Caffeine Content

If you are like most adults, caffeine is part of your daily routine. But do you know the caffeine content of your favorite drinks? Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, a day is considered safe for most adults.

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Most humans rely on that morning cup of coffee to really wake them up, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, do you know, how much caffeine can be found in a cup of coffee? Or even in the bean itself? Besides, caffeine is the most consumed substance in the world.

On average, when it comes to the coffee bean there is Arabica and Robusta. A single arabica coffee bean contains 1.9 milligrams of caffeine, that is 1.2 – 1.5g of caffeine per 100g. And a single robusta coffee bean has 2.9 milligrams of caffeine, which is 2.2 – 2.7g of caffeine per 100g. However, some of us wondered why there are different levels of caffeine?

What is Caffeine?

For short, caffeine is a substance that is like a stimulant for energy. Caffeine can be found in various beverages and it is naturally found in coffee. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, heart, and muscles.

How Much Caffeine Can Be Found in a Cup of Coffee?

Caffeine levels can vary depending on the coffee type, bean type, and brewing process. A brewed coffee has 95 – 200 mg of caffeine, while a decaffeinated brewed coffee has 2 – 12 mg of caffeine. The most enjoyed coffee in the world, the espresso has 47 – 75 mg of caffeine, while the decaffeinated espresso has under 15 mg of caffeine. However, a decaffeinated instant has more than the espresso counterpart, because it’s more than 15 mg of caffeine, it is between 27 – 173 mg of caffeine more exactly. And a latte has 63 – 175 mg of caffeine, but don’t get scared of the numbers, that milk can make a difference. Speaking of numbers, these are not even high. If you enjoy a cup of coffee once in a while or have one every day, it is completely fine.

How Much Caffeine Can Be Found in a Coffee Bean?

I think everyone has heard how much caffeine can be found in a cup of coffee, but in a coffee bean, not much information about that one. Besides, caffeine is found throughout the entire coffee plant, and the highest concentration is within the coffee beans housed inside the coffee cherry fruit. It doesn’t matter that there are 100 species of the coffee plant, because only two varieties make up over 98% of coffee growth worldwide.

These two varieties, Arabica and Robusta are the most popular coffee beans on the planet, and even between these two, there are differences in caffeine content found in them. We mentioned that the arabica coffee bean has 1.2 – 1.5 percent of caffeine, and the robusta coffee bean has 2.2 – 2.7 percent caffeine. But why does the coffee plant have caffeine in the first place? The coffee plant contains caffeine because it is toxic to most pests and it acts as a natural pesticide. It’s all about the protection of the plant itself.

The arabica plant has a lower level of caffeine because it grows at higher altitudes where few pests live, while the robusta plant is able to survive even at sea level because the caffeine levels are higher.

Caffeine Content in Light Roast and Dark Roast Coffee Beans

The process of roasting beans does affect the caffeine content found in a coffee bean. The amount of caffeine in a roasted coffee bean has a little less caffeine than the raw, green beans. There is a very common question where people often ask if dark roast coffee has more caffeine than light roast.

To make something clear, light roast coffee beans contain the same amount of caffeine as dark roast coffee beans, because the caffeine content remains constant throughout each stage of the roasting process. The caffeine remains stable at temperatures below 235°C. Besides, very few roasters will roast coffee past this temperature because there can be a fire risk. Also, a cup of roast coffee will probably have more caffeine than a cup of light roast.

If you wonder how? It is because of the density of the coffee beans. If coffee is roasted darker and darker the beans will lose mass, however, despite the loss of mass, the caffeine content stays the same. If you measure your coffee beans by weight using a scale or by volume using a scoop, the result is still the same. Besides, if you weigh your coffee beans, more dark roast beans are needed to make the weight, because dark beans are smaller (remember the idea of roasted darker and darker beans that lose mass). It’s the same even when you measure your beans by volume, more dark roast beans are needed to fill up the scoop.

In both instances, more dark beans are needed than larger light beans. The fact that both dark and light beans contain the same amount of caffeine means that the extra quantity of dark beans will make the quantity of caffeine more than the light. This also can mean that you can use fewer coffee beans if you want to have a fixed caffeine intake, but you shouldn’t because dark roast coffee doesn’t taste that great. And never use a scoop to measure your coffee.

