Health Check: does caffeine cause dehydration?

For a long time people have been told that caffeine is a diuretic. For some, this translates into advice to avoid or remove caffeinated beverages from the diet of people at risk of dehydration, or during periods of extreme summer heat. The Conversation

While possibly well meaning, this advice is wrong.

By definition, a diuretic is a product that increases the body’s production of urine. Hence water, or any drink consumed in large volumes, is a diuretic. Importantly, urinating more does not inevitably lead to dehydration (excessive loss of body water).

Drinking simultaneously provides the body with fluid for absorption (avoiding dehydration) and initiates urine production. Depending on the urine losses that occur following drinking, a beverage might be more accurately described as a “poor _re_hydrator” if large fluid losses result.

Caffeine is a weak diuretic, and tolerance to this effect is acquired rapidly (in four to five days) with regular caffeine intake. What’s somewhat concerning is that this has been known for almost 100 years!

In 1928, a study involving three people showed that when participants consumed no caffeine for more than two months, a dose as little as half a milligram per kilogram of body mass (roughly the amount in half a cup of coffee) caused a “noticeable” increase in urine loss.

But regular caffeine intake (for four to five days) created a tolerance to the diuretic effect, so that over a milligram per kilogram of body mass (one cup of coffee) was needed before an effect was detected. This suggested that regularly consuming caffeinated drinks wouldn’t lead to chronic dehydration.

While the study had obvious sample size limitations, an investigation employing contemporary research methods and analysis confirmed these findings more than a decade ago.

This study involved 59 healthy individuals being monitored for 11 days. The investigation was designed to determine if drinking caffeine resulted in fluid loss or dehydration.

Initially, each participant’s caffeine intake was stabilised for six days at 3mg per kilogram of body mass (approximately two to three cups of coffee per day). Following this period, caffeine intake was manipulated for five days at a dose of either zero, low (one cup) or moderate (two cups) levels.

Caffeine was found to have no effect on almost every measure of hydration.
Dai KE/Unsplash

The researchers monitored myriad hydration measures such as urine production and colour. Almost every hydration measure we currently use for monitoring fluid balance was not influenced by regular caffeine intake.

In hydration science, the effect of any beverage on fluid in the body is judged by the balance between how much the body retains of any volume consumed. Recently, the creation of the “beverage hydration index” has been established to describe the fluid retention capacity of different beverages by standardising values compared to still water.

Again, the beverage hydration index shows commonly consumed caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola have similar fluid retention capacity to water or commercial sports drinks.

One strength of the beverage hydration index is that it recognises all beverages make a contribution to total fluid intake (ranking some as more effective than others). By advising people not to consume drinks they enjoy (just because they contain caffeine), individuals may not automatically replace drinks, leading to a reduction in total fluid intake.

The evidence linking poor hydration status to poor health (particularly in vulnerable groups) is well established. Dehydration can produce disruptions in mood, brain and heart function and has also been found to be an indicator for worse prognoses in older patients admitted to hospital.

So while some caffeinated beverages such as cola and energy drinks have their own health implications such as high levels of sugar, in terms of optimising fluid balance, there’s no need to worry about caffeine.

Update: gram was corrected to milligram in the paragraphs outlining the 1928 dehydration study.

Ben Desbrow, Associate Professor, Griffith University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Kenyan coffee in special Easter release

This Easter, Campos Coffee launches the Kenyan Barichu Karatina AA, which is delivered fresh from crop to cup in just 8 weeks.

The coffee boasts classic Kenyan notes of blackcurrant and lime citrus, complimented by hazelnut and cherry cola.

According to the company, the quality of this coffee is testament to the passion, drive and vision of the Barichu Farmers Coop’s longstanding Chairman Daniel Mwago, lauded as the Bill Gates of the Kenyan coffee world.

It can currently be purchased at the Campos online store as well as all Campos flagship and participating stores in Australia. It is available in filter and espresso roast varieties.


Jet Technologies to feature at MICE 2017

Jet Technologies prides itself on premium printing quality.

Products which use their packaging don’t only stand out on the shelf, but also present brands professionally. On top of that, the company’s one-way degassing valves ensure that the ingredients within stay fresh.

Jet Technologies’ VFFS machinery is well established in the coffee industry from its partnership with Goglio in Italy. There is a wide variety of equipment available that can be customised to customers’ requirements. Installations as well as servicing are done locally.

Jet Technologies will always have the passion and experience in coffee packaging.

MICE 2017 is known throughout the Asia Pacific as the largest and most exciting dedicated coffee event.

It runs from 30 March – 1 April at Melbourne Showgrounds.

Come and visit Jet Technologies at Stand 71.

Jet Packaging mice bag

Coffee brewing up success in Asia

The global coffee market continues to brew up a storm and Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam among the fastest growing coffee markets globally, according to research from Mintel.

According to the research, Indonesia is currently the fastest growing packaged retail coffee market with a CAGR of 19.6 per cent over the past five years, while India has had a CAGR of 15.1 per cent and Vietnam 14.9 per cent. Overall, the global coffee market continues to grow steadily, with expected retail volume growth of 2.7 per cent in 2016, following a 2.5 per cent rise in 2015.

