Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee?

Yes and no. An espresso cup has about as much caffeine as a cup of strong coffee. But servings for espresso are much smaller. Which means that the content of caffeine per milliliter are much higher than with a regular brew. Moreover, caffeine is more quickly assimilated when taken in concentrated dosages, such as an espresso cup.

The myth of lower caffeine espresso comes comes from the fact that the darker roast beans used for espresso do have less caffeine than regularly roasted beans as roasting is supposed to break up or sublimate the caffeine in the beans. This effect is negligible however, as the caffeine lost is only about 5% in a dark roast vs. light roasted – not enough for anyone to notice, or for it to have an impact on your decision of which roast to choose.

Caffeine did not undergo significant degradation with only 5.4% being lost under severe roasting.

Here’s another reference with some other analysis including brewing method, overextraction and chlorogenic acid analysis.

Arabica vs. Robusta in Espresso

One more thing that should be considered when comparing caffeine content of espresso is whether the beans are arabica or robusta. Robusta coffee beans have about twice as much caffeine as arabica therefore a coffee blend starting with a large amount of robusta will have more caffeine regardless of prep method.

Many (but not all) supermarket brands of coffee have a fair amount of robusta mixed into the blend to keep production costs low. Some espresso blends have between 4% and 12% robusta. The robusta is uses for a combination of reasons not least of which is flavor and better crema production. Many espresso blends have no robusta at all. For a good espresso blend price is not the reason for adding robusta and a good quality robusta is actually much more expensive than a cheap arabica coffee bean and somewhere on par with a similar relative quality arabica.

Ultimately, the presence of Robusta coffee beans in an espresso blend will lend itself to higher relative levels of caffeine per volume, but espresso shots are lower volume than regular coffee. Having Robustas in an espresso blend is not a bad thing.

Here’s the caffeine content of Drip/Espresso/Brewed Coffee:

Drip            115-175	     (7 oz cup)
Espresso        100         1 serving (1-2oz)
Brewed          80-135     (7 oz cup)
Obviously these numbers are estimates at best.

78 thoughts on “Is it true that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee?”

  1. Type of beans

    The other factor not being discussed is the type of coffee bean. Arabica beans have half the amount of caffeine as robusta beans. Therefore, some espresso will have less caffeine overall than a regular cup of “American” drip coffee. Espresso is usually comprised of mostly arabica, with 10 or 20% robusta. Where the avergage American brand of coffee (Uban, Folgers, etc…) is made with almost entirely robusta. Coffee made with just robusta beans are much more potent!

    1. commercial coffees in the US

      the typical coffee sold in the US is not mostly robusta at all I don’t know where you found that information but the taste of robusta would soon stop the sales of commercial coffee.

      1. robusta content in commercial coffee blends

        I think is probably safe to say that industrial coffee is not entirely robusta but it is also safe to say that the commercial brands have been using more and more robusta as time goes on with a few notable exceptions that use all Arabica blends (most commonly 100% Colombian thanks to an excellent advertising campaign by the Colombian coffee growers). At the same time these same companies have been adding higher proportions of robusta in their cheaper blends to allow for better margins. I’m not saying that 100% Arabica blends are guaranteed to be good just they are 100% Arabica. There is a huge amount of bad Arabica in the world.
        As an interesting aside rumor has it that the major industrial coffee producers have created a technique that helps to rid robusta of some of its flavor in order to drive off the worst of the robusta taints. This has in turn allowed them to use even more of the cheapest robustas.
        Arabica is not by any means a panacea. The majority of the world’s coffee supply does not come even close to “specialty” grade but, when it comes to robusta, with a few notable exceptions, there is not even an attempt to create a good product and even if there was many of the environments in which robusta is grown can’t preoduce good coffee. They just don’t have the georaphy for it. Vietnam, the largest producter of robusta in the world, is a perfect example of this. The few really good robustas typically sell in the same price range as a medium cost Arabica bean. It’s all about supply, demand and quality.
        As an interesting side note North Americans do, at least in specialty coffee, use less robusta that Europeans. The French and Italians still commonly use a 45:55 ratios even in their specialty coffees according to Mark Pendergrast in “Uncommon Grounds.”
        If anyone has links or references listing robusta ratio statements from major American commercial roasters please post the information.

          1. is drinking a double espresso everyomorning bad for you?

            Not unless it’s causing you problems in your relationships (family, work, etc) or financially

          2. espresso has alot of caffeine

            but also the less time water is in contact the finer the grind…so if u have drip coffee..the grind is not too much and the water is near the coffee for a longer time..espresso is blended very fine…so there is more surface area if im correct..and an espresso machine process lasts about 15 seconds under pressure extracting allot of stuff from the powder..and i dont think high temps destroy the caffeine…its only 1.5 psi ..correct me if im wrong.

