What Type of Coffee Has the Most Caffeine?

Do you feel like your usual cup of coffee doesn't wake you up anymore? Or just the opposite, you're feeling anxious after just a single brew cup? Well, that's probably because of the caffeine levels. You might want to change the type of brew or beans, to make sure you get just the effect you need from your coffee. Let's look into what type of coffee has the most caffeine.

What Types of Coffee Are There?

You probably know that there are more than just a few types of coffee. The beans, the roast, and even the grind of the coffee can determine the amount of caffeine it has. While there isn't much you can do about the grind, as most coffee makers only work with one type of grind, you can experiment with the different types of beans and how darkly they are roasted. 

How Does the Type of Brew Affect Your Coffee?

There are two main types of brew: hot and cold. While there are plenty of ways you can hot brew a cup of coffee that we will look into in a bit, there is only one way to make cold brew.

Cold Brew

It's done by leaving your coffee in water overnight, removing the grind, and then diluting it if it is too strong for you. There are a few ways to control how strong your brew will turn out. 

  1. Change how long your coffee stays in the fridge. The longer you keep the coffee and water in the refrigerator, the higher the level of caffeine in your coffee will be. There is, of course, a limit to how strong it will turn out, as there is only as much caffeine that you can extract from the beans, but you wouldn't even want to reach it.
  2. Change the water to coffee ratio. Your coffee will have a less intense flavor by adding more water to your mix. Also, you will have more coffee to drink, so you won't have to make another batch for longer.
  3. Dilute the coffee. Once you take your coffee out of the fridge, what you have is concentrate. Therefore, you will probably want to dilute it to taste better and have a more moderate caffeine level.
  4. Change the type of beans. There are two main types of beans you can use the make coffee: Robusta and Arabica. We will look into each one's pros and cons a bit later.

Hot Brew

It's an entirely different story when it comes to hot brewing coffee. There are many ways you can make coffee with hot water. Generally, the higher the pressure and finer the grind, the stronger the coffee. We went through some of the most widely spread types of coffee and compared them to each other to show you what are the strongest.

  • Espresso. This is one of the strongest types of coffee you can find. It is one of Italy's most widely spread brews, and there's a good reason for it. It has a fantastic and robust taste. A cup of espresso has around 70-75 mg of caffeine, and you should know that it's only around an ounce. On top of all that, it has delicious crema that most coffee enthusiasts love.
  • Moka Coffee. Another type of hot brew that has a lot of caffeine. Here, the pressure generated to extract your coffee is significantly lower than the one in an espresso machine. For that reason, the coffee is a bit weaker and has almost no crema. It's still strong, though, as one ounce of Moka coffee has around 60 mg of caffeine, enough for most people.
  • French Press. The French press is one of the most widely spread ways to make coffee. It has a great flavor, is easy to make, and gives you a personal brewing experience. It's also significantly stronger than other types of coffee and has around 10-17mg of caffeine per ounce.
  • Drip Coffee. If you make coffee at home, it's probably drip. This is the most widely spread type of coffee in The US because it's cheap and easy to make. Even though it's delicious, it doesn't contain a lot of caffeine. One ounce of drip coffee will only have 8-15 mg of caffeine, so you will probably want to have more of it to get the energy boost you need.
  • Instant Coffee. Most coffee aficionados wouldn't enjoy a cup of instant coffee. Not only does it not taste as well as other types of coffee, but it also has very little caffeine, averaging at around 7 mg per ounce.
  • Decaf. Even decaf coffee has some caffeine in it. It's very little, though, and you won't probably feel its effect, as the average amount of caffeine per cup of decaf coffee is around 1 mg per four ounces.

How Much Caffeine in the Different Types of Beans?

Both the Arabica and the Robusta coffee beans have good and bad sides. Depending on your preferences, one could be better for you than the other. First, let's look into what kind of coffee you might enjoy more.

Arabica Beans

The Arabica coffee beans are arguably the best type of coffee you can get for a fair price. They have a complex mixture of flavors, which is why most coffee places use them. However, for good or bad, the Arabica beans' caffeine level is significantly lower than Robusta.

If you like your coffee strong and mainly drink it to wake up in the morning, you might want to pass on the Arabica beans. You can also have a second or a third cup of coffee or mix your Arabica beans with Robusta.

Robusta Beans

The Robusta coffee beans have nearly twice the amount of caffeine the Arabica beans have. It's also cheaper to cultivate as the higher caffeine level means it's more resistant to pests. These beans are usually used for instant coffee or in the cheaper blends.

As we already mentioned, this high level of caffeine comes at a price. The price you will have to pay for the high level of caffeine is the taste. Robusta coffee is more bitter and doesn't have such a pleasant mixture of flavors. So if you drink coffee for the taste, you might want to stick to Arabica.

How Does The Roast Affect the Caffeine per Cup?

No matter which type of coffee beans you go for, there is one more thing you should consider, and that's whether it's a light or a dark roast. 

Light Roast

Even if it sounds somewhat counterintuitive, lighter roasts have a higher caffeine level. As caffeine is not produced by roasting the coffee, burned off; the more it's roasted, the less caffeine there will be. 

The burning off of caffeine is not the only reason lighter roasts have more caffeine. While they're being roasted, coffee beans expand, and water evaporates. This makes the coffee beans larger and less dense, giving you less caffeine.

The taste of the light roast coffee is floral and even sweet at times. However, as it's roasted for less time, the beans don't lose as much of their natural taste.

Dark Roast

Dark roasts were roasted for longer. So, while they have a more intense, even bitter at times, flavor, a cup of coffee made with them contains less caffeine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Espresso a High Caffeine Coffee?

Yes, espresso has a lot of caffeine. This is why an average cup of espresso is tiny, as that's all you need to get your energy levels back up. If it's not enough, you can always go for an extra one, but we wouldn't recommend having more than three per day.

How Many Coffees per Day Is Too Many?

You are the one who defines how much coffee is too much. Some high caffeine brews can be dangerous if consumed in larger amounts, but generally, the rule is not more than 150-200 mg of caffeine per day. This translates to two or three cups of espresso. 

If you have a history of heart conditions or are not feeling well, after having a cup of coffee, you should consult a doctor.

Final Thoughts

Coffee became the second most widely spread drink globally for a good reason. It’s like a magic potion that gives you the energy you need in minutes. Different types of coffee give you different amounts of energy. While espresso gives you a great kick start to the day, we can’t say the same about instant coffee. 

One of the best ways to boost yourself for the day ahead is with Moka pot coffee. It is easy to make, only takes a few minutes to brew, and, as you saw, has a lot of caffeine per cup. So check out our high-quality Moka pots in our store.