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How Much Caffeine in Coffee?

If you’re serious about tracking your caffeine intake, you must’ve searched how much caffeine in coffee a dozen times already. As it turns out, there’s no simple answer. The type of bean, brewing method, and roast level all play a role in the caffeine content of your morning brew.

This article investigates how much caffeine is in your favorite coffee drink – drip coffee, espresso, cold brew, and instant – and how it compares with medical guidance for caffeine consumption. Is your coffee habit a safe one? Read on to find out.

How Much Caffeine Is in a Cup of Coffee?

Caffeine is the world’s most popular drug, used worldwide to jumpstart slow mornings or perk up dragging afternoons. The caffeine molecule binds to adenosine receptors in the brain, preventing the feeling of sleepiness (1).

Want the coffee with the most caffeine? How you prepare your coffee drinks plays a big role in the caffeine content of your brew. (By the way, you can also take caffeine in the form of a pill.) If you’re meticulously measuring your caffeine intake, consult our caffeine calculator that tells you which method offers what amounts of caffeine to stay on top of your habit.

Let’s look at how some popular brewing methods compare.

Instant coffee 8 fl. oz. 30 – 90 mg 3.75 – 11.25 mg
Decaf coffee (brewed) 8 fl. oz. 3 – 4 mg 0.38 – 0.5 mg
Regular black coffee 8 fl. oz. 70 – 140 mg 8.75 mg – 17.5 mg
Cold brew coffee 16 fl.oz 200 mg 12.5 mg 
Espresso 1 fl. oz. (1 shot) 60 – 80 mg 60 – 80 mg
Sources: US Food and Drug Administration, Caffeine Informer, National Coffee Association

Regular Black Coffee

So, how much caffeine in black coffee? Brewed coffee typically contains between 70-140 mg of caffeine per one 8-ounce cup. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary, depending on the brewing method used and the bean type. Robusta beans have nearly twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans, whereas Liberica and Excelsa coffees are naturally low in caffeine (2).

How much Caffeine in a Cup


An espresso shot typically contains between 30 mg and 65 mg of caffeine per serving, depending on the type of espresso drink and the amount of coffee used. A single espresso shot typically contains around 63 mg of caffeine while a double shot of espresso usually contains around 125 mg of caffeine.

If you enjoy espresso, you can measure your intake better! Espresso generally has a more controlled concentration of caffeine, as the serving size is standardized at one or two ounces. This ensures an accurate amount of caffeine intake. In comparison, brewed coffee can vary wildly by roast and bean variety.

Espresso-Based Drinks

Espresso-based drinks are a broad category, so caffeine content can vary widely. Traditional drinks like cappuccinos and lattes contain either a single or double shot of espresso, so their caffeine content is between 60 and 130 mg.

Caffeine content can increase significantly for drinks with additional caffeine-containing ingredients like tea and chocolate.

A grande Starbucks Dirty Chai Latte, which includes black tea and espresso, has 170 mg of caffeine. Likewise, a Caffe Mocha has 175 mg of caffeine thanks to the addition of chocolate.

Decaf coffee

Contrary to what most people think, decaf coffee still contains small traces of caffeine. The most popular method, the Swiss Water method, can remove up to 99% of caffeine (3).

An 8-ounce cup of brewed decaf coffee contains 3 to 4 mg of caffeine or 0.38 to 0.5 mg per ounce.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is made from freeze-dried or spray-dried coffee, which gives it a much shorter shelf life. Due to its instant preparation, instant coffee typically contains less caffeine than freshly brewed coffee, with an 8-oz cup containing around 62 mg of caffeine. One cup of instant coffee usually contains 30 to 90 mg of caffeine, making it a much less potent beverage than regular coffee.

Cold brew

Finally, the classic cold brew! This type of coffee drink contains higher levels of caffeine, ranging from 182 to 280 milligrams per serving. It contains higher levels of caffeine than regular coffee, with an average serving size containing up to 280 milligrams of caffeine. Despite these significant amounts of caffeine some brands, like Death Wish Coffee Company, make coffee with crazy levels of caffeine, which you can read about on our website.

If you want to learn more about caffeine vs brewing methods, check this video:

Is Caffeine Something to Worry About?

The amount of caffeine in coffee is something certain people should track. And this will depend on your general health. But, if you consider yourself a healthy person, you can safely take up to 400 or 600 mg every day. Yet, some research has linked caffeine intake of more than 600 mg a day to unpleasant effects such as anxiety, sleep disruptions, heart palpitations, headaches, fatigue, and restlessness.

Dosage and timing have a lot to do with these side effects, so if you notice that drinking coffee, tea or soda keeps you up at night, calling it quits with caffeine earlier in the day or cutting back on the number of caffeinated drinks you consume can help.

Fortunately, you will not exceed 600 mg of caffeine with a single cup of coffee! But, if you like having more than 6 cups of brewed coffee daily, you may have too much caffeine and experience many adverse side effects. Don’t forget that there are other caffeinated beverages — even energy drinks and soda have caffeine. But, let’s be serious, six cups of anything is too much, so don’t over-do it.

Final Thoughts

The takeaway is that it’s difficult to overdose on caffeine no matter how you prepare your coffee. Whether you love a morning drip coffee, afternoon latte, or summertime cold brewed coffee, there’s no reason to dial it back unless you find yourself experiencing adverse effects. Stick to the recommended daily intake, and enjoy the energetic effects of the world’s most popular drug.


No, in general, drinking 200 mg of caffeine is not a lot. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 mg of caffeine is safe for the average person (4). So consuming 200 mg of caffeine is equivalent to two 8-oz cups of brewed coffee. While healthy adults can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine a day, which is approximately 4 cups of coffee, exceeding the recommended daily intake of caffeine can lead to unpleasant side effects.

A tablespoon of ground coffee beans generally contains between 60-110 mg of caffeine on average. The amount of caffeine can vary depending on the type of bean used and the roasting process.

No, dark roast coffee does not have more caffeine. Roast level has a negligible impact on the caffeine content of brewed coffee, with brewing method, coffee dose, and coffee bean type being far more important.

  1. What is Caffiene, and Is It Good or Bad for Health? (2020, June 3). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-caffeine
  2. What’s The Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee Beans? Here’s What You Need To Know (2022, December 14). Retrieved from https://www.thekitchn.com/coffee-basics-the-difference-b-41949
  3. Appelbaum, C. (2017, November 09). Decaf coffee isn’t actually caffeine-free – here’s how much caffeine you’re really drinking. Retrieved July 5, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/is-there-caffeine-in-decaf-coffee-2017-9
  4. Mayo Clinic Staff. Caffeine: How much is too much? (2022, March 19). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678
Jovana D
I come from a country where people drink domestic coffee (what the rest of the world knows as Turkish coffee) and where Nescafe designates all instant coffees ever made. So, imagine my first encounter with, say, Hario V60...Yes, it was love at first sight.  Today I’m a moderate coffee connoisseur and a huge coffee lover. My favorite brewing methods are the V60 and traditional espresso-making. Yet, despite my country’s long tradition of Turkish-coffee-adoring, I somehow cannot stand it. That’s just too dark, even for me.

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