Wondering how much caffeine is in your beverage of choice? The answer may not be so obvious as you think. That's because coffee, tea, yerba mate and chocolate all naturally contain varying amounts of caffeine.
The good news? Colas and energy drinks have specific amounts of caffeine added to them, so it's easier to know how much caffeine is in them.
This guide to the caffeine levels outlines how much caffeine is in each of these drinks, including decaf coffee / tea, popular energy drinks, bottled iced teas, Starbucks coffees, "herbal teas" (or tisanes) and more.
Caffeine in Coffee
Many factors influence caffeine levels in coffee, so the amounts for each drink can vary widely. However, this general guide can help you determine approximately how much caffeine is in your coffee drink.
Drip Brewed Arabica Coffee (6 oz) - 80-130 mg (often around 110 mg)
Drip Brewed Robusta Coffee (6 oz) - 140-200 mg
- Drip Brewed Passiona Excelsa/Arabica Low-Caffeine Coffee Blend (6 fl oz) - 40-60 mg
- Drip Brewed Decaf Coffee (8 oz) - 2-12 mg, although testing has shown that decaf coffee levels are sometimes much higher
- Instant Coffee (8 oz) - 27-173 mg (often around 65 to 90 mg)
- Instant Decaf Coffee (8 oz) - 2-12 mg
- Dunkin' Donuts Coffee (16 oz) - 143-206 mg
- Einstein Bros. Coffee (16 oz) - 206 mg
- Percolated Coffee (5 fl oz) - 80-135 mg
- Starbucks Coffee Drinks - Varying levels; see this listing of Caffeine Levels of Starbucks Coffees for more information
You can cut down on caffeine from coffee with this video lesson on reducing caffeine in coffee.
Caffeine in Espresso
- Espresso, Single Shot - 29-100 mg (often around 75 mg)
- Espresso, Double Shot (or a 'Doppio') - 58-185 mg (often around 150 mg)
- Decaf Espresso, Single Shot - about 8 mg
- Decaf Espresso, Double Shot (Doppio) - about 16 mg
- Nespresso Espresso Capsules - 55-65 mg
- Nespresso Lungo Capsules - 77-89 mg
Caffeine in Tea
There are many factors influencing caffeine levels in tea, including brewing time / temperature, tea grade, and tea varietal.
Tisanes or "herbal teas" (including many of Celestial Seasonings' "teas") are usually caffeine free. Similarly, teas blended with other ingredients (such as mint green teas or masala chai) will often have lower caffeine levels than unblended teas.
Most studies show that black tea has between 40 and 120 mg caffeine per eight-ounce serving. Decaf black tea usually contains about two to ten mg of caffeine.
The information below comes from a very interesting article on tea and caffeine by Bruce Richardson, who has been instrumental in debunking caffeine myths surrounding tea. Each seven-ounce cup of tea was steeped for three minutes.
- Assam Black Tea (FTGFOP Grade) - 86 mg
- Bai Mu Dan / China White Tea - 75 mg
- Chinese Ti Kuan Yin Oolong - 37 mg
- Darjeeling Autumnal (SFTGFOP1 Grade) Darjeeling White Tea - 56 mg
For more information on caffeine levels depending on tea grade and tea brewing method, see Caffeine in Teabags vs. Loose-Leaf Tea.
For information on caffeine levels of Starbucks' / Tazo's tea drinks, see this listing of Starbucks tea / chocolate drinks' caffeine contents.
It is a myth that you can naturally decaffeinate tea at home.
Caffeine in Iced Teas
True iced teas (iced teas made with caffeine-containing Camellia Sinensis) contain caffeine. If you're looking for a caffeine-free iced tea, check out these caffeine free iced herbal "tea" recipes or stick to iced "teas" made with rooibos, chamomile, and other caffeine-free herbs.
Depending on how you brew homemade iced tea, it will contain varying amounts of caffeine. However, iced teas often contain a similar amount of caffeine to their hot tea counterparts.
Bottled iced teas also contain varying amounts of caffeine. Many Snapple Iced Tea varieties contain 42 mg of caffeine per bottle. Snapple flavors with 42 mg of caffeine include:
- Cranberry Twist
- Diet Lemon
- Diet Peach
- Diet Raspberry
- Very Cherry
Snapple's "Red Tea" line is made with rooibos and is naturally caffeine-free. Snapple's Diet Green Teas contain 60 mg of caffeine per bottle, while their regular Green Teas contain 30 mg of caffeine per bottle and their White Teas contain less than one mg of caffeine per serving. (There are two exceptions to this -- Lime Green and Diet Lime Green both contain five mg of caffeine per serving, or ten mg of caffeine per bottle.) Snapple's Just Plain Unsweetened and Lemonade Iced Tea both contain 18 mg of caffeine per bottle.
