Caffeine in Food

Used Coffee Grounds

Used Coffee Grounds
41 mg
per half tbsp (7 g)
This item contains moderate levels of caffeine

Used or spent coffee grounds still contain a significant amount of caffeine.

A study conducted by The Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Physiology, School of Pharmacy, University of Navarra found that spent coffee grounds contained 3.59 to 8.09 milligrams of caffeine per gram of used coffee grounds. 

For the amount listed above, we took the average of this and multiplied it by the amount of ground coffee typically used to make an espresso

Caffeine in Used Coffee Grounds Varies by Brew 

Brewing methods with longer brew times will result in less caffeine in the spent coffee grounds since caffeine is highly water soluble. 

Take Care With Disposing

Care should be used when disposing of spent coffee grounds as caffeine has been detected by some municipalities in our waterways and reservoirs

Want to add them directly onto your garden? Don't. Despite anecdotal advice - research shows that direct application of coffee grounds will inhibit growth of plants. So at the least, try to compost them first.

Ingredients in Used Coffee Grounds

Used Ground Arabica Coffee

Is Used Coffee Grounds high in caffeine?

Caffeine (mg) per Item

200180160140 120100806040 200 Used Coffee Grounds (41 mg) Awake Chocolate (110 mg) Hershey's Special Dark Bars (20 mg) Jolt Gum (45 mg) Jolt Gum (45 mg)

Sources Bravo, J., Juaniz, I., Monente, C., Caemmerer, B., Kroh, L. W., De Peña, M. P., & Cid, C. (2012). Evaluation of spent coffee obtained from the most common coffeemakers as a source of hydrophilic bioactive compounds. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 60(51), 12565-12573. Hardgrove, S. J., & Livesley, S. J. (2016). Applying spent coffee grounds directly to urban agriculture soils greatly reduces plant growth. Urban forestry & urban greening, 18, 1-8. See other references.