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Like many who drink decaf, Carralee Hathaway has trouble with caffeine's side effects, so she did something about it.
"It was about 2:30 in the afternoon and I said, 'I have a feeling this is not decaf,' but I wish there was a way I could find out if it's decaf coffee. A simple strip that I can dip in there and it could tell me if it's got caffeine in it or not," says Hathaway.
She found a lab to create them: D+caf Test Strips.
"You get 20 strips in a pack and I believe it's $10 per one package of 20 strips," says Hathaway.
Dietitian Jerrod Libonati says for the caffeine-sensitive, it's worth 50 cents extra to enjoy a cup and be free of these symptoms:
"Irritability, maybe insomnia, some G.I. [gastrointestinal] distress, maybe some bathroom habits, irregular heartbeat," says Linbonati. "Some of those common things we experience with too much caffeine."
Here's how it works: A five-second dip-stick in your cup produces a red bar, either on the decaf side or the caffeine side.
Two bars indicate there might be more than 5 milligrams of caffeine. Five milligrams or less is what constitutes true decaf.
Compare that with a typical 20-ounce regular coffee that contains anywhere from 150 to 300 milligrams. For those expecting a mere 5, that decaf decoy can be trouble.
We went to Starbucks, McDonald's and 7-11 to put their decaf to the test. The good news? Starbucks and 7-11 tested out as "true" decaf. And while the McDonald's test strip did show two bars, 5 milligrams is still less than regular coffee, but more than a true decaf.
Now if you order decaf latte, cappuccino or other milk-based drinks you're out of luck. Normally the testers only work on regular joe.