Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Does Coffee Really Improve Work Performance? [Experiment + Infographic]

Does Coffee Really Improve Work Performance? [Experiment + Infographic]

It’s hard to imagine an office without a coffee machine. If you recall the morning atmosphere in a standard pre-pandemic office environment, you’d probably think of several colleagues standing around a coffee machine chatting or heading to a meeting with a coffee mug in their hand.

For most, this is not their first coffee of the day. The majority of people reach for a cup of the energizing brew soon after they open their eyes in the morning – 65% of all coffee is consumed during breakfast hours.[1]

Coffee is not only a cult drink but also an industry with millions of jobs worldwide related to its production, distribution, and serving. With 64% of Americans drinking at least one cup of joe per day,[2] coffee has become a staple of everyday work life – be it in the office or in a remote work setting.

The Experiment: Coffee Machine + Productivity Tracker

Even the smell of coffee stimulates energetic and productive vibes. But how much of the coffee phenomenon is just our imagination and self-suggestion? And how substantial is the scientific part behind it?

That’s what we set out to find out with an office experiment (conducted before the pandemic and the remote work wave). We used the Draugiem Group as a sample base – an office space with approximately 150 employees of different tech-based companies. As all the people in this office use DeskTime productivity tracking software and almost all of them drink coffee, we decided to explore how coffee impacts their performance.


We connected the office coffee machine to a telemetry device[3] that counted the number of coffees made and at which times during the day. Later we cross-referenced the peak coffee consumption times with the spikes in work performance from the DeskTime software. The experiment lasted for a week.

The Results: Wake up and Smell the Coffee!

In one day, an average of 215 coffees are consumed within the Draugiem Group office. With just over 100 employees, that averages out to about two coffees per employee. But what did we learn when cross-referencing coffee drinking stats with data from productivity tracking software?

First of all, we confirmed that coffee does increase the overall work performance of office workers. Productivity levels soared for most of the people right after drinking coffee, peak consumption times being around 9am, and then again roughly at 12:30am.

However, the productivity upsurge didn’t last long.

Within 2.5 hours after coffee consumption, employee work performance levels went as low as they possibly could – even lower than before workers set out to make their coffees. This means that coffee could provide only a temporary productivity boost.


Does Science Agree?

Scientists have long-since touted the benefits of coffee – the energy boost thanks to caffeine, the antioxidants that stave off the damage caused by free radicals. However, coffee has also been known to have negative effects – dehydration, insomnia, and addiction, to name a few.

The results of our experiment are in line with what scientists say about coffee’s impact on productivity. Caffeine has been proven to provide a short-term increase in cognitive performance after being ingested. 200mg of coffee has been found to help identify words and phrases faster.[4]

However, this effect wears off in time. Our findings support that, in fact, the post-caffeine slump is inevitable and a tangible thing. And rather than returning to your beginning position of productivity, you dip far below your default caffeine-less self.

Coffee can be seen as a temporary solution for reducing the feeling of tiredness and enhancing brain performance.[5] However, similar to nicotine addiction, caffeine addicts are rarely brought back to their average comfort & energy levels after the initial boost dies down. Instead, their energy – and productivity – levels keep falling until the next cup of coffee saves the day.

How Coffee Impacts Your Productivity [Infographic]

This infographic will help you understand how coffee works and how it impacts your productivity.


    How to Consume Caffine Smartly and Improve Work Performance

    We credit caffeine to start our day, often citing it as a driving force behind our ability to work. No wonder coffee has become the most pervasive drug throughout America, with 25% of coffee drinkers identifying as addicted to coffee.[6]

    That said, there’s no harm in drinking coffee if you do it smartly and with moderation. Follow these tips to benefit from your relationship with caffeine:

    1. Study your own productivity routine and choose to drink coffee at times when you feel you need it most.

    Record the times when you drink coffee and note the effects that it has on you. If you feel more alert and productive, how long does this effect last? If a couple of hours later you feel lower than ever, does the next cup of coffee bring instant recovery?

    Also, choose to drink coffee between 10 and 11:30 AM and between 2 and 5 PM, when your cortisol levels dip naturally. Your body will most appreciate a caffeine boost at these times.


