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Amount of Caffeine in Coffee, Tea, Soft Drink, and Other Beverages and Products

Several plants contain caffeine, such as the coffee bean, the tea leaf, the cocoa bean (cacao), and even the kola nut used for cola beverages. The amount of caffeine in a prepared beverage depends on the type of plant it is made from, the brewing method, and the grind used. Also, the growing conditions of the individual plants, the soils and climates, can effect the concentration of caffeine contained in the plant. Although much of the caffeine we consume occurs naturally in brewed beverages, a good deal of it is added. For instance, although the kola nut does contain caffeine, most of the caffeine in cola soft drinks is added, using purified caffeine obtained from decaffeinated coffee beans. Still, at least 10 percent of the caffeine in colas, and in pepper flavored soft drinks, is obtained from the cola nuts. This naturally occurring caffeine does not have to be listed on the ingredients label, if no other caffeine is added.

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