How much caffeine in coffee

Coffee is not only one of the most popular beverages in the world but also the biggest caffeine source. The average cup of coffee contains 90-100 mg of caffeine.

However, the amount differs greatly between coffee drinks so that’s why we created a detailed post with caffeine content for different types, drinks, brands, and serving sizes.

Let’s get started and see how much caffeine is delivered by your favorite type.

How Much Caffeine Is In Coffee?

Caffeine content depends on the type of coffee you’re drinking. Brewed coffee, espresso, and espresso-based drinks don’t have the same caffeine content. Let’s take a look at different types of coffee drinks to see how much caffeine you can expect from a cup of coffee.

Brewed Coffee

Brewed coffee is one of the most popular types of coffee in Europe but also the US. Typically, brewed coffee is referred to as regular coffee. To make a cup, you have to pour hot water over coffee beans. Usually, the drink is made in a drip coffee maker with a filter. But you can also make it in a pot on the stove.

This type of coffee contains between 70 and 140 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce coffee cup. On average, the caffeine content of brewed coffee is 95 mg.


Another popular coffee drink is espresso. Most people use an espresso maker to make espresso shots. That’s because to make a great espresso shot, hot water needs to pass through finely ground beans to extract flavor.

Overall, espresso contains more caffeine than brewed coffee. However, a shot of espresso is small so it contains less caffeine per serving.

In general, the serving size of a shot of espresso is 1.5-ounce and it contains approximately 65 mg of caffeine. A double espresso contains roughly 130 mg of caffeine.

Espresso-Based Drinks

Lattes, cappuccinos, and other popular drinks are made with espresso and dairy or dairy-free milk. These drinks have the same caffeine content as espresso. It is important to note that, depending on serving size, some espresso-based drinks are made with one shot of espresso while others are made with two. Thus the caffeine content can vary between 63 to 125 mg of caffeine.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee consists of brewed coffee that has been dried. To make instant coffee, the coffee beans are freeze-dried or spray-dried. In general, this type of coffee comes in large and dry pieces that are water-soluble.

As for caffeine content, instant coffee is typically less caffeinated than brewed coffee, with a cup containing between 30 and 90 mg of caffeine.

Decaf Coffee

Contrary to popular belief, decaffeinated coffee is not 100% caffeine-free. Granted, it contains less caffeine than any other type of coffee. The caffeine content of decaffeinated coffee ranges from 0 to 7 mg per cup. The average serving size cup of decaf coffee contains 3 mg of caffeine.

Commercial Brands Coffee Content

Since coffee shops don’t use the same type of coffee, there is variation in caffeine content between them. Also, in many cases, commercial coffee brands contain more caffeine than the coffee you make at home.

Starbucks Coffee Content

Starbucks, the renowned coffee brand, offers highly-caffeinated coffee drinks. A shot of espresso from Starbucks contains 75 mg of caffeine. Small espresso-based drinks contain the same amount of caffeine as an espresso shot.

The large drinks contain more. The average coffee content for each cup size offered by Starbucks is listed below.

  • Short (8-ounce): 180 mg
  • Tall (12-ounce): 260 mg
  • Grande (16-ounce): 330 mg
  • Venti (20-ounce): 415 mg

Depending on cup size, Starbucks decaf coffee contains between 15 and 30mg of caffeine.


McDonald’s doesn’t calculate the amount of caffeine for each of their coffees but their espresso contains 71 mg of caffeine per shot and their decaf 8-14 mg, depending on cup size.

Here are the estimates for each cup size:

  • 12-ounce serving (small): 109 mg
  • 16-ounce (medium serving): 145 mg
  • 24-ounce (large serving): 190 mg

Dunkin Donuts

Another popular chain that sells coffee is Dunkin Donuts. A single espresso shot from Dunkin Donuts contains 75 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content of the other drinks is as follows:

  • Small (10-ounce): 215 mg
  • Medium (16-ounce): 302 mg
  • Large (20-ounce): 431 mg
  • Extra large (24-ounce): 517 mg

What Factors Affect Caffeine Content?

As you can see, the caffeine content can vary greatly between types and brands. That’s because there are many factors that influence caffeine content. The most important ones are:

The type of coffee beans used: Different coffee beans contain different coffee amounts. Some coffee beans contain more caffeine than others but the harvesting process also plays a big role as the age of the coffee bean also influences caffeine amount.

