Caffeine amount in a cup of coffee, a cup of coffee next to spilled coffee beans

This is How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee


The specific amount of caffeine in coffee varies depending on different factors, but here’s how much caffeine there is in your average cup of Joe:

A cup of coffee contains anywhere between 2 and 600mg of caffeine, depending on factors such as the cup size, brewing method, and the kind of caffeinated drink.

A regular 8oz cup of decaf coffee contains the least caffeine – 2-8mg and a cup of brewed coffee has the highest amount f caffeine – 95mg.

Knowing this, it’s easy to see how easily your daily caffeine intake can go up quite a bit if you drink more than a single cup of java per day.

Note that caffeine is safe when consumed in moderation, which is why it is so important to know how much caffeine is in each cup of coffee that you drink throughout the day.

To expand on this, in this article I’ll also cover the following topics:

  • The amount of caffeine in different kinds of coffee.
  • The caffeine content of commercial coffee.
  • The caffeine content of coffee vs other popular caffeinated drinks.
  • 7 factors that affect caffeine content of coffee.
  • The safe amount of caffeine to consume in a day.
  • Dangers of consuming too much coffee and caffeine.
  • How to test the caffeine content in your coffee.

Caffeine Content in Different Kinds of Coffee

Here’s a list of the caffeine amount in the most popular coffee drinks:

Caffeine Content in Brewed Coffee

8 oz of regular or brewed coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine on average or between 70 to 140 mg per cup, depending on size.

Caffeine Content in Espresso

A 1-1.75 oz cup of espresso contains 65 mg of caffeine, while an 8 oz cup of Turkish or Greek coffee contains 160 to 200 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine Content in Espresso-Based Drinks

Espresso-based drinks such as Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos that include milk (that doesn’t add up to the caffeine level) contain different amounts of caffeine, depending on the cup size.

Cappuccino and latte both contain 173 mg of caffeine per 16 oz cup.

Americano can have between 60 and 120 mg of caffeine, a small macchiato 80 mg and a large macchiato 120 mg of caffeine per cup.

While a cup of Cortado, Aussie flat, doppio, and long macchiato contains 120-125 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine Content in Instant Coffee

An 8 oz cup of instant coffee contains anywhere between 30 to 90 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine Content in Decaf Coffee

Decaf or decaffeinated coffee may contain up to 7 mg of caffeine per cup, depending on the type of coffee, decaffeination method, and cup size.

A regular cup of decaf coffee contains 2 mg of caffeine on average while there is 7 mg of caffeine in a 20 oz cup.

A 16 oz of instant decaf coffee contains 4.8 mg of caffeine while a 16 oz cup of brewed decaf coffee has 4 mg of caffeine.

Decaf espresso has 0.3 mg of caffeine, while an 8 oz cup of Nescafe or Folgers decaf coffee contains 0 to 3 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine Content in Cold Brew Coffee

A 16 oz cup of cold brew coffee contains between 205 to 260 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine Content in Ice Coffee

Ice coffee is made with the same amount of caffeine as in a cup as hot coffee but it’s more diluted meaning iced coffee has less caffeine.

This is due to the added ice cubes diluting the beverage and lowering the overall amount of caffeine.

Caffeine amount in a cup of coffee, a woman drinking a cup of iced coffee

Caffeine Content in Commercial Coffee

Commercial coffee is known for its various cup sizes and coffee variations, which means that the amount of caffeine per cup can greatly vary.

Note that some commercial coffee brands such as Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts have coffee cup sizes of up to 24 oz.

This massive cup size is the equivalent of drinking 3-5 average cups, meaning you’re getting much more caffeine than usual.

Caffeine Content in Starbucks Coffee

This is how much caffeine the different cup sizes of brewed coffee at Starbucks contain:

  • 8 oz cup – 180 mg
  • 12 oz cup – 260 mg
  • 16 oz cup – 330 mg

Depending on the cup size, Starbucks’ decaf coffee caffeine content varies between 15 to 30 mg while their espresso contains a slightly higher amount of caffeine than the regular one – 75 mg per cup.

