October 30, 2018

The Great Caffeine Debate

First Published - February 6, 2015 (By Jamie – Digital Marketing)

Last month we introduced you to our new coffee cherry fruit, Cascara that makes a rather delicious infusion tea. We stated it was lower in caffeine than traditional coffees. This all stemmed from tests that our good friend Graciano Cruz at Los Lajones farm in Panama had reported.

Cascara is gaining some traction on the coffee scene at the moment and it seemed some other roasters had a different view on caffeine levels. Many state that Cascara has higher caffeine than traditionally brewed beans. We suspected this view came from there being higher levels of sugar giving a bit more of a “buzz” than you might anticipate.

You may know that prior to his coffee roasting days, Steven (our Director & Coffee Buyer) is a PhD biologist, so although enjoying speculation, cold, hard facts are vital. Over the last week he has donned his lab jacket and got to work on testing. He even brought in a couple of tesla coils to add to the authenticity…we’d hazard a guess he misses his old lab days at times! *

Here’s the science bit:

Arabica Bean Espresso Single shot 70mg
Arabica Bean Filter 250ml Cup 150mg
Coffee Cherry Fruit (Geisha) Infusion 250ml Cup 54mg
Coffee Cherry Fruit (Catuai) Infusion 250ml Cup 28mg


*(Actually he sent the samples to an accredited lab for testing)

Whilst we can’t talk about other Coffee Cherry Infusions, it’s quite clear that ours is significantly lower in caffeine than traditional coffee brews and so makes for a lighter alternative. And although we found a difference between the two varietals, Geisha and Catuai, we’ll look at how reproducible this is. It is likely that other varietals and different post-harvest processing techniques will have further influence on caffeine levels and may explain different findings from others. Our infusion is for 10 minutes, 72g/L.

Whether you need caffeine in large volumes or not, we would still heartily recommend you try the Cascara whilst stocks last (it’s selling fast) as it really is a delicious taste sensation.

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