    To improve your memory, drink a cup of coffee right after a learning event (not before).

    2. Substitute coffee drinking with a walk or exercise.

    There are many other ways to boost your productivity apart from drinking coffee. For example, a study of 10% most productive employees found that 52 minutes of focused work and 17 minutes of breaking is one of the most productive workday patterns.[7] There are also many office exercises that help your brain relax and reload while bringing many health benefits to your body.

    3. Switch to beverages that contain smaller amounts of caffeine.

    Tea is a good example and it offer plenty of benefits. You may want to consider green tea, oolong tea, or early grey tea.

    4. Next time you’re in a good mood, take a cup of joe to prolong that feeling.

    It is proven that coffee stimulates the release of dopamine that produces euphoria and pleasant feelings.

    Whatever your coffee-drinking habits, be careful not to find yourself inside a daily vicious circle pumped by caffeine!


    More About Coffee And Productivity

    Featured photo credit: BRUNO EMMANUELLE via


    More by this author

    Ieva Sipola

    Ieva helps tech startups access big markets and is a passionate advocate of alternative work formats.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2021

    20 Delightful Tea And Coffee Recipes You Should Try At Least Once

    20 Delightful Tea And Coffee Recipes You Should Try At Least Once

    It’s likely that you drink a fair amount of tea or coffee every day. Even if you don’t drink them daily, you probably don’t stay away from occasionally sipping a cup of tea or coffee, as you fancy. Be it a cold winter day or a hot summer afternoon, these caffeine packed beverages are a popular choice. With the extra touch of additional ingredients for taste and health, your caffeine beverage now comes in a variety of creative recipes. Here, below, are 20 delightful tea and coffee recipes to jazz up your regular caffeine dosage and shake you free from your thirst.

    1. Easy Chai Tea


      Easy chai tea is a “throw-in-what-you’ve-got” tea that you can literally spice up with exotic spices to keep you warm through a cold winter. Although winter is almost over, you can’t go wrong trying out this simple recipe. It could even replace your morning and evening beverage—who knows?—since it’s so very simple to prepare. (Click here for the recipe)

      2. Hot and Spicy Himalayan Tea


        A nice infusion of a whole lot of spices and Darjeeling tea, this hot and spicy Himalayan tea is what has been keeping the people high in the Himalayan mountains warm for ages. Get the taste of Himalaya in a cup with this recipe. (Click here for the recipe)

        3. Hot Cranberry Tea


          “A cup of tea can solve anything.” When the cup of tea is as good as hot cranberry tea, you don’t worry about having to solve anything. The hot cranberry tea smells just as good as it tastes. You can get inventive making it with the spices that are readily available in your cupboard. (Click here for the recipe)

          4. Hibiscus Lemongrass Tea



            Hibiscus is slowly gaining popularity in the beverage industry for the health benefits it brings, along with its authentic color and taste. Try hibiscus lemongrass for once instead of lemon in your tea and see. It is just as good iced as it is hot and is easy to prepare. (Click here for the recipe)

            5. Matcha Tea


              Matcha tea comes with plenty of health benefits. You can prepare matcha tea at home in several ways. In the simplest version, all you have to do is measure the required amount of matcha tea powder and mix it with a small amount of boiling water. Then, you add additional water as necessary. (Click here for the recipe)

              6. Perfect Vanilla Tea


                Vanilla comes second in the list of the most expensive spices in the world. Its elegant flavor explains why vanilla is loved so much in a wide variety of pastries and beverages. Perfect vanilla tea is a perfect blend of plain tea and exotic spices to create a perfect mug any time of day. (Click here for the recipe)

                7. Lemon Spiced Wellness Tea


                  Feel a bit under the weather? Tea. Even better: lemon spiced wellness tea. It contains no sugar but you can sweeten it as you like. This is your road to wellness. (Click here for the recipe)

                  8. Chocolate Mint Cappuccino



                    Most of us start our day with a big cup of coffee. Hot chocolate mint cappuccino coffee to start a cold winter day- nothing is more soul-warming than that. The invigorating flavor of mint and the richness of chocolate in this cappuccino will take your coffee experience up a notch. (Click here for the recipe)

