M Milek et al, 2021. Caffeine content and antioxidant activity of various brews of specialty grade coffee, Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment, 20 (2).

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ABSTRACT

Background: 
The aim of the study was to evaluate the caffeine level and antioxidant activity of brews of specialty grade coffee compared to popular coffee brands.

Methods: 
Ten types of coffee were used, including 7 specialty Arabica, 1 Robusta and 2 popular cheap coffee brands. For caffeine determination, HPLC analysis and the spectrophotometric method were used as reference. The total polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity (DPPH and FRAP methods) were evaluated. For two selected high-quality coffees, the influence of the brewing method on the antioxidant activity and caffeine content in the brews was assayed.

Results: 
Regarding the caffeine content, differences between specialty coffee brews and popular products were not found, and an average level amounted to 56 and 40 mg/ml, respectively. In contrast, the antioxidant capacity of specialty coffee brews was significantly higher than for popular ones, independently of the test used. The highest scavenging ability and total phenolic content was found for S3 specialty coffee (46.15% of DPPH inhibition and 58.7 mg GAE/ml, respectively), whereas the lowest was found for popular coffee (about 35% of DPPH inhibition and about 41 mg/GAE/ml). For two selected high-quality coffees, the influence of the brewing method on the antioxidant activity and caffeine content in the brews was tested. It was found that the use of a dripper (overflow brewing method) provides the brew with the best antioxidant properties but with moderate caffeine levels.

Conclusions: 
It was found that ‘specialty’ quality coffees do not differ from popular brands in terms of caffeine content, but significantly outweigh them in terms of antioxidant activity. This property can be beneficial in the case of a high consumption of coffee, due to antiradical protective effects without the risk of caffeine overdose.

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