While Asian markets currently make up the majority of the world’s fastest growing coffee markets, European markets, as well as Australia, are among the slowest. Mintel research indicates that Finland’s mature coffee industry declined the most between 2011 and 2016 with a CAGR of -3.7 per cent, followed by Australia (0 per cent), Poland (0.1 per cent), the Netherlands (0.5 per cent) and Belgium (0.5 per cent).

The boom in Asia’s coffee market has been driven by a surge in innovation of coffee products. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), between 2011 and 2016 the number of new coffee products launched in Asia has risen by 95 per cent. In comparison, the number of tea products launched has risen by a comparatively low 55 per cent in the same time period.

“The global coffee industry continues to experience healthy growth, driven by Asian markets in particular. Asia has far more growth potential as traditionally tea drinking consumers are converted slowly but surely into coffee drinkers,” said Jonny Forsyth, Global Drinks Analyst at Mintel.

“In 2016, there was also an increasing number of coffee launches which blurred the boundaries between coffee and tea. A tea-drinking culture is the biggest barrier to coffee in Asia, and tea-coffee hybrids can be used to tempt consumers.”

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 10.04.50 AM

Innovation within the coffee space

In terms of local tastes, currently Asia Pacific leads the way in launches of ready-to-drink cold coffee. In 2016, 29 per cent of all coffee launches in Asia Pacific were ready-to-drink cold coffee products, compared to just 10 per cent in Europe. Additionally, coffee mixes are a huge part of the retail coffee landscape. In the same year, ‘x-in-1’, (i.e. 2-in-1, 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 mixes) accounted for 16 per cent of all retail coffee launches in Asia, up from 12 per cent in 2014.

However, instant coffee still dominates the retail market in Asia. Two in five (42 per cent) coffee launches in Asia Pacific were soluble coffee granule products, compared to just one in five (20 per cent) launches in Europe and a mere 6 per cent of launches in North America in 2016.

Globally, it is coffee pods which are causing the biggest stir. Pods accounted for over one quarter (26 per cent) of all global coffee retail innovation in 2016, up from 11 per cent of launches in 2011. Although still in its early stages in Asia Pacific, pod innovation is still showing strong signs of growth in this region. Around one in eight (13 per cent) coffee products launched in 2016 was a coffee pod, up from 4 per cent of launches in this region in 2011.

“As emerging market consumers develop their taste for coffee, innovation is stepping up a notch as drinkers trade up from instant to fresher-tasting coffee. However, despite increased premiumisation in the global coffee market, the most commodified form of coffee – soluble coffee granules – remains a hugely important segment, especially in Asia. As consumers trade up from instant coffee, pod and capsule sales will increase,” added Forsyth.

Riding the third coffee wave

Moving forward, the humble coffee bean is likely to be receiving a premium makeover. While growth has already been seen in this market, with 15 per cent of coffee products launched in Asia in 2016 carrying a premium claim up from 11 per cent in 2013, the ‘third wave’ coffee movement is likely to propel this further. As defined by Mintel, the ‘third wave’ coffee movement is taking coffee appreciation a step further, focusing intensely on where beans are sourced and how they are roasted, with a renewed focus on brewing methods.

Currently, America is leading this movement, accounting for over one quarter (27 per cent) of all global ‘third wave’ coffee retail launches*. While 16 per cent of US consumers describe themselves as ‘coffee snobs’, consumers across Asia are also now showing a developing love for quality coffee. Mintel research reveals that 67 per cent of Indonesian metro consumers** believe that the quality of coffee is more important than how easy it is to make, while 22 per cent believe they are knowledgeable about coffee and over half (53 per cent) say it is important for them to learn more about coffee.

“Most emerging coffee markets remain in the ‘first wave’ of coffee; however, some are starting to enter the ‘second wave’ as foodservice outlets and coffee shops aggressively push Western coffee lifestyles and local coffee shops pick up the baton, said Forsyth.

“Many Asian countries are now making the progression from ‘first wave’ to ‘second wave’, while some nations such as South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia, are moving towards a ‘third wave’ lifecycle development.

“Some of the specialty coffee shops in Indonesia, for example, focus exclusively on Indonesian beans to showcase the richness of local coffee. Increasingly, these shops are also serving imported Arabica coffees sourced from around the world, thus enriching the ‘third wave’ coffee scene in the country.”


*defined as ground or bean or pods/capsules which use the product descriptions, “small batch” or “single origin” or artisanal or craft

**1,755 Indonesian adults based in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Semarang


Jet Technologies to feature at AUSPACK 2017

Jet Technologies has the complete package, our expert team is with your business throughout the whole production process from design/artwork, package material variations and machinery.

We have the passion and knowledge to compliment your pack to be its freshest and looking its very best on the shelf.

With a full range of flexible packaging, die-cut and roll fed lidding, twist-off closures, aluminium trays, adhesives, easy peel films, filling & sealing equipment as well as VFFS machinery we have you covered in packaging.

AUSPACK 2017, Australasia’s all encompassing exhibition for food, beverage and pharmaceutical processing and packaging, returns to Sydney this year.

It will run from 7 – 10 March 2017 at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

Come and visit Jet Technologies at Stand 475.

