When you find yourself jonesing for some coffee, it often doesn't matter what kind you get. All you know is that you want your coffee, and you want it fast, strong, and ideally served in an IV (we’re taking a page out of Gilmore Girls' Lorelai Gilmore's playbook).
Don't let your coffee obsession end there. It's one of the world's most popular beverages, which means that there's much to learn, and it all starts with knowing the differences between two of the most popular brews: Colombian and French roast. You can consider yourself a coffee connoisseur in no time.
All about Colombian coffee
A lot of good comes from Colombia: Colombian food, music, and, of course, coffee. It’s believed that a priest by the name of Francisco Romero asked people to plant coffee trees. From there, it spanned to be so popular that planting coffee trees became a general practice that transformed Colombia into one of the world's largest coffee-producing countries.
Today, Colombia sits as the third highest, with an average coffee export production of 14.5 million bags per year. Colombian coffee has been called some of the best in the world. Its rich, robust flavor is due to the right conditions in Colombia. For example, the climate is good, they have what is considered perfect soil, and there is the right amount of rainfall.
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As for caffeine levels, the amount of caffeine for an average cup of coffee is 95 milligrams. This number varies among the different types of coffee. Colombia, for example, grows Arabica coffee, which has around 75-180 milligrams of caffeine per average cup.
All about French roast coffee
If you're a coffee fiend who often drops by coffee shops or diners for your morning cup or midday pick-me-up, there’s a good chance that the coffee you are served is French roast. It’s been a popular choice for coffee drinkers since the turn of the 19th century in Europe.
Tastewise, French roast coffee is known for being one of the strongest and most bitter flavors around. It’s even said to be somewhat sweet, with a smoky, charred taste.
There is no truth to dark roasts having more caffeine than light roasts. Coffee beans contain the same amount of caffeine. During the roasting process, caffeine is able to stay stable and not be too affected.
The pros of caffeine found in coffee
- Feel less tired and more energized: The reason for increased energy and mental functioning from coffee is caffeine, the stimulant found in coffee that absorbs into the bloodstream and then into the brain. It causes a stimulant effect by blocking the inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Coffee has beauty benefits: Caffeine in coffee does a lot more than just make us look awake—it's also useful in face masks thanks to the high-antioxidant properties that eliminate toxins from the skin. Simply mix together 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds, 2 tablespoons
of cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons
of whole milk (or heavy cream or yogurt), and 1 tablespoon of
honey. Apply it to your face and let it sit for around 15 minutes. Remove it with a warm washcloth, and your skin will radiate.
The cons of caffeine found in coffee
- Increased anxiety: If you're already prone to anxiety, coffee might not be suitable. It can cause all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms such as jitters, increased heart rate or heart palpitations, rapid breathing, and more.
- Trouble sleeping: To skip tossing and turning at night, aim to have your coffee earlier in the day. If things get to the point of dealing with insomnia, consider cutting back completely.
Now, go grab a well-deserved cup of Joe, you coffee connoisseur, you.
- The Spruce Eats: What Is French Roast Coffee?
- Coffee Chemistry: History of Colombian Coffee
- USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: Gain Report: Colombian Coffee Production Decreases after Five Years of Growth
- Healthline: 9 Side Effects of Too Much Caffeine
- Healthline: 13 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science
- StyleCaster: 7 DIY Coffee Scrub Recipes—From Face Masks to Hair Treatments
- Coffee.org: Caffeine Levels in Coffee| How Much Caffeine in Coffee
- Kicking Horse Coffee: Caffeine Myths: Dark vs. Light
Sarah is a multi-platform writer and editor. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Vital Proteins, Healthline, Diply, and more. When she's not writing, she's trying to keep up with her border collie, Emmy.