Most 8–ounce (oz) cups of coffee contain 80–100 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. But the caffeine content can vary considerably depending on several factors, including coffee type, brewing method, and brand.
Caffeine can be a part of a healthy diet for most people. However, too much caffeine can be unsafe.
For healthy adults, approximately 400 mg per day of caffeine — about
Research shows that
This article examines the caffeine content of some different types and brands of coffee. It also covers the factors that affect the caffeine content of coffee, other sources of caffeine, the recommended daily intake of caffeine, and the side effects of caffeine.
Different types of coffee contain varying amounts of caffeine. The following list summarizes the caffeine content of some of the most common types of coffee.
An 8-oz cup of brewed coffee typically contains
Brewed coffee involves brewing ground coffee beans in hot water. This mixture usually sits in a paper, metal, or plastic filter that separates the coffee grounds from the brewed liquid.
People can make brewed coffee in a variety of ways, such as using a filter, a percolator, or a French press.
A 2017 study found that a 12-oz cup of cold brew coffee can contain between 153–238 mg of caffeine.
Cold brew coffee is made without heat. To make it, a person needs to steep coffee grounds in water at room temperature for 8–24 hours.
This is a different process than the way to make iced coffee, which simply involves serving brewed coffee over ice.
Instant coffee usually contains less caffeine than freshly brewed coffee. A typical 8-oz cup of regular instant coffee contains about
Making this type of coffee involves adding hot water to instant coffee powder or granules.
A single 1-oz shot of espresso contains approximately
Making espresso coffee involves the use of a machine or stovetop moka pot. Espresso serving sizes are generally much smaller than those of brewed coffee.
Many manufacturers and chain eateries provide estimates of the caffeine content in their coffee products.
Dunkin’ Donuts is a popular coffee and donut retailer that offers a wide range of caffeinated beverages.
The caffeine content of a medium cup (14 oz) of some of the coffee drinks on offer at Dunkin’ Donuts is approximately as follows:
- brewed coffee: 210 mg
- iced coffee: 297 mg
- Americano: 284 mg
- cold brew: 260 mg
- latte: 166 mg
An espresso contains 118 mg per single shot.
Starbucks is one of the most famous coffee brands worldwide.
The company lists the caffeine content of its coffee products along with other nutritional information in its online drinks menu.
The caffeine content of a grande cup (16 oz) of some of Starbucks’ beverages is as follows:
- Pike Place roast: 310 mg
- decaf Pike Place roast: 25 mg
- Starbucks reserve cold brew: 200 mg
- iced caramel macchiato: 150 mg
- cappuccino: 150 mg
An espresso contains 75 mg per single shot.
Several factors affect the caffeine content of a cup of coffee. One of the main factors is the type of coffee bean. There are many different species of coffee plants, and coffee beans from different plants vary in their caffeine content.
The two most popular species of plant for producing coffee beans are:
- Coffea arabica, which people commonly refer to as arabica
- Coffea canephora, which most people know as robusta
According to a 2016 study, robusta coffee beans typically contain around twice as much caffeine as arabica beans.
Other factors that can affect the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee include:
- the type of roast
- the brewing method
- the amount of ground coffee that a person uses during the brewing process
- the serving size
The recommended amount of caffeine per day depends on the person. Different individuals can have very different sensitivities to caffeine. Certain conditions and medications may make people more sensitive to caffeine’s effects. For example:
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that a person who is pregnant or nursing can safely consume 200 mg or one small cup of coffee daily without any negative impact on the unborn fetus or baby.
However, a person may still want to consult with their doctor on the best daily dose of caffeine for them.
Children and adolescents
According to the
The authors of a
They also warn that caffeine may have a stronger effect on children under 12 years as they tend to weigh less.
The authors conclude that young children can tolerate an average of 2.5 mg of caffeine per 1 kg of body weight.
Other factors impacting caffeine intake
A few other factors may cause a person to limit or avoid caffeine intake. These include:
- having acid reflux or GERD, as coffee can increase acidity and worsen heartburn
- having an overactive bladder or urinary incontinence, as caffeine can make the condition worse
- having glaucoma, or a history of the condition, as caffeine can increase pressure on the eyes
- having epilepsy, as caffeine can increase seizures
In addition, smoking or consuming alcohol
Since alcohol is also a diuretic, drinking excessive alcohol and caffeine together could cause more severe dehydration if a person does not also consume adequate fluids.
Consuming caffeine in moderation is
However, too much caffeine can cause adverse side effects.
Signs of over-consuming caffeine
Although coffee is probably the most popular source of caffeine, many other foods and beverages also contain the chemical.
However, the FDA
In addition to coffee, other common sources of caffeine are:
Tea contains varying quantities of caffeine. However, the amount is typically less than that of a similar-sized cup of coffee.
Soft drinks, such as sodas and fruit-flavored beverages, may also contain caffeine.
Energy drinks often contain very high amounts of caffeine and sugar.
This caffeine may be either synthetic or from natural sources, such as guarana leaves.
The caffeine content of energy drinks varies significantly between brands. For example:
- one 8.4-oz can of Red Bull energy drink contains
74.8 mgof caffeine
- one 16-oz can of Full Throttle energy drink contains
158 mgof caffeine
- one 8-oz can of Rockstar energy drink contains
79.2 mgof caffeine
Chocolate naturally contains caffeine. However, the amount varies according to the cacao content of the chocolate.
Dark chocolate typically contains more caffeine than lighter or milk chocolate.
For example, the caffeine content of a 1-oz serving of chocolate is:
Some over-the-counter and prescription medications contain caffeine to enhance pain relief.
For example, Menstrual Relief Maximum Strength is a combination of 500 mg of acetaminophen, 15 mg of pyrilamine maleate, and 60 mg of caffeine.
In addition, caffeine pills are an alternative to drinking coffee as a way to boost energy.
The caffeine content of a cup of coffee can vary considerably. Factors that affect the caffeine content include the brewing method, the type of bean, and the amount of coffee grounds that a person uses.
A typical 8-oz cup of coffee provides around 80–100 mg of caffeine. However, some coffee drinks can contain significantly more.
Other sources of caffeine include energy drinks, soft drinks, chocolate, and some pain-relieving medications. The side effects of consuming too much caffeine can include headaches, sleeping difficulties, gastrointestinal issues, and jitteriness.
How much caffeine is in the average cup of coffee?
An 8-oz cup of hot brewed coffee typically contains
Is 200 mg of caffeine a lot?
Consuming 200 mg of caffeine is the equivalent of drinking about two 8-oz cups of brewed coffee.
What is the Starbucks coffee with the most caffeine?
A venti (20 oz) cup of Starbucks Sumatra Clover Brew coffee contains 470 mg of caffeine.
Can you overdose on caffeine?
If a person drinks too much coffee, they may experience side effects. However, a life threatening overdose of caffeine is rare. One 2018 review identified 92 cases over the course of 59 years in which a person died from a caffeine overdose.