          3. not so much so

            A double shot (2oz) of espresso has about the same amount of caffeine as a strong cup of coffee. Maybe a little less maybe a little more depending on the size of cup you are comparing to.

            A shot should take about 20-30 seconds.

            The pressure is at minimum 9 atmospheres of pressure (aka barrs). that is about 130 PSI. Most commercial and good home machines will be in the 13-15 barr range.

            Check out the Espresso section and the 2 FAQ files linked at the bottom of that article for more information about Espresso.

          4. A double shot of espresso

            A double shot of espresso has more caffeine than 1 cup of coffee…I know this from experience. I can drink 2 cups of coffee and feel nothing, but take a shot or 2 of espresso and I am flying off the walls.

            What about chocolate covered coffee beans?

          5. i agree with you

            i’ve been drinking coffee for 50 years and one month ago switched to stovetop espresso. let me tell you that 1 shot of the espresso i’m making has a significant effect on me and coffee had none-neglible effect. not only that, but the espresso feeling lasts the entire day. not kidding, but after a month of a daily epresso or two, i get the feeling of the caffiene simply from crushing the beans. that’s how potent it is.

            SO, therefore, i don’t care which has more caffiene. appreantly the delivery mechanism or the greater concentration of caffiene to water is behind it. but there is no doubt in my mind that the FEELING one gets from one shot of espresso is 100 times that of coffee.

          6. I’ve actually heard that it

            I’ve actually heard that it has a rejuvenating effect on the liver. Its shown (by statistics only, meaning it could be just a coincidence) that alcohol users that have a shot or two of espresso in the morning have significantly healthier livers than alcohol users that forego coffee all together. I have seen no hard science to expain why or debunk the “that’s just a coincidence” argument, but statistically that’s what has been found.

      2. Actually at one time they

        Actually at one time they were mostly robusta simply because it was much cheeper. People caught on to the difference and soon the American brands (Maxwell House etc..) began to change their product, one kick start for better quality was actually a small company called Starbucks. Coffee sales dropped after the burst in the 50’s when the packaging changed. To compensate for the packaging, quality was not priority if you know what I mean. This now has become a past time. American coffee companies don’t have what I believe to be quality coffee, however it has improved offering more variety of beans. People are now aware of different beans and quality whereas before they had no clue and that is when the American companies tried to pass off good coffee with robusta (dirt). Thank you Starbucks!

  2. Brewing Method

    The brewing method makes a large difference too. One of the reasons espresso may have less caffeine is that it is pressure brewed over a short period of time. This method of brewing extracts less bitterness and caffeine from the coffee, or thats what I’ve been told anyway :). (I know pressure brewing tastes better, but its hard to measure caffeine).

  3. Espresso and caffeine

    Does anyone know if the caffeine content of coffee beans is effected by time? I.e.Does coffee gain or lose potency with age? It seems to me that my older espresso beans do not deliver the needed kick. Thanks.

    1. Beans Lose Flavor

      You are correct to deduce that coffee loses its kick the older it gets. Most bagged espresso beans keep flavor for only two weeks at most, and then begins to weaken. Once a new package of beans is opened, the freshness of the bean begins to deteriorate, that is why in small print on some coffee bags it says to use within 7 days of opening. Also, the air has a lot to do with the freshness of an espresso or coffee bean (the two are not the same). Never store coffee beans or grounds in the freezer, this does not keep the beans fresh, but actually accelerates the loss of freshness. All coffee should be stored in a cool (not cold) dark, airtight container. Never store coffee, or spices, near or above a stove or oven, this too will accelerate the loss of freshness in your cup o’ brew. I hope this was helpful to you.

      1. comment

        I’m not sure why the above person says that coffee and espresso beans are not the same. Coffee beans and espresso beans are exactly the same product. The blends are often different and espresso roasts are sometimes darker but at the end of the day they are the same exact product with a slightly different prep.

        1. Espresso beans are a

          Espresso beans are a specific roast of bean originally made for the espresso machine, not the other way around. It is the way that the coffee is brewed that makes an espresso shot, not the bean. You could use house blend in you’re espresso machine and it would make a shot of house blend.

          1. Espresso vs. Coffee explored

            There essentially two types of coffee bean. These two beans are grown on two different types of tree/bush. The cheap, abundant variant is known as a robusto bean; the more expensive, “higher quality” bean being the arabica bean.

            Robusto plants are easier to grow and produce twice as many beans as an arabica plant. Additionally, the robusto bean contains approximately twice as much caffeine as those of the arabica variant.

            Historically, American, grocery-store coffee has been of the robusto variety. This is not the variety you purchase at a specialty coffee shop.

            In this vein, it could be said that (especially in america) there are “coffee” beans and “espresso” beans. As you would be hard pressed to find ANY coffee house pulling shots produced with robusto beans. (Nor will you find coffee houses providing a house blend made up of said beans.)

