Is that really decaf? Caffeindicator lets you know for sure
By Ben Coxworth
February 11, 2010
Nobody likes the jittery feelings that come with too much caffeine, or the insomnia that follows. While it takes a lot of caffeine to affect most people that way, those of us who are caffeine-sensitive can get the same feelings from even one cup of coffee. Other people have medical conditions that make caffeine a big no-no. In either case, these individuals usually order decaf when they’re at coffee shops or restaurants, but ... with all the hustle and bustle in those places, what if they get the coffee pots mixed up? Or what baristas can't be bothered brewing up a pot of decaf and just serve up regular coffee and say it’s decaf? It was no doubt that kind of thinking that led Verification Technology Systems to develop Caffeindicator, a litmus-like caffeine-testing system that anyone can use.
Caffeindicator is printed on the little paper packets that sugar and artificial sweetener come in. When your coffee arrives, you put a drop of it from your spoon onto the packet. If the paper turns pink, then you know that caffeine is present. Whether or not you make a big scene about it is entirely up to you.
Verification Technology Systems isn’t just concerned about caffeine, though. The company has also developed litmus-like methods of testing for rohypnol (the “date rape drug”), peanuts, aspartame, shellfish, latex, and a bunch of other potentially nasty ingredients. It even has a system for testing children who are being treated for Attention Deficit Disorder are taking all their Ritalin.
Now if only they could develop something to test whether or not that coffee is ethically grown ...