Discussion:
Ask EU: Instant Coffee and Caffeine
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Nick Odell
2017-04-19 13:19:36 UTC
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I'm struggling to find any useful information about the amount of
caffeine in various brands of instant coffee and am appealing to umra
(Oh, no you're not - Ed)for help in this. Essentially I want the
cheapest source for the most caffein. Pleasantness to drink is not a
factor because I don't drink instant coffee.

Before you come to the conclusion that I'm half mad, let me give you
enough information to determine instead that I am completely mad:
there are a growing number of people who are developing photgraphic
film in ordinary household products and I want to give it a try. With
a roll of 35mm film costing just £1 at Poundland there's lots of scope
for experiment. Google "Caffenol" and look at the results of the image
search.

So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?

Thanks,

Nick
Penny
2017-04-19 14:07:18 UTC
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On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:19:36 +0100, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
Before you come to the conclusion that I'm half mad, let me give you
there are a growing number of people who are developing photgraphic
film in ordinary household products and I want to give it a try. With
a roll of 35mm film costing just £1 at Poundland there's lots of scope
for experiment. Google "Caffenol" and look at the results of the image
search.
OK, you are completely mad and I can't answer you question (most google
results are about ground coffee) but maybe the people in the Caffenol
Flickr group can https://www.flickr.com/groups/***@N00/discuss/

I do have a question of my own, having glanced at the photos in that group
- why do you want to produce rubbish B&W photos when you could make good
ones?
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Nick Odell
2017-04-19 14:53:55 UTC
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Post by Penny
On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:19:36 +0100, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
Before you come to the conclusion that I'm half mad, let me give you
there are a growing number of people who are developing photgraphic
film in ordinary household products and I want to give it a try. With
a roll of 35mm film costing just £1 at Poundland there's lots of scope
for experiment. Google "Caffenol" and look at the results of the image
search.
OK, you are completely mad and I can't answer you question (most google
results are about ground coffee) but maybe the people in the Caffenol
I do have a question of my own, having glanced at the photos in that group
- why do you want to produce rubbish B&W photos when you could make good
ones?
Did you try just a google image search on Caffenol? Some of those
pictures on the first page aren't bad and some have an atmospheric
quality all of their own - whether that's a good thing or not is left
as an exercise for the viewer!

Nick
Peter Percival
2017-04-19 14:35:23 UTC
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Post by Nick Odell
I'm struggling to find any useful information about the amount of
caffeine in various brands of instant coffee and am appealing to umra
(Oh, no you're not - Ed)for help in this. Essentially I want the
cheapest source for the most caffein. Pleasantness to drink is not a
factor because I don't drink instant coffee.
Before you come to the conclusion that I'm half mad, let me give you
there are a growing number of people who are developing photgraphic
film in ordinary household products and I want to give it a try. With
a roll of 35mm film costing just £1 at Poundland there's lots of scope
for experiment. Google "Caffenol" and look at the results of the image
search.
So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?
Thanks,
Nick
I don't know mate, but it sounds jolly exciting and I hope you'll report
back and tell us how you're getting on, and maybe even post a few pics.
--
Do, as a concession to my poor wits, Lord Darlington, just explain
to me what you really mean.
I think I had better not, Duchess. Nowadays to be intelligible is
to be found out. -- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
Nick Odell
2017-04-19 14:55:10 UTC
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On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:35:23 +0100, Peter Percival
Post by Peter Percival
Post by Nick Odell
I'm struggling to find any useful information about the amount of
caffeine in various brands of instant coffee and am appealing to umra
(Oh, no you're not - Ed)for help in this. Essentially I want the
cheapest source for the most caffein. Pleasantness to drink is not a
factor because I don't drink instant coffee.
Before you come to the conclusion that I'm half mad, let me give you
there are a growing number of people who are developing photgraphic
film in ordinary household products and I want to give it a try. With
a roll of 35mm film costing just £1 at Poundland there's lots of scope
for experiment. Google "Caffenol" and look at the results of the image
search.
So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?
Thanks,
Nick
I don't know mate, but it sounds jolly exciting and I hope you'll report
back and tell us how you're getting on, and maybe even post a few pics.
Ta. But as you can tell, I haven't even bought a jar of coffee yet so
you might be waiting some time. My antique developing tank arrived in
the post today, however.