            The real difference between espresso and a “regular” coffee, however, is found in the method of extraction (brewing). A double shot of espresso is extracted over a period of about 20 seconds, whereas a single serving of drip coffee would take 10x as long to produce. A smaller granule of coffee has more surface area to volume, and as such a fine grind of coffee will release it’s goodness into the ether much more quickly than a course grind. Thus, an espresso grind is much more fine than that of drip coffee.

            There is such a thing as an espresso roast, however, MANY coffee houses use an “espresso roast” for their house coffee as well. “Espresso roast” is widely considered a medium roast.

            As far as caffeine content is concerned, the heat and pressure present in espresso extraction reduces the amount of viable caffeine in your belly. Also, the extended roasting time involved in producing a “dark roast” reduces caffeine content. The method of brewing which produces the most caffeine is a cold extraction (toddy). The ultimate (coffee based) caffeine kick could be found in a light roast, robusto toddy.

            … Though it probably wouldn’t taste very good.

          2. Well actually, a good

            Well actually, a good espresso blend contains about 70% Arbacia and 30% Robusta. There is quality Robusta out there, as well as crap Robusta. A good Robusta will add body and crema to the shot. Robusta beans have been given a bad name because so much of the crap Robusta has been used as filler for cheap grocery store and commodity coffee over the years.

      2. Advice from a Chemist

        Coffee beans DO NOT lose freshness in a freezer!

        That myth was started on the back of a Starbucks pamphlet to make people think that coffee can actually go bad, hence buy more coffee.

        If not sealed properly coffee’s volatile oils will dissolve and accumulate compounds (odors) of a dirty freezer, but coffee only loses its freshness when these flavorful oils evaporate. The vapor pressures of the oils are significantly lower below 55°F. However, you want to bring them back to room temperature before brewing to get those volatile oils to dissolve in your brew.

        Storing coffee at room temperature only accelerates the evaporation of volatile oils causing the coffee to lose flavor quicker.

        What I do: Store bulk coffee in an airtight container in the freezer and keep some at room temperature for brewing.

        1. Experience Proves That Coffee DOES Lose Flavor in the Freezer

          There are a lot of things that science can’t explain and taste is one of them. Science may say that coffee shouldn’t lose flavor in the freezer, but the facts prove otherwise.

          In our endless search for the perfect cup of coffee, my wife and I have spent lots of time and money on practical experiments with coffee, almost always in blind taste tests. To insure absolute freshness control, I always roast my own beans, with an iRoast II. Note: If you are starting with vacuum sealed coffee, then you can’t get measurable results, since that coffee is already at least a couple of weeks old by the time it hits the store shelves.

          In our tests, we will prepare four cups of coffee (2 for each of us) from beans that have been stored in different ways or may be fresh roasted. Only I know which cup is which of the cups my wife drinks from and only she knows which of my cups is which. We use no cream, sugar or other flavoring.

          We have tried freezing whole beans for as little as a week and as long as a month. When the beans are frozen, we always allow the beans to warm to room temperature, before brewing (we varied the time from 4 to 8 hours). If the beans from the freezer are older than one week, but less than two, both my wife and I have a 75% record of identifying the coffee from the older beans, which is twice that of mere chance. If the frozen beans are older than two weeks, neither of us ever missed identifying the older coffee.

          As a cross check, we tried side-by-side, blind taste tests of two coffees, where one roast was stored in the freezer and the other stored in a vacuum container for the same period of time. In those cases, only I could tell the difference and only on coffee less than two weeks old. After two weeks, there is no salvaging it. The results were roughly the same, regardless of whether we brewed drip or espresso.

          In general, we have determined that we both can taste a decided difference between coffee that is six days old and coffee that is 10 days old, if the beans were stored at room temperature. That window moves to seven and 12 days, if the coffee is kept in the freezer. In other words, storing coffee in a freezer might keep it fresh one or two days longer and that’s at the outside.

          I understand that scientists say that oxidation is what causes coffee to lose body. If so, then if you could roast in a vacuum and keep oxygen from reaching the roasted beans until just before brewing, it might make a significant difference. I suspect that this might explain why Nespresso pods brew a cup of coffee that is almost as good as fresh roast. That’s just a guess, on my part, however.

          Now having said all that, I imagine that most people are not as serious about their coffee as are we and thus, might not be able to tell the difference between the frozen and room-temperature coffees over longer periods of time. But, if you just have to have the very best cup of coffee possible, there is only one choice. Roast your own, store it in a sealed container, at room temperature and brew it in 1 to 5 days (fresh roast needs several hours to develop, after roasting). If you run out of fresh roast or don’t have the time to fool with traditional brewing, Nespresso offers a reasonable alternative, but even that doesn’t offer the pungent body of fresh roast. Anything less than one of those two options and you might as well drink store brand.

          1. Caveat to our Tests

            I forgot to mention an important factor in our tests, above. We always used Celebes (Sulawesi) Kalosi beans. For those who are not familiar with the Celebes bean, it has a very deep body. If we had used a milder bean, I would imagine that there might have been some differences in our results.

