene content.
 

Carmine Domenaco

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According to Bowes and Church's Food Values of Portions there are 5 mg. of caffeine in a chocolate covered espresso bean.

Espresso has about 100 mg per 1.5 oz serving using a double basket.

There is far more stimulation achieved from 30 chocolate covered espresso beans over 30 coffee beans extracted into espresso due to the presence of additional alkaloids in the chocolate.

Theobromine and theophylline (to a lesser degree) are present in chocolate, according to studies the body's reaction to the small amount of caffeine in chocolate are amplified by the other two alkaloids.

There are about 28 mg. of caffeine in 1.5 oz of chocolate and about 250 mg of theobromine.

When larger amounts of caffeine are joined with the two theo alkaloids the resulting effect is an overall greater stimulation.

All three alkaloids are quite similar in chemical composition:
Caffeine
1,3,7-trimethylxanthine
Theophylline
1,3-dimethylxanthine
Theobromine
3,7-dimethylxanthine

Science aside, I can drink two cups with breakfast, go and cup coffee all morning, drink two espressos and not get jittery. A handful of chocolate covered espresso beans makes me sweat and shake.
 

son0fhobs

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Apr 28, 2011
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Re: Digesting Espresso, eat v. Drink

[...] I'd say that you would probably get less caffeine if you actually ate the bean. Here's my theory:
If you grind up the bean and then brew it, you are exposing a great deal more surface area of the coffee and then passing water through it and extracting the caffeine pretty efficiently into your cup. Then you consume it as liquid which is quickly passed to your bloodstream

If you eat the bean, your teeth could never chew the bean up enough to even come close to the mechanically ground method (much less surface area). Also when you subsequently swallow the beans partially ground/broken big pieces etc., your body would not be able to break down, digest and process the bean fully enough to get enough caffeine into your blood stream like getting it from the liquid example above :wink:

What? That's ridiculous! *hyperbologic expression*
I get your reasoning, and it is good logic. It's kind of stupid that I'm debating this since I'm no GI specialist either, but I'll do some research in a minute. I have done a fair of pas personal research into it, but...

Yes, liquid will extract a lot of the caffeine into the drink, and because it is a liquid, it would make sense that it would be absorbed quicker. Yes, chewing it wouldn't release near as much caffeine in your mouth. But saliva is a whole lot more effective at breaking down food that water is. You can compare with putting food in your mouth and water sometime, if you can resist eating it ;-)

Again, ignorant reasoning, but I believe active ingredients (such as caffeine) get absorbed into the bloodstream much quicker when absorbed in the mouth (if I remember right. Kind of like smoking/snorting is 10x quicker than eating). Liquids would get to the bloodstream quicker through the mouth, and I'm assuming in the digestive tract as well. However, the bean would be broken down just as effectively if not more so by the digestive tract. Think about all the tough food it breaks down on a regular basis. Since none of the bean is thrown away, as it is done when drip coffee is made, and no caffeine goes with it, eating the bean may potentially deliver a higher percentage of the caffeine. However, all this is from limited knowledge off the top of my head, so I'll be back!

Cheers!
 

son0fhobs

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Apr 28, 2011
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Mwa haha! Ok, so the answers by Nazpastor and Carmine Domenaco are pretty thorough. Brewing coffee, some of the caffeine stays in the grinds, where as the bean, you digest the whole bean and contents.
Here's the gist of it:

type serving caffeine drip 250ml = 8oz 115-175mg espresso 30ml = 1oz 100mg candy coated beans 28g 226mgbit.ly/m4Tib

I was hoping to find a more credible source. This one from answers.com references a better source, but the site was down. Bah!

"7 chocolate covered espresso equals a cup of coffee." ~coffeeshock.com

Food can be absorbed into the bloodstream from the mouth. I've taken a couple pills "sub-lingually" before, basically letting it get absorbed while I hold it below my tongue. Not sure if the position makes a difference.

Esspresso has less caffeine per bean, but is far more concentrated. (mixed with less water).

There you have it. I was hoping for more thorough biological explinations, but I have other work to do, so that's good enough. And combined with the two answers above, that's pretty thorough. Cheers all!

David
 

alsterling

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......Science aside, I can drink two cups with breakfast, go and cup coffee all morning, drink two espressos and not get jittery. A handful of chocolate covered espresso beans makes me sweat and shake.

Carmine, thanks for bringing this home; science aside. I speak from experience when I say that when I start with chocolate covered coffee beans, I don't just eat "a few!" I'll end up going through a couple handfuls, especially if they're "covered in dark chocolate!" While I've been around commercial coffee for awhile, my system is highly reactive to the caffine, and not in a good way. Yet I find I'm drawn to coffee, even though I know it will usually increase my metabolic rate and make me uncomfortable. Beans do more temporary damage to me than my usual morning coffee, and I'll guess that's because of the guaranteed delivery of all that caffine and the chocolate. I fair better with coffee during mid-day, when I'm active and my system can more quickly process the caffine. So in my opinion, and aside from the science of it all as Carmine alluded, beans end up delivering more caffine. And again, I'd say it's owing to our/my eating behaviour when it comes to "chocolate"... the guilty partner in this comparison. :-D
 

Randy G.

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Some of these beans are caffeine enhanced. I ate a few one day and it was far more of a buzz and rush than I would get from drinking quite a bit of coffee.
 

Hastor

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May 5, 2011
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Does anyone know if these are ever enhanced for sure as mentioned above? I was wondering because it seems like they should just be "chocolate covered coffee beans" as espresso is just coffe beans brewed under pressure, so that it is basically thicker, more of the coffee bean dissolved into the same amount of water. What makes them "espresso beans"? Unless they have added caffeine, there is no such thing as an espresso bean. You have to make them into liquid the proper way before you can call them espresso.
 
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son0fhobs

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Apr 28, 2011
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Does anyone know if these are ever enhanced for sure as mentioned above? [...] What makes them "espresso beans"? Unless they have added caffeine, there is no such thing as an espresso bean. You have to make them into liquid the proper way before you can call them espresso.

First, I probably should be going to bed, as I'm probably being more of a troll in this mood than helpful, but...

I'd gladly answer as I had the same question, but for the fact that google is sitting right in front of you. You could have found the answer, in detail, within a few seconds if you had done the right search.

"Caffeine enhanced"? That's pretty bogus. Unless you can actually quote a label or give a site. Espresso is just a plain old coffee bean. It just happens to be a specific type of very dark roast bean. It's kind of like having lots of types of jam, all from fruit, but then there's the ubiquitous strawberry jam. Ok, that was a terrible example. You'd have to look up why that happens to be "the chosen" bean. Espresso is also brewed differently (pressured, rather than drip).

All in all, you'd be doing yourself a favor to get a few good articles, wikipedia is always a good start, and read the whole thing. It'll give you a far more complete understanding rather than miscellaneous tidbits here and there that aren't well strung together. It's quicker, and far more effective.

But maybe I'm just way too tired and with the full moon coming out, I'm turning into a troll. *logging off*
 

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