Arizona Iced Teas all contain caffeine. Their black teas have 15 mg of caffeine per eight-ounce serving. Their green teas contain 7.5 mg caffeine per serving. Their white teas contain six mg caffeine per serving.
Twelve ounces of Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea contain seven mg of caffeine, while 12 ounces of Nestea Iced Tea contain 26 mg of caffeine.
A teaspoon of generic, instant iced tea mix contains 27 mg of caffeine, while the same quantity of a decaf equivalent contains about one mg of caffeine.
Caffeine in Colas & Sodas
The caffeine levels listed below are for eight-ounce servings. They are in declining order.
- Pepsi Max / Diet Pepsi Max - 69 mg
- Mr. Pibb - 40 mg
- Sunkist Orange - 40 mg
- Wild Cherry Pepsi - 38 mg
- Pepsi-Cola / Pepsi Twist / Diet Pepsi Jazz - 37.5 mg
- Pepsi One - 37 mg
- Mountain Dew / Mountain Dew Code Red / Diet Mountain Dew - 37 mg
- Diet Pepsi - 36 mg
- CocaCola Zero - 35 mg
- Mello Yello - 35 mg
- CocaCola Classic / Cherry Coke / Lemon Coke / Vanilla Coke - 34 mg
- Tab - 31.2 mg
- Diet Coke - 30.4 mg
- Dr. Pepper / Diet Dr. Pepper - 27 mg
- Barq's Root Beer - 23 mg
Caffeine-free sodas include Mugg Root Beer, 7-Up, Sprite, Fresca, Fanta (all flavors), Slice and Sierra Mist.
Caffeine in Energy Drinks
- 5-Hour Energy Shot (2 oz) - 200-207 mg
- AMP (8.4 oz) - 74 mg
- Arizona Caution Energy Drink (16 oz) - 200 mg
- Enviga (12 oz) - 100 mg
- Full Throttle (16 oz) - 144 mg
- Jolt (12 oz) - 71.2 mg
- Monster Energy (16 oz) - 160 mg
- No Fear (8 oz) - 83 mg
- No Name (formerly known as "Cocaine;" 8.4 oz) - 280 mg
- NOS Energy Drink (16 oz) - 160 mg
- Red Bull (8.4 oz) - 80 mg
- Rip It Energy Fuel (16 oz) - 200 mg
- Venom Death Adder / Black Mamba / Killer Taipan / Mohave Rattler (16 oz) - 160 mg
- Xyience Xenergy (16 oz) - 184 mg
Caffeine in Chocolate & Chocolate Drinks
- Chocolate Milk (8 oz) - 4 mg
- Dark Chocolate (1 oz) - 20 mg
- Hot Chocolate / Hot Cocoa (8 oz) - 10-70 mg
- Milk Chocolate (1 oz) - 6 mg
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (1 cup / 168 grams) - 104 mg
- Slim-Fast Chocolate Beverages (1 serving) - 20 mg
- White Chocolate (1 oz) - 0 mg
- Yoo-Hoo (8 oz) - 0 mg
Caffeine in Other Drinks
- Many blended yerba mates (8 oz) - 20-35 mg
- Teabag yerba mate (one per 8 oz water) - 35-50 mg
- Loose-leaf yerba mate (1-2 Tbsp / 8 oz water) - 85 mg
- Guayaki Organic Energy Shots (2 oz bottle) - 140 mg
- Guayusa (8 oz) - 90 mg
Popular Caffeine-Free Drinks
- Barley 'Tea'
- Caraway Decoction
- Cardamom 'Tea'
- Chamomile 'Tea'
- Cinnamon Infusion / Decoction
- Fanta (all flavors)
- Fennel 'Tea'
- French Verveine (a.k.a. "Lemon Verbena") 'Tea'
- Fresca Soda
- Herbal Chai
- Herbal Water
- Lemon Balm (a.k.a. "Melissa")
- Lemon Water
- Mint (peppermint, spearmint, etc., but not Moroccan Mint, which typically contains green tea and, thus, caffeine)
- Mugg Root Beer
- Raspberry Leaf
- Rooibos (a.k.a. "Red Bush Tea")
- Rose (excluding rose-flavored black teas, green teas, white teas, etc.)
- Sierra Mist
See also: Caffeine-Free Herbal Tea Recipes