Jet Packaging DPS Auspak V2 no ipad


Nespresso launches Aurora de la Paz

Nespresso this month launches an extremely rare Limited Edition coffee from the lush region of Caquetá, Colombia, a coffee that has remained inaccessible for decades due to instability in the region.

Literally translated to ‘Dawn of Peace’, the Pure Origin Aurora de la Paz honours the farmers who continued to preserve and cultivate this scarce coffee despite local conflicts. By investing in the Caquetá region, Nespresso aims to help smallholder farmers rebuild their local coffee industry and provide them with a new source of sustainable income.

Grown in a unique Colombian climate of low altitudes and temperatures with high humidity, Aurora de la Paz is a coffee of medium intensity level 5 and best enjoyed as an Espresso.

“This Limited Edition coffee is notably different from other coffees in Colombia due its’ sweet and balanced profile. Traditionally, Colombian Arabica is bright with fresh acidity whereas the profile of Aurora de la Paz reveals toasted cereal and sweet fruit notes thanks to the unexplored terroir and light roast,” Nespresso Coffee Ambassador Mitch Monaghan commented.

The launch of Aurora de la Paz builds on Nespresso’s 13-year presence in Colombia, during which the company has worked closely with farmers through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program. In partnership with the Colombian Coffee Growers’ Federation (FNC), Nespresso will introduce its AAA Sustainable Quality Program in Caquetá.

MICE 2017 – bigger & better

Asia Pacific’s largest specialty coffee show, the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), is set to take off from 30 March to 1 April this year, with virtually all exhibitor space being filled. Not only will visitors get to see the latest in coffee making and marquee competitions (ASCA’s line of coffee championships), but exhibitors and sponsors will also once again get a shot at cementing their positions in the market. Syed Shah gives the lowdown.

From the food and beverage sector, MICE will feature an array of equipment suppliers, dairy processors, packaging manufacturers, technology suppliers and other stakeholders who will be looking to use MICE as a key meeting point for new business opportunities.

To date, MICE is Asia Pacific’s largest specialty coffee show. Last year’s event featured 120 exhibitors and attracted 9,213 people – record numbers for the show. This year’s event looks to host a similar number of exhibitors and potentially exceed the previous attendee count.

Of those visitors, 34 per cent were café owners, 20 per cent were coffee roasters, and 20 per cent were baristas. What’s more, 38 per cent of last year’s attendees reported they had come to recommend or appoint suppliers.

Exhibitor highlights

Event favourites from previous years will return once again in 2017 with the likes of the Melbourne Coffee Week, the MICE Product Innovation Awards; the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Australian International Coffee Awards; Sensory Lab Brew Bar; Roasters Alley; and Origin Alley. Here is some of our top picks:


Form and function unite in Detpak’s full range of food and beverage packaging solutions. 

Together with beautiful design, the range of packaging solutions offered by Detpak, including the café and coffee ranges, overcome the many technical challenges of insulation, maintaining freshness, and sustainability. 

We’re coffee packaging specialists and we work with you to understand what your business needs are in order to meet your individual requirements – from technical specifications, to deciding sizes and developing brand and design.

Detpak’s packaging solutions and printing ability will showcase your products, grow your brand, and support your business. We’re looking forward to meeting you at stand #103.

Jet Technologies

Whatever your packaging requirements, Jet Technologies can be relied upon for expert advice and support from start to finish, on trays, packaging bag solutions, filling and sealing machinery, lidding materials, closures and adhesives.    

Their staff are industry experts, with the knowledge and practical knowhow to provide premium quality products, along with outstanding customer service.

 Jet Technologies offers a range of packaging solutions developed for the specialty coffee industry including world-leading vertical form fill seal machines, premium flexible printed packing and one-way degassing valves.

Visit Jet Technologies at stand #71 at MICE2017.

Building the momentum

In an industry with ever increasing interest in coffee production from seed through to the brew, there will be a series of training rooms that will provide industry-recognised education, in all aspects of coffee preparation from espresso through to filter.

With the event just around the corner and anticipation reaching a fever pitch, Show Director Simon Coburn is bullish about this year’s event with many new developments in the world of coffee that will be showcased.

“MICE will showcase incredible new products and equipment for the coffee and cafe industry, For the food and beverage supply chain, this event shouldn’t be missed,” he said.

Secure your position at MICE2017 today, contact or call +61 (0)3 9690 8766. For tickets or more information, visit


Two new flavoured coffees from Nespresso

Nespresso has introduced two new coffees to its Professional range following consumer demand – allowing restaurants and hotels to offer patrons more choice when it comes to the flavours of coffee they can offer. The two new coffees, Espresso Caramel and Espresso Vanilla, will form part of a permanent line of flavoured coffee, extending the Professional range to a total of 13 varieties.

Following the success of flavoured coffees in the in-home market, Nespresso is making them available to Professional customers across the hotel, restaurant, business and office sectors so consumers can enjoy their favourite coffee wherever they are. This comes off the back of an international study by Harris International that found 61 percent of Australian respondents wanted to be offered new and exciting flavours. Australians favoured Vanilla and Caramel and Nespresso has responded by adding more variety and choice to the Professional Grands Crus range.

