The caffeine level in coffee can vary due to the brewing method used. This listing is referring to coffee made using Arabica coffee beans. For coffee made using Robusta beans, see here.
Brewed coffee refers to any method of coffee preparation where hot water comes in contact with coffee grounds for an extended period of time.
Generally, for brewed coffee, two tablespoons of ground coffee is used per 6 fluid ounces of water.
Coffee Brewing Techniques
There are a number of techniques in brewing coffee: concentrate brewing, Turkish or Greek, vacuum brewing, percolating, or the French press (also called press pot or plunger coffee) and drip or filter coffee.
Brewed Coffee Quality
Arabica coffee beans can vary greatly in quality and in general, the lower the price, the poorer the quality of the bean. I recently toured the Cafe Don Emilio coffee farm close to Uvita, Costa Rica. The growers did a great job of taking us through the coffee growing process from start to finish and showed all the work that's involved to produce quality coffee beans that are picked by hand and processed the right way.
Many cheap coffee brands buy low-quality beans or those that haven't been fermented with the fruit still covering the bean. These brands cover this up by over roasting or adding flavorings. Always try to choose high-quality coffee for the best flavor and antioxidants.
Coffee Caffeine by Brewing Methods
Like all coffee drinks, caffeine levels vary greatly - due to variations in the coffee blend, the exact amount of ground coffee used, and brewing technique.
|Brewed Coffee Type||Caffeine per 8 fl. oz.|
|Drip or Filter||115-175mg with an average of 145mg|
|French press or plunger||80-135mg with an average of 107.5mg|
|Percolated||64-272mg with an average of 200mg|
|Boiled (Turkish or Greek)||160-240mg with an average of 200mg|
The value of caffeine in brewed coffee featured above is an average, with values generally between 64 and 272 milligrams per cup.
Because brewed coffee requires that the water is in contact with the coffee grinds for a long time, this leads to a higher caffeine concentration (and sometimes an over-extracted taste).
Drip Coffee (Filter Coffee) is the Most Popular
Drip coffee or filter coffee is perhaps the most popular form of brewed coffee, at least in the USA. This is the method used by Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McCafe as well as countless other restaurants.
Even K-cups are a type of drip brewed coffee.
What About Espresso Coffee?
Contrary to popular opinion, espresso coffee does not contain more caffeine than brewed coffee. With espresso, the ground coffee is in contact with the hot water for a very short period of time (an "express" coffee). So unlike brewed coffee there is less caffeine arising from the extraction.
See more about caffeine in espresso coffee.
Instant coffee is made from brewing the coffee (as part of the manufacturing process), then dehydrating (usually by freeze-drying) the coffee to create water-soluble granules.
The amount of caffeine in your instant coffee is governed by the number of teaspoons of the granules you mix into hot water. For most people this amount is usually much less than a brewed coffee.
Iced coffee from popular coffee outlets can be made from either brewed or espresso coffee. There is a perception that Iced Coffee has less coffee than normal coffee - this is not correct. They are every bit as caffeinated as their hot counterparts.
See more about caffeine in Iced coffee.
Black coffee is typically a zero calorie drink. It's the milk and sugar that add all the calories.
Caffeine Content of Coffee Brands
Drill down into comprehensive caffeine amounts for each coffee outlet.
- Dunkin Donuts
- Tim Hortons
- Dutch Bros
- Keurig K-cups
- Nespresso Capsules
- Seattle's Best
- Caribou Coffee
- Costa Coffee
- Gloria Jeans
- Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
- Peet's Coffee (brewed + others)
- Caffe Nero
Where to buy
Ingredients in CoffeeWater And 100% Arabica Coffee Beans
Is Coffee (brewed) high in caffeine?
Coffee (brewed) contains 163 mg of caffeine in a 8 fl oz cup.
This equates to 20.38 mg of caffeine for every fl oz and 68.90 mg for every 100 ml.