A Caffeine Junky’s Guide to Jitter Juice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou know the feeling: warm coffee slides down your throat; diminishing the pre-caffeine headache that has become a daily adversary. Sweet, precious, amazing relief.

It tastes even better.

But have you ever wondered what goes into your favorite coffee drink? Whether your choice is a simple black mug of dark roast or a creamy caramel latte, the question must have crossed your mind,  “What am I really consuming?”

Never fear, your high school barista is here to give you the inside information on what goes into your favorite mug o’ mud.

Coffee comes in all different combinations and sizes.

  • The most generic is plain black coffee—the “average Joe” if you ask me. This is simply hot water brewed through ground coffee beans, and it has only two calories! Add a tablespoon of half n’ half for 20 calories or a tablespoon of flavored cream for around 35 calories if you’re feeling like being adventurous.
  • Coffee can also be brewed over ice. This is very ingeniously termed, iced coffee. You’ll consume only 5 measly calories when downing a cup of cold joe with no additives.
  • A bolder version of black coffee, called espresso, is made by forcing steam through stronger, more finely ground beans. This 5-calorie beverage is served in small portions,  nonetheless the extra caffeine is express-o-d in the taste.
  • Add these two components together and you get what we at Smokey Row call a “red eye.” Make no mistake, its title does not lie. Your eyes will be shocked open by the profuse amount of caffeine in this drink, but your weight won’t be compromised  by the mere 10 calories it contains.
  • The americano, combines a base of espresso with hot or cold water. While it eases the strong flavor jolt, the caffeine in this drink will have you painting the town red, burning white hot, and never feelin’ blue. Plus, it only packs in 15 calories!
  • A popular Smokey Row choice is the latte, made by combining espresso and steamed milk. There’s no denying it’s delicious,  but it spikes up the calorie count to 190 for a 16-ounce  beverage made with 2 percent milk.
  • A  cappuccino is essentially a frothy variation of the latte, guaranteed to leave a foamy white mustache on your upper lip.  Aiming the steam wand to make bubbles and foam makes it possible to use less milk, reducing the calorie count.
  • While some consumers like their coffee bitter and black, others need a little something extra to satisfy their sweet tooth. Specialty lattes and flavored syrups answer their desires, with caramel and mocha flavored lattes leading the pack. Adding sweet caramel or chocolate flavors to espresso and steamed milk hushes your cravings, but your guilty conscience may kick in. These drinks are around 300 calories each!

Now that you have the inside scoop into your morning cup of Joe, will you change your daily perk? Have these  descriptions fired up your taste buds, or caused you to be a little more cautious of what you’re consuming? Whether you’re experiencing some “coffee deja brew” or you need to cut down on the sugar,  I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and order something new!

Try it; you’ll like it!

Guest Blogger: Sarah Posthuma

sarahpI am a junior at Pella Christian High School, and for the first two weeks in January I will be interning with Kathleen Evenhouse through the school’s Winterim program. Winterim internships provide students with the opportunity to explore different career fields. I am interested in a career in either writing, or psychology. Because of Kathie’s extensive experience in writing and marketing, I am confident that I will be able to reap much knowledge from her. This experience will hopefully give me a deeper insight into what God wants for my future.
These blogs posted through my internship will be from the setting of a coffee shop in Pella and are for the purpose of developing my creative skills.


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