Medicinally, caffeine is considered as the most commonly consumed drug in the world. People from all over the world drink tea or coffee as a daily ritual to either induce wakefulness, reduce fatigue while improving focus and concentration. And while consuming caffeine in low to moderate doses is considered generally safe and has various proven health benefits, doing the same in large quantities can become a potential risk factor in certain health problems. To gauge if habitual coffee drinking is adding in too much caffeine into the system, it is best to get an idea of how much coffee you may be drinking daily. This is especially important if you are bothered by frequent headaches, anxiety and restlessness and are dousing yourself in coffee or tea to find relief.
To have an idea of how much caffeine may be part of your daily consumption here is a breakdown of some of the most common ways of consuming caffeine. Figures estimate that consuming as little as 200 mg of caffeine a day can lead to addiction. In one cup of brewed coffee, the caffeine content can easily come up to between 95-200 mg.
In an ideal situation, no more than one cup of coffee should be consumed per day, but coffee drinkers knew that that is not the case. In fact, for many people, having 3-5 cups of coffee is the norm. This means consuming way more coffee than is recommended by the FDA.
Additionally, much caffeine is in coffee can also be influenced by the method that it has been prepared. These figures can vary between brewed and caffeinated, and brewed and decaffeinated. Likewise, coffee prepared espresso style when compared to instant coffee will also reveal a different coffee content for each serving. When prepared black or as a specialty drink like a latte, cappuccino or mocha, the amount of caffeine present in each beverage will also be different.
How Much Caffeine in Decaffeinated Coffee?
In order for coffee to pass off as decaffeinated, 97% of its caffeine content should have been removed. As a result, an 8 oz. cup of decaf coffee should have no more than 5 or fewer mg of caffeine in it. This is substantially less than the range of 95-200 mg of caffeine found in one cup of brewed coffee. While decaffeinated coffee or any other products labeled decaffeinated are not necessarily completely free of caffeine, the lower content does allow users to enjoy the full taste but without any of the jitters associated with caffeine consumption.
How Much Caffeine in Iced Coffee?
Another rather popular way of consuming coffee is to drink it cold in a beverage known as iced coffee. It is a popular caffeinated drink, especially during hot summer months. The caffeine content in this beverage is determined by a number of factors such as brewing strength, the duration of brewing and the quality of coffee used. Interestingly enough, additives like ice, the amount of milk, cream or other products will also affect its caffeine content.
How Much Caffeine in Coffee Beans?
The caffeine content in coffee beans is not the same for all types of beans. Certain varieties of coffee beans are known to have a higher caffeine content than others. This means that that the resulting coffee will also display fluctuations in its coffee content.
Coffee in the U.S usually contains one or a combination of more types of beans. For instance, certain brands of coffee may use the strong Robusta bean or pair it up with the more delicate and sweeter Arabica bean. Remember that Robusta beans typically have twice the amount of caffeine than Arabica beans. However, their strong taste is usually considered mediocre and is matched up with other varieties to make up for taste. In terms of numbers, the Robusta has 2.7% caffeine content compared to the Arabica bean which has a caffeine content of 1.5%.
To get a stronger coffee flavor, many brands marketing instant coffee like Maxwell House or Folgers tend to use Robusta blends whereas others such as coffee houses like Starbucks or Caribou prefer to use Arabica beans.
Coffee beans can also be decaffeinated by softening the beans with water and using a substance to extract the caffeine. The target here is to extract the caffeine to reduce how many mg of caffeine are present in coffee, but with minimal loss of flavor. And while removing 97 % of the caffeine from beans, Robusta beans will still retain more caffeine content than Arabica beans in their respective decaffeinated varieties.
This makes it important to look at the type of bean going into your coffee especially if you are looking to cut back on caffeine.
How Much Caffeine in Coffee and Tea?
A lot can be said about the caffeine content in coffee versus tea but it is important to know that certain factors influence the amount of caffeine consumed when drinking the same quantity of either tea or coffee. For instance, while tea may have more caffeine than coffee in its dried form, only 2 grams of tea are used to prepare an 8 oz. cup while about 10 grams of coffee are needed to prepare the same in 8 oz. of water. This instantly raises the amount of caffeine in an 8oz. serving of coffee.
To determine caffeine in coffee vs black tea, one cup of brewed coffee yields between 95-200 mg of caffeine and the same amount of tea yields 14-70 mg.
But even amongst prepared teas, caffeine content can vary greatly. For instance, black, oolong green and white tea may all have a similar caffeine profile, but a tea steeped in boiling water for five minutes is going to transfer a lot more caffeine to the cup than another steeped for two minutes at a lower temperature. This can give an idea of the content of caffeine in coffee vs green tea. While a cup of brewed coffee yields 150 mg of caffeine, an 8oz serving of green tea can contain between 24-45 mg of caffeine content.
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Image One by Christopher Michael – https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/13670658095/
Image Two by Cheryl Foong – https://www.flickr.com/photos/cherylfoong/8249906174/
Image Three by Br3nda – https://www.flickr.com/photos/taniwha/5217490648/