Converts Caffeine to Code!

2 MIN READ TAGS  CoffeeBarChartD3

Developers are often joked about as machines that convert coffee to code. So when I saw this dataset as part of the Reddit Dataviz Data Battle for July 2019, I immediately wanted to visualize it. Let's see how much caffeine there is in various substances.

Average caffeine content in items of common consumption: The data is sourced from Cappelletti et al., 2015 and depicts the average caffeine content in categories such as foods, beverages, and medications (as adapted from Cherniske, 1998). The values indicate the caffeine content (in mg) per tablet (for medications) or 1 serving/unit of each beverage; assuming 180 ml serving per cup of coffee/tea/cocoa, 360 ml per soft drink can and 30 ml per chocolate drink.

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The graph is interactive and can be sorted alphabetically or arranged by category (legend on the right indicates the color assigned to each category in the dataset). The value for the energy drink Chameleon (2160 mg) is assumed to be an error in the data and is indicated here as going beyond the scale. Ranges at the top of the graph indicate low (<200 mg/day), moderate (200-400 mg/day) and high caffeine usage (>400 mg/day).

Worldwide daily consumption of coffee = 1.6 billion cups (Cappelletti et al., 2015).

Over 80% of the world’s population consumes caffeine. Caffeine intake at very high doses, exceeding 500-600 mg (equivalent to 4-7 cups per day), can cause anxiety, tremor, and tachycardia in humans while acute toxic level of caffeine is approximated at 10 g/day (about 100 cups of coffee) or medications leading to blood concentrations in excess of 80 mg/l. Here’s some updated research.

The amount of caffeine contained in a cup of coffee can vary greatly, depending on its origin or the composition of the blend, the brewing method, and the strength of the brew.

Instant (also known as soluble) coffee generally contains less caffeine than roast and ground coffee, but is usually consumed in greater volumes. Robusta coffees contain about twice as much caffeine than arabicas. A cup is usually assumed to contain 180 ml of coffee, but an espresso may contain as little as 40 ml. Decaffeinated coffee, regardless of the method of decaffeination, must contain less than 0.1% caffeine by dry weight to comply with regulations. This corresponds to about 3-5 mg of caffeine in a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Curious about your daily dose? Check out these caffeine intake calculators here and here.


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