A 16 oz cup of Starbuck’s cold brew coffee contains 205 mg of caffeine, a cup of Blonde Coffee Americano contains 255 mg of caffeine and a cup of venti caramel macchiato 150 mg of caffeine.

Starbucks’s doppio, which contains a double shot of espresso, can have 150 to 300 mg of caffeine per cup.

Lastly, Starbucks’ iced Americano contains the following amounts of caffeine per cup size:

  • Tall (12 oz) – 150 mg
  • Grande (16 oz) – 225 mg
  • Venti (24 oz) – 300 mg

Caffeine Content in McDonald’s Coffee

A cup of brewed coffee at Mcdonald’s can contain between 109 mg to 180 mg depending on the 12 oz to 24 oz cup options.

While this is the caffeine content in the other McDonald’s popular coffee drinks:

  • Espresso – 71 mg per cup
  • Decaf coffee – 11 mg per cup
  • Cold brew – 260 mg per 16 oz

Caffeine Content in Dunkin Donuts Coffee

The size of Dunkin Donuts’ cup of brewed coffee can vary between 10 oz and 24 oz, while the amount of caffeine varies between 215 all the way up to 517 mg.

One shot of espresso at While there other Dunkin Donuts coffee drinks contain this much caffeine:

  • Espresso – 75 mg per shot
  • Decaf coffee – 7 mg per 10-12 oz cup or 10 mg of caffeine when served in a 14-16 oz cup.

Caffeine Content in Nespresso Coffee

Nespresso claims that their espresso shot made using a classic capsule and pure Arabica coffee contains 65 mg of caffeine.

And there is almost twice the caffeine amount in their espresso for the same serving size if you are using Robusta pods.

However, an independent study proved the caffeine levels in Nespresso coffee can go from 19 to 147 mg per serving.

Caffeine Content in Keurig Coffee

Keurig pods can contain between 75 to 150 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, depending on the roast strength.

Caffeine Content in Costa Coffee

Espresso at Costa Coffee contains the following amount of caffeine, depending on cup size:

  • Single-shot – 92 mg
  • Double shot – 185 mg
  • Triple shot – 277 mg

While Costa Coffee’s Americano, latte, and cappuccino have the same amount of caffeine per cup – 277 mg.

Caffeine Content in Tim Hortons Coffee

If you order a medium cappuccino at Tim Hortons, you will get 100 mg of caffeine, while their single-shot espresso contains 45 mg.

This is how much caffeine the other popular Tim Hortons coffee drinks contain:

  • Hot or iced latte – 50 mg per cup
  • Decaf coffee – 9 mg per cup

Caffeine amount in a cup of coffee, coffee and diet coke

Caffeine in Coffee vs Other Caffeinated Drinks

Despite what some people say, coffee contains more caffeine than the other two popular caffeinated drinks – tea and coke:

Caffeine in Coffee vs Tea

Coffee beans contain less caffeine than tea leaves but coffee contains more caffeine than tea.

That’s because the brewing process extracts almost maximum caffeine from coffee beans.

While an 8 oz cup of coffee has 95 mg of caffeine, the caffeine content in tea can go from only 20 mg (green tea) to as much as 85 mg (matcha, black tea, and yerba mate).

Caffeine in Coffee vs Diet Coke

The caffeine level in a 12 oz cup of coffee goes from 90 to 120mg, which is more than the 46 mg of caffeine in diet coke.

And here’s how much caffeine is found in a 12-oz serving of the other popular soda drinks:

  • Pepsi – 38 mg
  • Pepsi Zero – 69 mg
  • Pepsi Diet 34- mg
  • Dr. Pepper – 41 mg

Caffeine amount in a cup of coffee, commercial coffee machine making coffee

These 7 Factors Affect Caffeine Content of Coffee

And here’s what you need to know about them:

1. Type of Beans

Arabica coffee plants grow at high altitudes and produce fewer pesticides, which results in lower caffeine content.

