Skip to content

How Much Caffeine Is In Coffee? Caffeinated Drinks Ranked From Highest To Lowest

July 30, 2020

Caffeine—and how individuals react to it—can be confusing. Some people rely on coffee to stay awake; others can drink it before bed without a problem. Before figuring out how your own body reacts to caffeine, it's important to understand how much you're actually consuming. 

To find out how different caffeinated drinks stack up, mbg spoke with integrative medicine doctors and registered dietitians. Here's how much caffeine is in coffee, tea, matcha, and more—plus the health benefits of each.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Caffeinated drinks ranked highest to lowest.

These different caffeine levels are based on one cup (8 oz.) of each beverage, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food database1

1.

Cold Brew: 96 mg caffeine 

Cold brew has less acidity than brewed coffee, making it easier on the gut and less likely to cause acid reflux. While the USDA says cold-brew coffee and regular brewed coffee have the same amount of caffeine, that may not always be the case. 

"Because cold brew requires more coffee grounds and a longer steeping time than regular coffee, it may have more caffeine per cup than a typical brew," registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen, R.D., once told mbg. However, if diluted with water or milks, the caffeine content may equal out. 

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
2.

Brewed Coffee: 96 mg caffeine 

Regular brewed coffee may have one of the highest levels of caffeine, but registered dietitian Titilayo Ayanwola, MPH, R.D., L.D., says despite the caffeine, coffee is a good source of antioxidants. 

Along with antioxidants, like the anti-inflammatory compound chlorogenic acid2, coffee has also been shown to have a beneficial impact3 on brain health, fatty liver, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, integrative medicine doctor Marvin Singh, M.D., tells mbg.

3.

Latte: 86.4 mg caffeine 

Lattes are generally higher in sugar than black coffees, especially when they're flavored. According to registered dietitian and diabetes educator Luisa Sabogal, RDN, M.S., CDE, lattes also contain fewer antioxidants than iced or cold-brewed coffee.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
4.

Iced Coffee: 74.4 mg caffeine

Iced coffee is often confused with cold-brew coffee, but they're made by different processes. Iced coffee is essentially the same as hot brewed coffee but may be better suited for warmer weather since it's served cold, over ice. Cold-brew coffee is more concentrated and, therefore, contains more caffeine.

5.

Matcha: 70 mg caffeine

Matcha is a type of green tea that has been ground into a powder. Of all the drinks on the list, Sabogal calls matcha the healthiest. "It contains the greatest amount of antioxidants (catechins-EGCG)4 as the entire leaf is used, resulting in greater antioxidant content compared to hot green tea or black tea," she says. 

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
6.

Black Tea: 48 mg caffeine 

The antioxidants in green tea may not be as powerful as green tea, but the beverage still has a lot of health benefits. "Hot black tea has been shown to promote overall health5, such as reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels," Sabogal says.

7.

Green Tea: 28.8 mg caffeine 

Hot green tea is a mild-tasting beverage with a moderate amount of caffeine and a high number of health benefits. "Green tea is loaded with antioxidants6 that have many beneficial effects as well, such as helping with brain function, lowering the risk of heart disease, and potentially protecting against cancer," Singh says. Plus, habitual green tea drinkers may even live longer.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
8.

Decaf Coffee: 0 to 15 mg caffeine 

For people who are pregnant, decaf coffee may seem like a great alternative, Ayanwola says, but it still contains trace amounts of caffeine. "Even small amounts of caffeine add up over time if you consume multiple servings," she says. 

Those who are simply trying to cut back on caffeine may switch to decaf and then slowly remove coffee altogether, to help reduce caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

9.

Herbal Tea: 0 mg caffeine 

For those looking to eliminate caffeinated drinks altogether, Ayanwola recommends herbal tea. This is a good way to get the comfort of a warm mug, without the caffeine. Herbal teas include chamomile, ginger, fennel, peppermint, and turmeric teas. Bonus: Many of these can also help reduce bloat and stomach discomfort.

Bottom line.

The recommended daily intake of caffeine is 400 mg or less. "There may be unhealthy side effects if you drink too much caffeine all at one time," Singh says, like jitters or a crash in energy. To avoid those outcomes and, instead, experience sustained benefits throughout the day, he recommends microdosing caffeine.