            This is only speculation.

            1) Freezing might be somewhat more successful in a lighter bodied bean, since there is less body to be lost, in the first place and thus, detecting the loss of a little more body might be difficult.

            2) On the other hand, freezing a lighter bodied bean might be less successful, since with less body to begin with, the loss of any body might be more noticeable.

            I just don’t know which it would be, if either. I just wanted to point that out, as a possible caveat to our experiments, for those who use African or South American beans.

      3. Many Q’s raised in the answers to FAQ’s

        This drives me nuts, to make just one comment. But-

        In re:
        “…espresso or coffee bean (the two are not the same)”

        There are some marketers of Dreckig coffee and roasted beans that seek to inflict that misunderstanding upon any who will listen. It’s a typo and it’s False.

        Espresso is a method of brewing coffee that involves a short 10 to 20 second infusion of the coffee grounds with hot water. If the coffee shop has segregated their beans, calling some “espresso” beans, it means they have been ruined for any other use that doesn’t call for swamping a small amount with volumes of frothed milk, whipped cream, syrups and various sugars.

        Espresso is not a bean, roast or necessarily, a grind. It’s just the most Heavenly extraction of flavor and aroma from coffee beans that can occur. Misteaks abound, and that’s generally what you get when you pay someone else to brew a shot for you from beans that were roasted who-knows-when and stored/ staled in the open, or in the burlap bags (that ARE the same thing as the grocery bins- open ventillated).

        I roasted some green Brazil coffee beans early this morning to just at the “City” level, and had a gorgeous shot as soon as it cooled and I ground ~14grams of the beans. Just did it again, and they’re even better.

        Cheers, RayO

  4. Does decaffeinated coffee

    Does decaffeinated coffee have no caffeine or very little? enough not to get headaches of heart palpatations?

    1. Decaf has been shown to have

      Decaf has been shown to have up to 50% of normal caffeine when ordered at a serving establishment… i.e. they don’t fully rinse from previous full caf pots, get the order wrong etc. If you are sensitive at all I wouldn’t trust ordering decaf out. Have green tea or something. When making your own, decaf should be in the ranges others state here. Be aware that for a regular coffee drinker decaf can certainly cause headaches. Caffeine withdrawal headaches that is!

  5. Caffeine evaporation

    Is it true that caffeine quickly evaporates from espresso, so it must be drank hot to get some effect? A barman told me this some time ago, adding that six minutes is the maximum time you can let it rest to have an appreciable effect.
    Same question for coffee kept in the fridge and drank hours or days later: does it help in keeping me awake or a fresh one is better? 🙂

    1. caffeine evaporation

      if you drink the caffeine right after till minutes after it is brewed, you will get the full force of the caffiene……… if you wait longer than that or put the coffee in the fridge, it will not give you the full force of the caffeine….neither will it taste good unless you mix it with half and half and froth it up…

  6. Loss of caffeine: Clarification request…A few questions…


    If one filters the coffee, through a paper filter or cloth for example — like straining, in other words — does the resultant brew contain less caffeine?
    It *seems* to make it less-strong, seeing as the oils get filtered out (?? I assume) — is this so?

    Is filtered/strained coffee less caffeinated?

    Also, no one seems to have answered the question of loss of POTENCY, answering the question of flavor loss in its stead: Does coffee, before brewing actually lose caffeine over time? I’ve never heard that before.
    And does it lose caffeine any other way? By “evaporation,” as someone mentioned…sounds odd.

    Anyone know?

    1. Lose Caffeine over time?

      Well, I was looking for any conclusive evidence on the subject as my in-laws claim they can have coffee after 1 hour because all of the caffeine is gone…

      This of course contradicts my Organic Chemistry training. Water’s boiling point is 212 F, Caffeine’s is about 313 F…. water evaporates first. The coffee never reaches 313 F, or the coffee would be boiling.

      Since the water evaporates first, that only leaves more caffeine, meaning that it actually gets stronger over time.

      However they insist it gets weaker so I wanted to verify. 1 year of O-Chem tells me it gets stronger over time, but I could be wrong which is why I’m looking.

