Coffee is a big part of adulting, given that most adults love to start their day with a cup of coffee for some buzz and oomph for the day. Others take coffee as a way of after a long day at work or school to replenish energy. Coffee is the number one source of caffeine, followed by tea and sodas.
How does caffeine work?
Caffeine is an active psychoactive drug which like other psychoactive drugs, stimulates the central nervous system to keep the user
active and alert. According to research and studies, coffee is the most used psychoactive drug worldwide.
Caffeine works by blocking the reception of a neurotransmitter called adenosine from reaching the brain. Adenosine is
responsible for transmitting the feelings of tiredness and exhaustion, which causes the brain to put the body to rest or sleep. When these neurotransmitters are blocked, the caffeine stimulates actives and alertness and prolonged hours of work or activity.
Caffeine naturally occurs in coffee, tea, and cocoa plants. However, coffee is the most common source of caffeine for the majority
of people. Coffee takes averagely half an hour to circulate in your blood for full effect. In under an hour after taking your fav coffee drink, you are
assured to feel as good as new!
Different coffee drinks contain varying levels of caffeine. Some are much highly caffeinated than others. Some are the kind that
will keep you up all night after a long night while some will have you dozing off in an important meeting halfway through the day. So, how do you tell them apart? How much caffeine in a cup of coffee does the trick? We have made a summary of the caffeine content in different coffee drinks.
Coffee drink Size(oz) Caffeine(mg)
An average cup of coffee contains around 95mg of coffee, but a Grande from Starbucks will contain more than a regular. The average caffeine in a cup of coffee varies from zero to over 500mg depending on the varieties of caffeinated drinks.
Caffeine per coffee depends on several factors from the number of cups consumed, the coffee shop to the coffee beans used in brewing the drink. Let’s take a look at the different factors.
· Size of serving
1 cup of coffee cannot be compared to four or five. The more, the merrier, right? A single serving can contain anywhere from 50mg to over 400 mg per cup. A small home-brewed cup of coffee can contain 50 mg of coffee while a Starbucks venti, which is roughly 20 ounces, provides over 320mg of caffeine.
· Roasting level
Did you know that the lighter roasts of coffee contain more caffeine than the darker counterparts? The darkness of a coffee bean is defined by the high temperatures reaching the internal part. A light roast will averagely reach an internal temperature of between 300-400 degrees while a dark roast can go up to 475.
The longer the beans are exposed to high temperatures, the heat destroys the caffeine contents. It turns out it’s not always the darker berry! The lighter roasts contain more caffeine per coffee cup, while the darker ones are full over flavor. Now you know what to go for, depending on what you are chasing!
· Type of coffee beans
There are many types of coffee beans available all over the world. Each type of bean has its own caffeine contents per cup of coffee. Some are more packed than others.
For instance, we have coffee arabica, which is the most grown and consumed coffee beans in the world. The flavor which comes in chocolate, nutty, fruity and a touch of bitterness is to die for. The coffee bean contains an average of 12mg per regular cup of coffee.
Robusta coffee, which is also quite popular, contains about 27 mg of caffeine per cup of coffee. The amount is almost double the caffeine content of the coffee Arabica, but Arabica beats Robusta in the taste and flavor thanks to the higher content of sugar in the beans.
· Type of coffee
Different coffee drinks contain different caffeine servings per cup of coffee. The caffeine contents in espresso will not be the same as in a cup of latte or brewed coffee.
We have thoroughly researched the caffeine contents in the different coffee drinks to ensure you know your regular coffee drink well. Is it what you should be taking or is there better? For this next part, we have reviewed the caffeine contents in coffee drinks at your daily coffee shop. Take a look!
How much caffeine in a cup of coffee?
Espresso is by far the most consumed coffee drink around the globe. Espresso is not your regular coffee, as not even the style of brewing is the same as the other coffee drinks. Espresso is known to be very caffeinated.
How is espresso made? Espresso is made by forcing high-temperature water under very high pressure into the coffee beans. The coffee beans are usually ground into small fine particles. The resulting drink is a thick, foamy and flavorful liquid.
Espresso is measured differently from other coffee drinks because of the high caffeine levels. One serving of espresso contains about 30-50ml of caffeine, which translates to around 63mg of caffeine. A single serving of espresso should comfortably take you through the day.
Many espresso drinks such as lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos will usually contain a single shot of espresso, which is smaller per serving compared to other coffee drinks. If you are looking for more energy and alertness, two shots of espresso will suffice. A double shot contains up to 125mg of caffeine.
· Brewed coffee
Brewed is the regular homemade coffee, with brewing being the most common way of making coffee in most ways. You can brew using a coffee machine or over the heat, depending on your preference.
Also useful: Honey processed coffee
Brewed is made in the simplest way. If you badly need a cup of coffee, but you have no time to run to your corner street coffee shop, we got you! Brewed coffee is made by pouring hot boiling water over finely ground beans. For the best results, the coffee beans should be contained in a filter. The mixture, after pouring in hot water should be left to sit for a while for better taste.
There are different ways people prefer to brew their coffee. We have filtered coffee, percolated, drip and French press.