Confusion Over Caffeine and Bitterness

A lot of people think that dark roast coffee has more caffeine, however, the main reason is that dark roast coffee has increased bitterness and kicks in faster, which is then associated with caffeine. It is true that caffeine is intensely bitter, however, caffeine only accounts for a fraction of bitterness in arabica coffee. The reason that dark roast coffee tastes bitter is because of the chemical reactions that take place during a long roasting. The longer coffee is roasted, the more certain acids turn into bitter-tasting compounds.

You will also notice that dark roast coffee is almost black, and that is because the coffee bean is essentially burned. That’s why it tastes so hard, ashy, and bitter. To say that all coffee is bitter is nonsense because good-quality coffee is definitely not bitter.

The Amount of Caffeine in Coffee and What Affects It

Each time you make a cup of coffee, there is a different amount of caffeine each time. This happens because there are several factors like variations in the coffee blend, the amount of ground coffee, and the brewing technique.

There are several types of brewing techniques that people use to prepare their coffee. Each of these methods can determine the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. The most common methods of brewing coffee are drip or filter brewing, percolating, french press, and boiling (Turkish or Greek).

Besides, brewing coffee by using the drip or the filter method is the most popular method. While it doesn’t have the most amount caffeine content as other popular methods, it still ranks pretty high on the list. This means that each cup of coffee can give you a pretty sizable dose of caffeine.

Also, a typical cup of espresso content 45 – 75 mg of caffeine per 30 ml. Typical drip coffee contains 20 mg of caffeine per 30 ml, which means that espresso will give you more caffeine. However, a typical espresso comes into a 60 ml serving, while drip coffee comes in a variety of sizes. While the espresso has 150 mg caffeine per 60 ml, the drip coffee can come with 240 mg caffeine, 320 mg caffeine, and 400 MB caffeine. It all depends on the size of a coffee.

While the espresso may have the most caffeine per 30 ml, you get more caffeine if you get a large drip coffee. But it’s not just about the size, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. Even the coffee you use to brew a cup can also impact the amount of caffeine per cup.

The Amount of Caffeine Found in Espresso

Espresso is a pretty popular coffee brew, and as mentioned above there is about 150 mg of caffeine in a standard espresso shot. The only difference in caffeine found in espresso is that this brew is served in different variations. So the amount of caffeine can change here as well.

Doppio is the easiest one to determine the amount of caffeine. The name seems odd but it’s actually a double shot of espresso. This means that you get 60 ml of espresso instead of 30 ml. This is the standard dose of a doppio, and many coffee shops will actually serve you by default a doppio instead of a single espresso shot. The Doppio gives you 300 mg of caffeine instead of 150 mg. However, keep in mind that 300 mg of caffeine is the max you can get in a day, so don’t go too far.

The Lungo is simply a “long” espresso, which means that they use the same amount of grounds as the typical espresso shot, the only difference is the amount of water. Many people believe that the longer the coffee, the more caffeine. Wrong. When it comes to lungo, this isn’t the case. Caffeine is one of the first compounds to dissolve during extraction. The longer brew time will only increase the caffeine slightly, however, the longer shot may make a larger drink, but you still get a shot and not two.

The Ristretto is basically the inverse of the Lungo because it has the same amount of grounds, but it’s with less water. This results in a more concentrated brew. A single shot of ristretto gives a stronger taste but an equal amount of caffeine that is found in a standard shot. However, like with the regular shots, people will have more than just one ristretto shot. Even if there is an equal amount of caffeine contained in a less volume, 1 shot of ristretto will have more caffeine than 1 regular shot.

The Benefits of Caffeine

Caffeine can provide many beneficial effects if used properly. Caffeine can help with the morning wake because sometimes it is hard to wake up without a cup of coffee. That little jolt of caffeine can help the body to have a jump-start for the day ahead.

Besides, caffeine can even help with athletic performance, where studies have shown that caffeine can help athletes improve their endurance and muscular power. This means that caffeine can enable better training sessions and greater gains in strength, fitness, and performance in athletes.

Caffeine can also help in improving cognitive performance because caffeine can be a boost for your mind to think more clearly. Studies have shown that drinking coffee can help with short-term memory and systems processing. However, it is important to have a low to moderate amount of caffeine.