      1. Lose Caffeine over time?

        Much of the information that follows I gleaned from detailed discussions with the owners and brew masters of Java Cofee and Tea Co. They have a shop in Houston for 30 years at least and a website. Each coffee is graded by acidity and mild-bold flavor. Between them, my nurse’s training which includes chemistry, and experience with coffee over the years, these are some information I have obtained:
        From my understanding of the chemistry of caffeine, it does not evaporate. Instead it is the acidty in the coffee that destroys the caffeine over time. Anyone who brews tea knows that tannic acid in the tea destroys the caffine, right? so you try to brew it to reduce the tannic acid production which enhances the caffeine content. Also the flavor and drinkability of the brew for those of us who have sensitive stomachs, as the taste of tannic acid is harsh. The lower acid coffees therefore generally have more caffeine, better taste, If you ask me. I have acid reflux and acidic coffee really upsets my stomach. So I have a built in acid barometer, lol. Coffee that sits on the heat definitely becomes more acidic, harsher tasting and the caffeine might become more concentrated too if the acid were not destroying it. But saving coffee at room temperature does not necessarily lose the caffeine if you have a low acid coffee. I believe Robusto beans also have much higher acidic content than most arabica, giving it less refined taste and destroying some of that extra caffeine. Another source of destroyng the caffene is in the roasting process. What degree heat are the beans at when roasting? My impression of Starbucks Coffee beans are generally roasted fast at higher heat, making them very dark and for my taste, burnt tasting and lacking in caffeine. I work nights and I need decent amounts of caffeine to make it, lol.

    2. caffeine

      The espresso companies all claim that when brewing espresso, cappuccino etc. The vacuum pump system actually extracts most of the caffeine leaving the espresso with a much lower content then a cup of regular coffee. They claim that one espresso contains less caffeine then 2 strong cups of coffee.
      hmmmmmmmm thumbs up for espresso!

  7. Espresso caffeine content

    I cannot point to definitive research you probably have not already located regarding this “dark roasting sublimates caffeine” topic. The many books in my coffee library perpetuate this myth without citing supporting scholarship although Corby Kummer cites the caffeine chapter of “Psychiatry/Diagnostic and Statistical Manual” 4th ed, 1994. However, there is one factor you might consider including in your discussion about espresso. Robusta beans contain twice as much caffeine as arabica beans. Most supermarket and office coffees are primarily cheap, caffeine-riddled robustas from Brazil. The better espresso blends are almost all 100% arabicas. The exceptions are the so-called northern Italian style espressos which contain 4-12% high-quality robustas to add color, body, crema, and distinctive flavor profiles. See Josuma and Espresso Vivace.

    cited works:
    Illy, Francesco & Riccardo. “The Book of Coffee” Abbeville Press, 1989. See page 14 for comparison of robusta and arabica caffeine content. See page 175 for descriptions of espresso blends.
    Davids, Kenneth. “Espresso: Ultimate Coffee” Cole Group, 1993. See page 50 for the “caffeine goes up the chimney” myth about dark roasting.
    Kummer, Corby, “The Joy of Coffee” Chapters, 1995. See page 163 for everything caffeine-ish.

    david bogie
    My claim to fame: “FAQ: Home Espresso Machines” as seen 1987-1994 on the pre-Web Usenet newsgroup

    1. re: Espresso caffeine content

      Welcome David.

      Sounds about right.

      I do want to make a comment on a very fine point. You said: "Most supermarket and office coffees are primarily cheap, caffeine-riddled robustas from Brazil." In the last handful of years the robusta vs. arabica distinction has hit middle America and many supermarket coffees are now 100% arabica. It’s still cheap garbage coffee but it is cheap arabica garbage coffee. I think it’s a good selling point when all a person knows is "arabica = good".
      As a side note the worse of the robusta actually comes from Vietnam and not Brazil. At least with Brazil there is some high quality arabica coming out of the country. Vietnam is pretty much a coffee wasteland as far as I can tell.

      Thanks for the comments. They are right on the head and worth a modification to the main article.

  8. caffeine content of coffee

    are those numers suppose to be mg./ oz? It looks like the espresso is and the other 2 are mg./8 or 12 oz cup. Can you clarify please.
    Also I have read a long string of answers and questions. I would like to add to it:
    Much of the information that follows I gleaned from detailed discussions with the owners and brew masters of Java Cofee and Tea Co. They have a shop in Houston for 30 years at least and a website. Each coffee is graded by acidity and mild-bold flavor. Between them, my nurse’s training which includes chemistry, and experience with coffee over the years, this is some information I have obtained:
    From my understanding of the chemistry of caffeine, it does not evaporate. Instead it is the acidty in the coffee that destroys the caffeine over time. Anyone who brews tea knows that tannic acid in the tea destroys the caffine, right? so you try to brew it to reduce the tannic acid production which enhances the caffeine content. Also the flavor and drinkability of the brew for those of us who have sensitive stomachs, as the taste of tannic acid is harsh. The lower acid coffees therefore generally have more caffeine, better taste, If you ask me. I have acid reflux and acidic coffee really upsets my stomach. So I have a built in acid barometer, lol. Coffee that sits on the heat definitely becomes more acidic, harsher tasting and the caffeine might become more concentrated too if the acid were not destroying it. But saving coffee at room temperature does not necessarily lose the caffeine if you have a low acid coffee. I believe Robusto beans also have much higher acidic content than most arabica, giving it less refined taste and destroying some of that extra caffeine. Another source of destroyng the caffene is in the roasting process. What degree heat are the beans at when roasting? My impression of Starbucks Coffee beans are generally roasted fast at higher heat, making them very dark and for my taste, burnt tasting and lacking in caffeine. I work nights and I need decent amounts of caffeine to make it, lol.

