Coffee is the biggest dietary source of caffeine.
You can expect to get around 95 mg of caffeine from an average cup of coffee.
However, this amount varies between different coffee drinks, and can range from almost zero to over 500 mg.
This is a detailed guide to the caffeine content of different types and brands of coffee.
What Factors Affect Caffeine Content?
The caffeine content of coffee depends on many factors, such as:
- Type of coffee beans: There are many varieties of coffee beans available, which may naturally contain different amounts of caffeine.
- Roasting: Lighter roasts have more caffeine than darker roasts, although the darker roasts have a deeper flavor.
- Type of coffee: The caffeine content can vary significantly between regularly brewed coffee, espresso, instant coffee and decaf coffee.
- Serving size: "One cup of coffee" can range anywhere from 30–700 ml (1–24 oz), greatly affecting the total caffeine content.
Caffeine content is affected by the type of coffee bean, roast style, how the coffee is prepared and the serving size.How Much Caffeine Is in a Cup of Coffee?
The main determinant of caffeine content is the type of coffee you are drinking.
Brewing is the most common way to make coffee in the US and Europe.
Also known as regular coffee, brewed coffee is made by pouring hot or boiling water over ground coffee beans, usually contained in a filter.
One cup of brewed coffee (8 oz) contains about 70–140 mg of caffeine, or about 95 mg on average.
Espresso is made by forcing a small amount of hot water, or steam, through finely ground coffee beans.
Although espresso has more caffeine per volume than regular coffee, it usually contains less per serving, since espresso servings tend to be small.
One shot of espresso is generally about 30–50 ml (1–1.75 oz), and contains about 63 mg of caffeine.
A double shot of espresso therefore contains roughly 125 mg of caffeine.
Many popular coffee drinks are made from espresso shots mixed with varying types and amounts of milk.
These include lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos and Americanos.
Since the milk does not contain any additional caffeine, these drinks contain the same amount of caffeine as straight espresso.
A single (small) contains about 63 mg of caffeine on average, and double (large) contains about 125 mg.
Instant coffee is made from brewed coffee that has been freeze-dried or spray-dried. It is generally in large, dry pieces, which dissolve in water.
To prepare instant coffee, simply mix one or two teaspoons of dried coffee with hot water. There is no need for any brewing.
Instant coffee usually contains less caffeine than regular coffee, with one cup containing roughly 30–90 mg.
Although the name may be deceiving, decaf coffee is not entirely caffeine free.
It may contain varying amounts of caffeine, ranging from 0–7 mg per cup, with the average cup containing 3 mg.
However, some varieties may contain even higher amounts of caffeine, depending on the type of coffee, method of de-caffeination and cup size.
The average caffeine content of an 8-oz, brewed cup of coffee is 95 mg. A single espresso or espresso-based drink contains 63 mg, and decaf coffee contains about 3 mg of caffeine (on average).
Are Commercial Brands More Caffeinated?
Some commercial coffee brands contain more caffeine than regular, home-brewed coffee.
Coffee shops are also notorious for their large cup sizes, which can range up to 700 ml (24 oz). The amount of coffee in such cups is equivalent to about 3–5 regular-sized cups of coffee.
Starbucks is probably the best-known coffee shop in the world. It also offers some of the most caffeinated coffee available.
The caffeine content of brewed coffee at Starbucks is as follows (8, 9):
- Short (8 oz): 180 mg
- Tall (12 oz): 260 mg
- Grande (16 oz): 330 mg
- Venti (20 oz): 415 mg
Furthermore, one shot of espresso at Starbucks contains 75 mg of caffeine.
Consequently, all small, espresso-based drinks also contain 75 mg of caffeine. This includes lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos and Americanos, among others.
Larger sizes, which are made with two, or even three, espresso shots (16 oz), likewise contain 150 or 225 mg of caffeine.
Decaf coffee from Starbucks contains 15–30 mg of caffeine, depending on cup size.