Espresso Caramel and Espresso Vanilla are based on Espresso Forte with an intensity of seven. Consumers will be able to experience the silky flavour of Espresso Vanilla, which has a full and slightly caramelised aroma of vanilla combined with the complex Espresso Forte profile. Espresso Vanilla can also be enjoyed with milk for softer notes, evoking thoughts of vanilla-scented pastries.

On the other hand, the sweet caramel flavour of Espresso Caramel mellows the roasted notes of Espresso Forte creating a pleasant coffee reminiscent of the browning of sugar. For those who prefer a latte or flat white, add milk to unveil hidden cocoa and nutty notes.

During the warmer months, both Espresso Caramel and Espresso Vanilla are the perfect options for iced coffee recipes.


Should over 50’s avoid that afternoon coffee? Maybe.

Sleep is good. This is one thing both experts and the person in the street can agree on about that knitter up of the unravelled sleeve of care [1]. Getting decent sleep not only leaves you feeling refreshed, but lack of good quality sleep is associated not just with fatigue and lower life quality, but can also increase the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and type II diabetes.

Sadly, as we age we are less likely to get good sleep, we sleep less deeply than when we were younger, wake more and are more likely to be disturbed in our sleep.
Recently the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) published 20 recommendations that would help people over 50 years of age to have better sleep.

Now in reporting this did the newspapers focus on the recommendations to not drink alcohol three hours before bed time, keeping mobile phones and tablet devices out of the bedroom or keeping pets out of the bedroom?

No, they focused on the recommendation to avoid caffeine after lunch time, with headlines such as “Sleep tips: Avoid afternoon coffee, over-50s advised” and “Middle aged and want a good night’s sleep? Don’t have a cuppa after lunch”.

Well, that’s disappointing, I like my afternoon cuppa

Yes, as does my Mum and thousands of Australians rich in years.

The advice is sensible though. After all, caffeine is a stimulant, and who amongst us has not used strong coffee to try and stave off sleep. Ironically enough, moderate coffee consumption is associated with lower risks of Dementia and type II diabetes.

The effects of caffeine can persist some time, taking 400 milligrams of caffeine can cause you to lose up to an hours sleep and have to have more disturbed sleep up to six hours after you have taken it.

But, you are going to say “But …” aren’t you

But, 400 milligrams of caffeine is roughly the equivalent of chugging four espressos at once, and is the maximum recommended daily caffeine intake. And you really shouldn’t consume more than 300 milligrams in one go.

A typical afternoon cuppa will have between 50-100 milligram caffeine, depending on whether it is tea or coffee, instant or brewed. This is 1/8th to ¼ the amount used in the sleep study. Here are some representative levels of a variety of caffeinated beverages per typical serve.

375 ml Iced Coffee: 68 mg caffeine
Average espresso:   75-85 mg Caffeine
Instant coffee:   ~ 65 mg Caffeine
Tea:                50-80 mg caffeine
Colas:              30- 70 mg caffeine
Energy Drinks:      80-160 mg caffeine

Now, you won’t drink 400 milligrams of caffeine in one hit usually, people typically have between 2-4 cups per day. This makes calculating the amount of caffeine in your body a little tricky, as the amount present in your body accumulates to different levels depending on how often you drink it.

Simulations I have run suggest that the level of caffeine in your body six hours after consuming 400 milligrams of caffeine (the amount that can lose you an hour of sleep) is a bit under the maximum amount of caffeine in your body after consuming 100 milligrams of caffeine [2].

Bllod levels of caffeine simulated after one 400 mg dose of caffeine (top line) or three 100 mg doses taken every three hours (bottom line)
Ian Musgrave

If you drink you last caffeinated drink with 100 milligrams of caffeine in it at 4 pm, then you need to wait around four hours for the caffeine levels to fall below the levels associated with the loss of one hours sleep, make it six hours to be safe and if you have had a beverage with 100 milligrams of caffeine in it at 4 pm, you should be going to bed at 10 pm (or put it another way, if you want to go to bed at 10pm, you last caffeinated drink with 100 milligrams caffeine should be at 4 pm).

Of course I have calculated these values based on the average amount of time it takes the body to absorb caffeine and break it down.

You are going to say “It’s complicated” now, aren’t you

Well, yes. The amount of time peoples bodies take to break down caffeine is roughly 4 hours on average, but this can vary from as little as 2.5 hours to as much as 9 hours. This can produce huge differences in the amount of caffeine in the body (roughly three fold between the slowest and fastest rate of breakdown.

As well, the pathways in the brain that are responsible for the stimulant effect of caffeine can vary in sensitivity.

So you can have someone like me who can drink espresso late at night with no apparent effect on sleep, and my partner, who cannot drink a cup of tea after 3 pm without having disturbed sleep.

So what about age, which is the whole point of this

As you age, your body’s ability to break down drugs and natural products is reduced.

However, it turns out that caffeine is not affected; in fact older folk break caffeine down slightly faster than young people. But they also absorb it more slowly, so the effects basically cancel out and older people and young people have very similar levels of caffeine after consuming it.

On the basis of caffeine concentrations alone, the recommendation to avoid caffeine after lunch is being a little over cautious [3].

On the other hand the brain systems that caffeine interacts with to cause stimulation alter with age, and this may make older people more sensitive to caffeine’s effects.

What is the bottom line then?

