How Many Mg Of Caffeine In A Cup Of Coffee

BY BORIS POVOLOTSKY - 02 Feb 2023[updated on 06 Sep 2023]

Caffeine In Coffee

Coffee has more than 1,000 bioactive substances, one of which is caffeine. The microstructure of the bean changes during the process of roasting. Some of the caffeine may be released during roasting, but not a significant loss. The amount of caffeine in green Arabica beans is ranging between 0.6-1.2% in a roasted form.

Before we move further, I’d like to state that there isn’t one source of truth on the subject of caffeine in coffee. The best we can do is rely on general rules of thumb, which should be enough for most consumers and prosumers. Here are a couple of general rules:

  • Green Arabica beans contain roughly 9-12mg of caffeine per 1 gram and 6-12mg of caffeine per 1 gram of roasted Arabica.
  • Green Robusta beans contain roughly 12-24 mg of caffeine per 1 gram of green coffee.
  • Espresso has more caffeine concentration, Ristretto even more so.
  • Drip coffee contains more caffeine in the end result, but espresso has more caffeine per volume.
  • Each study on caffeine extraction presents slightly different data, hence the different search results you may have seen elsewhere.

How Many Mg Of Caffeine In A Cup Of Coffee:

A Table Of Caffeine Contents In Various Beverages

Productavg Caffeine Content (mg)
Single Espresso63
Double Espresso (14g)126
V60 (15g)135
Cappuccino (single-shot espresso)63
Cappuccino (double-shot espresso)126
Americano126
Starbucks Grande Coffee (16oz)330
Starbucks Cappuccino Grande (16oz)150
Brewed Coffee (8oz)135
Instant Coffee (8oz)60-85
Decaffeinated Coffee, Brewed (8oz)2-4
Decaffeinated Coffee, Instant (8oz)1-4
Redbull (8oz)80
Coca-Cola (12oz)30-40

What Factors Impact Caffeine Content

Well, most studies show that Robusta coffee contains more caffeine than Arabica coffee beans. But, are there any other factors that can impact the caffeine content? How does grind size affect caffeine? Does water temperature affect caffeine? In short, yes. Some factors influence caffeine content more than others.

Important factors:

  • Species & Origins: Robusta contains more caffeine than Arabica. Moreover, the origins of your Arabica may influence the caffeine content because of other environmental factors like sea level, humidity, light exposure, and organic vs. non-organic.

  • Water Temperature: The hotter the water, the higher the caffeine extraction. Brewing espresso at 200 °F yields a stronger coffee than espresso brewed at 192 °F. Note: What about Cold Brew caffeine then? Cold Brew lasts for a lot of hours, therefore it has more time to extract the caffeine resulting in strong coffee.

  • Grinding Size: Finer grind sizes extract more caffeine. A coarser grind allows less particle surface to be in contact with hot water, resulting in less caffeine extraction. However, grinding size is highly related to the method of brewing (drip, espresso, Turkish) and you should not alter grind size because of caffeine extraction.

If you let ground coffee sit for a while, it’ll not lose its caffeine content, however, don’t do it. If you let ground coffee sit for too long, waste it.

Negligible factors:

  • Roasting: Some percentage of caffeine is lost during roasting as roasting modifies the contents and the microstructure of the beans, and more caffeine is lost in hot roasting temperatures. However, there’s definitive data on the degree of roasting and its impact on caffeine. Although some studies reported caffeine decrease with higher degrees of roasting, they were limited. Many studies found no significant changes at all, which may be because caffeine has thermal stability. In summary, I don’t think it’s safe to assume that light-roasted coffee contains more caffeine.

  • Water Pressure: Also not enough data suggested significant differences, but it may be because there wasn’t enough definitive research done on this, maybe because it’s harder to account for because other variables may influence the result. That being said, making an espresso with a 4-bar pressure will result in a smaller caffeine yield.

