The Korea Consumer Agency released research data on Sunday on the amounts of different ingredients in coffee served in Korea, claiming cafes’ products are deceptive in volume, caffeine content and calories.
The nation’s leading customer advocacy group said that despite high prices of coffee ― ranging from 3,000 won ($2.65) to 5,000 won ― the fast-growing industry offers insufficient information needed for customers to make their choices.
The ten coffeehouse chains targeted in the study are nine companies that have over 100 branches nationwide: Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Pascucci, Angelinus, Ediya Coffee, Cafe Bene, Tom & Tom’s Coffee, A Twosome Place and Hollys Coffee.
The KCA said that caramel macchiatos differ in total amount when served.
According to their research, Hollys Coffee, Twosome Place and Starbucks showed the biggest difference in volume, with the caramel macchiato served by Holly’s Coffee weighing 131 grams, which is about 40 percent less than the average amount of all coffee served.
Twosome Place turned out to serve caramel macchiato that is about 34 percent less than the average and the same product from Starbucks was about 32 percent smaller in size.
Caramel macchiato served to the research team by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which had the least difference in grams, was about 17 percent less than the average caramel macchiato product it served.
The KCA also found differences in the amount of caffeine contained, claiming that caffeine in americano differed as much as twice in volume.
The organization said that Ediya Coffee had the least amount of caffeine in americano ― 91 milligrams ― compared to the 196 milligrams in Pascucci’s serving.