Not only does coffee made with Arabica beans contain less caffeine but it also has a fruity aroma and sweeter taste.

While Robusta coffee plants grow at altitudes of up to 600 meters and these beans contain more caffeine and have a stronger, bitterer taste than Arabica.

2. Roasting Method and the Beans’ Mass

The roasting method itself doesn’t affect the content of caffeine directly but makes the beans lighter or darker in color and lighter or heavier in weight.

Dark roast beans have a lower density because they lose more water than lighter beans during the roasting process.

The longer the roasting process, the more caffeine gets burned.

That is why lighter roasts contain 32% more caffeine than dark roast beans.

3. Type of Coffee

You need to know that the different kinds of coffee, whether brewed, espresso, instant and decaf coffee contain different amounts of caffeine.

Decaf coffee contains the least caffeine and brewed coffee has the most caffeine per cup.

And yes, despite its name decaf coffee still contains caffeine (about 2 mg per cup).

4. Brewing Time

The amount of time the coffee sits in water has a direct impact on caffeine levels.

Basically – the longer the brewing time, the more caffeine gets released, which can also spoil the taste of your java.

If coffee grounds sit in the water for 2-4 minutes, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee is going to be higher.

While the less time the coffee grounds sit in the water, the lower the caffeine concentration in a cup of coffee.

However, most caffeine gets out within the first 60 minutes of brewing and anything beyond that is just extra caffeine.

5. Brewing Method

The most common brewing methods, all of which affect caffeine amounts are:

  • Espresso
  • French press
  • AeroPress
  • Pour-over
  • Drip

Applying the French press method results in a strong cup of coffee that contains 80 to 100 mg of caffeine per 4 oz.

Regardless of whether you are into the pour-over or the drip method, you’ll get 60-100 mg of caffeine per cup when consuming filter coffee.

When using the AeroPress method, you’ll get a smooth and rich cup of coffee that contains 50-70 mg of caffeine per 4 oz.

While using a coffee machine to make espresso, you’ll get a cup of coffee with lower caffeine content (30-65 mg) per one shot (1 oz), which means that espresso has a lower caffeine concentration than brewed coffee, which I will expand on in just a bit.

6. Grind Size

The grind size (coarse, medium, medium-fine, and fine) affects the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Brew a coarse grind in the French press and you’ll get a cup of coffee with less caffeine.

Alternatively – if you use finely ground coffee beans to make a cup of Turkish coffee or espresso, you’ll get more caffeine.

Also, if you are using more than 30 grams of coffee per 12/16 oz of water, the level of caffeine in your cup will go up as well.

7. Serving Size

Serving size affects the caffeine content since a tiny 1 oz cup of coffee has a different level of caffeine than a massive 24 oz cup.

However, the type of coffee also plays a major role here.

This is because a double espresso has double the amount of caffeine than a single shot while a 6 oz cup of drip coffee has the same amount of caffeine as a latte made with 4 shots of espresso because the coffee in a latte is diluted with a lot of milk.

Caffeine amount in a cup of coffee, a woman drinking coffee in front of a laptop

The Safe Amount of Caffeine to Consume per Day

The safe amount of caffeine to consume per day, according to the FDA, is 400 mg for a healthy adult (4-5 cups of brewed coffee or 2-3 lattes).

Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and people with a specific health condition should consult a health care provider about their safe limit of daily caffeine consumption.

As a general rule, pregnant women should consume no more than 200 mg and breastfeeding women no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day.

This also applies to older individuals because they metabolize coffee at a slower rate.

However, caffeine tolerance is an individual thing and depends on several factors such as weight and genetics.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children and adolescents should not consume coffee and caffeine but if they do, their daily intake should be below 100 mg.

Dangers of Consuming too Much Caffeine per Day

Some of the dangers of consuming too much caffeine (and coffee) per day include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Osteoporosis

Consuming 1,200 mg of caffeine (12 cups of brewed coffee or 18 shots of espresso) in a short span can cause seizures according to the FDA.

