How Much Caffeine In A Cup Of Coffee & Espresso? (+FULL Chart)

By James Kilpatrick      Updated December 9, 2020

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For some people, coffee is a social beverage. For regular coffee drinkers, a cup of joe is necessary to kick start their day. As most people know, coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that gives you more alertness and makes you less drowsy. 

The question that most people ask is this: how much caffeine is in a regular cup of coffee?

In this article, we will determine the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. We will also look at the difference in caffeine content between various types of coffee and brands. 

Let’s find out what makes your morning brew such an energy booster and what your favorite coffee brand has to offer in terms of caffeine content. 

What Affects Caffeine Content in Coffee?

Caffeine in coffee is affected by several factors. Coffee has different types and is brewed in different methods. Ultimately, these variations give different amounts of caffeine. Let’s look at the factors affecting coffee caffeine content:

Coffee bean type

Arabia Robusta Coffee Beans

There are two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. If you’re brewing with Arabica beans, you can expect a sweeter and fruitier taste. However, its caffeine content is half of that of Robusta beans. So, in terms of giving that caffeine boost, Robusta is the clear winner.

Roast levels

close-up view of brown coffee beans in a sack

There has always been a myth that dark roast produces more caffeine than a light roast, but this has been debunked by recent studies (1). The roasting time of beans does not have a direct effect on the amount of caffeine in coffee. 

However, light roast beans tend to be denser than dark roast. By scoop, light roast beans then slightly have more caffeine than dark roast. 

Brewing method

Brewing methods with higher levels of extraction produce more caffeine. For example, brewing with boiling water extracts more caffeine. The higher the brewing temperature is, the higher the caffeine extraction.

Caffeine Content by Coffee Type

How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee? As mentioned, different types of coffee vary in caffeine content. From this point, we will identify the caffeine content of each coffee type. 

Regular Brewed Coffee

Brewed coffee, also known as drip or filter coffee, is one of the most common types of coffee people all over the world consume every day. Since it is brewed in high-temperature water, the caffeine extraction level is high. 

How many mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee are there? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (2), the amount of caffeine in 8 oz coffee (regular brewed) is 95 mg

Espresso

espresso coffee in a cup

Espresso is a stronger type of coffee that is made by forcing relatively small amounts of hot water through coffee grounds. This type of coffee is often made through an Espresso machine. 

By volume, brewed coffee has less caffeine than Espresso. However, Espresso is often served in small sizes, giving you less caffeine than a regular-sized brewed coffee. One shot of Espresso, or 1 oz or 27g, contains 63 mg of caffeine. Thus, a double-shot Espresso has 126 mg of caffeine. 

Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee in a bottle

Unlike the typical brewed coffee, cold brew coffee is steeped for many hours (12-24 hours) and is brewed through cold or room temperature water. Since the water you are using for cold brew is of lower temperature, its extraction level is lower as well. 

However, it still contains a good amount of caffeine, just a little lower than the regular brewed coffee. 

Instant Coffee

This coffee is obviously easier to make than other types of coffee, but it still has a good amount of caffeine. 1 regular serving of instant coffee is 6 fl oz in volume, and its caffeine content is about 47 mg

Decaf

If you drink coffee but not for the caffeine boost, you’re probably a decaf drinker. As the name suggests, decaf coffee does not have much caffeine. In reality, however, decaf coffee does not contain zero caffeine. 

According to the Food Data Central (3) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there is only 2 mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee that is decaffeinated. That amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee is pretty small that you probably won’t feel its kick. Still, it does not contain zero caffeine, which is contrary to what most people thought.

Caffeine Content of Famous Coffee Brands

retro starbucks stickers set

From your favorite brand, how much caffeine in coffee are you actually getting? If you have tried a lot of coffee variations from different companies, you know that they have differences in terms of flavor, strength, and price. Believe it or not, they also have different caffeine content. 

