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The right time to drink coffee

This topic was created by Simon Rockman .

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The right time to drink coffee

You know that the Italians say that you shouldn't have a cappuccino after 11:00 and that it's a breakfast drink, a faux par akin to Nadurra before the sun is over the yard arm?

Turns out there is a scientific basis for this: chronopharmacology.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The right time to drink coffee

True story.

I had to take someone from the marketing department to a supplier in Lecco years ago (don't ask why, it's complicated) and in the cafe around noon he asked for a cappucino.

My Italian opposite number leaned over and murmured "è lui un omosessuale?"

I can't remember my translation to the marketing guy, but it was diplomatic.

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Coffee

Is like sex and oxygen.

Its very important when you're not getting any.

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Re: Coffee

Good coffee I'd more important than oxygen or sex.

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Paradox

It's my policy to never have breakfast before 11, although I'd stretch to allowing breakfast in bed around 10:30.

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Personally,

I don't believe there is a wrong time to drink coffee...

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Re: Personally,

I've found it's better to drink coffee while one is awake.

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Vic
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Re: Personally,

> I've found it's better to drink coffee while one is awake.

I used to have a T-shirt that said

"If I'm awake, buy me beer.

If I'm asleep, wake me"

Vic.

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TRT
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Re: Personally,

The best time to drink coffee is about 15-20 minutes before some event I'm so desperate to get out of that a bout of extreme stomach cramps and explosive diarrhea seems to be the preferable alternative..

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404
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Trollface

Whenever I damn well feel like it

cuz ima 'Merikan!

;)

Seriously though, since my time in da Army (good god 30 years ago!), I sleep on demand - coffee/tea time doesn't matter to this kid

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Coffee all the time. It's the only way I've found of balancing out all the anti-anxiety meds I'm on.

Actually, while I'll still drink coffee in a social situation, my South American wife got me hooked on Yerba Mate years ago. It is an extraordinarily caffeinated kind of tea derived from a bush in the holly family. You drink it from a gourd that's been all fancied up with leather and silver and use a metal straw (bombilla). It's quite bitter, but I really enjoy the taste. It also requires no special equipment to prepare, other than hot water.

There's a going fad where the Yerba is packaged in tea bags and consumed like a regular tea (in a bigger cup) but it just doesn't taste the same. It used to be really cheap, but Yerba is now what the energy drink people are using to cram more caffeine into the drinks and it is also used in pharmaceuticals so the price for the stuff has gone up. It's about $10/kilo and I use ~3 kilos a month, so it still isn't expensive compared to decent coffee and has the advantage of not screwing with your stomach if you drink lots of it. I highly recommend trying it.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: @Don Jefe

I was only kidding about the anxiety meds and coffee. It's a sad side effect of US professional life, but I know a lot of people who do just that. Not enough time to rest so they're tired and strung out anxious but need massive amounts of caffeine to keep going. It's kind of like the chronically depressed person who is always drinking. Homer Simpson said it best: "Beer, the source and solution of all my problems".

But I agree, Colombian coffees are fantastic.

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Happy

Re: @Don Jefe

Ah

<Homer Simpson said it best: "Beer, the source and solution of all my problems">

Why won't Mr Simpson stand for president?

I am sure he would make a great President and help to encourage the rest of humanity to love all things Merikan?

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+1 for Mate

Although, I am one of those who drink it like a tea. I also recommend it for my wife when she is needing chocolate, as it has quite a high concentration of theobromine, and settles her chocolate cravings rapidly.

It is also easier to brew a single serving than it is for coffee (and I say that as an owner of 3 french presses, one espresso machine, 1 drip-brew pot, 1 moka pot, and a percolator). Of course that could be because I roast, grind, and then brew my coffee, and just brew the mate.

But Mate lacks the theophylline to be found in tea and coffee, and that is what makes me relatively chipper. There is also the fact that I just LIKE coffee.

Energy drinks are just not worth considering,

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Re: @Don Jefe

Being on several meds for a number of ailments/ conditions, I find coffee does very little in the morning. Later in the day, it does have an effect. I am also conscience of the fact that the body builds tolerance to any stimulant. So coffee is reserved for special occasions in general or if I really need to get the lead out late in the day.

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There's no such thing as too much coffee.

If you're an avid coffee drinker, you can drink morning, noon and night and still sleep soundly. Only those not used to coffee get the "can't sleep" effect, people like me need much higher doses than you get from just drinking coffee.

The only downside of drinking a lot of coffee is that if you don't get any coffee for a day, you get the most sickening vile headache imaginable, and headache tablets do nothing.

Also, fun thing about caffeine: it isn't speed, it doesn't make you less sleepy, it just makes it impossible to fall asleep. Taking caffeine tablets -- each of which is the equivalent of a dozen cups of strong coffee -- when you're very tired is torture, you can explore whole new levels of tiredness. I would wish it on my worst enemy.

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Re: There's no such thing as too much coffee.

Not-So-Brief correction:

Caffeine tables (Vivrin and the like) are usually 100mg of caffeine per tablit, this is roughly approximate to 1 cup of coffee (minus the theophylline that is related chemical, and enhances caffeine's effects).