  • Brewing Time: In some cases a longer brew results in more caffeine, in some brewing methods shorter extractions yield more caffeine. Hence, I don’t think it plays an important role in caffeine extraction. The assess whether or not brewing time does affect caffeine contents, researchers must use the same variables (type of coffee, grind sizes, type of water, ratios)

  • Type Of Water: Does water affect caffeine extraction? probably not.

How To Measure Caffeine In Tablespoons

Measuring with tablespoons isn’t a great measure because there isn’t a single universal standard of a tablespoon volume.

How much caffeine is in 1 tablespoon of ground coffee? roughly 45 milligrams of caffeine. How much caffeine is in 2 tablespoons of ground coffee? roughly 90 milligrams of caffeine. How much caffeine is in 3 tablespoons of ground coffee? roughly 150-180 milligrams of caffeine.

Those are averages based on the assumption that we’re measuring Arabica beans with caffeine contents within a range of 6-12 mg caffeine per gram of ground coffee, with an average of 9 mg, thus, if 1 tbsp is 5 grams, then 5 * 9 = 45 mg of caffeine per 1 tbsp.

How Much Caffeine Per Day Is Safe

Let’s translate the data into something more meaningful, e.g how many shots of espresso can you have in a day. Research suggests that a moderate amount of caffeine, of approximately 400 milligrams a day, is safe for most adults. However, each individual has a different tolerance to caffeine. You may be more sensitive to caffeine than the average person and cannot tolerate 400 milligrams a day without impairing side effects. Pregnant women, children, and people with certain medical conditions should limit their caffeine intake.

I was surprised to find research data on caffeine consumption in young children, which, additionally to finding that children’s caffeine intake is higher than Canada’s recommended range, there were some benefits. I’ll let you do the readings yourself to avoid crucial misconceptions so that you won’t caffeinate your kids too much, right (joking)?

As a parent, I would not feel comfortable giving coffee to a child until at least 13 years of age. But I may be old-fashioned, and anyway, you should probably consult a physician, not me.

So, let’s examine some typical use cases, answer question that often arise, such as how many shot of espresso is safe per day, etc.

Caffeine Per Gram Of Ground Coffee

According to various sources, one gram of ground Arabica beans contains roughly 6-12 mg of caffeine. This is a wide range of variability, according to which, a double shot of espresso with 14 grams of coffee can contain 84-168 mg of caffeine, with an average of 126 mg.

On the other hand, Robusta can contain roughly 12-22 mg of caffeine per 1 gram of coffee beans.

The amount of caffeine content in ground coffee varies depending on several factors such as the roast level and coffee origins.

How Much Caffeine In 2 Espresso Shots

Assuming each espresso shot consists of 7g of coffee, the estimated average is roughly 126 miligrams of caffeine (63 * 2), whereas 2 double-shots of espresso containing 14g each, will contain roughly 252 miligrams of caffeine.

How Much Caffeine In 3 Espresso Shots

Assuming each espresso shot consists of 7g of coffee, the estimated average is roughly 190 miligrams of caffeine (63 * 3), whereas 3 double-shots of espresso containing 14g each, will contain roughly 378 miligrams of caffeine.

How Much Caffeine In 5 Espresso Shots

Assuming each espresso shot consists of 7g of coffee, the estimated average is roughly 315 miligrams of caffeine (63 * 5), whereas 5 double-shots of espresso containing 14g each, will contain roughly 630 miligrams of caffeine. According to the general recommendations, it’s way above the adviced limit.

How Many Milligrams Of Caffeine In A Cappuccino

It depends on how much ground coffee you use for a cappuccino, if you’re using a single shot of espresso, then the caffeine contents are the same as in a single espresso shot. Therefore, on average, a cappuccino made with a single espresso (7g) contains 70 mg of caffeine. A cappuccino made with a double shot of espresso contains roughly 140 milligrams of caffeine.

According to the information provided above, you can see that caffeine amount is not a constant number, but the data gives a close estimate. I make myself a cappuccino with a double-shot, so I’d expect roughly 140 milligrams of caffeine in a cappuccino cup. However, sometimes I use a 30% Robusta blend so the numbers mix up a little.