    * reply

    1. RE: caffeine content of coffee

      I can’t confirm or deny your claims about acidity and affeine. I have not seen any research that indicates this is the case but I can’t say I have seen anything to the contrary.

      Do remember when talking about coffee acidity does not refer to the ph of the coffee but to a taste profile. Think of wine not chemistry for this. Of course the ph also affects the flavor profile.

      Fast vs slow roasting both have their proponents. I’m not really sure what method Starbucks uses. They are big enough I would guess they would want to roast as fast as they can while still retaining their flavor profile. In my experience a faster air roast will leave more high flavor notes than a slower drum/convection roast at the same roast level but I can roast lighter with a slower drum roast and still get a good flavor profile with plenty of high notes ithout having the burnt notes I get in a faster roast. Having said all that too slow a roast is baking not roasting.

      One thing you might try if you want to reduce acidity (flavor and ph) is using a paper filters. That will also remove some flavor. I believe Kenneth Davids mentions this in one of his books.

  9. Minor confusion ….

    This is copied from your article above (2nd para):

    Robusta has about twice as much caffeine as robusta ….. 🙂


  10. Caffine strength

    I heard an interview a few years ago with a so called “coffee expert” on NPR and he said that the amount of caffine is determined by how the coffee is brewed. He stated the longer the coffee brews the more caffine results. He said perked is the strongest then drip and espresso from a pump machine (20 seconds). What I’ve read here is that it has less caffine but only in lesser portions than regular coffee. Someone please clear this up for me. I love espresso and full flavored coffees but my cardiologist says I need to drink decaf. 🙁

    1. RE: Caffine strength

      If your cardiologist says you need to drink decaf you need to drink decaf. End of story. There is no prep method that will have low or no caffeine in it. Espresso is similar in caffeine content to a cup of coffee but since it is in a smaller amount of liquid you actually feel the results faster.

      As for perk pulling out more of the caffeine, that may be true but it’s probably a few percent. Caffeine is fairly soluble in water so you will get your caffeine plus or minus a small amount regardless of prep method.

      1. if you want to enjoy coffee

        if you want to enjoy coffee and your heart can’t handle it, maybe it’s not just your heart. try to calm down for couple of weeks. do some autogenic training. do some more autogenic training. then, after that, enjoy coffee even more.

    2. just drink the decaf.

      just drink the decaf.
      you don’t wanna mess with your heart over a love for coffee. cause then your love will be short-lived, haha.

      1. Decaf/Cholesterol Warning


        I’ve read that tests showed decaf coffee raises cholesterol levels – bad news for your heart. I read the same thing years ago about salt-substitutes.

    3. Re: Caffeine Strength

      Why did you drink the coffee? Was it to wake you up? There are herbal alternatives that are also heart-friendly: like dandelion, or St. John’s Wort (although be careful about that one, as it will interact with any mood-enhancers you may or may not be taking…ask your doctor first). There’s a lady I work for at my local Renaissance Festival who blends herbal teas. You can order them from her website ( -edited- ). Let her know what you need 🙂 Was it for the taste? I loved coffee for the taste. When I started having heart problems from the caffeine I was taking in, I started using herbal remedies to sleepiness, and started taking a supplement of Vitamin D…and I switched to decaf. I still drink coffee/espresso regularly, without the jitter 🙂 I hope this helped 🙂 Best of Luck! -KA612

      1. oops 🙂

        My comment was not meant as a reply to the previous comment, but rather as a response to the article…

        -KA612 🙂

      2. Caffeine/decaf

        What decaf have you found that you like? I drink coffee for the taste, too, and with urinary incontinence (i have MS) etc., I am supposed to eliminate coffee (caffeine)_ and two favorite things!!
        Anyway, ur input is appreciated..

        1. NOT caffeine free!

          Be careful, decaf coffee does NOT mean that it has NO caffeine. It still has caffeine, just smaller amounts. So, switching to decaf does not eliminate your caffeine intake, it just lowers it.

      3. the more intake the more you have problems

        I have drake coffe for a long period of time. I feel drinking coffee is good for you but drink with moderation. anything that is too much will cause problems.

        I like coffee I like expresso a lot and other coffee . but good expresso has a good strong taste. but you will get use to it then you will lose the taste for it.

        been trying some Italien coffee too the best  you can buy.  I have got some Melitta Estate whole bean 100 percent arabica am trying. that has been a while I had tried that. its good with a little milk and sugar. it brings out the flavor. and it does wake you up.