Getting good sleep is about more than cutting out tea and coffee after lunch.

The Global Council on Brain Health has suggested several approaches to improving sleep quality, so that you can get about 7- 8 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

These include not drinking alcohol three hours before bedtime (this recommendation will disturb my in-laws most), not eating or drinking generally for three hours before bed [4], getting regular exercise, getting more outdoor light exposure, losing weight if you are overweight, having a regular bedtime routine and not having smart phones and tablet devices in the bedroom at night as the screens light is distracting.

Avoiding (NOT do not drink tea or coffee at all all) caffeine is sensible advice as part of a coordinated approach to better sleep. Slamming back double espressos late at night is guaranteed to disturb your sleep, but an afternoon cuppa is unlikely to bother you (unless of course you are caffeine sensitive).

Be sensible, use a coordinated approach to the recommendations rather than fixating on one thing and hopefully you will sleep better.

[1] Sleeping in the street is not recommended.

[2] These are simplistic simulations, using the data on caffeine breakdown by young and old men from
Comparative pharmacokinetics of caffeine in young and elderly men and assuming you drink 100 milligrams of caffeine at 10 am, 1 pm and 4 pm.

[3] The recommendation to avoid caffeine after lunch has been widely misinterpreted as to mean having no caffeinated beverages after lunch.

[4] As I write this a large part of Australia is in the grip of a massive heat wave, keeping hydrated, especially for older people, is essential in the conditions, so make sure you are getting plenty of fluids even at night.

The Conversation

Ian Musgrave, Senior lecturer in Pharmacology, University of Adelaide

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Coffee cherry moonshine ready for Xmas from Campos

Melbourne Moonshine Cáscara Moonshine is made from the dehydrated cherries of the coffee plant.

Traditionally discarded, Campos says it has worked with a small coffee farm in Costa Rica to keep and naturally dry the cherries, resulting in a fruity coffee variety that gives a more subtle tea-like taste.

Campos Coffee, the specialty roaster founded out of a small Newtown café, has always been focused on innovation in coffee, and realised the untapped potential of this previously under-utilised part of the coffee tree.

After months of testing to get the flavours right, the end result is a rich liqueur with cherry and raisin flavours, and hints of molasses, reminiscent of Christmas Cake.

Summer food competition set to sizzle

Spring has sprung and summer is here, bringing with it the summer cycle of one of Australia’s most prestigious food competitions, the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show.

It is time for the ‘best of the best’ in aquaculture, bakery and coffee to enter Sydney Royal’s Summer Competitions, run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) over two weeks across January and February in 2017.

The Sydney Royal Fine Food Show honours the traditions of local agricultural shows and produce markets around Australia with a focus on Australian-grown and made, recognising commercial producers who capture the essence of the land. Their reward? The distinctive seal of quality that is a Sydney Royal medal, awarded by Australia’s premier team of skilled food industry judges.

This national Competition will look to attract record entries in 2017, starting with these summer competitions early in the year and continuing with the spring cycle in September.

RAS Fine Food Committee Chair Sally Evans said she will expect to see the popularity of the coffee competition continue, however predicts further growth in both aquaculture and bakery.

“Australian consumers continue to revel in the fantastic quality of coffee on offer in Australia, so we’ll expect to see record entries and incredible roasts next year. The aquaculture industry has seen several exciting new products launched over recent years, which will lead to a rise in entries across the fresh fish classes in particular, focusing on Australia’s top-quality Murray Cod and Barramundi. The continued emergency of highly-skilled and innovative artisan bakeries across the country is also expected to result in even stronger participation in our already popular Professional Bakery competition,” she said.

“I encourage all Australian producers, from smaller farm-gate and boutique growers and makers through to larger commercial enterprises, to enter their products in Australia’s premier food show and take advantage of the opportunity to benchmark their products against the best the country has to offer,” said Ms Evans.

Coffee & Professional Bakery entries close on Wednesday 9 November 2016, while Aquaculture will close on Wednesday 7 December 2016.

Research Check: can drinking coffee reduce your dementia risk?

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a growing problem worldwide. There are 350,000 people with dementia in Australia and this is set to rise to 900,000 by 2050. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

So if “coffee really can help to prevent dementia”, as a headline by the Daily Mail last week suggested, that would be amazing. This is why the study on which the headline was based received so much interest.

It was reported on by publications such as the the Independent and websites dedicated to anti-ageing research.

According to the Daily Mail, the study showed:

Women over the age of 65 who had a normal caffeine intake were 36% less likely to develop a cognitive impairment.

Unfortunately there are many reasons not to get excited. The study was observational: a look back through data collected over many years. This means many reasons that weren’t explored may account for the findings that women who drank coffee decreased their risk of dementia.

Factors not examined included diet, exercise, general health and use of other medications. Basically, researchers found drinking coffee was associated with lower dementia risk; not that coffee caused the lower risk. Coffee may have nothing to do with it. And there are many other reasons to be sceptical.

The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Where did researchers get their information?

Ira Driscoll and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have published an interesting analysis in the reputable Journals of Gerontology, Medical Sciences. The information they used to come to their conclusions comes from women aged 65 to 80 who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) and were followed for up to ten years.