How Much Caffeine In Americano Coffee

Based on the table provided above, an Americano made with a double shot of espresso (14g) contains about 126 mg of caffeine. You can make an americano with a single shot of espresso, too, and you can have a double shot made with 18 grams of coffee resulting in a much stronger mug of americano, with 162 mg average caffeine content.

How Much Caffeine In A Latte

A latte would have a similar caffeine level to a double-shot cappuccino unless the barista pulls a lungo by extracting more water from the espresso. However, the caffeine content will not increase significantly, as the majority of caffeine is extracted during the initial phases of extraction. Therefore, a latte would contain approximately 126 mg of caffeine when made with 14g of coffee.

How Much Caffeine In Turkish Coffee

Depending on the size of your cup, Turkish Coffee contains approximately 126 mg of caffeine when brewed with 14g of finely ground coffee.

I have an article dedicated to preparing Turkish coffee if you’re into Turkish coffee.

Caffeine In Instant Coffee

Instant coffee contains varying amounts of caffeine, depending on the brand and preparation method. On average, an 8-ounce of instant coffee contains about ~70 milligrams of caffeine.

A Moka pot, which is a traditional Italian coffee maker, typically yields a strong, espresso-like coffee. The amount of caffeine in a moka pot coffee will depend on the amount of coffee used and the size of the serving, but it can contain up to 90 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving.

It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of caffeine in coffee and other caffeinated beverages can vary greatly, and can also be influenced by factors such as personal tolerance and the time of day. As a result, it’s a good idea to monitor your own caffeine intake and to talk to a doctor if you have any concerns.

How Much Caffeine Is Dangerous

While 400 milligrams of caffeine is considered safe for most people, some people may experience negative effects long before they reach that limit. A bad caffeine reaction can present itself in various forms of symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Restlessness, agitation, jitteriness
  • Dizziness and vomiting
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • In severe cases hallucinations, seizures, and other reactions.

While I’m not a physician, it seems like consuming more than 30 cups of coffee can be lethal and lead to an overdose. That said, consumption of 800 mg on a daily basis can be potentially destructive for your health and it’s best to stay within the recommended range of caffeine intake.

With so many high-energy drinks and high-caffeine content coffee-based beverages, one has to be mindful of the amount of caffeine he gets into his bloodstream. When consumed orally, caffeine is absorbed fairly quickly but takes a long time to be cleared out of your system. The meaning of this is that while not vitally dangerous, consuming caffeine-based drinks can harm your health when consumed at the wrong time (before bedtime).

It takes only between 15-60 minutes for the effects to kick in, which is nice if you want to get sharper focus and alertness as soon as you consume your coffee. On the other hand, if you’re having coffee several hours before you go to sleep, it can impair your sleep quality. Many friends of mine, and family members, report that they have no trouble falling asleep even if they have a cappuccino at 7 P.M. I’m glad they’re at least sleeping, however, Dr. Matthew Walker suggests that despite falling asleep, they lose deep sleep (a.k.a REM) which is vital for health and recovery.

So, it’s better to stay away from having coffee in the afternoon, or at the very least, in the evenings. Additionally, avoid consuming very large doses of caffeine throughout the day. 400 mg of caffeine is the recommended range, 800 mg of caffeine is way too much, and 1,000 mg of caffeine is c’mon, Stop wasting your health.

Personal Experience

I love coffee, but I also have a great appreciation for science. Science recommends abstaining from caffeine intake approximately 8 hours before bedtime. If I find myself wanting coffee within that range, I’d make myself a cup of decaf with a small amount of milk, a cortado.

Occasionally, I caffeinate more than most days. Usually, if I need to laser focus better and perform cognitive or physical tasks. I can maybe consume a double shot of espresso before collecting the kids. However, I never cross the 400mg of caffeine for a total day.


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