Some jittery people out there — you can spot them gnashing their teeth, shaking like Jell-O and sweating profusely — have grounds to suspect that the decaf coffee they are drinking is secretly laced with that demon caffeine.
But, hey, don't get so jumpy and start a brouhaha with your barista over messing up the order. A 2006 study by University of Florida researchers found that the decaffeination process doesn't eliminate caffeine. It merely reduces the levels of the popular stimulant.
Test samples from 10 national chains and local Florida coffeehouses showed that 16-ounce decaf cups contained caffeine levels between 8.6 to 13.9 milligrams. A 16-ounce cup of regular coffee: 170 milligrams.
"If someone drinks five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level present to a cup or two of caffeinated coffee," Dr. Bruce Goldberger, co-author of the study, told the journal Preventive Medicine Week.