Caffeine takes 3 to 6 hours to be properly metabolized by your body.

In case of a caffeine overdose, doctors typically suggest using the following things:

  • Activated charcoal (provided the caffeine hasn’t reached the gastrointestinal tract yet)
  • Gastric lavage
  • Laxative (provided the caffeine has already reached the gastrointestinal tract)

How to Reduce Your Daily Caffeine Intake

To reduce daily caffeine intake, try consuming Nescafe or Folgers decaf coffee since the amount of caffeine in it ranges between 1 and 3 mg per 8 oz cup.

Brewed decaf and brewed espresso also contain a relatively low amount of caffeine per 8z cup – 4 to 16mg, so you can have up to 4 cups in a day without exceeding the amount of caffeine in a single cup of regular espresso.

Be careful about consuming other sources of caffeine, such as cocoa, chocolate, soft and energy drinks since reducing the daily coffee intake won’t have an impact on your overall caffeine intake from other sources.

A bar of chocolate contains around 20 mg of caffeine, a cup of hot chocolate can contain up to 95 mg of caffeine (the same amount as a cup of brewed coffee) and a large cup of cocoa contains 25 mg of caffeine.

Note that cutting back on caffeine can have side effects, including:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms

And reducing your caffeine intake by up to 100 mg per day can worsen the severity of these symptoms.

So take it slow and gradually decrease your daily caffeine intake.

Do This to Test the Caffeine Amount in Your Coffee

To test the level of caffeine in your cup of coffee, buy caffeine-testing strips from your local store.

Then soak the stripe into a cup of black coffee before adding any milk or sugar and hold it in there for 30 seconds.

If the C line on the stripe gets darker, the amount of caffeine is below 20 mg and if the D line is more visible, the amount of caffeine is beyond 20 mg.

Conclusion

The amount of coffee in a cup depends on primary factors such as the type of coffee and coffee brand that you’re using.

Typically, this is the caffeine content of the most popular coffee drinks out there:

  • Decaffeinated coffee contains the lowest amount of caffeine per cup – 2 to 8 mg on average.
  • Brewed coffee contains a higher amount of caffeine – 95mg per cup.
  • Cold brew coffee is the most caffeinated coffee drink that can contain up to 260 mg of caffeine.

The recommended safe amount of coffee per day by the FDA is 4-5 cups of coffee or up to 400 mg of caffeine.

Consuming too much coffee or caffeine can make you anxious or increase the loss of calcium and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Even if you’re an avid coffee aficionado, remember to always drink your favorite caffeinated drink in moderation.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-caffeine-in-coffee
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372
  3. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much
  4. https://www.eraofwe.com/coffee-lab/en/articles/how-much-caffeine-is-in-a-cup
  5. https://theprimadonnalife.com/coffee/coffee-101/factors-that-influence-caffeine-levels-in-coffee/
  6. https://coffeebi.com/2018/10/25/caffeine-how-much-does-roasting-affect-it/
  7. https://coffeegeek.tv/how-much-caffeine-is-in-coffee/
  8. https://www.healthline.com/health/caffeine-overdose
  9. https://www.verywellfit.com/caffeine-in-a-cup-of-coffee-4579800
  10. https://www.coffeefriend.co.uk/blog/how-much-caffeine-in-a-cup-of-coffee/
  11. https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-much-caffeine-in-morning-coffee-765274
  12. https://www.businessinsider.in/science/health/news/3-reasons-you-may-not-feel-the-full-effects-of-caffeine-and-alternatives-ways-to-boost-your-energy/articleshow/81237309.cms
  13. https://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/20/health/caffeine-fix-food-drayer/index.html
  14. https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/blog/coffee/how-much-caffeine-is-in-your-daily-drinks.html
  15. https://www.ncausa.org/Decaffeinated-Coffee
  16. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-in-decaf

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