What’s really in your cup of coffee?

What actually is in your daily cup of coffee? You may be a coffee connoisseur, but could you name even one substance that makes up that magic potion? Except caffeine, of course – we all know that one! Here are the other natural plant-based chemicals that go into making that distinctive taste. Most are present in tiny trace amounts only, but they all contribute to coffee’s complexity.

Ingredients of coffee

Let’s start with the one we’ve all heard of! The chemical formula for caffeine is C8H10N4O2 , and it’s classified as both a medicine and a food additive. The best-known benefits are to increase alertness, help reduce fatigue and improve focus and concentration. Medically, it’s classed as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, and it produces its fatigue-fighting effects by blocking neuroreceptors in the brain.

This phenol compound is what sometimes gives your cup of coffee a slightly  medicinal, tarry smell.

Quinic acid
The presence of this crystalline acid is what affects coffee’s acidity. Also found in cinchona bark and other plant products, it’s used as a skin astringent and was also used to help develop anit-flu medication.

3.5 Dicaffeoylquinic Acid
A type of quinic acid, this stuff has a complicated name but a beneficial effect, helping to protect cells from free-radical damage. We know that coffee is a good source of antioxidants, and dicaffeoylquinic acidis partly why.

Dimethyl disulfide
Naturally produced by roasting green coffee beans, dimethyl disulfide is present in tiny, almost undetectable amounts in brewed coffee. It contributes to coffee’s complex flavours, but you wouldn’t want too much of it – isolated, it has an unpleasant, garlicky smell.

Is there no end to coffee’s powers? Trigonelline helps to protect your teeth by preventing streptococcus bacteria from attaching to the enamel.

Trigonelline is unstable above around 70 degrees Celsius, and at that point it breaks down to form niacin or vitamin B3, which promotes general good health. Just 90ml of strong coffee a day (three espresso shots) can provide half your recommended daily allowance.

Coffee aficionados will wax lyrical about the rich, buttery flavours in their favourite blend, and this unpronounceable chemical is what helps to refine that taste. It’s present in real butter, and is also used to flavour microwave popcorn.

This mild stimulant is related to caffeine, and when used medically can help to relieve the symptoms of lung problems such as bronchitis, asthma and emphysema.

With all that sloshing around in every cup, it’s no wonder coffee is such a complex taste experience! For all your commercial coffee needs for your coffee business, take a look at our main website at www.rijo42.co.uk.