Finding the best coffee

Our taste test results reveal the best – and the rest - of 10 coffee chain beans.
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04.How much is too much


It’s generally accepted that consumption of less than 600mg of caffeine a day won’t harm most adults, and may even have some benefits. But people vary in their sensitivity to caffeine, and it can affect the nervous system causing irritability, nervousness and sleeplessness. In small children, toxic effects may be observed with much smaller doses.

Consuming high amounts of caffeine may make it more difficult to become pregnant and could increase the risk of miscarriage or having a baby with low birth weight, so pregnant women and those wishing to conceive are advised to limit their daily caffeine intake to less than 200mg a day.

So how much caffeine is in our daily brews? As a guide:

  • Espresso coffee 40mg-90mg / 30mL shot
  • Percolated or drip coffee 60mg-120mg / 250mL cup
  • Instant coffee 60mg-80mg / 250mL cup
  • Tea 10mg-50mg / 250mL cup
  • Energy drink 80mg / 250mL can
  • Cola drink 49mg / 375mL can

What does your choice of coffee shop say about you?

Results of a four-year study of Melbourne coffee-drinkers show chains are:

  • Preferred by young females
  • Frequented by customers seeking brand recognition
  • More popular with people born overseas

By contrast, independent cafés are:

  • Popular with older coffee-drinkers
  • Preferred by Australian-born customers

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