The WHIMS was not a planned study originally. It was a sub-study of a large randomised-controlled trial, called the Women’s Health Initiative, examining the effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on postmenopausal women aged over 65.

Although the trial was stopped early, the women continued to be followed up until 2010. The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study was specifically examining the effects of HRT on memory and dementia. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers used this sample to study whether there was a connection between caffeine consumption and new cases of dementia.

The women were all free of dementia when they joined the study between 1995 and 1999. Their cognition – memory and other thinking abilities – was assessed annually in person, until 2007, and then by telephone. For women who showed evidence of cognitive decline over subsequent years, more information was obtained from someone who knew the woman well.

The study was picked up by many publications under many different headlines, such as this one by Sputnik International.
Sputnik International/screenshot

A panel of specialist physicians who reviewed all the information agreed on whether women had developed probable dementia. Caffeine intake, which included tea, cola and other sources of caffeine, was based on questionnaires the women completed.

To isolate the effect of caffeine, the analyses accounted for other reasons that might affect rates of dementia. These were age, education, use of HRT, weight and height, sleep, blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, smoking, alcohol use and how well the women performed cognitively at their first visit.

What were the results?

Of the 6,467 women in WHIMS, 209 developed dementia and 388 developed some cognitive impairment. Greater levels of caffeine intake were associated with a lower incidence of dementia or cognitive impairment.

Researchers divided the women into two halves – the first half contained those who consumed higher amounts of and the second, lower. The average amount of caffeine intake in the lower group was 64 mg per day (roughly under one standard cup of coffee); while in the higher group, it was 261 mg (roughly over three cups).

This study only looked at older women.

The women in the upper group had 26% (not 36% as reported by the Daily Mail) less chance of developing dementia than those in the lower. This is a statistically significant difference. But when the women’s level of cognition at recruitment was taken into account, the risk reduction was only 20%, which was no longer statistically significant.

The researchers concede several reasons for caution. For a start, this study only looked at older women. They mention another study from France that found coffee had a protective effect on women but not men. And a third study found European men who drank three cups of coffee per day had the lowest rate of cognitive decline over ten years.

Why else should we be sceptical?

The women in this study weren’t representative of women generally. They were better educated than average and just the fact they had survived to 65 to 80 years at the time they entered the study, and then lived even longer to allow follow-up, means they may have been a healthier group. This is called the survivor bias, which can lead to false conclusions.

Nor was there a clear dose-response outlined with the number of cups of caffeinated coffee per day. This means the actual amount of caffeine was not measured and blood levels were not checked. Plus, people make their coffee at different strengths, and because the basis for the analysis is what the women reported, their ideas around caffeine intake measurements could be unreliable.

Further, the diagnoses of dementia were not based on a clinical assessment. Telephone assessments are more prone to error and this introduces some noise.

Also, if the women drank coffee just before their assessments, the alerting effect may have helped them score better.

Another possible explanation for the findings is that women may have cut back on their coffee just before they enrolled in the study for reasons linked to incipient dementia, also known as mild cognitive impairment. For example, incipient Lewy body dementia can lead to sleep disturbances as its first symptom even before the dementia becomes apparent; so people with symptoms might stop coffee to help sleep better.

What else should we take into account?

Observational studies such as this are not the gold standard. To really assess coffee’s effect on cognitive decline, we would need a planned randomised controlled trial where women are allocated to caffeine or decaffeinated intake and followed for some years. The women and raters would need to be blind as to which group they would be in. Clearly this would be very difficult if not impossible, especially in our café society.

Caffeine is perhaps the most widely used addictive substance in the world and appears safe.
Dogancan Ozturan/Unsplash

What should readers do? Caffeine is perhaps the most widely used addictive substance in the world and appears safe. People have different reactions to caffeine that may vary with age and health. Some people become more anxious, others find it can improve their performance. I find that as I have grown older, my sleep is more sensitive to caffeine.

There are things you can do that may reduce your risk of dementia, such as eating healthy food, preferably based on the Mediterranean diet of lots of vegetables and fruit and very little saturated fat, and staying physically fit and mentally active.

Don’t get too hung up on this kind of research. Let’s see more evidence over time. – Henry Brodaty

Peer review

This is an interesting study but I agree there are major issues with its methods and conclusions. It is unclear exactly how caffeine intake was assessed. The paper states caffeine intake was self-reported using a questionnaire asking about coffee, tea, and cola beverages, but it did not specify whether drinks contained caffeine or not. Hence researchers assumed it was all caffeinated.

It is also disappointing the women were only split into two groups: those who drank more coffee, and those who drank less than average. There is a reasonable chance of misclassification bias, meaning some people in the lower caffeine intake group should really be in the upper group, due to limitations in the assessment of caffeine intake. You normally address this by splitting participants into more than two groups, and often four or five.

It is very interesting that those in the highest caffeine intake group were also less likely to have diabetes at baseline. While this fits with a major review of the relationship between risk of type 2 diabetes and coffee consumption, it’s also possible there is some remaining confounding bias due to better overall health of those with higher caffeine intakes that is not accounted for.

