Like much of America, you might be a coffee lover. But not all drinks are the same when looking at caffeine content. Does the roast, type of bean or brewing method affect how much caffeine is in your cup of joe? We’ll discover what drink has the most caffeine and give recommendations on the best types of coffee for a jolt in the morning or mellow afternoon pick-me-up.
What Affects the Amount of Caffeine in a Drink?
The degree to which coffee beans are roasted affects the caffeine level. Though darker roasted beans have a more intense flavor, they actually have less caffeine than light roast. This is because the longer the beans are roasted, the more caffeine burns off. Light roasts can have 60% more caffeine than dark roasts when measured by volume!
Type of Coffee
There are two species of coffee plants that are available to us: Arabica or Robusta. Arabica was the first coffee plant to be discovered and makes up about 70% of all coffee produced in the world. Robusta is less common and used primarily in blends and instant coffee. Research has found that coffee extracted from Robusta beans typically contains twice the amount of caffeine compared to Arabica.
Learn more about the difference between Arabica and Robusta beans.
The way you brew your coffee will make a difference in how much caffeine is extracted, too. Instant, drip, French press and brewed coffee will have less caffeine than cold brew and espresso.
If you want to extract more caffeine out of your coffee, there are some tricks that you can try at home. Increasing your coffee to water ratio slightly, grinding your beans finer than normal, upping your water temperature or letting your coffee hang out in the French press a little longer all lead to higher caffeine extraction.
Don’t miss our list of caffeinated drinks, ranked from least to most caffeine.
What Drink Has the Most Caffeine?
With this freshly brewed knowledge, you can make an educated decision on what type of coffee best aligns with your needs. In general, lighter roasts and cold brews have more caffeine. So if you need to a big jolt of energy, try a cold brew made with a blonde roast. If you need a more mild lift, darker roasts brewed with a regular drip coffee maker will do you just fine.
That being said, it’s important to not go overboard, as overconsumption of caffeine can lead to insomnia, increased heart rate, anxiousness, headaches, dehydration and nausea. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day is generally considered a safe amount, though everyone responds to caffeine differently.
The average cup of coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine, but depending on the roast and brewing method, a single cup can have 200 mg or more! Have fun experimenting with different types of coffee—in moderation, of course.
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Frothy Cafe Bombon
I discovered this layered java beverage during my honeymoon in Spain. —Keri Hesemann, St. Charles, MissouriGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Easy Spiced Morning Mocha
This recipe is a delicious morning pick-me-up and still tastes great when made with low-fat milk.—Vicki Wright, Omaha, NebraskaGo to Recipe
Coffee with Cinnamon and Cloves
A quick-and-easy, fall-flavored coffee made with instant granules. What’s not to love about this special beverage? —Jill Garn, Charlotte, MichiganGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Creamy Caramel Mocha
Indulge in a coffeehouse-quality drink with this caramel mocha recipe. With whipped cream and a butterscotch drizzle, this treat will perk up even the sleepiest person at the table. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Comforting Coffee Milk
This recipe is special to me because the delicious ingredients and flavors speak for themselves without those extra preservatives. Now that’s refreshing! —Brenda Schrag, Farmington, New MexicoGo to Recipe
Holiday Peppermint Mocha
Make spirits bright with a minty mocha to share under the mistletoe or around the piano. I’ve also stirred in coffee liqueur instead of peppermint. —Lauren Brien-Wooster, South Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaGo to Recipe
Creamy Irish Coffee
My maternal grandma seldom drank more than a glass of champagne at Christmas, but she couldn’t resist my Creamy Irish Coffee. —Rebecca Little, Park Ridge, IllinoisGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Mocha Morning Drink
When I’m sipping this delicious coffee, I almost feel like I’m visiting my favorite coffeehouse. —Jill Rodriguez, Gonzales, LouisianaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Caramel-Chai Tea Latte
Inspired by the spicy chai drinks served at coffee shops, I whipped up a caramel-drizzled latte I can enjoy at home anytime. —Katelyn Kelly, Perryville, MarylandGo to Recipe
This isn’t your regular cup of Joe! Dress it up with chocolate, whipped cream and more, making it a drink to savor! —Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Hazelnut Mocha Smoothies
This smooth blend of coffee, cocoa and nutty flavors is better than any coffeehouse version we’ve tried. Try it, and we’re sure you will agree. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to Recipe
Iced Coffee Latte
This amazing alternative to regular hot coffee is much more economical than store-bought coffee drinks. Sweetened condensed milk and a hint of chocolate lend a special touch. —Heather Nandell, Johnston, IowaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Coconut Lover’s Frappe
I love frozen beverages, so I wanted to create one similar to those in coffee shops but without coffee as an ingredient. When I drink this frosty treat it’s as good as any specialty shop drink but without the hassle or the cost. —Emily Semmelrock, Jewett City, ConnecticutGo to Recipe
Sweet Kahlua Coffee
I have this beverage brewing in my slow cooker at my annual Christmas open house. I set out the whipped cream and grated chocolate in festive dishes so guests can help themselves to as much Kahlua-flavored coffee as they’d like.—Ruth Gruchow, Yorba Linda, CaliforniaGo to Recipe
Frosty Caramel Cappuccino
This frothy iced cappuccino is positively delicious for breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack or an after-dinner dessert. It’s also a great quick treat to serve with a plate of cookies for the holidays. To make the ice cream topping easier to drizzle, put it in a squeeze bottle, take the cap off and microwave for a few seconds. —Carol Mann, Summerfield, FloridaGo to Recipe
Honey Spiced Latte
We combine rich molasses, golden honey and a host of spices to create this warm and comforting beverage.—Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to Recipe
The blend of flavors—coffee, hazelnut and a bit of chocolate—make this drink absolutely sensational. It is great for breakfast or brunch, but is also wonderful for a quiet moment at the end of the day. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, TexasGo to Recipe
Irish Cream Coffee
A steaming cup of this jazzed-up coffee makes the perfect pick-me-up any time of day. Try experimenting with other liqueurs or creamers to give each cup new life. —Carol Fate, Waverly, IllinoisGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Hot Ginger Coffee
I like to sit by the fire and sip this coffee on a cold winter day. It’s a wonderful warmup after shoveling snow, skiing, skating or snowmobiling. —Audrey Thibodeau, Gilbert, ArizonaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
When my sister introduced me to iced coffee, I didn’t think I’d like it. Not only did I like it, I decided I could learn how to make an iced coffee recipe of my own. My fast-to-fix version is a refreshing alternative to hot java. —Jenny Reece, Lowry, MinnesotaGo to Recipe
Cinnamon Mocha Coffee
Most store-bought flavored coffees are expensive. Here’s a special early-morning beverage you can make at home. The aroma of cinnamon and cocoa makes this mocha coffee hard to resist. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, WisconsinGo to RecipeTaste of Home
When I tried this punch at a friend’s wedding shower, I had to have the recipe. Guests will eagerly gather around the punch bowl when you ladle out this frothy mocha ice cream drink. —Rose Reich, Nampa, IdahoGo to Recipe ⓘ