Groundbreaking new investigation discovers 'huge' difference in caffeine levels at high street coffee chains
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Whether you're a latte-lover or more of a black americano type of person, a new study has shown that not all cafes operate with the same caffeine system - and there's one chain in particular offering up piles more caffeine for coffee junkies.
While we may have all expected there would be some level of standardisation across high-street coffee chains, a new study by Which? shows this is actually far from the case.
The study highlights the 'huge' differences between the varying amounts of caffeine in coffees across a whole stretch of well-known chains.
Some high street coffees contain 'more than four times as much caffeine as others', the study explains.
The research set out to compare an array of different types of coffee options ranging from espresso, cappuccino and filter coffee from different high street chains, some of which included giants like Costa, Pret and Starbucks.
According to the study, a cappuccino from Costa contains 'more than four and a half times as much caffeine as one from rival chain Starbucks'.
Coming in as the least caffeinated of all five coffee chains is Starbucks.
Known for its Frappuccinos and festive-themed beverages, it's clear that whether you get an espresso (33 mg), a cappuccino (66 mg) or a filter coffee (102 mg) - you're not getting as much buzz for your buck compared to other chains.
While anyone could spot that dark blue logo from miles away, the study reveals that Caffè Nero only serves up a little bit more caffeine than bottom-of-the-list contender Starbucks.
Granted, it has almost double the amount of caffeine in its cappuccino (110-115 mg) compared to Starbucks - but its single espresso (45 mg) comes in not too far from Starbucks' version.
The land of sausage rolls and glazed doughnuts, Greggs levels out at a good average among all five chains studied.
With a reasonable single espresso (75 mg) packing double the amount of caffeine as Starbucks', this one acts as a nice middle-man.
Commonly seen as a posher option on the high street, Pret serves the same amount of caffeine (180 mg) in both its single espresso and cappuccino.
Just a single espresso at Pret contains a massive 'six times as much caffeine as one at Starbucks'.
And beating all four others in the espresso department, it's clear that Pret is the place to go if you want a short and bitter pick-me-up.
More than just a hub of toasties, Costa reigns as caffeine champion in this rundown.
While Pret outweighs Costa in the espresso department, Costa's caffeine levels in its cappuccino (325 mg) is simply unmatched.
While caffeine makes you 'more alert', Which? nutritionist Shefalee Loth noted: "Most people can safely consume 300-400mg a day, but having more than 600mg a day has been linked to insomnia, nervousness, irritability, increased blood pressure and upset stomachs."
The official NHS website also explains: "It's fine to drink tea and coffee as part of a balanced diet."
However, it also warns about the detrimental effects that caffeine can have - namely regarding pregnant people.
It reads: "Pregnant women should have no more than 200mg of caffeine a day.
"High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birthweight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life."
Regardless, this will definitely make you think twice before picking up your next morning coffee.
Featured Image Credit: brn rikur / Alamy Stock Photo/Stephen Hyde / Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: Food And Drink, UK News, Science