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How Much Caffeine Is There in Coffee?

Many of us reach for a coffee not just for the flavour, but for the caffeine hit. For that morning wake-up, mid-morning pick-me-up, lunchtime boost, mid-afternoon energy hit, or after-dinner digestif.

Once we get into a habit, it can be hard to break. We can struggle to start our day or get on with our to-do list until we’ve had that cup of coffee (or five).

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that works by blocking the neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain making you feel tired. It can work in as little as 20 minutes, but the full impact is felt over an hour. Caffeine can be helpful in preventing drowsiness and in curing headaches (paracetamol can be bought together with caffeine).

You may have heard of Arabica and Robusta coffee. There is more Caffeine in Robusta than Arabica. Caffeine is an insecticide - it prevents bugs eating the coffee cherries. Robusta is grown at lower altitudes than Arabica, where there are more bugs, hence more caffeine.

At Capital, our coffee blends are either 100% or majority Arabica coffee.

But how much caffeine is actually in coffee? Does it differ depending on the type of coffee you are drinking? 

In the UK, guidelines state that adults should have no more than 400mg of caffeine per day. This comes down to 200mg for pregnant women, and just 2.5mg for children.

So how much caffeine is in coffee?

Let’s start small – an espresso is around 40ml and contains approximately 63mg of caffeine, meaning you could have around 7 in a day and be within your allowance (we don’t necessarily recommend this!).

Espresso is more concentrated than other coffees but because the serving size is so small, the caffeine per portion is less than in a cup of filter coffee, for example.

The caffeine content in a latte, cappuccino or other espresso-based coffee is similar to a single espresso, since milk and water doesn’t contain any caffeine.

Most high street coffee shops use a double shot of espresso in their milky drinks, so you are looking at around 125mg of caffeine in your drink.

Many of us drink filter coffee made with a cafetiere or AeroPress on a day to day basis, and as the base for any iced coffees we drink.

The caffeine content in a regular cup of coffee made in this way varies, depending on the method of brewing, but is generally between 90 and 140mg – meaning you can have around 4 cups of coffee within your daily allowance.

Remember, this assumes you aren’t getting caffeine anywhere else – there is caffeine in tea, soft drinks and chocolate, as well as among other food and drinks, so ensure you are watching your whole intake, not just your coffee.

Decaffeinated Coffee

If you are trying to cut down on your caffeine intake, decaf could be the way to go. Decaf coffee isn’t completely caffeine-free, but has had about 97% of the caffeine removed, so your cup of filter coffee could have as little as 3mg of caffeine. Here at Capital Coffee, our South American blend is decaffeinated but retains all the signature flavour of Capital coffee.

We also offer decaf capsules, which can be used with Nespresso machines. Bonus – they are completely compostable, so you can feel good about doing your bit for the environment too.