I agree that further longitudinal analyses would be of value, especially if they repeated the measure of coffee and other caffeinated beverages, particularly decaffeinated coffee, over a number of time points. It would be even more interesting to look at results where people changed their intakes over time. – Clare Collins

The Conversation

Henry Brodaty, Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, UNSW Australia and Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Natural Raw C Coffee + Coconut water

Natural Raw C is the only 100% organic Arabica coffee + coconut water on the market – this vegan friendly, dairy/gluten/fat free beverage provides you with the natural boost you crave anytime, anywhere. It is the perfect healthy and delicious pick-me-up.

Product Manufacturer: Natural Raw C

Launch date: 12.09.2016

Ingredients: Coconut water, coconut flower nectar, 100% arabica coffee extract, natural flavour.

Shelf Life: 18 months

Packaging: Tetra

Product Manager: Elyse Elmer

Country of origin: Thailand

Brand Website:


Knight Mattingly coffee roasters forms new alliance

Melbourne coffee roasters Knight Mattingly has formed a strategic alliance with Australian syrup company Alchemy Cordial.

Knight Mattingly will distribute Alchemy Cordial’s new Golden Tumeric Elixir, an all-natural syrup that captures the latest in taste trends and is designed to be enjoyed in hot and cold beverages.

Debra Knight, Founder and Director of Knight Mattingly Coffee Roasters, said that the alliance was a great fit in terms of brand and product quality. Both businesses have a focus on delivering quality products, crafting both art and science to create superior beverages.

“The Golden Turmeric Elixir by Alchemy Cordial is a powerful new offering for our extensive network of cafes and restaurants,” said Knight.

“We can see that this handmade syrup will deliver the latest taste sensation, as well as the opportunity for product innovation. It’s a quality product that sits well alongside our wide range of coffee blends and chai tea.”

Founder of Alchemy Cordials, Michael Bishop, said that the new syrup was a wonderful addition to the market, and a complement to Knight Mattingly’s existing range.

“We’re excited to be teaming up with Knight Mattingly and combining our years of experience in the beverage market to be releasing this new development,” Bishop said.

“We’ve worked closely with Dr David Chua, our Food and Innovations Technologist, to create a perfect blend of turmeric, ginger, pepper, cinnamon and organic vanilla. It’s a really therapeutic drink.”

As well as tasting rich and complex, the turmeric elixir is thought to contain elements of curcurmin, the compound that is responsible for the bright hue and full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Knight Mattingly will be distributing Alchemy Cordial’s New Golden Tumeric Elixir to a range of cafes and restaurants across Victoria.

Coffee company receives $225,000 grant, hires ex-auto workers

Coffee company Industry Beans has been awarded a Victorian government grant of $225,000 under a program aimed at creating jobs for former auto industry workers.

According to a statement from premier Daniel Andrews, the money will be used to assist the firm upgrade its 760 square metre facility at Brunswick, invest in new machinery to boost output, and increase its export revenues by $20 million annually. Industry Beans will also create a “revolutionary e-commerce platform”.

“We know Melbourne’s north will be one of the communities hardest hit, this funding will help bring in new investment and new jobs for former auto workers in the area,” said state employment minister Wade Noonan.

The grants come out of the $33 million Local Industry Fund for Transition. To qualify, businesses must pay for at least 75 per cent of a proposed upgrade out of their own money, and had to “maximise the number of retrenched automotive workers that will transition to their project prior to submitting applications”.

According to the statement, 20 new jobs will be created, with 16 of these for retrenched auto industry workers.

Ford announced in May 2013 that it will end production at its Geelong and Broadmeadows factories in October this year.


Benefits of drinking coffee outweigh risks – study

The potential benefits of moderate coffee drinking outweigh the risks in adult consumers for the majority of major health outcomes, an extensive scientific review has found.

The review was carried out by researchers at Ulster University and published in the June issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, which is published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

The researchers systematically reviewed 1,277 studies from 1970 to-date on coffee’s effect on human health and found the general scientific consensus is that regular, moderate coffee drinking (defined as 3-4 cups per day) essentially has a neutral effect on health, or can be mildly beneficial.

The review was used to create an exhaustive list of the potential health benefits and risks of coffee consumption on total mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer, metabolic health, neurological disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, and other miscellaneous health outcomes.

The authors noted causality of risks and benefits cannot be established for either with the research currently available as they are largely based on observational data. Further research is needed to quantify the risk-benefit balance for coffee consumption, as well as identify which of coffee’s many active ingredients, or indeed the combination of such, that could be inducing these health benefits.

Some financial support of this study was provided by Italian coffee roasting company illycafe s.p.a., the authors claimed no conflict of interest regarding the objective search and summary of the literature.

MICE delivers unmissable access to Asia Pacific’s coffee market

The sixth edition of the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), to run from 30 March to 1 April next year, will again present those in the industry with a key opportunity to initiate new business relationships.

MICE is Asia Pacific’s largest specialty coffee show. Last year’s event featured 120 exhibitors and attracted 9,213 people.

Of those visitors, 34 per cent were café owners, 20 per cent were coffee roasters, and 20 per cent were baristas. What’s more, 38 per cent of last year’s attendees reported they had come to recommend or appoint suppliers.

In other words, MICE is a once-a-year opportunity for exhibitors and sponsors to stake their positions in the coffee market.