Nick
Penny
2017-04-19 16:59:49 UTC
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On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:55:10 +0100, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
My antique developing tank arrived in
the post today, however.
I used to love loading fillum into the developing tank :)
Much easier before I left my camera bag with built-in darkroom cuffs on the
bus at the airport - along with all my camera equipment - no record of that
holiday :(
I couldn't find a similar bag anywhere but got a nice upgrade on my SLR
with the insurance payout.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Clive Arthur
2017-04-19 14:36:39 UTC
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Post by Nick Odell
I'm struggling to find any useful information about the amount of
caffeine in various brands of instant coffee and am appealing to umra
(Oh, no you're not - Ed)for help in this. Essentially I want the
cheapest source for the most caffein. Pleasantness to drink is not a
factor because I don't drink instant coffee.
Before you come to the conclusion that I'm half mad, let me give you
there are a growing number of people who are developing photgraphic
film in ordinary household products and I want to give it a try. With
a roll of 35mm film costing just £1 at Poundland there's lots of scope
for experiment. Google "Caffenol" and look at the results of the image
search.
So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?
Thanks,
Nick
The Wikipedia entry says that caffeic acid is the active ingredient in
caffenol, and that it's not related to caffeine. According again to the
Wikipedia caffeic acid entry, it's found in much higher concentrations
in some herbs and spices, and very high levels in black chokeberry.

Didn't Black Chokeberry dye recently?

Coat. I'm gone.
--
Clive
Peter Percival
2017-04-19 14:43:03 UTC
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Post by Clive Arthur
[...]
Didn't Black Chokeberry dye recently?
You have a mordant sense of humour which is a bit off-colour.
Post by Clive Arthur
Coat. I'm gone.
--
Do, as a concession to my poor wits, Lord Darlington, just explain
to me what you really mean.
I think I had better not, Duchess. Nowadays to be intelligible is
to be found out. -- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
Nick Odell
2017-04-19 14:56:53 UTC
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On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:36:39 +0100, Clive Arthur
Post by Clive Arthur
Post by Nick Odell
I'm struggling to find any useful information about the amount of
caffeine in various brands of instant coffee and am appealing to umra
(Oh, no you're not - Ed)for help in this. Essentially I want the
cheapest source for the most caffein. Pleasantness to drink is not a
factor because I don't drink instant coffee.
Before you come to the conclusion that I'm half mad, let me give you
there are a growing number of people who are developing photgraphic
film in ordinary household products and I want to give it a try. With
a roll of 35mm film costing just £1 at Poundland there's lots of scope
for experiment. Google "Caffenol" and look at the results of the image
search.
So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?
Thanks,
Nick
The Wikipedia entry says that caffeic acid is the active ingredient in
caffenol, and that it's not related to caffeine. According again to the
Wikipedia caffeic acid entry, it's found in much higher concentrations
in some herbs and spices, and very high levels in black chokeberry.
Yes, I've read about things like that but Instant Coffee is the
sort-of benchmark and I rather fancied starting out with that.
Post by Clive Arthur
Didn't Black Chokeberry dye recently?
Grone.
Nick
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-04-19 21:31:54 UTC
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Post by Nick Odell
I'm struggling to find any useful information about the amount of
caffeine in various brands of instant coffee and am appealing to umra
(Oh, no you're not - Ed)for help in this. Essentially I want the
cheapest source for the most caffein. Pleasantness to drink is not a
factor because I don't drink instant coffee.
[]
Well, leaving aside whether what Clive Arthur found in Wikipedia is true
(that it might not be caffeine you're looking for, if I read it rightly)

I don't know if the amounts of caffeine in various instant coffees
actually vary by more than a factor of two. I wouldn't have thought so,
BICBAM. But if I'm right, then in terms of just amount of coffee per
pound (or penny), you can't beat the economy brands - Tesco Everyday
Value, Sainsbury's (I think) Basics, and similar from Asda. These used
to be less than 50p from Tesco and I think Asda, _including_ the jar,
and about 60p from Sainsburys (in bags - claimed to make you supply the
jar in the interests of economy/ecology, but the fact that they cost
more than Tesco/Asda despite the fact that the latter _include_ the jar
gave the lie to at least the economy bit). They're now about 60p for the
Tesco/Asda jars, and I haven't seen the Sainsbury bags for ages
(possibly over a year). These are only available in 100g, but work out
cheaper (by a factor of several, not just a small percentage) than
_anything_ else, even huge tins. In pence/pounds per gram(me) of coffee,
that is; they're usually rated "mild", hence my wondering about whether
amount of caffeine varies much. They're usually well hidden, e. g. at
floor level. Even Lidl have nothing to match them.

