It’s almost like a cruel joke. You’re tired and they say the one thing that could help you, could hurt you. Well, good news ladies, pregnancy and coffee sipping need not be mutually exclusive experiences in your life! From a dainty, lemon kissed espresso to a steamy 12-ounce cup of your favorite brew, there are many delicious, much-craved coffee options available to you.
Know your beans
All great coffee starts with the bean, and so shall we. Coffee bean type and roast impact caffeine content. To start, look for arabica beans. Arabica beans have a caffeine content between 1.2% and 1.5%; robusta beans contain a caffeine content between 2.2% and 2.7%. Next, consider the roast. Caffeine is burned off during the roasting process so light roasted coffees, while they may taste lighter on the tongue, generally contain more caffeine than dark roasted coffees. Finally, consider the bean type. Typica beans, for example, naturally have less caffeine than Mundo Novos and Catuai beans. To sum up, if you are looking for a naturally low caffeine coffee, consider a dark roasted, 100% arabica Typica, which include favorites such as a Sumatra and Java. For more information on bean type, please see links at the bottom of this entry.
Working from least caffeinated to most caffeinated, here some fantastic coffee options. (As a reminder, the daily recommended maximum caffeine intake for expecting women is 200 milligrams.)
Decaf: Yes, we are serious! Decaf coffee has come a long way since the first utterance of “death before decaf”. Presently, there are two wonderful, naturally decaffeinated options, Swiss Water Processed decafs and CO2 processed decafs*. Both options naturally strip coffee beans of caffeine with minimal flavor loss. If you have finely tuned taste buds, try a dark roasted decaf, such as a French or Italian Roast. Dark roasts are roasted to a roast profile versus a bean profile, meaning that there should be greater consistency between a French Roast and a French Roast decaf than between a medium roasted Kenya AA and Kenya AA decaf. The former is roasted to roast profile specifications; the latter must conform to the characteristics of the bean. To view our decaffeinated coffee options, click here.
Espresso and espresso-based drinks: Espresso is a dark roasted blend with high extraction. It is the high concentration and pressurised extraction, not the caffeine, that give espresso that thick, bold, rich flavor. In fact, a shot of 100% arabica espresso (30-50 milligrams) has less caffeine than your standard 8-ounce cup of drip coffee (65-120 milligrams). Espresso-based drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos also contain just 30-50 milligrams of caffeine per cup, assuming they are using a single shot of espresso. Mochas contain slightly more caffeine thanks to the chocolate (chocolate contains caffeine…it seems that all good things contain caffeine!).
Half the caffeination: Creating a 1:1 blend of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees is a simple way to reduce your caffeine content while reaping the benefits of a caffeinated cup. If you are creating your own Half D’Caff blend, we suggest using caffeinated and decaffeinated versions of the same coffee.
Drip coffee: A high-quality 12-ounce cup of drip coffee should easily keep you within the recommended daily limit of 200 milligrams. We recommend using a drip brewer rather than a French Press to better control the ground saturation period as the longer the grounds are exposed to water, the more caffeine is extracted.
We hope this blog has helped you identify pregnancy-safe caffeinated drinks. If you have any coffee questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For questions about drinking coffee during your pregnancy, we recommend that you contact your doctor.