Lots of us consume caffeine pretty much every single day of our lives. Some of us would even say we need it to get by.
This is a collaborative post
In the modern age, there are so many different ways in which you can prepare coffee. Whether you’re still in the instant coffee infancy of your coffee habit or you’re well into grinding coffee beans and using multiple brewing methods, it’s important to know what you are putting into your body.
It is easy to assume that all coffee brew methods are the same, but this is wrong. Many people know that different types of coffee beans have different impacts on the caffeine content, but some don’t realise the fact that the way you prepare makes a massive difference. This is due to the way the coffee “extracts”.
While it is relatively simple to measure a rough level of caffeine in each variety of beans (robusta beans are known for being high in caffeine, for instance) knowing how the brew methods impact it is a different matter.
In this guide, we dive into some popular types of coffee and give you a rough idea of the caffeine content.
How much caffeine should I have?
Of course, caffeine isn’t essential (though many people would argue otherwise). However, there are some limits to how much coffee you should be consuming.
Most doctors and researchers are in agreement that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily can be part of your diet without causing many adverse effects. That can vary greatly depending on your own weight and build.
That 400mg figure is useful for context when deciding how much caffeine to consume and looking into the brewing methods and their impact on caffeine.
Caffeine content depending on brew method
It’s important to note that the figures below depend on some other factors. For instance, while the way the coffee is roasted doesn’t play a part in terms of the coffee’s caffeine content, it can make the coffee more compact and therefore lead you to use more of it.
It’s all about estimating.
In that spirit, here are estimates of caffeine content in an 8 ounce serving of the following:
Drip or filter coffee – 100 -175mg
French press or plunger coffee – 60-135mg
Percolated coffee – 60-260mg
Boiled (Turkish or Greek) coffee – 160-240mg
It’s worth stating again that these are estimates. When we discuss brewed coffee, we’re usually using a couple of tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water. Different people have different methods (and different estimates) so you’ve guessed it, it can all make a difference to the content of caffeine within the drink you end up with.
We couldn’t include an espresso shot on the list, because let’s face it, nobody is consuming 8 oz of espresso! Espresso is extracted in a way that gives a high yield of caffeine considering the small volume of the drink. Per ml, the caffeine levels are pretty high, but actually, the caffeine levels aren’t even close to longer drinks.
For instance, if someone opts for a double espresso instead of a Greek Coffee to get more caffeine in their body, they might actually be making the wrong choice. An espresso shot may have 30-50mg of caffeine in it.
The coffee beans definitely make a huge difference, too. There is a big trend towards people looking for beans with high caffeine content. Some brands have cropped up selling high-caffeine blends, usually made with robusta beans. These may have a higher content.
What about instant coffee?
Working out the caffeine content of instant coffee is really tough. While some beans will show you the caffeine content (it may be on the packaging) it is often harder to find this info when looking for it on an instant coffee package. On top of that, people use different amounts of instant coffee when preparing their drink. Some may heap a spoonful, some may not. It’s a minefield!
The coffee levels vary hugely by brand. Each coffee brand has its own method of brewing first before drying the coffee to provide you with something you can just add hot water to. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find the caffeine content of instant coffee and keep an eye on what you are consuming.
Nescafe’s FAQ section gives you some information, but even this example only provides you with a very rough estimate of between 50 and 100mg per sachet.
Does decaf coffee still contain caffeine?
Decaf coffee is not totally free of all caffeine, though the levels are usually pretty tiny. It’s not unusual for decaf to have less than 5mg in a cup, so you can drink it to your heart’s content even when you are going to try and sleep soon.
Keeping tabs on your caffeine intake can be tough, but you should make a point of at least taking a rough estimate on board so that you know whether you are consuming a normal amount. That means monitoring the caffeine based on how you are brewing your daily cup of joe.
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