I buy them, because by the time I've added two sugars (or one sugar and
one pill) and milk, I see no point in going for an expensive coffee
(plus, I don't actually want strong, so mild suits me). Others MMV. On
the rare occasions when I've given them to anyone else, I've not had any
complaints - and I think I have asked if they are OK.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

All that glitters has a high refractive index.
Nick Odell
2017-04-20 09:13:21 UTC
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On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:31:54 +0100, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by Nick Odell
I'm struggling to find any useful information about the amount of
caffeine in various brands of instant coffee and am appealing to umra
(Oh, no you're not - Ed)for help in this. Essentially I want the
cheapest source for the most caffein. Pleasantness to drink is not a
factor because I don't drink instant coffee.
[]
Well, leaving aside whether what Clive Arthur found in Wikipedia is true
(that it might not be caffeine you're looking for, if I read it rightly)
I don't know if the amounts of caffeine in various instant coffees
actually vary by more than a factor of two. I wouldn't have thought so,
BICBAM. But if I'm right, then in terms of just amount of coffee per
pound (or penny), you can't beat the economy brands - Tesco Everyday
Value, Sainsbury's (I think) Basics, and similar from Asda. These used
to be less than 50p from Tesco and I think Asda, _including_ the jar,
and about 60p from Sainsburys (in bags - claimed to make you supply the
jar in the interests of economy/ecology, but the fact that they cost
more than Tesco/Asda despite the fact that the latter _include_ the jar
gave the lie to at least the economy bit). They're now about 60p for the
Tesco/Asda jars, and I haven't seen the Sainsbury bags for ages
(possibly over a year). These are only available in 100g, but work out
cheaper (by a factor of several, not just a small percentage) than
_anything_ else, even huge tins. In pence/pounds per gram(me) of coffee,
that is; they're usually rated "mild", hence my wondering about whether
amount of caffeine varies much. They're usually well hidden, e. g. at
floor level. Even Lidl have nothing to match them.
I buy them, because by the time I've added two sugars (or one sugar and
one pill) and milk, I see no point in going for an expensive coffee
(plus, I don't actually want strong, so mild suits me). Others MMV. On
the rare occasions when I've given them to anyone else, I've not had any
complaints - and I think I have asked if they are OK.
If I can't find ore accurate information this is probably the way I
shall go. Thanks.

Nick
Rosemary Miskin
2017-04-20 10:29:58 UTC
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On the rare occasions when I've given them to anyone else, I've not had any
 > complaints - and I think I have asked if they are OK. 

That might only mean your guests are polite!

Rosemary
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2017-04-21 21:12:31 UTC
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Post by Rosemary Miskin
On the rare occasions when I've given them to anyone else, I've not had any
 > complaints - and I think I have asked if they are OK. 
That might only mean your guests are polite!
Rosemary
Always possible of course; it has included a colleague at work, who'd
run out of his usual (more expensive) brand, and I am pretty sure I
showed him the jar and asked out of genuine curiosity, but you could
still be right - he's polite (an ex-Gurkha of Nepalese origin).
(Question less likely to arise now: at new employer, coffee is provided
free! [And cereal bars and biscuits!])

[P. S.: Turnpike says this post contains a non-ASCII character, and then
highlights what appears to me to be a space, the character between the
two ">"s before the word "complaints".]
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