An 8-oz, brewed coffee from Starbucks contains 180 mg of caffeine. A single espresso and espresso-based drinks contain 75 mg, while an 8-oz cup of decaf coffee contains about 15 mg of caffeine.
Dunkin Donuts is another chain of coffee and donut shops that is very popular worldwide. The caffeine content of their brewed coffee is as follows:
- Small (10 oz): 215 mg
- Medium (16 oz): 302 mg
- Large (20 oz): 431 mg
- Extra large (24 oz): 517 mg
Their single espresso shot contains 75 mg of caffeine, which is also how much you can expect to get from their espresso-based drinks.
Decaf coffee from Dunkin Donuts may also contain quite a bit of caffeine. According to one source, a small cup (10 oz) has 53 mg of caffeine, and a large cup (24 oz) contains 128 mg.
That’s almost as much caffeine as you find in other varieties of regular coffee.
A small cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts contains 215 mg of caffeine, while a single espresso contains 75 mg. Interestingly, their decaf coffee may contain as much as 53-128 mg of caffeine.
Is Caffeine Something to Worry About?
Coffee is high in antioxidants, and many studies show that it is good for your health.
However, getting too much caffeine is linked to adverse effects like anxiety, sleep disruptions, heart palpitations and restlessness.
Consuming 400–600 mg/day of caffeine is generally not associated with adverse effects in most people. This is about 6 mg/kg (3 mg/lb) of body weight, or 4–6 average cups of coffee per day.
That being said, caffeine affects people very differently.
Some are very sensitive to it while others find themselves unaffected by large amounts. This is largely due to genetic differences.
You'll just have to experiment and see what amount suits you best.
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Caffeine content for coffee, tea, soda and more
If you're like most adults, caffeine is a part of your daily routine. But do you know the caffeine content of your favorite drink?
You may want to take a look at just how much caffeine you get in a typical day, especially if you're bothered by headaches, restlessness or anxiety. If your caffeine habit totals more than 400 milligrams (mg) a day, you may want to consider cutting back.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends that women who are pregnant and those who are breast-feeding check with their health care providers for advice concerning caffeine.
The DGA doesn't include guidelines for safe caffeine consumption for children. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics takes the position that stimulant-containing energy drinks have no place in the diets of children or adolescents.
Keep in mind that the actual caffeine content of a cup of coffee or tea can vary considerably because of factors such as origin, processing and preparation method, including brewing time. So use these numbers as a guide.
The charts below show typical caffeine content in popular beverages. Drink sizes are in fluid ounces (oz.) and milliliters (mL). Caffeine is shown in milligrams (mg).
How Much Caffeine Is in Coffee, Tea, Cola, & Other Drinks?
Wondering how much caffeine is in your beverage of choice? The answer may not be so obvious as you think. That's because coffee, tea, yerba mate and chocolate all naturally contain varying amounts of caffeine.
The good news? Colas and energy drinks have specific amounts of caffeine added to them, so it's easier to know how much caffeine is in them.
This guide to the caffeine levels outlines how much caffeine is in each of these drinks, including decaf coffee / tea, popular energy drinks, bottled iced teas, Starbucks coffees, "herbal teas" (or tisanes) and more.
Caffeine in Coffee
Many factors influence caffeine levels in coffee, so the amounts for each drink can vary widely. However, this general guide can help you determine approximately how much caffeine is in your coffee drink.
- Drip Brewed Arabica Coffee (6 oz) - 80-130 mg (often around 110 mg)
- Drip Brewed Robusta Coffee (6 oz) - 140-200 mg
- Drip Brewed Passiona Excelsa/Arabica Low-Caffeine Coffee Blend (6 fl oz) - 40-60 mg
- Drip Brewed Decaf Coffee (8 oz) - 2-12 mg, although testing has shown that decaf coffee levels are sometimes much higher
- Instant Coffee (8 oz) - 27-173 mg (often around 65 to 90 mg)
- Instant Decaf Coffee (8 oz) - 2-12 mg
- Dunkin' Donuts Coffee (16 oz) - 143-206 mg
- Einstein Bros. Coffee (16 oz) - 206 mg
- Percolated Coffee (5 fl oz) - 80-135 mg
- Starbucks Coffee Drinks - Varying levels; see this listing of Caffeine Levels of Starbucks Coffees for more information
You can cut down on caffeine from coffee with this video lesson on reducing caffeine in coffee.
