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How Much Caffeine Is In That Coffee?

Every so often we get asked how much caffeine is in our coffee. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy answer to this question. But we can try to answer it to the best of our ability.

caffeine formula

Let's Clarify

OK, the question of how much caffeine is in coffee is complex. Typically, when someone asks for the caffeine content they actually mean how much is in a cup (or serving) of coffee, not in the coffee beans. The coffee beans used to make the coffee can have an effect on how much caffeine is in the cup. How the coffee is prepared also has an effect. So, when we are asked how much caffeine is in a particular coffee, we have to ask a few questions before we can give an estimation of the caffeine content.

How About A Cup?

In a typical 8-ounce cup of regular coffee, you will consume approximately 95 milligrams of caffeine. By the numbers, this means that drip coffee contains about 12 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. Of course, not everyone chooses an 8-ounce cup. Many coffees here in the US are in the 12-ounce range. If your cup is 12-ounces, you are consuming closer to 142 milligrams of caffeine per cup of regular drip coffee.

Espresso Yourself

Like was mentioned above, how your coffee is prepared can have an effect on the amount of caffeine you ingest. A shot of espresso, which is one ounce, has 64 milligrams of caffeine. This does come out to five times (!) the amount of caffeine per ounce when enjoyed as a cup of espresso. When that extraction is used in a cappuccino, it still has 64 milligrams of caffeine, but the cappuccino is typically served in a 6-ounce cup. So "per serving" you are ingesting more caffeine with your regular cup of coffee.

What An Im"PRESS"ion

When you prepare your coffee using a French press, care must be taken to ensure it does not turn out bitter. There is the potential that a fine grind will cause a bitter flavor due to the length of time the water is in contact with the grounds. Use a larger grind to help mitigate that possibility. But how about caffeine? The longer the water is in contact with the grounds, the more of everything that is extracted, including caffeine. A typical 8-ounce French press coffee can contain around 115 milligrams of caffeine.  

Cold Shoulder

Cold brew has gained immense popularity recently. In case you haven't heard about cold brew yet, no, it's not the same as iced coffee. You can learn more about cold brew here. But we're still talking about caffeine. If a cup of French press coffee has more caffeine, then a cold brew would have to have more caffeine, right? That would be a yes. Cold brew coffee has an eye-opening of around 130 milligrams of caffeine. 


Finally, we'll look at how much caffeine you'll consume when drinking decaffeinated coffee. No, decaf is not completely free of caffeine. Though it does have a minimal amount of caffeine, especially compared to regular coffee in all of its preparation methods, there is caffeine. An 8-ounce cup of decaf can have around 2 milligrams of caffeine. A decaf espresso has about 7 milligrams per ounce.


Now you know how much caffeine in your favorite coffees, you can determine which will counteract that sleepy feeling throughout the day.

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