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Caffeine (also spelled caffein) is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant. Caffeine was isolated from coffee in 1820 by a German chemist, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, and in 1821 by French chemists working independently; viz., by Robiquet and by Pelletier and Caventou. It was Pelletier, noting that the drug had been isolated from coffee (French: café), who coined the word "cafeine", which became the English word "caffeine". Caffeine is found in varying quantities in th...