    4. Decaf

      Most direct coffee services have decaf espresso varieties available, you just have to ask for it, or you can brew your own at home with decaf beans. With Starbucks you sometimes have to go to a Starbucks branch and not the one located in a Safeway store to get the decaf versions of the specialty lattès. I found home brewed coffee with the Folgers Simply Smooth Decaf is tasty.

  11. Mitul from Technology Blog

    You have a nice blog … I liked your blog very much. The contents are worth reading and I’ve found much valuable information from your post. My learning curve is increasing :-). Thanks for sharing such a nice post with us. Keep it up.

  12. Drip vs brew

    What differentiates brew from drip? All coffee is ‘brew’ed, but drip coffee uses a filter, where the coffee drips through a filter.

  13. Great job here. I really

    Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what you’ve said and still make it interesting. Well, at least I’m interested. Cant wait to see more of this from you.

  14. Thanks for sharing

    Thanks for sharing! People ask us the same thing all the time at our coffee shop in Frisco, TX. Glad to see that you took the time to research it. 


  15. Posting is wrong…

    I work for Nespresso, one of the biggest espresso companies in Europe.  An espresso that is 1.35 oz has LESS caffeine compared to drip coffee at 85 mg.  Espresso has 65 mg of caffeine, and the reason why it tasts so good is because its concentrated and being brewed by pressure. If you were drinking an espresso lungo (long espresso at 3.75 oz) its still less then drip coffee.. coming in at 75 mg.

  16. Caffeine content espresso vs drip or brew Coffee

    I am Chemical Engineer. Eventhogh I have never practice any chemical analysis to the coffee, but for years I have read information that the main cause of the higher caffeine content in dripping coffee compared to espresso is about the kind of coffee used. Usually for espresso, the coffee bean is toasted or roasted more profusely, and in Europe and some other countries is called “torrefacto”. It causes that the content of caffeine is less after being toasted. On the top of all, espresso powder is coarser after grinded, compared with  the very fine grindind used for most drip or brew coffee. This fine grinding allows a bigger contact area between powder and hot water, extracting even more the caffeine from the mix ( a process called “lixiviation”). Let’s explaingthe “contact area” better: If you have a piece of metal (iron for example) and you leave it outdoor it will get rusted all around its body, you can easily get the dimensions of the piece and have the contact area with the outdoor elements, but the inside part of this body will not be rusted. If you cut this mertal piece in very small pieces and get the total area of all of them you will have a bigger “contact area” comparing with the original piece. The same happens with the coffee grinded coarse or fine.

    So, I would like to know if ther is some kind of a serious study about the content of caffeine, but using the differentes scenarios. Because if I make brew coffee, using a “torrefacto” mix, grinded coarse it will not be the same than using a regular grind and less toasted coffee mix.

    1. The term “torrefacto” has

      The term “torrefacto” has nothing to do whatsoever with the level of roasting. It refers to the addition of SUGAR to the coffee while is roasted. Is typical of Spain psecifically, not Europe.

      1. This comment is absolutely

        This comment is absolutely wrong

        torrefaction is just the heating of the beans to make them easy to grind and remove the water for better storage. whether there is sugar or not has nothing to do with the process.

    2. espresso powder is coarser

      espresso powder is coarser after grinded, compared with  the very fine grindind used for most drip or brew coffee.>>


      Check your facts. The reverse is actually true with espresso being the finest grind

      1. I work at a coffee shop and

        I work at a coffee shop and have worked at several coffee shops for years and espresso is ground course not fine

        1. RE:I work at a coffee shop and

          You may work in a coffee shop but you are incorrect on this one. Espresso is a fine grind. 

    3. Content of caffine in coffee

      This is all very interesting?  I drink Greek style coffee.  Very fine grind started in a greek copper pot . Cold water is added to this pot ( 8 0z.  the pot is flared at the bottom and tapered to a much smaller opening )the water is never allowed to come to a boil it stays around 150* until the last few minutes when it will  come up to about 189-190 and starts to foam at which time the pot is removed from the pot.,,,would this type coffee have more or less caffiene?  I love this coffee.  I dont want to have to stop drinking it.  thanks   for any input.




  17. Caffeine and Expresso

    I was taking to Barrista who explained that Expresso can be made without Caffeine using the the right grind and water temprature  and brew time But he did say there were very few machines that achieve this He explained that intially pure coffee tast is released from the bean and the caffeine follows later Can anyone cofirm this

    1. RE: Caffeine and Expresso

      Your barista does not know what they are talking about. You can make decaf espresso but only if you use decaf beans. There is a decent chance this barista also does not have good technique if they are so ill-informed. Find a new shop.

      1. Hmmm…. I think this

        Hmmm…. I think this barista is actually talking sense, even if they may be exaggerating and taking things to extremes of extrapolation.

        Caffeine takes the longest to extract from coffee out of all the flavonoids, oils etc. By passing steam through faster (higher pressure) then less of this caffeine will be extracted.