                    9. Italian Cappuccino


                      In Italian, cappuccino literally means “little cap”. The frothy, foamy little cap of milk and cream on top of the espresso base has won millions of hearts around the world, making coffee the most popular beverage. It’s best when you use fresh coffee to prepare this drink. This Italian cappuccino would be a nice start to the day during a cold winter or any time of year. (Click here for the recipe)

                      10. Caramel Macchiato


                        Caramel always leaves its mark when used in any kind of food or beverage. This delicious cup of caramel macchiato is sure to leave you wishing for more. You can try it with different kinds of flavored syrups as substitutes to caramel. Try a cup of warm caramel macchiato with some cookies for a perfect snack. (Click here for the recipe)

                        11. Coffee Frappe


                          You don’t always have to take your coffee hot; try a frappe. If you like blended coffee drinks, blend vanilla ice cream, vanilla extract, coffee, milk, ice, and simple syrup in a blender until smooth; pour it in a tall glass; top it up with whipped cream and sprinkle the cocoa powder. Enjoy! You can prepare it in an instant. (Click here for the recipe)

                          12. Walnut Coffee Frappe



                            Blend in some walnut with your coffee frappe and there you have your walnut coffee frappe! This delicious coffee shake will shake you up with its rich texture and taste. There isn’t any better way to enjoy the taste of walnut in a beverage. Treat your family to this delightful frappe to win them over. (Click here for the recipe)

                            13. Easy Peppermint Mocha


                              If you love the peppermint flavor, you will love this even more: mocha and peppermint. They blend perfectly together. This simple peppermint mocha is easy to make with easily available ingredients and the taste will stimulate your taste buds. The crushed peppermint candy cane topping makes it delightfully minty. (Click here for the recipe)

                              14. Cinnamon Dolce Latte


                                The simple cinnamon syrup is the secret to this wonderful coffee treat. After all, it’s a cinnamon dolce latte. The heartwarming taste of butter and brown sugar also mix together beautifully in this latte. You can leave out the butter and this drink still stands out for its delightful taste. Give it a try at home and save yourself a trip to Starbucks. (Click here for the recipe)

                                15. Skinny Caramel Frappuccino


                                  This Starbucks-style Frappuccino is cold, creamy rich and truly satisfying. You might be wondering why they call it “Skinny” Caramel Frappuccino. Every ingredient, including the sweetener in this beverage is sugar-free and fat-free to make sure that you stay “skinny” like you want, and there’s guaranteed satisfaction. The recipe claims to have only 50 calories per serving. (Click here for the recipe)

                                  16. Chocolate Cherry Jubilee Frappe



                                    There is no wrong time for a frappe, so here’s another frappe with creative flavors. Mix in a cherry flavor to your coffee frappe to add a new taste twist. This drink is chocolaty and the cherry flavor blends really well with it. I’m sure you will love this chocolate, coffee and cherry combo. (Click here for the recipe)

                                    17. Lemonade Sweet Tea


                                      Lemon goes very well with any kind of tea, hot or iced. A tall glass of hot lemon tea early in the morning helps cleanse your digestive system, experts say. This tall glass of cold lemon tea is equally revitalizing and thirst quenching. (Click here for the recipe)

                                      18. Ginger-and-Honey Sweet Tea


                                        Tea is known to have antioxidants that help you fight aging. Add ginger and honey to it and get a healthy and delightful iced tea. Sip and savor this iced drink on a summer day to beat the heat. (Click here for the recipe)

                                        19. Minty Iced Green Tea


                                          People love green tea for the health benefits they believe it has. Studies show that drinking green tea helps fight cancer and heart diseases. Mint leaves add a cool, refreshing flavor to this simple green tea. This makes a healthy beverage perfect for quenching your thirst any time and in any season.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                          20. Nutella Blended Coffee Drink



                                            The infusion of the flavors in this blended coffee is over the top. Chocolate, coffee, Nutella; people love them already for what they are individually. The combo of these three is a unique flavor that you will love even more. (Click here for the recipe)

                                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via

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