How Much Caffeine Is Actually in Your Coffee?

Caffeine content in coffee can vary dramatically.

Caffeine in coffee is an essential substance. The caffeine content in coffee varies greatly from one coffee type to another. What are the differences between the different types of coffee in terms of caffeine content? How much caffeine is recommended per day? What does caffeine do in our bodies? In which other foods does caffeine also appear? Why is caffeine also of interest to the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and beverage industries? Let’s find out.

Caffeine in coffee: the basics

Caffeine is an alkaloid found primarily in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans. Coffee beans caffeine content Alkaloids are naturally occurring nitrogen-containing compounds, each of which has a specific effect on animal or human organisms. Nicotine and various opiates also fall into the group of alkaloids, for example.

Coffee beans and ready-made coffee have different caffeine contents. Even the beans themselves have different amounts of caffeine. What makes it into the coffee also depends on

  • At what temperature the beans were roasted
  • How finely the coffee is ground
  • How long it was steeped.
  • At what temperature it was made.

The best-known types of coffee are called Arabica and Robusta. They differ, among other things, in the caffeine content. Arabica beans are only about half as high as Robusta coffee. Arabica has an average of 1.2 percent caffeine, Robusta 2.2 percent.

If you’re looking to limit your caffeine intake, the good news is that arabica is much more common. Sometimes manufacturers even mix in a portion of Robusta beans to make the coffee stronger. I have already explained the most important differences between Arabica and Robusta.

Coffee roasting caffeine content

The factors that significantly influence the caffeine content in coffee:

  • The cup size or the amount of coffee or espresso
  • The selected coffee bean, Arabica coffee has a caffeine content of 0.8% -1.4%, Robusta coffee 1.7% -4%
  • A darker roast releases more caffeine
  • The grind of the coffee
  • Preparation also influences the caffeine content in coffee. For example, hand-brewed filter coffee has a little more caffeine in it than coffee that was prepared with the coffee machine
  • With a longer extraction time, more caffeine is released
  • The hotter the water, the more caffeine is bound in the coffee

What actually is caffeine?

Probably the most well-known ingredient in coffee beans, caffeine, is a natural substance that is created through photosynthesis. Caffeine is one of the alkaloids and therefore, from a chemical point of view, one of the nitrogenous compounds.

How much caffeine is recommended in a day?

4–5 cups of coffee a day are seen as completely harmless today. Health authorities advocate a daily amount of caffeine of 400mg and consider it unproblematic. With a caffeine content of 60–100mg per cup of coffee, you can safely enjoy 4–5 cups of coffee per day. Another, somewhat more individual calculation is that you take your bodyweight x 6 and thus determine the maximum recommended dose per day.

Coffee and caffeine content at a glance

The caffeine content of the individual coffee drinks in our overview relates to an average of 100ml per drink, to the caffeine content per serving size, as well as the amount of caffeine consumed with the serving based on the daily recommended 400mg caffeine in percent.

An espresso therefore only represents a caffeine intake of 6.25% -7.5% of the recommended daily 400mg. An espresso cup only holds 25–30ml. The specified values ​​for filter coffee or e.g. soluble coffee refer to a cup size of 150ml.

The caffeine values ​​of each individual coffee can be very different. For example, I occasionally drink a good espresso bean as a Caffé Lungo, which then has a cup size of 180ml. This espresso, disguised as a long drink, has an amount of caffeine of approx. 200mg of caffeine. With two “coffees” prepared in this way, you will quickly reach your daily recommended caffeine milligram count. Incidentally, a single dose should not exceed 200mg.

Which coffee is low in caffeine?

But not only Arabica and Robusta differ significantly in terms of caffeine content. Different coffees have significantly different amounts of caffeine. Conclusions can also be drawn from the origin of the proportion of caffeine it contains.

If you are looking for low-caffeine coffee, but don’t want to drink decaffeinated coffee, we advise you to choose our coffees from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, which you can find below Coffee from South America. These single-origin Arabica coffees all have a lower caffeine content than other Arabica coffees.

If you assume a range of 0.8% to 1.4% caffeine content in Arabica, these coffees are among those with low natural caffeine content.

What does caffeine do in our body?

In the meantime, it has been proven that coffee promotes health instead of harming it, as has long been assumed or even propagated. If you enjoy coffee in moderation as described, the caffeine it contains also contributes significantly to health.

