Auctioning memorabilia and caffeine overdosing

Having thought about it, despite it being for a good cause I find myself completely unable to create an auction for a cup that I’ve signed.  It just wouldn’t be right, and my ego is healthy enough without thinking that my signature ought to be on things.  Instead I am going to have a ratch around in my coffee stuff and find something that people might actually want.   I’ll post when I find it.

In other news it seems that the caffeine overdose story has covered the web.  It is quite funny, and yet to many of us I am sure it appears strangely unbelievable.  On first reading the physical symptoms lasting several days don’t really stack up unless she had some sort of extreme sensitivity to caffeine, which I would have thought she would have noticed before the 7 doubles.  I’d be interested to hear from anyone with any knowledge/thoughts on this.  I understand the basics of adenosine blocking, but not that much more.  In comparison I once loaded a small flask with 8 or 9 doubles for Robbie Williams *clang of the name drop* backstage at Live8 (I did feel bad when his caffeine habits became tabloid news), and I am sure they weren’t slowly lingered over.  I am equally sure most people reading this have, at some point, drunk “a little too much” espresso and felt a bit, well…. wonky.I learnt fairly early on in my coffee career what happens when I go overboard – I drank a lot of shots during a taste pairing session.  I think the sweating side-effect was by far the classiest.

It is the second time that caffeine has popped up this week – the other being the discussion started by Inni over at coffeed.

20 Comments

  1. I had about ten shots, most weren’t straight but in lattes and capps, in a two hour period a few weeks back and that hurt. I just laid in bed for twenty hours afterwards – unwilling to move even the slightest as the headaches became piercing and sent my stomach rolling. It felt like food poisoning, and now I see that there’s a thing called “Acute Caffeine Poisoning” here in the States. It’s said that 10 grams of caffeine can kill you, and I had about 1 gram. Stands to reason I would feel that way then. However, I did find the best places to get espresso in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Either I’m a die-hard espresso geek or an idiot. Lesson learned though.

  2. Hmmm – the first time I ever had coffee was when I noticed the effects the most. I was in a country where coffee is part of the hospitality and they drank it boiled up with lots of sugar (like the greek and turkish style).

    Naturally the coffee keeps coming as long as the negotiations are proceeding well – and this day went very well. It is the one and only time I have been awake for more than 50 hours – I have had days where I feel a little caffeine ‘wirieness’ but most days even a whole lot of shots one after the other doesn’t do too much damage (just a few heart palpitations, nothing to worry about really. . .)

  3. Yow. Seven doubles is a pretty dumb idea. I’ve had the shakiness/stomach ache/arm tingling horribleness of too much coffee, but that was due to very little food and very much coffee. I regularly have about eight-ish shots throughout the day and have no ill effects other than getiing sleepy ;). I guess I’ve just built up an immunity or something. Coincidentally, I happen to know somebody that once drank seven doubles at one time. That led led mostly to him curling up on the floor in pain, and to his wife being incredibly unhappy. No hospital visit, though it may have been necessary, haha.

  4. I just wonder how can someone drink a beverage (7 in this case), specifically work in the shop that serves the beverage, and have no idea what was in it? I think in the 3rd espresso she should have felt the kick already. And another thing, didn’t anyone warn her? Any Barista in their right mind would have warned her.

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  6. On a shift once where me and my co-worker were feeling particularly tired we did (for the hell of it) a double on the hour every hour, for 6 hours. To be honest, I felt great!

  7. Whatever happened to http://www.deathbycaffeine.com? Now seems defunct. Pity. Clearly ahead of its time. Could have worked out her exact fatal dose. Put in your body weight, chose your method of delivery (espresso, americano, chocolate, Coke, etc.) and bingo. My fatal dose was 278 espressos so sure she be fine on 7 doubles. Sadly, deathbychopsticks is also no more – wonder what that was all about…?

  8. My non-coffee drinking girlfriend saw this the other day and promptly began berating me for my “unwise” and “unhealthy” consumption of espresso (2-3 doubles a day, plus drip, odd bits and tasting mostly every single espresso shot I serve*) when I work.

    SEVEN doubles sent her to the hospital?(!). She must be a 30kg waif or just entirely unfit to work in or near coffee. I’m surprised she even got that far.

    (maybe she’s pulling lungo shots with robusta coffee? for added oomph?)

