How Much Caffeine is in Coffee? A Detailed Look at the Different Brews

A standard 8-oz cup of brewed coffee contains around 96 mg of caffeine. Here, we explore the caffeine content of 9 different types of coffee.

May 31, 2024
Two cups of coffee with a caffeine chemical formula in the background.

The amount of caffeine in coffee varies greatly depending on the type of coffee, the serving size, and the variety of beans. A standard 8-oz cup of brewed coffee contains 96 mg of caffeine. However, caffeine content can fall between almost zero and up to 300 mg — depending on the type of coffee you’re drinking. 

In this post, we’ll look at how much caffeine is in different types of coffee and examine the things that increase and decrease the amount of caffeine per cup. 

What Determines Caffeine Content?

Four main factors affect how much caffeine is in coffee:

  • Type of coffee — Decaffeinated coffee, brewed coffee, instant coffee, espresso, and Vietnamese coffee all contain different amounts of caffeine. 
  • Serving size — A cup of coffee can be anywhere from 1 oz to 24 oz. Generally, the larger the coffee, the higher the caffeine content.
  • Variety of coffee beans — Different coffee beans have different levels of caffeine. For example, our 100% robusta HaNoi Coffee contains around twice as much caffeine as a typical arabica coffee.
  • Roasting process — Light roasted coffee beans contain more caffeine than medium or dark roasted coffee beans.

Caffeine Content of Different Kinds of Coffee

The type of coffee drink is the biggest thing that determines how much caffeine is in coffee. Here’s a breakdown of caffeine levels for the most common kinds of coffee drinks and an explanation of their caffeine levels.

Type of Coffee

Caffeine Content 

Size of Cup

Caffeine per serving

Vietnamese Coffee

33 mg/oz

2–4 oz

66–130 mg

Espresso (Single Shot)

75 mg/Shot

1–2 Shots 

75–150 mg


Based Drink (e.g. Cappuccino)

75 mg/Shot

1–2 Shots in a 6 oz Drink

75–150 mg


12–20 mg/oz

8 oz

90–160 mg

Cold Brew

12–13 mg/oz

16 oz

197–213 mg

French Press

13–17 mg/oz

8 oz

100–137 mg

Regular Coffee

10–13 mg/oz

8 oz

80–100 mg

Instant Coffee

8–10 mg/oz

8 oz

80–120 mg

Decaffeinated Coffee

0–0.9 mg/oz

8 oz

0–7 mg

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is typically made using a traditional phin filter. The water moves through the ground coffee and drips into the cup.

It’s also brewed using robusta coffee beans, which have around twice as much caffeine as the standard arabica beans in most other coffee drinks. This is why Vietnamese coffee has so much higher caffeine content compared to other coffee drinks of the same size.

Related: Why is Vietnamese Coffee So Strong?

Espressos, Lattes, Cappuccinos, & More

You make espresso by forcing a little hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. Even though this type of coffee has more caffeine than brewed coffee, it often has less per serving, as an espresso is much smaller than a typical cold brew or French press coffee. 

Espresso-based drinks, such as macchiatos, cappuccinos, and lattes, contain espresso shots mixed with varying amounts of milk. There’s no milk in caffeine, so these drinks have the same amount of caffeine as a single or double espresso, depending on how many shots there are.

Pour-Over Coffee

You make pour-over coffee by pouring hot water over ground coffee in a paper filter over a pour-over device, such as a Chemex or a Hario V60. The water drips through the ground coffee, and your pour-over coffee is ready in 3–4 minutes.

The amount of caffeine in pour-over coffee depends on the type of beans used, but it’s usually a little more than an espresso.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is one of the most unusual types of coffee on this list because you make it by steeping coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water for 8–24 hours. This variety of coffee uses more coffee beans and less water than other types of coffee, increasing its caffeine levels.

Related: Cold Brew Vietnamese Coffee Recipe.

French Press

You make French press coffee by slowly pushing hot water through a metal filter to extract the nutrients, texture, and flavor. Because of the long extraction time, French press coffee is often higher in caffeine than other types, such as regular coffee and instant coffee.

Drip Coffee

Regular drip coffee is the most common type of coffee made in the US. Also known as brewed coffee, you make it by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans inside a filter. Regular coffee contains about the same amount of caffeine as instant coffee.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is brewed coffee that has been spray-dried or freeze-dried. It comes in large, dry pieces which quickly dissolve in boiling water. There’s no brewing involved in making instant coffee.

Just add one or two teaspoons of instant coffee into a cup, pour over hot water, and stir. Instant coffee usually contains less caffeine than other types of coffee.

Check Out Cafely’s Selection of Premium Instant Coffee.

Decaffeinated Coffee

Although the name may suggest otherwise, decaffeinated coffee does contain caffeine. A standard cup of decaffeinated coffee contains 0–7 mg of caffeine, with the average cup containing 3 mg [1].

Health Benefits of Caffeine

There are many studies on caffeine's effects on the human body. And good news, coffee drinkers! 

Multiple scientific papers report that moderate amounts of caffeine may offer several health benefits, including:

  • Boosting mood [2]
  • Improving brain function [3]
  • Increasing metabolism [4]
  • Lowering the risk of heart disease [5]
  • Reducing the risk of stroke [6]
  • Protecting against diabetes [7]
  • Lowering the risk of liver damage [8]
  • Decreasing the chance of premature death [9]
  • Reducing the risk of cancer [10]
  • Preventing gout [11]
  • Boosting beneficial gut bacteria [12]

These health benefits are in addition to the common advantages that almost everyone enjoys when drinking coffee. Caffeine is a natural stimulant, and as little as 66 mg can help you feel awake, alert, and ready to go

Side Effects of Caffeine

Caffeine is generally considered a safe drink, although caffeine consumption can become a habit. Medical guidelines recommend up to 400 mg of caffeine per dayThis is the equivalent of two to four cups.

Consuming more caffeine than this per day can result in some side effects, such as:

  • Anxiety [13]
  • Difficulties sleeping [14]
  • Headaches and migraines [15]
  • High blood pressure [16]
  • Pregnancy complications [17]

Limit yourself to a maximum of four cups per day to avoid any potential negative side effects of caffeine. Pregnant women should consume no more than 200 mg per day [18]. This is around one to two cups.

Related: How to Stop Heart Palpitations From Caffeine

FAQs: Caffeine Content in Coffee

Have some more questions? Here are the answers to the most common questions about how much caffeine is in coffee.

1. What type of coffee has the most caffeine?

Per volume, espresso has the most caffeine. Per coffee drink, cold brew has the most caffeine. The type of coffee drink, variety of coffee beans, roast of coffee beans, size of coffee drink, and brewing method all influence how much caffeine is in coffee. 

Related: What is Caffeine Withdrawal?

2. Is caffeine good for you?

Studies show there are many potential health benefits to consuming caffeine in coffee. It can help you feel more alert and awake while lowering your risk of disease and cancer. At the same time, it can increase your metabolism, boost your brain function, and improve your mood.

Related: Best Time to Drink Coffee

3. How much caffeine is too much?

The USDA and the EFSA agree that you shouldn’t consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day. This is two to four cups. Limiting your coffee intake to two to four cups may help you avoid the negative side effects of consuming too much caffeine.

Related: Why Doesn't Caffeine Affect Me?

4. Does decaffeinated coffee contain caffeine? 

Yes, decaffeinated coffee does contain caffeine, although the quantities are minimal. An 8 oz cup of decaffeinated coffee has 0–7 mg of caffeine. As long as you don’t have a severe allergy or intolerance to caffeine, decaffeinated coffee is safe for most people to consume when avoiding caffeine.


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