How Much Caffeine In A Cup of Coffee – Gauging Caffeine in Coffee

by Dan Harrington on March 19, 2011

Caffeine Content of Caffeinated Beverages and Other Tips for Consumers and Baristas

Keeping an eye on your caffeine content? Wondering how much caffeine there is in a cup of coffee? Or an Espresso Shot? Or Cappuccinos and Lattes? Here is everything you need to know about the caffeine content of coffee beverages.

Caffeine In A Typical Cup of Coffee

The average cup of coffee will have about one hundred and twelve milligrams of caffeine.

in it. A single shot of Espresso will typically have about ninety milligrams of caffeine content.

Factors Affecting the Caffeine Content of Coffee

Many different factors can affect how much caffeine there is in coffee, from the type of coffee beans used (e.g., Robusta coffee beans have about twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans), the Coffee Roasting style (e.g., a Dark Roast typically has less caffeine than a Light Roast), and of course how the coffee was ground and brewed.

For example, if a French Press is used and the coffee is ground very fine, and the coffee is allowed to steep for a relatively long time (e.g., more than five minutes), you are going to have yourself quite a strong cup of coffee!

If you are pulling an Espresso Shot then a longer extraction time may create a higher caffeine content, which may also be affected by the brewing temperature.

How Much Caffeine is There in A Shot of Espresso?

One shot of Espresso, which will total about 30 milliliters in volume, will contain about ninety milligrams of caffeine if Arabica coffee beans were used.

How Much Caffeine is There in Drip-Brewed Coffee

One cup of Drip-Brewed coffee with a volume of about 120 milliliters, will have about one hundred and twelve milligrams of caffeine.

Some Notes About Caffeine in Coffee

When coffee beans are Roasted they decrease in caffeine content, thus darker roasts generally have less caffeine that lighter roasted coffees.

Most instant coffee is made from the Robusta varietal coffee beans which have twice as much caffeine. The Arabica beans are used in the specialty coffee market and have much less caffeine, though still pack a punch.

How Much Caffeine In A Cup of Coffee – Gauging the Caffeine in Coffee continued:

The Chemical Known as Caffeine

Caffeine is a chemical within the coffee bean and the technical name of it is xanthine alkaloid.

Caffeine is a stimulant, as most people know, which is why it is so popular as a morning beverage to help you wake up and enjoy your day. When caffeine is isolated from the coffee bean or from other natural sources, it is a white crystalline product and tastes very bitter.

How Caffeine Works in the Human Body

The way caffeine works is that, once it is consumed, the human body begins to metabolize it in the liver. This creates three separate metabolites. About 4% is the metabolite theophylline, about 12% is theobromine, and about 84% is paraxanthine.

Caffeine is first absorbed by the stomach within the small intestine. From there the caffeine makes its way into the tissues of the body.

A Little History About Caffeine and Coffee

It was a man named Friedlieb Runge who first isolated the caffeine from coffee beans and he did it in 1819.

Runge was a German chemist, and the very next year a French chemist also was able to isolate the chemical, along with his fellow scientist Caventou, and Runge is the one to have coined the term “cafeine” which refers to the coffee plant from which the caffeine was isolated.

The Sources and Purpose of Caffeine in Nature

Caffeine is found in various other natural sources besides caffeine. These sources include the leaves and fruits of other plants. In nature caffeine helps certain plants protect themselves against invaders and pests, serving as somewhat of a natural pesticide.

The United States Food and Drug Administration considers caffeine to be a food substance, and it has stated that it considers caffeine to be safe for humans.

Where Do People Get Caffeine?

Most consumers of caffeine get it from either tea leaves or coffee beans, while many people drink sodas with caffeine and other products. Around the world many people get their caffeine from the koloa nut, guarana berries and yerba mate, Yaupon Holly and cocoa beans.

Caffeine is very popular. In North America around 90% of adults enjoy caffeine each day.

Gauging Caffeine in Coffee – Determining How Much Caffeine In A Cup of Coffee continued:

The Caffeine Molecule and Varying Experiences Based Upon Sources

The molecule of caffeine has a distinct structure so in this sense all caffeine is the same, but people derive a variety of different experiences when using caffeine because of the sources that it comes from.

This is largely due to xanthine alkaloids that exist in some caffeine plant sources as well as other chemicals that are found along with the caffeine in the particular source.

The Way That Caffeine Works in the Human Body

Coffee makes people very energetic and alert due to the chemical changes that occur within the brain. Caffeine essentially pretends it is a compound called adenosine and then binds to the adenosine receptors in the brain.

Since adenosine normally serves the purpose of slowing down the human nerve impulses and creating sleepy and drowsy feelings, the use of caffeine keeps this from occurring.

The response of a person to a particular dose of caffeine depends upon varying factors including their body weight and tolerance.

Usually in less than a half hour the person will begin to feel the effects, and the effects will normally wear off completely within about three and one-half hours.

Amounts of Caffeine In Specific Products

One Excedrin Tablet: 65 milligrams caffeine

One Caffeine Tablet: 100 milligrams

Extra Strength Caffeine Tablet: 200 milligrams

One Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar: ten milligrams caffeine

One Hershey’s Special Dark Bar: thirty-one milligrams

7-ounces drip brewed coffee: 145 milligrams

1.75 ounces of Espresso coffee: 100 milligrams caffeine

7 ounces of  Decaffeinated Coffee: ten

6 ounces of black tea: fifty milligrams

6 ounces green tea: thirty milligrams caffeine

12 ounces Coca Cola: thirty-four milligrams caffeine

12 ounces Mountain Dew: 54 milligrams

16 ounce Monster Energy Drink: 160 milligrams

Also see:

The Top Ten Coffees in the World

Thanks for Reading How Much Caffeine In A Cup of Coffee!


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