Brewed coffee is between 80mg of caffeine and 140mg per 8-oz cup.

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Re: There's no such thing as too much coffee.

Not sure if it's common in the EU, but here in the states several of the headache meds (I think Excedrin in particular) have a goodly dose of caffeine for exactly that reason. Of course there's the negative side-effect of getting people who wouldn't otherwise consume caffeine addicted, but that just helps business, right?

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For me...

I drink strong coffee —freshly ground French roast, for preference— but only as the first meal of the day. (I will, on rare occasion, after a good dinner, have one with liqueur. Or if I'm falling-over tired during the day...) For the rest, I generally drink tea. It's said there's the same amount of caffeine in both, so I'm at a loss to explain.

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Anonymous Coward

Caffeine

There is in fact more caffeine per gram of tea leaves than coffee beans.

However you use a far larger amount of coffee beans to make a beverage, which means a regular cup of coffee contains lots more caffeine than a regular cup of tea.

Obviously there is great variation in the amount of caffeine depending upon different types, varieties and preparation methods for both tea and coffee so the exact difference might be a range of say 1.5 to 20 times as much.

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Boffin

Re: Caffeine

Here's a break-down on brewed beverages(I am not certain about the contents of the beans/leaves, this is a listing of the resultant brews):

Coffee, Brewed, Drip: 80-150mg per 8oz

Coffee, espresso: ~80mg per shot

Tea, black, hot: 40-60mg per 8oz

Tea, green, hot: 30-45mg per 8oz

Mate (prepared like a tea): ~100mg per 8oz

There are also the Dimethylxanthine components that enhance the effects of caffiene: Theophylline in coffee/tea, and Theobromine in mate and chocolate

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Pint

Pretty much anytime works for me...

...but it amazes the hell out of my wife when I sometimes brew a fresh half-pot after dinner.

I brew a fresh pot in the morning, for both of us, and if there's any left by noon or 1pm-ish, I'll drink it over ice with a little squirt of chocolate syrup stirred in.

A nice cold brewski, for the times when I'm not drinking coffee.

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A wrong time for coffee?

Never a wrong time. Last trip to the doctor, they found blood in my caffeine system. He told me to cut back on the coffee but if I did, expect to hit the floor when my blood pressure tanked (I'm at low end of "normal).

Coffee... the elixir of the gods.

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Only DECAF for me.

... apart from when I don't.

I've been swinging between decaf for a few months and a couple of full caffeine flat whites for a few months... for the last few years. I actually feel much more awake, and can stay awake longer when I DON'T drink caffeine. This is presumably because I don't sleep as well (when i do drink caffeine)

I do love caffeine though, and I love that buzz. Stinking headache when I give it up, and boy do I feel mega tired and grumpy for a couple of days.

Overall, I think I'm better off without it. I sleep when I need to. I think if you don't sleep well, it can really fuck your health up long term. I'm in a very small minority though in the IT industry.

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Re: Only DECAF for me.

The other thing that can mess with your sleep is light of the wrong intensity and colour ('colour temperature', or 'white balance'). You can lie in bed and snooze off whilst reading a dead-tree book by the warm light of a incandescant bulb (or alternative of the right colour), but the typically cool light of a TV, laptop or tablet is the enemy of sleep because it messes with our circadian rhythms.

I use a freeware application called F.Lux on my computer, that changes the colour temperature depending on the time of day and the date (and one's location on the Earth). It basically means that the 'white' on my monitor more closely resembles a sheet of white paper in the room, since by day the room is lit by sunlight and at night by a 'warm' LED.

F.Lux can be disabled for an hour for 'colour accurate work', but it makes you think how the room's ambient light can affect your perception of colours on screen.

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My Chai

I used to drink only coffee until a dozen years ago then I went on to tea which I drink almost exclusively now.

In 2000 when I was living in N Cal I used to amaze my Californian girlfriend by brewing a coffee as a night cap, she and her friends could never understand how I could drink it and go to sleep.

Now I probably drink 8 or 9 cups of tea a day by preference, I just went off coffee in general although when my wife makes coffee with the espresso machine in our bar I will drink that as she only uses the best coffees and more importantly knows just how much to grind the beans and to keep the temperature and pressure exactly right.

It's possible to use the best beans and produce terrible coffee if you don't follow the rules, conversely a not very good bean will produce fairly good coffee if prepared correctly.

Where we are has a lot of Italian tourists in the summer, they will often send one of their number into a place to sample the coffee, if good they will all come in, if not they will all go and not use the place at all.

The normal black tea that most Brits drink has about a quarter of the caffeine that an average coffee has but some teas depending on how they are brewed and for how long can be stronger in caffeine than many coffees.

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Devil

Only at weekends

You don't want to be a zombie every morning until you get your fix.

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Re: Only at weekends

It's amazing how many zombies/addicts there are stumbling into the office every morning. Proof that caffeine makes people tired.

I'm fully awake from the moment I get out of bed in the morning, no drugs are required because no drugs are used.

