How Many Mg Of Caffeine In A Cup Of Coffee? Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world that also continues to be reinvented with the evolution of fads and trends. Since the rise of the so-called third wave, its artisanal character is claimed as a quality product, and it is also a trend for its healthy properties. Science increasingly supports more the benefits of coffee and caffeine, always in the right doses.
The problem is that we are not very clear about what is the recommended amount or how much caffeine is exactly in the coffee we drink. The answer is not so simple, as it depends on many factors, especially the type of coffee and how it is prepared. The concept “a cup of coffee” is too vague and often confusing.
The factors that influence the amount of caffeine when preparing a coffee
Coffee is an infusion of water that is obtained from the roasted and ground beans of the coffee beans, the fruit of the coffee plant. It is a very basic preparation that actually hides great complexity because until the drink reaches the cup many factors interfere that can affect the taste, aroma, body, intensity, and also the amount of caffeine.
The variety and origin of the grains
When we delve into the differences between natural roasted, roasted and mixed coffee, we already mentioned that there are two main species of coffee beans: arabica and robust , each with its own varieties.
Arabica coffee is better valued because it offers a more complex coffee, with greater richness of aromas and more perfumed, slightly sweet, and with fruity, somewhat acidic notes. Plus, it has less caffeine than robusta coffee, which features a more bitter drink, with more earthy flavors, roasted nuts, and woody notes.
The degree of roasting
Consumers are not usually concerned with roasting coffee because practically no one roasts the beans at home, but it is a crucial question for professionals. The degree of toasting affects the color of the beans – from lighter or cinnamon to darker -, the flavor, aromas, and body of the infusion.
And it also influences the final components of coffee; a lighter roast contains a little more caffeine than a much darker one, although the latter may seem stronger to us due to the more bitter taste. In any case, there is a greater loss of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, so if we are interested in the healthy properties of coffee we should always choose a light roast.
We already know that coffee, once ground, begins to lose its aroma and flavor very quickly, that is why it is always recommended to buy it in beans to grind it instantly at home. Automatic coffee machines incorporate their own grinder that can normally be adjusted to taste, and every good barista knows that the level of grinding also affects the result of the drink.
The grinding influences the way of preparing the infusion, that is why a finer or coarser grain is usually recommended depending on the type of preparation . Generally speaking, the longer the extraction process, the thicker the grinding should be.
For the purposes of the caffeine level, we should know that a finer grind provides a higher concentration of caffeine in the cup. It is the typical grind that is used for automatic or express coffee machines; the mocha or Italian types admit a fine or medium grain.
The type of preparation: different coffee machines
There are many ways to prepare coffee with different coffee machines , from the simple and humble pot coffee to manual infusion methods, as fashionable as the Chemex or the V60. You have to know that the different types of preparation require different extraction times , that is, the time that the water is in contact with the ground coffee.
This time, together with other factors already mentioned, provide coffees with different aromas, bodies, flavors, and intensities. What interests us here is to keep in mind that the longer the extraction is extended, the more caffeine we will obtain. This can be confusing, as a cold-infused coffee is very smooth and light, with practically no bitter notes, but can still contain much more caffeine than a more intense espresso.
The amount of coffee
This seems obvious, but the same amount of ground coffee is not always used to prepare similar amounts of drink. In principle, the more coffee the preparation carries, the more caffeine the cup will have.
The standard measure that is usually indicated to make an espresso is 7 g of ground coffee per cup . However, more and more baristas are making trouble at this convention , and there is more talk of myth than reality. There is no single, perfect espresso, again, it depends on many variables . There are those who prepare an espresso with 6 g or even up to 10 g of coffee per cup. Other types of drinks use higher amounts, such as filter coffee.
Each brewing system – each coffee machine – uses different brewing times . Automatic and super-automatic are very comfortable because they allow you to get excellent coffee in just a few seconds, while Italian mocha and drip coffee force us to wait a little longer. In addition, manual infusion methods are still trending, highlighting the fashion of cold brew or cold- infused coffee .
This method offers a delicate, soft, and highly aromatic coffee, not bitter at all, a good starting point for those who want to start getting their palates used to drinking their coffee without sugar or milk. Just you have to keep in mind that the cold brew contains more caffeine than common espresso.
