How Much Caffeine Is in Coffee?

We heard that caffeine content can vary by brew method. Here's what we discovered about the amount of caffeine in drip coffee, French press coffee, Keurig K-Cups and more.

It doesn’t matter if you slept like a baby or were up all night with one; most of us want to jump-start our mornings with a perfect cup of coffee. Cradling a warm mug and smelling your freshly brewed pick-me-up is a morning ritual we look forward to. We crave that little (or large) jolt of energy and alertness.

But how much caffeine in coffee do you need to open your eyes in the morning? Turns out the type of coffee and its brewing method matters.

PSA: Be sure to avoid these common mistakes when brewing coffee.

infographic depicting how much caffeine is coffee based on different types of coffee preperations per an 8 ounce servingSydney Watson/Taste of Home

The Amount of Caffeine in Coffee

From drip to French press to cold brew, each brewing method has a different amount of “extraction.” This refers to how much caffeine is extracted from the coffee bean for your drink.

Coffee drinks that soak the beans like Turkish coffee are stronger than pour-over methods because the water has more time to absorb the coffee’s caffeine. Another factor that affects the caffeine content is the size of the grind. Finely ground coffee beans produce a more caffeinated coffee because they have a larger surface area overall and a higher extraction. Finally, the hotter the water used to brew, the more extraction and thus more caffeine your coffee will have.

See how much fuel is in all your favorite caffeinated drinks.

Caffeine in a Keurig Cup

75-150 mg caffeine per 8-ounce cup

Single-serve coffee makers like Keurig produce coffee that is slightly lower in caffeine than traditional drip coffee. Keurig machines can produce hotter water than most coffee makers, but the water is only in contact with the coffee grinds for a short period of time.

Find out how often you should be cleaning your Keurig.

Caffeine in French Press Coffee

80-135 mg caffeine per 8-ounce cup

Hosting a bridal shower or friends’ brunch? Place a French press coffee maker on the table for delicious coffee and an elegant touch. Just don’t expect the guests to get too lively. French press coffee is low in caffeine because the grinds are so large. They have to be, otherwise, you’d be left with a cup full of coffee grounds.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to use a French press.

Caffeine in Drip Coffee

165 mg caffeine per 8-ounce cup

A cup of regular drip coffee from a coffee maker hits the spot in the morning but won’t give you much caffeine compared with other methods. The water in coffee makers doesn’t get very hot, so less caffeine will be extracted. The coffee grinds for a traditional coffee maker are larger than other varieties, too. If a classic cup of coffee is all you need to wake up, be sure to invest in one of the best coffee makers.

Caffeine in Pour-Over Coffee

175 mg caffeine per 8-ounce cup

If you’re feeling fancy, treat yourself to a pour-over coffee at home or from your local craft coffee shop. The coffee grinds in pour-over coffee are larger; otherwise, the water would pool in the grounds and never make its way down to your mug. Pour-over can give you more caffeine than drip because of the water temperature; it requires extra hot water to brew.

Caffeine in Cold Brew Coffee

155 mg caffeine per 8-ounce cup

The amount of caffeine in a glass of cold brew coffee will vary depending on how concentrated your brew is. Cold brew coffee uses coffee grounds soaked in water, which usually yields a high-caffeine drink. However, because they’re brewed in cold water, the extraction is much lower than in hot. Cold brew is usually diluted with water or milk, so the more dilution, the less caffeine per sip.

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Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.