How Many Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans to Kill Me?

Someone at work left an open tub of Trader Joe's chocolate-covered espresso beans in the break room. Unable to resist their chocolaty siren's call, I soon myself munching them down like Skittles. Since I'm unavoidably somewhat morbid, this got me thinking, just how many of these would it take to kill me?

Well, this required a bit of research...

How Much Caffeine Is Lethal?

According to Wikipedia, the LD50 (median lethal dose, i.e. the dose at which 50% of subjects die) in humans is estimated to be around 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass.

I weigh on the order of 180 pounds. (actually, slightly more) That's 81.65 kilograms. Given 150 to 200 grams per kilogram, that works out to 12247.5 - 16330 milligrams.

So, it would take between 12.25 and 16.33 grams of caffeine to kill me.

How Many Beans?

Acccording to this coffee FAQ, a chocolate-covered espresso bean contains 3 - 5 milligrams of caffeine. So, it could take anywhere from 2,450 and 5,443 chocolate-covered espresso beans to kill me.

How Many Tubs?

27 beans adds up to 2.0 ounces. Since a container of Trader Joe's chocolate-covered espresso beans is 14 ounces, that makes approximately 190 beans per container.

So, I would have to eat between 13 and 29 tubs in order to die of caffeine overdose.

Outstanding Questions

What is the timeframe in which all these beans would have to be consumed?

What is the actual physical volume of all these beans?

About Jeff Fitzsimons

Jeff Fitzsimons is a software engineer in the California Bay Area. Technical specialties include C++, Win32, and multithreading. Personal interests include rock climbing, cycling, motorcycles, and photography.
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2 Responses to How Many Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans to Kill Me?

  1. mark says:

    Very interesting! How many beans would you say it takes to get a noticeable buzz?

  2. Michelle says:

    Thank you for this! I also did the same thing. Glad I will not have to send myself to the hospital for it. Definitely feel weird side-effects, but knowing it won’t kill me makes me a little more at ease.

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