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Does cocoa powder contain caffeine?

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Very small amounts :

From The International Cocoa Organization

"Does cocoa have caffeine in it? Yes, in very small quantities.

Cocoa beans

Cocoa beans undergo a process of drying and fermenting to develop the flavour and colour. The amount of caffeine in the beans varies with the type of beans and the degree of fermentation.

In an analysis of cocoa from various sources the following percentages of caffeine were found:

Percentage of Caffeine

Average 22 samples






Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder contains caffeine. Depending on the degree of fermentation and the type of cocoa beans, the caffeine content will vary from 0.1-0.5%. In cocoa powders made from well fermented African cocoa beans the caffeine proportion is in general very low: 0.1% or less. "

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Does anyone know this, off the top of their head?  I have been put on very short chocolate rations to keep my caffeine intake minimal, and I'm going into withdrawal!!

Yes, but not very much.

SB (try carob)

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Well, it can, but not necessarily. Cocoa beans by default don' t have much caffeine present (they do, however, have lots of theobromine, which is chemically very similiar to caffeine). When cocoa powder is made, you essentially concentrate the cocoa bean, so if that were the only concern, the powder would certainly have a higher level of caffeine than the liqour it was pressed from. However, caffeine is a water soluable chemical, and most of your powders are going to be alkalized, which means that at some phase of their processing, they've been doused, soaked, or sprayed with a water solution of alkalizing agents. This can have the effect of reducing the levels of caffeine, but wether or not it actually does depends greatly on the processing conditions and techniques used by your manufacturer. General rule? natural powders will always have higher levels than natural chocolates. Alkalized powders (which constitute the majority of the powders) and your mileage may vary quite a bit...

however, let me stress that chocolate and chocolate products have a very, very low level of caffeine to begin witih.

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There is a product called WonderCocoa. There are a bunch of web pages saying its caffeine-free, however several sites that sell it say that it is 99.7% caffeine-free, in which case it has 0.3% caffeine and actually has an average caffeine content as far as cocoas go.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh

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