Often demonized in the past, it has been proven today: Caffeine increases performance, endurance and responsiveness, improves short-term memory, stimulates the central nervous system, perks up tired people, activates muscle activity, which also has a positive effect on the heart.

Enjoying healthy coffee lowers the risk of developing heart disease and a heart attack. The risk of developing gallstones is also reduced. Caffeine is said to clean the arteries. Studies confirm these health-promoting effects, especially with caffeinated coffees. These effects could not be demonstrated with decaffeinated coffee.

People who drink coffee regularly have an up to 50% lower risk of developing type II diabetes. Caffeine in particular is said to have a positive effect on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. We are convinced that coffee contributes to a healthy lifestyle instead of harming you, especially coffee that contains caffeine.

Why is caffeine also of interest to the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and beverage industries?

Most of the caffeine added to drinks like cola and energy drinks comes from the coffee bean. Alongside the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industry, the beverage industry is the largest consumer of the valuable, supposed waste product, which is produced, for example, in the production of decaffeinated coffee. The miracle drug is now added to numerous cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Caffeine works both externally and internally and is an indispensable ingredient in many preparations. Caffeine is mainly added to headache tablets and migraine preparations. It has a pain relieving effect and at the same time improves absorption.

Caffeine in the coffee: FAQ

How much caffeine is in black tea, green tea, energy drinks & similar?

Prepared as filter coffee, the coffee has a caffeine content of 40–66mg caffeine per 100ml. Espresso of course has a much higher caffeine content of 100–120mg per 100ml. If you look at other drinks in comparison, the coffee or espresso is the absolute front runner. Most energy drinks, regardless of the brand, have, for example, caffeine content of “only” 32mg per 100ml. Black tea still has a remarkable 25mg and green tea has 10mg per 100ml of caffeine. In addition to espresso, coffee contains by far the most caffeine.

How much caffeine do cola drinks have in comparison?

The different cola and soft drinks from the various manufacturers differ significantly in terms of caffeine content. The classic Coca-Cola, like its sugar-free version Zero, each contains 9mg, the light version at least 12mg, as well as Red Bull Cola. Pepsi and Pepsi Light each have 10mg caffeine content.

Does chocolate contain caffeine?

Chocolate also has a considerable amount of caffeine. Interesting: dark chocolate contains twice as much caffeine as milk chocolate. It has a surprising 70 milligrams of caffeine per 100g, the milk chocolate still has around 35 milligrams of caffeine.

Do we now have to forbid our children to enjoy chocolate? Certainly not. The same applies to children: 3mg of caffeine per serving per kilogram of body weight is completely okay. If you multiply your body weight by 6mg you have the maximum daily amount of caffeine that should not be exceeded.

But as we know: chocolate makes you happy. In addition to the serotonin that is released when consuming chocolate, probably also because of the caffeine it contains. Even drinking chocolate surprisingly contains caffeine: After all, even with the sweet seduction it is still 6mg per 100ml.

In which plants does caffeine occur naturally?

In addition to the coffee bush or the coffee bean, caffeine is found in numerous other plants, including the tea bush, the kola nut, the guarana creeper and the seeds of the cocoa plant.

Conclusion

Coffee and especially the caffeine contributes to health instead of harming it. 400mg a day of caffeine is really good for the body and mind. With too much coffee consumption, however, an apparently paradoxical effect could be determined: the consumers complained of a dampening and tiring effect.

The assumption is that if there is too much caffeine, an enzyme in the brain is blocked and it is more likely to lead to a state of exhaustion and poor concentration. So much does not help a lot with coffee and caffeine.

The 400mg per day or the calculation formula of body weight x 6 should be taken as a guideline. Then nothing stands in the way of the safe consumption of your favorite drink, it even contributes to the water balance in the body, instead of removing fluid from it.

In addition to caffeine, coffee has many other health-promoting ingredients. More than 1000 substances have been detected to date. The most important ingredients in the coffee bean are carbohydrates, fats, water, proteins, acids, numerous vitamins and minerals as well as the alkaloids, to which caffeine belongs.

Coffee is rich in antioxidants that help against free radicals and protect our cells. With this in mind: Enjoy your coffee. To your health!

This story appears in my blog Coffee Guidebook.

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Julie Gabriel

Julie Gabriel

🇬🇧IT copywriter and tech content marketer. On Medium, I write about technology, self-improvement, and marketing. I am available for freelance projects.