Which coffee brands provide the most caffeine in one cup of coffee? From the data gathered by The Spruce Eats (2019), here is a list of coffee variations from popular coffee brands and their corresponding caffeine content:

Starbucks

CoffeeServing SizeCaffeine Content
Clover Brewed Coffee Short180 mg
Clover Brewed Coffee Tall260 mg
Clover Brewed CoffeeGrande330 mg
Clover Brewed CoffeeVenti415 mg
Cold BrewTall Sweetened125 mg
Cold BrewTall Unsweetened150 mg
Cold BrewGrande Sweetened165 mg
Cold BrewGrande Unsweetened200 mg
Decaf Pike’s Place RoastShort15 mg
Decaf Pike’s Place RoastTall20 mg
Decaf Pike’s Place RoastGrande25 mg
Decaf Pike’s Place RoastVenti30 mg
Iced CoffeeTall120 mg
Iced CoffeeGrande165 mg
Iced CoffeeVenti235 mg
Iced CoffeeTrenta285 mg
Iced Coffee with milkTall90 mg
Iced Coffee with milkGrande125 mg
Iced Coffee with milkVenti170 mg
Iced Coffee with milkTrenta195 mg
Pike’s Place RoastShort180 mg
Pike’s Place RoastTall260 mg
Pike’s Place RoastGrande330 mg
Pike’s Place RoastVenti415 mg
House Blend Instant Coffee1 packet135 mg
Caffe AmericanoGrande225 mg
Caffe MochaGrande175 mg
Caffe Latte or CappuccinoGrande150 mg
Salted Caramel Mocha (bottled)14 oz.150 mg

McDonald’s

CoffeeServing SizeCaffeine content
McCafe Coffee16 oz. 145 mg
McCafe Decaf Coffee16 oz.11 mg
McCafe EspressoSingle shot71 mg
McCafe EspressoDouble shot142 mg
McCafe Latte (all flavors)16 oz.142 mg
McCafe Mocha (all flavors)16 oz.167 mg

Seattle’s Best

CoffeeServing SizeCaffeine Content
Brewed Coffee16 oz.330 mg
Cafe Mocha16 oz.160 mg
EspressoSingle Shot75 mg
EspressoDouble Shot150 mg
Latte16 oz.150 mg

Tim Hortons

CoffeeServing SizeCaffeine Content
CappuccinoMedium100 mg
Regular CoffeeMedium 196 mg
Decaf CoffeeMedium9 mg
Espresso Single shot45 mg
LatteMedium50 mg

How much caffeine is too much?

Now that we know how much caffeine in a cup of coffee is present, it’s time for us to know what amount of caffeine is safe. Coffee is one of the best ways to boost your energy and alertness, but too much caffeine can lead to serious health concerns. 

So, how much caffeine in coffee is actually too much? 

According to The Caffeine Informer (4), up to 400 mg of caffeine can be consumed daily without negative effects. That’s about 1 venti cup of Brewed Coffee from Starbucks or about 4 medium-sized Cappuccino from Tim Hortons. 

If you drink only one regular cup of coffee a day, you probably won’t have to worry about your caffeine intake. If you consume multiple cups of coffee in a day, it is best if you check the caffeine content of your coffee. Boosting your energy by drinking coffee is a good idea, but you have to make sure that you are consuming just the right amount of caffeine. 

Final thoughts

There you have it, everything that you have to know about caffeine in coffee. Coffee has a lot of variations, and that is one of the best things about the beverage. That said, different caffeine content varies as well. 

Some people consume coffee for its taste, while some drink the beverage regularly for the caffeine. At the end of the day, consuming it in moderation is the right thing to do. As long as you’re not drinking too much, caffeine is always a good way to wake you up in the morning and get you going in the middle of the day. 

Looking for automatic drip coffee maker? Check out the automatic drip coffee makers review and choose what’s best for you.

James Kilpatrick

Article By:

James Kilpatrick

I’m James, a self-professed coffee enthusiast in pursuit of finding the perfect daily brew and likes to live by the motto ‘Just brew it”.

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