The amount of caffeine here depends on the contact time of the coffee with the water. Cold infusions can last up to 24 hours, also using a larger quantity of starting coffee, and this increases the caffeine in the resulting drink, even if it seems “soft” to us. Also, consider that some cold brew are concentrates that are diluted when serving.
The size of the preparation
This last point depends largely on the above factors and is a reflection of the specific way of drinking coffee from each place . For example, when speaking of espresso coffee, in Italy we can perfectly receive a cup with just 25 ml, while in Spain coffee can only vary from 40 ml to almost 100 ml; in the United States, a “coffee”, simply, does not usually drop below 150 ml.
But we already know that the total volume of the cup does not have to indicate the amount of caffeine , nor the “intensity”. A highly concentrated espresso may have less caffeine with a longer lungo , simply because coffee spends more time in contact with water.
Other long coffees are prepared by diluting the content with water ; in that case it would not increase caffeine. It is the opposite of a “double” or doppio coffee , which simply doubles the volume and caffeine.
Also keep in mind that it is easier to repeat several cups of short coffee throughout the day than a single much longer coffee, and that there are certain drinks that have much more volume, but since coffee is mixed with milk, cream , liquor, cream, etc.
So how much caffeine do the different cups of coffee contain?
After knowing all these factors it seems obvious to conclude in the difficulty of establishing exact figures that determine the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. Simply because there is no single and universal “cup”. In each place, it is prepared in a different way, and we do not even agree within the same country.
There are different ways of preparing and drinking coffee according to the region, and there is no total consensus either in the same city. The concept of “black coffee” can be very different depending on who is behind the bar, and it certainly has little to do with Italian espresso, American coffee or German kaffee .
A few years ago a study was published that drew attention precisely to the variability of caffeine and other components of coffee depending on how and where it was prepared, well spelled out by dietitian-nutritionist Juan Revenga. It is curious to see that, for example, espresso in Italy rarely exceeds 30 ml in volume, while in Spain coffee only moves between 40 ml and 100 ml, with great differences even when ordering the same coffee in the same coffee shop.
How Many Mg Of Caffeine In A Cup Of Coffee
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As a general guideline measure , the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) indicates approximate amounts in the main types of coffee. In addition, in pages such as Caffeine informer we find more detailed data including commercial beverages -although most of the United States-.
- Espresso (60 ml): 80 mg.
- Filter coffee cup (200 ml): 90 mg.
- American coffee (354 ml): 154 mg.
- Instant coffee (236 ml): 57 mg.
As for coffee in capsules, we already discussed a while ago what its intensity consists of and how much caffeine they contain exactly; approximately one between 55 mg and 65 mg for each coffee, reaching almost 90 mg.
How much amount of caffiene in coffee is advisable?
We know that caffeine can have beneficial effects on the body , especially in terms of intellectual performance, sports or to increase concentration, in addition to avoiding fatigue and sleep. Although it seems increasingly clear that many of the healthy properties of coffee do not reside in the caffeine itself, but in other of its natural compounds.
And how much caffeine can we consume daily without fear of health risks? EFSA establishes the following figures:
- General healthy adult population: 200 mg of caffeine in a single dose; 400 mg of caffeine throughout the day (about 5.7 mg/kg BW per day). Previously, the recommended maximum was set at 300 mg per day.
- Pregnant and lactating: up to 200 mg of caffeine consumed throughout the day.
- Children and adolescents: no more than 3 mg per kilo of weight.
Caffeine does not affect everyone equally , as it depends on many factors such as age, physical makeup, disease, taking medications, or certain genetic components. The stimulating effects begin to be felt between 15 and 30 minutes after ingestion, and it takes about four hours for the body to eliminate it, with a variation of between two and eight hours, in certain cases.
Coffee can be prepared and enjoyed in many different ways. The important thing is to know exactly what and how we are taking it and to be more aware of the amount of caffeine content of coffee we ingest per day to adapt our consumption habits. And if we are inveterate coffee growers and we don’t want to skip doses, we can always trust decaffeinated coffee, which can also be very tasty.