If you believe in telekinesis, raise my right hand
Penny
2017-04-21 11:45:34 UTC
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On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:19:36 +0100, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?
I asked this question elsewhere this morning and have only had one response
so far which doesn't answer your question but does show caffeine results
for Nescafe, PG tips, Coca Cola, Pepsi and Red Bull (Red Bull wins)
<http://www.jenway.com/adminimages/A09_010A_Determination_of_Caffeine_in_Beverages_using_UV_Wavelength_Spectroscopy.pdf>
or https://goo.gl/gGEHx6
It also shows 'published' figures for caffeine/serving. I'm wondering where
these are published but haven't followed any of the references.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Penny
2017-04-21 12:38:30 UTC
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On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:45:34 +0100, Penny <***@labyrinth.freeuk.com>
scrawled in the dust...
Post by Penny
On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:19:36 +0100, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?
I asked this question elsewhere this morning and have only had one response
so far which doesn't answer your question but does show caffeine results
for Nescafe, PG tips, Coca Cola, Pepsi and Red Bull (Red Bull wins)
<http://www.jenway.com/adminimages/A09_010A_Determination_of_Caffeine_in_Beverages_using_UV_Wavelength_Spectroscopy.pdf>
or https://goo.gl/gGEHx6
It also shows 'published' figures for caffeine/serving. I'm wondering where
these are published but haven't followed any of the references.
And the next respondent says:
I run an undergraduate practical to determine the amount of caffeine in a
cup of tea/coffee for my first year undergraduates. If you want caffeine
I'd advise tea as there is a lot less other stuff than in coffee. We use a
method to actually obtain the pure caffeine and crystallise it as well as
quantify.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Nick Odell
2017-04-21 14:30:15 UTC
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Post by Penny
scrawled in the dust...
Post by Penny
On Wed, 19 Apr 2017 14:19:36 +0100, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
So: any suggestions? Which instant coffee is likely to give me most
bang for the buck?
I asked this question elsewhere this morning and have only had one response
so far which doesn't answer your question but does show caffeine results
for Nescafe, PG tips, Coca Cola, Pepsi and Red Bull (Red Bull wins)
<http://www.jenway.com/adminimages/A09_010A_Determination_of_Caffeine_in_Beverages_using_UV_Wavelength_Spectroscopy.pdf>
or https://goo.gl/gGEHx6
It also shows 'published' figures for caffeine/serving. I'm wondering where
these are published but haven't followed any of the references.
I run an undergraduate practical to determine the amount of caffeine in a
cup of tea/coffee for my first year undergraduates. If you want caffeine
I'd advise tea as there is a lot less other stuff than in coffee. We use a
method to actually obtain the pure caffeine and crystallise it as well as
quantify.
I've had tea suggested elsewhere too. A chemist gave a quick(?) and
easy (?) method for ending up with pure caffeine powder that only
involves two non-household chemicals even though one is a poison.
Walter White eat your heart out. I'd like to start with coffee though
because it is the benchmark by which other recipes are judged.

Thanks!

Nick
Penny
2017-04-21 14:43:44 UTC
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On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:30:15 +0100, Nick Odell
Post by Nick Odell
Post by Penny
I run an undergraduate practical to determine the amount of caffeine in a
cup of tea/coffee for my first year undergraduates. If you want caffeine
I'd advise tea as there is a lot less other stuff than in coffee. We use a
method to actually obtain the pure caffeine and crystallise it as well as
quantify.
I've had tea suggested elsewhere too. A chemist gave a quick(?) and
easy (?) method for ending up with pure caffeine powder that only
involves two non-household chemicals even though one is a poison.
Walter White eat your heart out. I'd like to start with coffee though
because it is the benchmark by which other recipes are judged.
He also points out (after I mentioned caffeic acid) "Hmm, actually whilst
the name is similar, the structures are not really related. ... and I
wouldn't be surprised if tannic acids contribute as well. I'll look later."

This chap is a chemist too - teaches at York (although he continues to look
about 12).
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Penny
2017-04-21 17:08:19 UTC
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On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:43:44 +0100, Penny <***@labyrinth.freeuk.com>
scrawled in the dust...
Post by Penny
I'll look later."
The result of which was:
"I've had a very quick search. It is definitely not caffeine involved in
the development process but the phenolic acids which are found in coffee.
Caffeine content does not affect the acid content in coffee.

As to exactly what is going on I'm not really sure. I have never carried
out film development (too young!) and I don't know the chemistry for it.
Looking at Caffeic acid you might be better off using cinnamon than coffee
as cinnamic acid is closely related."

Cinnamon sounds expensive though - good luck with your experiments.
--
Penny
Annoyed by The Archers since 1959
Nick Odell
2017-04-21 18:55:18 UTC
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Post by Penny
scrawled in the dust...
Post by Penny
I'll look later."
"I've had a very quick search. It is definitely not caffeine involved in
the development process but the phenolic acids which are found in coffee.
Caffeine content does not affect the acid content in coffee.
As to exactly what is going on I'm not really sure. I have never carried
out film development (too young!) and I don't know the chemistry for it.
Looking at Caffeic acid you might be better off using cinnamon than coffee
as cinnamic acid is closely related."
Cinnamon sounds expensive though - good luck with your experiments.
Thank you! I think, as before, I'll start with instant coffee and
play around with stuff from there. Plainly people have been getting
results even if it may eventually turn out that they are not for the
reasons they (and I should include myself here) thought.

Nick
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