As last year’s exhibitor list – which sees coffee rosters listed alongside dairy processors like Pura, Devondale and Parmalat as well as the likes of packaging company Pac Trading – illustrates, the event is not just for coffee growers, roasters and importers.

Those from the broader food and beverage sector – equipment suppliers, dairy processors, packaging manufacturers, technology suppliers, and so forth – are also integral to MICE.

It makes sense, therefore, that Food & Beverage Industry News has been named official media partner for MICE2017.

What’s on

2017 will see the return of event favourites like Melbourne Coffee Week, the MICE Product Innovation Awards; the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Australian International Coffee Awards; Sensory Lab Brew Bar; Roasters Alley; and Origin Alley.

In addition, a number of new features are set to debut in 2017:

The return of all Australian Coffee Championship events under the one roof

The Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) will host the country’s most preeminent coffee competitions in the Grand Pavilion. They include the Australia Barista Championship, Australia Latte Art Championship, Australia Brewers Cup, Australia Cup Tasting Championship, and Australia Coffee in Good Spirits Championship.

Brewing Lounge

The Lounge will serve as the setting for ASCA Australian Brewers Cup. It will be the viewing platform for the competition, including a tasting bar where participants will be able to sample some of the same coffees used in the competition.

Tea Expo

Although tea has always been an offering at MICE, in 2017 it will take centre stage at the Australian International Tea Expo, presented by Australian Tea Masters. Taking place in conjunction with – and right next door – to MICE, the event will host premium tea suppliers and related products.

More education

A series of training rooms will provide industry-recognised education, in all aspects of coffee preparation from espresso through to filter. This will be a primary destination for baristas and coffee professionals from around the country looking to further their expertise in their chosen field.

Show Director Simon Coburn is confidant MICE will continue to go from strength to strength.

“We’re excited for the new features and opportunities MICE2017 will offer. We encourage the coffee community to support the event that supports the industry we all love and respect,” he said.


Secure your position at MICE2017 today, contact or call +61 (0)3 9690 8766. For more information, visit


Nestlé expands in South Africa

Nestlé South Africa has invested R1.2 billion into the expansion of its instant coffee manufacturing plant in Estcourt.

The expansion included the construction of a waste water treatment plant, new coffee processing plant, upgrading existing coffee processing and a the state of the art coffee drying plant. At least 20 direct and more than 470 indirect jobs have been created since construction commenced.

“We believe that for a company to be successful in the long-term it has to create value for shareholders and communities where it operates,” said Ravi Pillay, Corporate Affairs Director for Nestlé South Africa.

“Investments of this magnitude demonstrate the Nestlé Group’s commitment to long-term business sustainability and economic development in Africa.

“Through this investment we will increase capacity for our coffee factory and meet the growing consumer demand for coffee in the region. This is also aligned with our ambition of being the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company while offering our consumers quality, nutritious and affordable products.”

2016 marks Nestlé’s 100 years of operations in South Africa. The company has eight manufacturing facilities, four distribution centres and 3,500 full time permanent employees across the country.

Nespresso and TechnoServe partner with USAID to support South Sudan’s coffee farmers

Nespresso and TechnoServe, a development non-profit organization have announced a new partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen efforts to rebuild the coffee industry in the new country of South Sudan and improve coffee farmer livelihoods.

USAID will invest $3.18 million during three years in the project, which has already helped revive South Sudan’s coffee industry, diversify its export market and raise the household incomes of smallholder coffee farmers.

Since 2011, Nespresso and TechnoServe have worked directly with local farmers to revive high-quality coffee production in South Sudan, while developing commercial channels to enable its sale and export. Nespresso has already invested over $2.5 million in the project. The country’s coffee industry was decimated after years of civil war, and oil now comprises 99 percent of its exports.

“This new partnership with USAID will be instrumental to accelerate the progress Nespresso and TechnoServe have already made, working directly with South Sudanese farmers,” said Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestlé Nespresso. “This funding injection will allow us to scale up the project and help an even greater number of farmers grow and sell high quality coffee for international export at a higher price, thus creating a better quality of life for farmers and their families.”

USAID’s contribution will help expand the existing initiative to support a thriving and inclusive coffee sector in South Sudan by increasing scale and ensuring lasting impact. The funding injection will also allow the program to be extended to new communities, allowing more farmers in South Sudan to benefit from the revival of South Sudan’s coffee industry.

The initiative aims to triple coffee incomes and improve household resilience. By 2019, the program will have trained 1,500 South Sudanese farmers, of whom at least 25 percent will be women, and helped establish nine cooperative-owned wet mills.

New coffee pod flavours from Nespresso

Nespresso has released two new limited edition coffee pods to the Australian market, ‘Umutima wa Lake Kivu’ and ‘Tanim de Chiapas’.

Umutima wa Lake Kivu comes from coffee growers in Lake Kivu, Rwanda. According to the company, the coffee blends a fluid texture with bright, juicy fruit notes, enhanced by a delicate aftertaste. It is recommended for both Espresso and Lungo cup sizes.

The second new variety, Tanim de Chiapas hails from Chiapas in Mexico. This Arabica combines a silky-smooth texture and bready aromas with a slightly nutty taste. It is also recommended for both Espresso and Lungo cup sizes.

The pods will be available from Nespresso stores and online from 20 January 2016.