Which Coffee has the Most Caffeine Punch? – Truth Unveiled

Are you wondering which coffee has the most caffeine to keep you going throughout the day?

Generally, cold brew has the most caffeine content per serving, while espresso contains the most caffeine per volume.  But the answer to this question is more complex: the caffeine content is determined by various factors, such as the type of bean, the kind of roast, and the type of beverage. 

Keep reading to find out which coffee has the most caffeine and how to get a more caffeinated drink by tweaking these factors.

Type of Bean
Type of Roast
Type of Beverage
The Bottom Line

Type of Bean

Two of the four coffee bean species, Arabica and Robusta, are the most commonly used worldwide. 

Per 100 grams of coffee beans, robusta would contain approximately 2.3 grams of caffeine, while arabica would have 1.6 grams. Exelsa and Librica carry about 1.2 and 1 gram of caffeine per 100 grams of beans, respectively. 

As you can see, robusta beans have almost twice the amount of caffeine than Arabic. 

If you don’t know, robusta beans are used in most instant coffee brands because of their high caffeine content. Still, their flavor is much more bitter, sharper, and less acidic than arabica coffee beans, known for producing better quality coffee. 

Fun fact: the high caffeine content of robusta allows them to be pest-repellant, making them more accessible and cheaper to farm. 

Type of Roast

Let’s end the debate: Which roast has the most caffeine content? 

Although many would say dark roast has more caffeine content, the truth is that each coffee bean has the same amount of caffeine no matter the type of roast. But it’ll be different in a serving of coffee, depending on how you measure the beans. 

Two factors play a part here: mass and bulk

During the roasting process, coffee beans decline in mass and expand in volume, mainly due to water loss accompanied by other physical and chemical changes. This means that light-roasted beans have a larger mass and a smaller bulk compared to dark-roasted beans. 

As a result, measuring your beans by volume, like with measuring cups, light-roasted beans will produce a more caffeinated cup of coffee than with an equal portion of dark-roasted beans. In contrast, darker-roasted beans will have more caffeine if you count them by weight.

Type of Beverage

Caffeine content also depends on how coffee grounds are processed or brewed. The table below shows an overview of the caffeine quantity per serving and fluid ounce for the typical serving size of various popular coffee beverages.

We can see that espresso has the most caffeine per fluid oz..The high concentration of caffeine in this particular drink is due to the super fine grind size and the high pressures used. On the other hand, cold brew has the most caffeine per serving, mainly due to its longer steeping time. 

The espresso-based drinks, e.g., americano, macchiato, etc., all contain a base amount of two espresso shots. However, because it is diluted by other liquids such as water or milk, these drinks would generally have a lower caffeine quantity per fluid ounce. 

Lastly, the caffeine content for drip coffee would vary widely depending on the beans of your choice. 

Type Serving sizeCaffeine per servingServing size
Cold Brew16 oz200-400 mg
Average: 300 mg
12.5 – 25 mg
Drip coffee8 oz65- 120 mg
Average:  95 mg
8.13 – 15 mg
Espresso1 oz

40-80 mg
Average: 63 mg
40 – 80 mg
8 oz80- 160 mg
Average: 126 mg
10 – 20 mg
*Source: US FDA 

The Bottom Line

So, now you know the answer to the question “Which coffee has the most caffeine?” isn’t that simple. But basically, if you’re on a mission to brew a cup of higher caffeinated coffee, choose robusta beans, opt for a cold brew or espresso,  or simply use more coffee beans. 

It’s okay to use high-caffeinated drinks as a caffeine vehicle sometimes, but you should consider the healthy daily limits for it. Nonetheless, we hope this article helps you.  


Does Decaf coffee contain caffeine?

Decaf coffee contains caffeine, but only a very minute amount, usually about 2-5 mg per 8 oz serving. Before roasting decaffeinated coffee, most of the caffeine from the coffee beans is removed.

What is the recommendation for a safe daily caffeine intake?

Most health authorities recommend no more than 400 mg of caffeine daily for a healthy adult (1).  A daily intake of more than 1000 mg of caffeine can be dangerous to your health.

Photo of author


Mesphird Yang

I have been brewing and drinking coffee for almost 6 years now. At first, I was just dazzled by how baristas look and that's why I started learning. In the long run, I became obsessed with its charm. I have tried many coffee brewing methods, with different kinds of beans in various roast levels. If I could have more than 4 cups of coffee a day, I definitely would!

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