The caffeine per coffee serving in brewed coffee starts from 95mg per 8oz cup and moves up the scale. Bear in mind that the lighter roasts contain more caffeine content than the darker roasts.
A cold brew is simply brewed coffee served over some ice. To make cold brew coffee, the coffee beans are usually steeped in ice-cold water for about 24 hours in good conditions to prevent mildew or mold, which would lead to spoilage.
A cold brew does not fall so far from regular brewed coffee is the caffeine content. Cold brews are packed with between 153 and 238 mg of caffeine per 12 oz cup.
· Drip coffee
Drip like other brewed coffees is made by pouring hot water into a jar over a filter that traps the fine coffee grounds. Drip contains less caffeine compared to brewed coffee. A regular 8 oz cup contains 80-90 mg of caffeine.
· Pour-over coffee
Pour-over brewed is quite self-explanatory from the name itself. The hot water is poured over finely ground beans. An average pour-over coffee in an 8 oz cup contains 145mg of caffeine.
· Percolated coffee
Percolated peaks the standards of caffeine nation. A regular eight-ounce cup of coffee contains 200mg of caffeine. That is some whooping caffeination there! A cup of percolated coffee is going to keep you on your toes all day.
· Instant coffee
Instant is made by adding instant or ready coffee powder or granules to hot water and some milk, according to preference. The two are carefully mixed, and you have some coffee in a minute or two. Instant drinks are usually among the weakest coffee drinks, thanks to its low caffeine content. A typical 12 oz cup of instant coffee contains an average of 63 mg of caffeine.
· Iced coffee
Does iced contain more caffeine? The caffeine content per cup of coffee is not the same as a regular cup of hot coffee. Although an iced coffee is completely the same as hot coffee, iced coffee usually contains ice cubed. What does this mean? The ice cubes in your coffee take up more space that was otherwise have been meant for coffee. Therefore, a 16-ounce cup coffee usually has less of iced coffee compared to ordinary hot coffee, therefore less caffeine content.
Does your local coffee shop also have an effect on how much caffeine is in your coffee?
Definitely! You cannot compare the caffeine in coffee drinks at Starbucks with your local corner coffee shop. Let’s take a look at some popular coffee stops.
Starbucks is topping the list of the most popular coffee shops in the world. Starbucks has established coffee outlets in most cities in the world, offering the same quality all over the world. Starbucks is where to go if you are looking for an out-of-this-world cup of coffee. You can get every coffee drink at the caffeine measure you want.
Here are the caffeine measures in a variety of coffee drinks in a tall cup of 12oz.
- Pike place roast: 235mg
- Cold-brew with foam: 155mg
- Caramel espresso macchiato: 75mg
- Cappuccino: 75mg
· Seattle’s best
Seattle’s best coffee shop is a popular coffee shop, too, with outlets and drive-throughs in big restaurants such as burger king and
subway. The coffee shop serves great coffee. Here are the caffeine contents in some of the common coffee drinks in a 12 oz cup.
- Brewed: 260mg
- Latte: 75mg
- Mocha: 80mg
- Espresso: 80mg per shot
· Dunkin donuts
Dunkin donuts is a popular coffee and donuts shop offering strong coffee drinks served with delicious donuts. Below are some coffee drinks you will find for a regular 14oz cup.
- Brewed: 210mg
- Cold-brew: 260mg
- Americano: 249mg
- Decaf brewed: 10mg
We have only sampled a few coffee shops to show the difference in the caffeine contents in the same drinks in different shops. Now you know where you should stop for a heavily caffeinated macchiato or latte.
What are the effects of caffeine?
When taking in moderation, coffee can be a lifesaver, helping you to clear due assignments or extend to read an additional chapter. The positive effects of caffeine include:
· Protection from Alzheimer’s disease
- Short term memory
- Quick reaction time
- Increased metabolism
- Decreased feelings of depression and anxiety
- Prevention from type 2 diabetes
- Prevention of heart diseases
The caffeine contained in your favorite drink does more than just keep you alert.
However, like other psychoactive drugs, if coffee is misused, it can result in very unpleasant consequences. For a start, caffeine is addictive. Once you get hooked, you cannot go a day without several servings or risk headaches and dysfunctionality. The effects of excessive caffeine intake include:
Caffeine is a diuretic, and prolonged use can lead to serious feelings of dehydration, which can lead to other complications such as kidney issues.
· Rapid heart rate
Caffeine causes the heart to race and can even cause minor hear problems.
- Headaches and dizziness
- Sleeping problems
- Shakiness and jittery
Studies have shown that 400 mg a day is the standard of caffeine to consume. Anything above this threshold may lead to severe effects.
With all that said, caffeine is not for everyone. Caffeine is utterly beneficial if used correctly, but it can cause complications when abused, pregnant women are advised against caffeine since pregnancy is a rather sensitive period. Patients with Glaucoma and GERD are also cautioned against caffeine. Caffeine worsens sleeping disorders and increases anxiety.
Remember that even with all the factors we have mentioned, caffeine has different effects depending on the person. Therefore, to know what works for you, keep exploring!