Does ground coffee lose caffeine over time? Some people claim that it does, while others insist that it doesn't. But where are they basing their answers?
Well, caffeine is a chemical substance so there is only one field we can turn to in order to find an answer to this question: science!
Does Caffeine in Ground Coffee Last?
This question might come up for a number of reasons. Maybe you are wondering if caffeine can evaporate just like the aroma and flavour of your coffee does the longer it sits on the shelf; or maybe you are just worried that old coffee in your cupboard won’t give you the caffeine boost you are looking for.
To explain if caffeine in ground coffee lasts over time we must first take a look at what exactly is caffeine.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, a methylxanthine class drug and a widely consumed psychoactive drug. It is the world's most popular psychoactive substance. It's consumed by millions of people every day, and has a variety of uses in industry, medicine and research.
We know caffeine was used as an energy source by ancient peoples as early as 500 BC. People also drink coffee or consume caffeinated products to help with mental alertness, improve mood or provide focus. In nature, caffeine is an organic compound that is found in various plants, where it is used as a defense against plant predators.
Caffeine and humas
There has been a lot of conflicting information about how much caffeine people can consume per day. There are some scientists that believe that humans can consume up to 5 cups of coffee per day. The human body can only take up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, meaning that anything above that could be dangerous. This of course varies if you have decreased tolerance or you have other medical conditions that require you not to consume it often.
Caffeine as a substance
Caffeine is a substance that is remarkably stable in water solution. Its molecules can withstand the heat of the roasting process, making it an ideal material for production of coffee beans.
Caffeine has been extensively researched and found to be remarkably stable when exposed to a high temperature roasting process. It will not evaporate like other solvents or materials at room temperature and it definitely doesn’t dissolve in water.
So, technically you could leave your brewed coffee sitting there for weeks on end and nothing would happen to its caffeine levels.
Since it doesn’t evaporate this also means that if you have months old coffee in your cupboard, its caffeine levels will have remained unchanged. The flavour and aroma will definitely be stale but nothing will have happened to the caffeine.
Caffeine during roasting
Another common misconception is that different roast levels of coffee indicated stronger or milder caffeine content. That is simply not true.
The same amount of coffee beans, roasted in various different ways, e.g. dark roast, light roast, medium roast, espresso roast etc. we have the same amount of caffeine by the end of the roasting process.
That is because, like I explained above, caffeine is remarkably stable when exposed to high temperatures during roasting. You would have to absolutely burn the coffee beans and turn them into charcoal for the caffeine substance to be affected. Nobody likes burnt coffee though!
The only difference you are tasting between all these roast levels is the flavour and aroma of your coffee. A light roast would have a mild aroma while a dark roast would have a woody aroma and a smoky flavour.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant drug. It is a psychoactive drug, meaning it changes the way your brain works by increasing activity in the central nervous system. It also increases focus, alertness and wakefulness. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate among other things.
How much caffeine do I need a day?
It varies depending on the individual person but most people get their caffeine from coffee, tea, and soda. For adults, the recommended amount of caffeine is 400-600 milligrams per day.
What is the difference between caffeine and coffee?
Caffeine is a stimulant drug that is consumed in beverages such as coffee and tea. It stimulates the central nervous system to release certain neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin) and blocks adenosine receptors thus affecting brain function.
Coffee, on the other hand, has a higher concentration of chlorogenic acid which converts caffeine into less potent molecules and also contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage.
How can I keep my coffee fresh?
Coffee is a big part of many people's lives these days. Whether it's at the office, at home, or during your morning commute, coffee has become a staple for many. While we're drinking our coffee, we need it to be as fresh as possible since we don't want to feel sick from drinking stale coffee.
When it comes to coffee, you really need to take care of your beans. If the beans are ground in advance they can lose their freshness and taste. You should grind the coffee just before you brew it. And, if after brewing you want to store your coffee in an airtight container, make sure that the container is made of glass or ceramic material and not plastic.
Are There Any Cons of Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant that is found in coffee, tea, soda and other drinks. If you're not careful with caffeine, it can have some negative side effects such as sleeplessness, anxiety and decreased appetite.
The following are some of the cons of caffeine:
- Caffeine can cause insomnia or sleep problems for those who are sensitive to it
- Caffeine can cause you to feel anxious
- Caffeine may cause headaches when consumed in high amounts
So here is your answer! Caffeine in ground coffee does last and for a long time actually. Although, that is definitely not a reason why you should leave your coffee sitting on the cupboard for ages. It’s a pity to end up drinking stale coffee and not be able to enjoy the decadent aroma and flavour of your fresh coffee beans.
I hope this article managed to give a detailed answer to your question and that it has provided a little bit more insight on the world of caffeine and its relation to our body and health. Let me know if you have any questions!