I've never been able to figure out all the patterns to be able to understand which coffee gives me more of the positive effects - mental and physical energy, good mood; with less of the negative effects - anxiety, shakes, tiredness, angriness. So I'm looking for advice on what are likely to be the main factors and how I can make the best feeling cup of coffee at home.

Anecdotally a great expensive coffee from a good coffee shop makes me feel good. I generally have a flat white with a little sugar. At the other end of the scale cheap coffee from the supermarket prepared strong in a mocha and drunk straight up can make me feel terrible - easy to anger, anxious, shaky. Starbucks coffee makes me feel physically terrible, and I haven't drunk it for ages. The last time I did I had to sit down as I was nauseus and overcome with tiredness.

I have never found anything that lets me make a great feeling cup of coffee at home. My best feeling cup at the moment is espresso from a mocha, long, with cream and sugar.

It seems like at different times the main factors have been:

  • The coffee bean
  • The roast (dark roast = more anxious)
  • How it's prepared
  • How I consume it (with/without milk, long/short, with/without sugar)
  • Freshness of bean
  • Freshness of the coffee

And of course I can't rule out my personal mental and physical health at the time, although caffeine does affect me quite strongly so I tend not to drink it when I'm already feeling anxious.

So, what are the main factors in how a cup of coffee feels? Is it just personal or is there a way I can optimise for the positive effects? I'm prepared to spend a bit more on the coffee if it feels good. I have various mochas to make espresso, drippers and French press.

Thanks :)

  • 1
    I don't have a proper answer to this (great!) question (I wish I did), but a couple of things to add to your list of factors: (1) species of coffee (robusta tends to have a lot more caffeine than arabica, and is more likely to be found in cheaper coffees, hence possibly explaining some of your observations), and (2) context of consumption (after meal or empty stomach?).
    – Kahovius
    Jul 14, 2020 at 21:48
  • 1
    At a hunch I would expect the amounts of caffeine, sugar and fat to be the biggest chemical factors, as well as how strong and how pleasant the taste is for the purely psychological factor. But this is probably something you could base several PhDs on, including a couple Ignobel prices :)
    – l0b0
    Jul 31, 2020 at 2:42

2 Answers 2


Have you tried mushroom coffee? It has the effect you're looking for. 4 Sigmatic have a good range to choose from with varying effects. I find the ones with lion's mane mushroom help with focus but don't give me the jitters!

  • Never heard of this, thanks for the tip!
    – mozboz
    Aug 11, 2020 at 23:39

There are many factors that could impact your reaction to coffee but in many cases the roasting plays a huge role. Many people think that dark roast has the highest caffeine and consume heavy dark roa

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