Caffeine in Espresso
- Espresso, Single Shot - 29-100 mg (often around 75 mg)
- Espresso, Double Shot (or a 'Doppio') - 58-185 mg (often around 150 mg)
- Decaf Espresso, Single Shot - about 8 mg
- Decaf Espresso, Double Shot (Doppio) - about 16 mg
- Nespresso Espresso Capsules - 55-65 mg
- Nespresso Lungo Capsules - 77-89 mg
- Caffeine levels in Starbucks Espresso Drinks and Starbucks Iced Espresso Drinks vary
Caffeine in Tea
There are many factors influencing caffeine levels in tea, including brewing time / temperature, tea grade, and tea varietal.
Tisanes or "herbal teas" (including many of Celestial Seasonings' "teas") are usually caffeine free. Similarly, teas blended with other ingredients (such as mint green teas or masala chai) will often have lower caffeine levels than unblended teas.
Most studies show that black tea has between 40 and 120 mg caffeine per eight-ounce serving. Decaf black tea usually contains about two to ten mg of caffeine.
The information below comes from a very interesting article on tea and caffeine by Bruce Richardson, who has been instrumental in debunking caffeine myths surrounding tea. Each seven-ounce cup of tea was steeped for three minutes.
- Assam Black Tea (FTGFOP Grade) - 86 mg
- Bai Mu Dan / China White Tea - 75 mg
- Chinese Ti Kuan Yin Oolong - 37 mg
- Darjeeling Autumnal (SFTGFOP1 Grade) Darjeeling White Tea - 56 mg
- Indian Green Tea - 59 mg
- Kenyan Green Tea - 58 mg
- Ceylon Black Tea (OP Grade) - 58 mg
It is a myth that you can naturally decaffeinate tea at home.
Caffeine in Iced Teas
True iced teas (iced teas made with caffeine-containing Camellia Sinensis) contain caffeine. If you're looking for a caffeine-free iced tea, check out these caffeine free iced herbal "tea" recipes or stick to iced "teas" made with rooibos, chamomile, and other caffeine-free herbs.
Depending on how you brew homemade iced tea, it will contain varying amounts of caffeine. However, iced teas often contain a similar amount of caffeine to their hot tea counterparts.
Bottled iced teas also contain varying amounts of caffeine. Many Snapple Iced Tea varieties contain 42 mg of caffeine per bottle. Snapple flavors with 42 mg of caffeine include:
- Cranberry Twist
- Diet Lemon
- Diet Peach
- Diet Raspberry
- Very Cherry
Snapple's "Red Tea" line is made with rooibos and is naturally caffeine-free. Snapple's Diet Green Teas contain 60 mg of caffeine per bottle, while their regular Green Teas contain 30 mg of caffeine per bottle and their White Teas contain less than one mg of caffeine per serving. (There are two exceptions to this -- Lime Green and Diet Lime Green both contain five mg of caffeine per serving, or ten mg of caffeine per bottle.) Snapple's Just Plain Unsweetened and Lemonade Iced Tea both contain 18 mg of caffeine per bottle.
Arizona Iced Teas all contain caffeine. Their black teas have 15 mg of caffeine per eight-ounce serving. Their green teas contain 7.5 mg caffeine per serving. Their white teas contain six mg caffeine per serving.
Twelve ounces of Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea contain seven mg of caffeine, while 12 ounces of Nestea Iced Tea contain 26 mg of caffeine.
