Dr. Williams' paper illustrates my point very well,

"Coffee contains just about every type of molecule known to nature, including proteins, lipids and carbohydrates"

and among them several that might act as developers, but exactly which, and in what proportions, and the quantities of which, no one is saying, and the effects of the myriad other compounds are completely unaccounted for. Effectiveness can be quantified as the quantity of a sunbstance required to produce a given degree of development, and reliability depends on the ability to make a developer of known properties repeatedly from a developer's consituent chemicals. Those definitions would serve well enough for me, anyway.