        We use finer grinds for espresso so that there is more surface area, contact area, for extraction when passing the steam through so quickly. Reduce this surface area by using a less fine grind and of course less will be extracted with the slower extracting substances being effected the most (caffeine being the slowest).

        A combination of the two will yield a lower caffeine espresso and who’s to say, unless you have direct experience, that the caffeine in theory couldn’t be reduced to near decaf levels?

        Do you have such experience Daniel? I feel you may be making assertions that are above your level of knowledge here.. whilst also losing an experienced barista some deserved business.

        Due to this slower extraction of caffeine than any other substance from the coffee, slower brewing methods like filters or a cafetiere will extract more caffeine than faster ones such as using an espresso machine.

        Therefore it is NOT a myth that an espresso has less caffeine per amount of coffee used or per serving (however one wishes to gauge it). However, as with all comparisons, you need to compare like with like to gain any real meaning and it may be untrue depending on the detail. Google it and you’ll find most informed blogs and articles saying the opposite to you, they call it a myth that espresso is stronger in caffeine and explain why it is a myth.

        It would be more informative to say that the espresso method yields less caffeine, all things being equal, but that the actual level of caffeine across all methods depends upon the grind, the bean, the roasting etc

        1. Incorrect Chemistry

          You’re wrong about caffeine being one of the last to extract; most of the caffeine is extracted from the brew in the first  minutes (or even moments) of the extraction in hot water. Reference from Wikipedia: Pure anhydrous caffeine is a white colorless powder with a melting point of 227–228 °C. Caffeine is moderately soluble in water at room temperature (2 g/100 mL), but very soluble in boiling water (66 g/100 mL).[108] It is also moderately soluble in ethanol (1.5 g/100 mL).[108] 

          Basically, caffeine is REALLY soluble in boiling water, so it will extract out immediately. I can’t speak to the solubility of the flavanoids (caffeine is not a flavanoid, btw, it’s a xanthine derivative), but this barrista clearly does not know what he’s talking about.

          You could theoretically make a decaf cup of anything by tossing the first portion of the extract after it has passed through the grounds, then keeping the remaining extract.


          1. Espresso Temp

            Remember, espresso is made with high pressure, the water should not be boiling, just hot. So the caffeine will be a bit less than if it were made with boiling water.

    2. espresso isn’t a bean or a

      espresso isn’t a bean or a roast it is a method of production.  unless you make it in an espresso machine it isn’t espresso, no matter what it says on the bag.  you are simply blending two different coffees, one of them happens to be marketed as being good for making espresso.  blending different coffee can be great, if you came up with a combination you like, keep doing it.

  18. Espresso in Tampa

    I live in Tampa, and we get good espresso here. I buy espresso, and mix it with regular coffee, and use it in my drip coffeemaker. It works great. 

  19. does anyone know

    If you make an espresso AND a single-drip coffee with the exact same amount of the exact same type of coffee in each, which one has more caffeine? Not based on the kind of coffee or the amount of it, just on the way they’re brewed, which method gets more caffeine out of it????????????????? 

    1. Espresso and single drip caffeine difference.

      – SINGLE DRIP -To answer the question above as best as I can, caffeine Is derived over time, meaning the longer the “hot water” is going thought the coffee grinds the more caffeine is derived. Of course there’s only so much caffeine content in the amount of grinds being used as well as the roast playing a part. In short the single drip will have more caffeine. To elaborate a touch more, the dark roasted coffee tend to have less caffeine because the roaster “burns” some of the content out ( I’ve read ) but will have a stronger, more robust flavor that will pop right away. Where as the medium roast tends to have the most caffeine because the roaster heated the bean to the point that we could derive the most from it and have a full bodied rich flavor without kicking you in the teeth. The light roasted coffee have been heated enough to release most of the caffeine from the bean and has a soft subtle flavor, a great starter roast if you ask me.

      NOW If you’re looking for the most caffeine go with a medium roast, and get a pirculator set the switch to dark follow coffee sugested serving amounts and go with it, BUT be aware that you can get immune to it and caffeine will not all ways ” wake ” you up in the morn. Use it strong only when you need to for best results this is my study and I’ve been at it for 7 years same goes for energy drinks, ever wonder why they got super sized- because they quit working for the everyday users and big ones quit working too. Thanks for your time and sorry to rant!!!!

    2. SAme Amount

      Judging by the caffeine content table below the article, the same amount of each coffee would have quite a higher caffeine content in the espresso coffee.

  20. How do they measure that? or

    How do they measure that? or is it just an estimation for the amunt of coffee?

    if they measure the amount of caffeine after the process I would believe it.

  21. Is the torrefaction process for coffee safe? Please a yes or no answer. Each time I ask this question I get a dissertation on the process but no answer.

    1. Hey Barbara!

      Can you provide more information about what you mean by “Torrefaction”? When used in relation to coffee, “Torrefaction” simply means “roast” in the French language, and doesn’t denote anything special.

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