How Much Coffee is Right for You?

 One of my favorite parts of the week is my visit to Charlotte the Great. She is my 82-year-old grandmother and the love of my life. She comes by once a week, and we spend the afternoon engaged in "girl activities" like manicures and pedicures, enjoying each other's company, and drinking Hazelnut Taster's Choice Coffee.

We talked today about how our coffee drinking increases when we are in each other's company. We both enjoy a good cup of "joe" and when we are together we consume nearly four pots of coffee.

She and I have been discussing this and tonight I read an article I found on the Taster's Choice Panel called "How Much Coffee is Right for You?"" You can bet I'll be sharing this article with Charlotte the Great on Wednesday. In the meantime, you'll be happy to know that caffeine does NOT affect me and I'm relieved it doesn't interfere with my dreams!

charlotte the great enjoying coffee

How Much Coffee Is Right For You?

Some people can drink coffee all day long. Others are more sensitive to caffeine and should mostly drink decaf. Finding out how much is right for you is the first step to fully enjoying your daily cup.

Who can drink coffee?

Coffee is the major source of caffeine in people’s diets, with about 85 mg per cup. Most people feel more awake and alert and are in a better mood with coffee. The average coffee drinker has about 3.4 cups per day on average, according to a recent report by the National Coffee Association.

Experts at the Mayo Clinic define moderate amounts of caffeine as 200 to 300 milligrams, or about two to four cups of brewed coffee per day, which they say is not harmful to most people. However, they warn that some people with caffeine sensitivity might react more strongly than usual to caffeine. For these people, small amounts—even one cup of coffee or tea—may prompt negative effects like anxiety, restlessness and irritability.

If this sounds like you, consider cutting back. According to the National Coffee Association, many people who limit the amount of coffee they drink do so out of concern about their caffeine intake. Fortunately, you can switch to decaf and get the same antioxidants, relaxation and other great-tasting perks that come with a great cup of coffee.

You may also want to cut back on caffeine if you’re suffering from insomnia or are on certain medications and herbal supplements—check with your doctor or pharmacist.


If you do decide to switch to decaf, experts recommend doing so gradually. Starting out, replace one small cup of regular coffee for decaffeinated coffee per day, and go from there.

It’s also helpful to know that not all coffee is created equal. The International Coffee Association reports that arabica beans, like the ones found in Taster’s Choice, naturally have almost half the caffeine as robusta beans, which are used in many other kinds of coffee.

Be sure you’re aware of all the ways you get caffeine in a day. You may be getting more than you think from other foods, beverages and medications. Read all labels carefully to find out if you’re getting more caffeine than you thought.

Coffee and sleep

You can enjoy coffee and sleep without problems. According to the International Coffee Organization, studies show that the dream phase of sleep is unaffected by coffee.

They report that up to seven cups during a day is not associated with enjoying any less sleep. Results showed that other factors, like age and family issues, were more likely to cause loss of sleep, and there was no difference in caffeine consumption between good and poor sleepers.

Caffeine is completely safe, but let your personal situation be your guide on what to drink. Whether you drink regular or decaf, coffee is a safe and healthy way to relax and enjoy.


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