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Consumer Alert

How much caffeine's in your coffee?

starbucks logo.jpgWhere your coffee is from and how it's made go a long way toward determining how much caffeine you're getting.

In a story I wrote for Reuters, I explain some of what experts say goes into the resulting pick-me-up that most drinkers are looking for.

Sure, it's not all about the caffeine, but for most people grabbing a cup on the way to work (and whenever else they need a boost), it's pretty important. Not everyone can tolerate as much caffeine either, so more isn't necessarily better.

But it is of note that a typical Starbucks coffee (a grande Pike Place roast) has about triple the caffeine of a medium coffee (the same size) at McDonald's. Dunkin' Donuts coffee is somewhere in between. Interestingly, Cumberland Farms packs a bit more punch that what you can get at DD (a bit less than Starbucks), but only charges 99 cents and offers a free caffeine boost for those who want to up the ante.

For some establishments, Cumberland Farms and McDonald's among them, inexpensive coffee can lead a consumer to buying other items.

Since it's not all about caffeine, as important as it might be to some, taste is completely personal. Some people love Starbucks. Some don't. Likewise for the competition.

But overall, the brewing method used at Starbucks and coffee houses, one you can use at home, appears to be the key to getting the most bang per cup.

Where do you get your coffee?

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