  9. For a start I would like to know what blend she was drinking! Did it taste that good that she felt she needed 10 doubles, I think not. Bet it was a 70% min. Robusta. Has anyone had anything better from a sandwich shop in Co. Durham!!

    Seriously though what a lightweight, from her photo she looks like a 20 a day to me.

  10. I have read a number of times that the caffeine level in a cup of coffee depends on the time the water is in contact with the coffee when brewing. Therefore an espresso has less caffeine than a cup of cafetiere coffee. Yet I never get a buzz from drinking a cup of cafetiere coffee like I do from espresso.

    The British Coffee Association always has some fairly bias info on coffee consumption.
    http://www.britishcoffeeassociation.org/page.aspx?page=health&m_id=167

  11. My first year in college (you would say university), the idiot down the hall had to stay awake to type a paper, so he took a No-Doz (200mg caffeine, I believe), and when he didn’t feel anything in 10 minutes, he took another, then another, ending up taking at least 6 No-Doz. All I remember was that he was sweating and his hands were shaking so badly that he couldn’t type that paper. I don’t think he went to the hospital, but perhaps he should have.

  12. The most I’ve ever done was 6 doubles in less than one hour’s time.

    I was wired. Jittery, sweating a bit, a little twitchy, but that was about it. Drinking copious amounts of water once the symptoms began I’m sure helped quite a bit.

  13. Reminds me of the stuff you wrote last month about learning to like stuff. Her recent adventure is a clear sign that she liked coffee pretty good before she hit the wall and, according to the article, she can no longer stand the sight of it. I guess she needs to get busy practicing or her father needs to find a new employee.

    Will it take 8 tries, or does it take more after you’ve come to the point where your body reacts badly to the stuff?

    Too bad you can’t use this effect to cure addicts from their afflictions. Or can you? :)

  14. Well, I just think there is something up. She must have had an allergic reaction or something. Many people are allergic to caffene and don’t even know it. Different people have different tolerences to that allergen. For example, my daughter is very allergic to milk. I mean very. One cup can shut her system down and send her into a asthmatic shock. But, I am allergic to milk too. But, I can eat a bowl of cereal with no problem or drink a cup of milk just fine. But, if I drink a cup of milk in the morning and one in the afternoon and then eat ice cream that evening and the next morning will be a nightmare. My sinus cavities will be aching and I will be almost sick to my stomach.

    I bet she was allergic.

  15. Alistair wrote:

    I have read a number of times that the caffeine level in a cup of coffee depends on the time the water is in contact with the coffee when brewing. Therefore an espresso has less caffeine than a cup of cafetiere coffee. Yet I never get a buzz from drinking a cup of cafetiere coffee like I do from espresso.

    Caffeine quantity, like all the other solids & solubles extracted from coffee, does vary with contact time. It also varies with grind size, temperature and method of brewing. Your cafetiere coffee would have had significantly larger coffee particles (1000 microns versus 300 or less for espresso). Add to this that pressurised infusion forces the water into the surface of the coffee particles further and faster than the gravity infusion of filter or cafetiere brewing. The absolute quantity of caffeine in an espresso or even a double espresso may not be more than that of a cafetiere, but we are less likely to drink seven cafetieres back to back. The effect of the extra water in a weaker (less concentrated ) coffee is that it makes the caffeine more readily absorbed into the body, but conversely, due to human nature, makes us pass the caffeine laden water through the body faster, often before all the caffeine can be absorbed. (don’t ask me about data on caffeine strength in urine)

    I wouldn’t want to guess what the coffee was that she was drinking, but the difference between the caffeine content of Arabica and Robusta are well documented…. nuff said.

  16. With thay type fo sensitivity, I am wondering why she would even be comfortable with her “thought to be” 7 singles! When I was first learning how to pull shots on my machine I could never bring myself to dump under/over-extractions down the drain without at least a healthy sip. Needless to say, I had some reactions. But at double-digit shots I was never more than jittery with sweats and a little nausea. My dad, on the other hand, after taking only a few shots and finishing off with a double of robusta-induced-malabar-gold at the Atlantafest had to go to his room and crash. Heavy breathing, throbbing head, and a capillary-covered purple chest! Freaky!

  17. It seems fairly clear to me that she had some sort of anxiety attack, exacerbating the effects of the caffeine.

  18. i been doing a vareos caffeine report for school and looked here for info but sadly could not find it >_< ^_^ ‘-‘ *_* @_@ ~_~

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