A teaspoon of generic, instant iced tea mix contains 27 mg of caffeine, while the same quantity of a decaf equivalent contains about one mg of caffeine.
Caffeine in Colas & Sodas
The caffeine levels listed below are for eight-ounce servings. They are in declining order.
- Pepsi Max / Diet Pepsi Max - 69 mg
- Mr. Pibb - 40 mg
- Sunkist Orange - 40 mg
- Wild Cherry Pepsi - 38 mg
- Pepsi-Cola / Pepsi Twist / Diet Pepsi Jazz - 37.5 mg
- Pepsi One - 37 mg
- Mountain Dew / Mountain Dew Code Red / Diet Mountain Dew - 37 mg
- Diet Pepsi - 36 mg
- CocaCola Zero - 35 mg
- Mello Yello - 35 mg
- CocaCola Classic / Cherry Coke / Lemon Coke / Vanilla Coke - 34 mg
- Tab - 31.2 mg
- Diet Coke - 30.4 mg
- Dr. Pepper / Diet Dr. Pepper - 27 mg
- Barq's Root Beer - 23 mg
Caffeine-free sodas include Mugg Root Beer, 7-Up, Sprite, Fresca, Fanta (all flavors), Slice and Sierra Mist.
Caffeine in Energy Drinks
- 5-Hour Energy Shot (2 oz) - 200-207 mg
- AMP (8.4 oz) - 74 mg
- Arizona Caution Energy Drink (16 oz) - 200 mg
- Enviga (12 oz) - 100 mg
- Full Throttle (16 oz) - 144 mg
- Jolt (12 oz) - 71.2 mg
- Monster Energy (16 oz) - 160 mg
- No Fear (8 oz) - 83 mg
- No Name (formerly known as "Cocaine;" 8.4 oz) - 280 mg
- NOS Energy Drink (16 oz) - 160 mg
- Red Bull (8.4 oz) - 80 mg
- Rip It Energy Fuel (16 oz) - 200 mg
- Venom Death Adder / Black Mamba / Killer Taipan / Mohave Rattler (16 oz) - 160 mg
- Xyience Xenergy (16 oz) - 184 mg
Caffeine in Chocolate & Chocolate Drinks
- Chocolate Milk (8 oz) - 4 mg
- Dark Chocolate (1 oz) - 20 mg
- Hot Chocolate / Hot Cocoa (8 oz) - 10-70 mg
- Milk Chocolate (1 oz) - 6 mg
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (1 cup / 168 grams) - 104 mg
- Slim-Fast Chocolate Beverages (1 serving) - 20 mg
- White Chocolate (1 oz) - 0 mg
- Yoo-Hoo (8 oz) - 0 mg
Caffeine in Other Drinks
- Many blended yerba mates (8 oz) - 20-35 mg
- Teabag yerba mate (one per 8 oz water) - 35-50 mg
- Loose-leaf yerba mate (1-2 Tbsp / 8 oz water) - 85 mg
- Guayaki Organic Energy Shots (2 oz bottle) - 140 mg
- Guayusa (8 oz) - 90 mg
Popular Caffeine-Free Drinks
- Barley 'Tea'
- Caraway Decoction
- Cardamom 'Tea'
- Chamomile 'Tea'
- Cinnamon Infusion / Decoction
- Fanta (all flavors)
- Fennel 'Tea'
- French Verveine (a.k.a. "Lemon Verbena") 'Tea'
- Fresca Soda
- Herbal Chai
- Herbal Water
- Lemon Balm (a.k.a. "Melissa")
- Lemon Water
- Mint (peppermint, spearmint, etc., but not Moroccan Mint, which typically contains green tea and, thus, caffeine)
- Mugg Root Beer
- Raspberry Leaf
- Rooibos (a.k.a. "Red Bush Tea")
- Rose (excluding rose-flavored black teas, green teas, white teas, etc.)
- Sierra Mist