Leaded or unleaded

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Joined Jan 23, 2002
Does anyone know if the amount of caffeine in coffee changes during the cooking process? I was recently asked this question by two women watching their caffeine consumption. I could use decaf but I thought I would seek out an expert in the crowd.
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2003
What exactly do you mean by cooking process? Is this a baked good?

I know that darker roasted beans have less caffeine than lighter ones - caffeine is lost at roasting temperatures but as far as low temps like boiling or steaming, I don't think so.
 
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Joined Jan 23, 2002
Thanks Cape Chef for that link, it's very informative but still did not directly answer my question.

Scott, I did make a cake to which I added 1 1/2 cups of strong brewed coffee ground from espresso roast beans. The cake was baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I have used both decaf and espresso roast coffee with no change in flavor. So do I have less caffeine with the finished product?

In other methods like moles or rubs where you would be using the grounds instead of the brew what are your thoughts?
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2003
I haven't tested it, but I'd say it's a pretty safe guess that internal cake temperatures (below boiling) are not sufficient to cook away any caffeine.

I haven't worked much with mole but a dry rub containing coffee might lose some caffeine if a sufficient temperature is reached.

What it boils down to is this, is it hot enough to turn the beans a darker color? If you reach that temperature some caffeine will be lost. How much? I would have to guess that it's pretty negligible. Definitely not enough to remove all the caffeine from decaf nor enough to turn caf into decaf either. Not to mention the propensity in this equation for burnt coffee. I'd leave coffee roasting to the professionals.

I really don't think there's much that you can do, as a chef, to control caffeine content in your food other than to choose brands of coffee that have less caffeine to begin with.
 
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Joined Jan 23, 2002
Thanks again. Seems you've answered my question. The cake was layered with and covered in chocolate ganache so not much I could do about caffeine there.

Interesting stuff, anyway.
 
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