Learn more about caffeine with the following questions and answers.
1. What kinds of food and drinks contain caffeine?
Caffeine can be found naturally in the plants we use to make coffee, tea, and chocolate. It is also found in some plants used as flavorings, such as guarana or in popular alternative teas in South America, such as yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) and guayusa (Ilex guayusa).
Caffeine can also be added as an ingredient to food and beverages.
2. How does one know how much caffeine content of coffee?
The label of many packaged foods, including caffeinated beverages and food supplements, voluntarily provide information on how much of this stimulant they contain. Consumers should be careful when consuming a packaged new food added with caffeine for the first time if the quantity it contains is not indicated on the label.
There are several online databases that offer approximations of the caffeine content of coffee. However, the amount these drinks contain can vary depending on factors such as where and how the coffee beans and tea leaves were grown and processed, and the way the beverage is prepared.
For reference, a 12-ounce (355 ml) can of caffeinated soda usually contains 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine; an 8 ounce (237 ml) cup of green or black tea, 30 to 50 milligrams, and an 8 ounce cup of coffee, somewhat closer to 80 to 100 milligrams. The caffeine in energy drinks can range from 40 to 250 milligrams for every 8 fluid ounces.
3. If it says “decaffeinated” in a coffee or tea, does it mean that it does not contain caffeine?
No, decaf teas and coffees have less caffeine than their normal counterparts, but still contain something. For example, decaffeinated coffee typically contains 2 to 15 milligrams in an 8-ounce cup. If you have a strong negative reaction to caffeine, you may want to avoid these drinks at all.
4. How much caffeine is too much?
For healthy adults, the FDA has listed 400 milligrams a day – which is four to five cups of coffee – as an amount not generally associated with dangerous negative effects. However, there is a wide degree of variation in how sensitive people are to the effects of caffeine and how quickly they metabolize (assimilate) it.
Some conditions tend to make people more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, like certain medications. Also, if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding or are concerned about any other condition or medication, we recommend that you consult your healthcare provider if you need to limit your caffeine intake.
The FDA has not established a level for children, but the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the consumption of caffeine or other stimulants by children and adolescents.
5. How does one know if they have consumed more caffeine than they can tolerate?
Excessive caffeine consumption can cause:
- accelerated heart rate
- Stomach ache
- a feeling of sadness (dysphoria)
- Does caffeine put your health at risk?
The FDA estimates that toxic effects, such as seizures, can be seen with a rapid intake of about 1,200 milligrams of caffeine, or 0.15 tablespoons of pure caffeine.
Highly concentrated, pure caffeine-based products pose a significant public health threat and have contributed to at least two deaths in the United States in recent years (in April, the FDA took steps to protect consumers from these products).
These products, often with labels that identify them as food supplements, consist of pure or highly concentrated caffeine, either liquid or powder, and are usually marketed in bulk containers with up to thousands of servings per unit, forcing the consumer to measure a safe portion of what can be a toxic or even deadly amount of product.
The risk of caffeine overdose increases as the concentration of this stimulant in the product increases, which means that even small doses of a highly concentrated product can have dangerous effects. Just one teaspoon of pure caffeine powder can contain the same amount of caffeine as 28 cups of coffee, and half a cup of a highly concentrated liquid caffeine product, the equivalent of more than 20. These are toxic amounts that can have serious consequences for health, including death.
7. Is it okay for children to consume caffeine?
We recommend that you consult your healthcare provider for advice on your child’s caffeine intake.
8. Does drinking a lot of caffeine replace sleep?
No, caffeine is a stimulant that can make you more alert and awake, but it is not a substitute for sleep. Generally, it can take 4 to 6 hours for your body to metabolize half of what you consumed, so drinking a cup of coffee with dinner can keep you awake at bedtime.
9. How can I reduce caffeine consumption without causing unpleasant side effects?
If you are used to drinking caffeine-containing beverages every day and want to reduce your intake, it is best to do so gradually. Stopping suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, anxiety, and nervousness. Unlike withdrawal from opiates or alcohol, withdrawal from caffeine is not considered dangerous, but it can be unpleasant. You may want to talk to your healthcare provider about how to reduce your consumption.