Roasting: Many people think darker roasts contain more caffeine because they have a deeper flavor. However, the lighter roasts are the ones that contain more caffeine.

The type of coffee: How you make coffee can also influence caffeine content. There are significant differences between regular coffee, a shot of espresso, and instant coffee. For some drinks, you have to use more coffee to get the right taste. Extraction time also impacts coffee content.

Serving size: Obviously, cup size greatly affects the amount of caffeine in a cup so it is best to check caffeine content per ml rather than per cup. Also, keep in mind that a latte or any espresso-based drink contains the same coffee amount as an espresso shot.

How Much Caffeine Is In Tea vs Coffee?

The caffeine content of coffee varies by type and preparation and the same thing goes for tea. The amount of caffeine in tea can differ significantly, based on type, origin, and preparation process.

Generally, tea leaves are more caffeinated than coffee, with tea leaves containing 3.5% caffeine and coffee beans 1-2% caffeine. However, coffee contains more caffeine per cup than tea because you typically use more coffee beans than tea leaves to make a drink.

Tea Varieties

While black, green, and white tea come from the same plant but the caffeine content is different for each one. And so is the flavor. In large part, this is due to the plant being harvested at different times so the oxidation level of the leaves is different. Thus the flavors and caffeine content differences between the tea leaves of the same plant.

The black tea leaves are oxidized while the tea leaves used for making green and white tea are not. The oxidation of the leaves increases the amount of caffeine in the leaves. That’s why, out of all three tea types, black tea contains the highest amount of caffeine, with 47 to 90 mg of caffeine per serving. For comparison, white tea contains 6 to 60 mg per cup and green tea 20 to 45 mg.

Matcha tea is a powdered high-caffeine tea with 35 mg of caffeine per gram.

Tea Preparation

The preparation method can also influence the caffeine content of a cup of tea. The longer you steep the tea, the more potent it gets. For example, a classic Earl Grey tea contains roughly 40 mg of caffeine after a minute of steeping in 6 ounces of water. If you steep it for 3 minutes in the same amount of water, the caffeine content raises to 59 mg per cup.

The Effects Of Caffeine On The Body

Many people rely on coffee to get through the day. However, caffeine does more than keeping us awake and alert. In fact, caffeine stimulates the nervous system and it can affect the body in many ways. Read on to learn about caffeine effects.

Central Nervous System

The most common effect of caffeine is increased awareness and alertness. That’s because caffeine stimulates the nervous system. Oftentimes, people who suffer from migraines, headaches, or drowsiness are prescribed medication that contains caffeine.

Generally speaking, caffeine doesn’t have negative effects on the central nervous system unless you drink too much coffee or tea. However, caffeine withdrawal can cause many unwanted effects including anxiety, headaches, lethargy, and irritability.

Digestive System

Caffeine can increase the acid level in your stomach, consequently causing heartburn or an upset stomach. However, this is a problem only for people who have acid reflux, ulcer, or similar problems. For healthy people caffeine only regulates digestion.

Circulatory And Respiratory Systems

Caffeine can increase your blood pressure but only for a short period of time. People who drink coffee don’t develop long-term blood pressure problems. Although, if you have heart problems or high blood pressure already, caffeine can make your heart work harder so it is best to reduce or limit caffeine intake.

Skeletal And Muscular Systems

In large amounts, caffeine can reduce the absorption and metabolization of calcium, which can contribute to bone thinning. If you consume too much caffeine, you can also experience muscle twitches. A common symptom of caffeine withdrawal is muscle aching.

Reproductive System

Since caffeine travels through the bloodstream, coffee consumption should be limited during pregnancy as it can affect the fetus. Being a stimulant, caffeine can increase the heart rate of a fetus, interfering with fetal growth and increasing the risk of miscarriage. A little caffeine is usually safe but it is best to talk to a doctor first since other health factors should also be considered.

Is Caffeine Something to Worry About?

Since it’s high in antioxidants and has 0 calories, coffee is considered not only safe but also healthy. Consuming between 400 and 600 mg of caffeine daily is not associated with any side effects in healthy people. For most people, this means an average of 4-6 cups of regular coffee per day.

Drinking too much coffee can cause sleep disruption, especially if you drink coffee in the evening, restlessness, anxiety, and palpitations.

However, caffeine doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine, thus they cannot drink more than 2 cups per day without experiencing side effects. While others can drink large amounts without being affected. This is due to genetic factors so you have to experiment to know how much coffee you can drink daily.

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