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I'll drink coffee on occasion, But I prefer tea, or even soda.

It's the caffeine I need, being one of the true addicts that actually can't fall asleep without a good dose before bedtime.

That said, for the true coffee drinker, here's your cup!

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I only have one cup with my breakfast. The rest of the day it's tea, and maybe a glass of wine or a beer at lunch/tea time. Evenings it caffine/alchohol free drinks.

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Mushroom

Too much average coffee

Once upon a time, most caffs served instant, usually fairly cheap stuff.

Now they've mostly put in an espresso machine, but the coffee is still pretty poor, though not as bad as the instant. It gets tarted up as cappuccino, latte, and so on for a dozen options, but the beans are anonymous and undistinguished

The pretentious big chains are the worst - Starbucks are pretty awful, Cafe Nero better. Coffee One is the best, with real bean choices, but only in the West of England and south west Wales.

What has almost entirely disappeared is the coffee shop offering an interesting range of beans and roasts, with a simple sandwich, cake or biscuit to accompany it. Regional Beans, single estate, custom blends etc. etc.

The best I know is in Saffron Walden (east England near Cambridge, and I live in west Wales), who are the only place I know to offer the Civet coffee. I don't know the name of it, but if you are around there it is near Waitrose, and really worth a visit.

And now I've got to go and put a brew on.

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Re: Too much average coffee

You should try "The Plan" coffee shop in Morgan Arcade in Cardiff.

I have had some of the best coffee in there. There was also another small coffee shop in Sheffield (suburbs) that was also pretty spectacular.

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Re: Too much average coffee

isn't Civet coffee cruel. Where civets are kept in farms in horrible conditions?

I for one won't drink the stuff and promote animal cruelity.

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Coat

I hate the stuff

So the only time for coffee for me would be when there's no better alternative and I'd force it down through gritted teeth.

Most coffee drinkers I know seem to be addicted to the stuff so little question of when, only satisfying need.

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There was one alcholic I knew who had a clock…

It had 5's all around the clock face instead of the hour numbers, and the text:

I never drink before 5 o'clock.

I know coffee drinkers like this, and I myself, do drink a lot of tea.

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(Written by Reg staff)

10:00AM +/- 60 minutes. Must be espresso-derived. The rest of you are doing it wrong.

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one of many right times

When I indulge in a pot of coffee at home, it’s almost always in the late afternoon. At a diner, I might have a mugful or two with either lunch or supper. I rarely consume caffeine before the crack of noon.

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Anonymous Coward

6am

When your SWMBO has to work at 7am, a 50/50 mix of coffee and tea works very well :-)

I call it the "Thinkucinno."

Also what works well is 2 level tablespoons of coffee, milk poured over (very important) THEN hot water at a scientifically determined 89 Celsius poured over that. Guaranteed to wake me up no matter what.

AC/DC

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07:30

One per day for me. Earl Grey first, then...

1 tsp Mellow Birds

2 tsp sugar

3 tsp coffee whitener

...before I leave the house. I'm aware that I am likely to be derided for equating Mellow Birds with coffee.

It's tea all the way for the rest of the day, including a chai masala when I get into the office, but occasionally have another coffee when I get home.

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Devil

A religion, not a drink...

Coffee seems to be taken far too seriously by some people around our hollowed-out volcano, and believe me, when to drink it is just a side issue.

The heated debate about how long to grind coffee beans was finally settled by a colleague who immersed the aforementioned beans in liquid nitrogen and then smashed them with a hammer. This produced a very satisfactory drink and reminded all present that she had access to liquid nitrogen - and hammers.

The icon? Well somebody once brought in a bottle of "Camp coffee"...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A religion, not a drink...

If she has access to liquid nitrogen, she may have access to carbon dioxide under pressure. In which case she can extract the caffeine from the beans directly with liquid carbon dioxide.

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Re: A religion, not a drink...

Most of the flavour in coffee comes from burnt and caramelled sugars produced by the roasting.

I have managed to impress some gastronomic 'experts' with a coffee made from burnt baked beans who were all convinced it was a high grade Blue Mountain as I had a left over packet where I put the beans before they arrived.

But why the hell drink anything that might sober you up for gods sake!

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Anonymous Coward

LN2?!

Which workplace has access to LN2? Might apply there :-)

As an aside, LN2 is also useful for demonstrating maglev experiments..

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Re: LN2?!

It also makes some of the smoothest icecream around: cream, some fruit (or other flavour) and gently beat while pouring the nitrogen through. I've done it helping with science outreach, especially for younger children (and the not so young). Apparently it's something to do with making the ice crystals very small, rather than big and lumpy.

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Anonymous Coward

Time

There are different times for different coffees. I believe that the individual should choose what works for them.

For me dairy products do not belong anywhere near coffee. A dark roast, usually decaf, for after dinner.

PS For proper coffee (i.e. espresso), you really can't tell by taste if it's been decaffeinated.

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A 2 shot cappuchino at 6am, 4 or 5 teas during work, and another cappuchino after dinner (6pm), and another tea around 9pm.

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