How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee | Simple Guide 2021

How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee | Simple Guide 2021

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How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee? For Brewed coffee, Espresso. Espresso based drinks, Instant coffee, Decaffeinated coffee.

How caffeine works? where caffeine comes from? when caffeine makes you sleepy…? and more

L’et start

Coffee is the largest dietary source of caffeine, you can expect to get around 95 mg of caffeine in an average cup of coffee.

However, this amount varies between different coffee drinks and can range from almost zero to over 500 mg.

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How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee?

The type of coffee you drink is the primary determinant of caffeine content.


Coffee can be drunk in various forms and amounts. This is why the amount of caffeine in your coffee will depend on the type of hot drink.

For example:

  • A classic instant coffee mug contains approximately 100 mg of caffeine
  • A large Americano contains 225 mg of caffeine
  • An average latte consists of 185 mg of caffeine
  • An espresso will contain between 50 and 90 mg of caffeine

The European Food Safety Agency, in a 2015 study, that an adult should consume a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day.


The caffeine in the cup of Coffee

 Volume (ml)Caffeine (mg)
Type of coffee
Type of drink
Filter coffee15060-180
Instant soluble coffee15040-120
Percolator coffee15040-70
Iced tea15065-75
Tea (leaves or bag)15030-45

Brewed coffee

Brewing is the most common way to brew coffee in the United States and Europe.

Also called regular coffee, brewed coffee is made by pouring hot or boiling water over ground coffee beans, usually contained in a filter.

One cup of brewed coffee (8 oz) contains about 70 to 140 mg of caffeine, or about 95 mg on average (1, 2).



Espresso is made by forcing a small amount of hot water, or steam, into finely ground coffee beans.

Although espresso has more caffeine by volume than regular coffee, it generally has less caffeine per serving, as the portions of espresso tend to be small.

A shot of espresso is usually worth between 30 and 50 ml and around 63 mg of caffeine (3).


A double shot of espresso therefore contains around 125 mg of caffeine.

Espresso based drinks

Many popular coffee drinks are made from espresso mixed with various types and amounts of milk.

These include lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and americanos.


Since milk does not contain any additional caffeine, these drinks contain the same amount of caffeine as regular espressos.

A single (small) contains around 63 mg of caffeine on average and a double (large) contains around 125 mg.


Instant coffee

Instant coffee is made from freeze-dried or spray-dried prepared coffee. These are usually large, dry lumps that dissolve in water.


To make instant coffee, simply mix a teaspoon or two of dried coffee with hot water. There is no need for brewing.

Instant coffee generally contains less caffeine than regular coffee, with one cup containing around 30 to 90 mg (4).

Decaffeinated coffee

While the name can be misleading, decaffeinated coffee is not entirely caffeine-free.


It can contain different amounts of caffeine, ranging from 0 to 7 mg per cup, with an average cup containing 3 mg (5, 6, 7).

However, some varieties may contain even higher amounts of caffeine, depending on the type of coffee, the method of decaffeination, and the cup size.

Comparative life span caffeine/theine

  • caffeine and theine are the same molecule. Caffeine was discovered in coffee in 1820 and in tea in 1827.

In coffee (but there are variations between individuals):

  • caffeine acts after 10 min
  • maximum effect: between 15 min and 2 hours
  • 99% of the caffeine is absorbed in 45 min.
  • duration of action: between 4 and 6 hours

In tea: the action of caffeine is attenuated, but prolonged for 6 to 8 hours by the action of the tannins contained in the tea, which complex the caffeine and gradually release it.

The advice of the waiter

Isn’t decaffeinated coffee bad tasting? Isn’t it bad for your health? Is there really no caffeine left?

The advice of the waiter:
The taste of decaffeinated coffee depends on the initial quality of the coffee. If the coffee used is good, it will be good once decaffeinated.
There is nothing unhealthy about decaffeinated coffee. If the coffee is decaffeinated with water (which is the method most likely to alter the taste because the coffee is washed of its caffeine but also of its aromas) or with CO2, there is no use of chemicals.


If the coffee is decaffeinated with solvents, which remains the most convincing method to preserve all the aromas, how can you believe that in a country like France, where hygiene and health regulations are very strong, you run the slightest risk of finding residues?
The legislation imposes a maximum residual content of solvents (methylene chloride) in decaffeinated coffee of 2 mg/kg of roasted coffee (since December 1992). Note: The residual level is 10 mg/kg in the USA
Similarly, legislation stipulates that the residual caffeine content in decaffeinated coffee should not exceed 0.01%.

Is caffeine a cause for concern?

How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee

Coffee is rich in antioxidants and many studies show that it is good for you.

However, getting too much Caffeine is linked to side effects such as anxiety, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, and restlessness (14, 15).


Consuming 400-600 mg/day of caffeine is not usually associated with side effects in most people. This works out to about 6 mg/kg (3 mg/lb) of body weight, or 4 to 6 cups of coffee on average per day (16).

However, caffeine affects people very differently.

Some are very sensitive to it while others are unaffected by large amounts. This is largely due to genetic differences (17, 18).


You will just have to experiment and see which amount is right for you.



In the general population

  • A “reasonable intake” of coffee is considered to be about 400 mg of caffeine/day, or 4 large cups or 5-6 espressos.
  • This dose provides all the positive health benefits of coffee.
  • The health effects of coffee vary according to individual sensitivities, but most individuals have the ability to spontaneously regulate their own consumption.

In children

  • Children and adolescents are no more sensitive to caffeine than adults, but BE CAREFUL: their diet provides them with other sources of caffeine (sodas, etc.).

In pregnant women

  • For pregnant women, a moderate consumption of 3 cups of coffee/day is recommended.

Caution because

  • The caffeine ingested by the mother is very quickly absorbed and passes through the placental filter.
  • Caffeine persists longer in the fetus than in the adult.

It seems wise to recommend that pregnant women should not exceed the reasonable limit of 300 mg of caffeine per day.
In particular, caution should be recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy, when fetal growth is most sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

Caffeine and sleep

The effects of caffeine on sleep are related to its action on the brain.

  • Even moderate consumption (1 to 2 cups of coffee before bedtime) has consequences on sleep: difficulty and delay in falling asleep, up to 3 hours after taking it.
  • A caffeine consumption higher than 400 mg (about 4 cups of coffee) decreases the quality of sleep, in particular by modifying the temporal organization of the phases of slow and REM sleep.
  • Daytime consumption of coffee does not lead to difficulties falling asleep or to sleep disturbance.
  • These effects vary from one subject to another, genetic factors are evoked and the effects are more marked in occasional consumers.

Read more about caffeine

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