Some folks order decaf. Others crave the rocket fuel. Whatever your preference, the stimulating (and mildly addictive) effects of caffeine are an undeniable part of every coffee-drinking experience.
Occurring naturally in certain plants and seeds, caffeine arouses some of the body’s processes, suppressing appetite and making you feel more focused by binding to adenosine receptors in the brain that regulate drowsiness.
After quaffing between 20 and 200 mg, you’re likely to feel more alert, energetic, and social. Research has also suggested that caffeine can help the body break up fat stored in liver cells. Just don’t overdo it! Consuming more than 250 mg of caffeine at a time may produce jitteriness and stomach upset in some drinkers.
So, how much is in your cup of morning joe? Caffeine content varies widely depending on the type of bean, type of roast, and brewing method you choose, but we can offer a few guidelines.
For starters—despite the name—decaffeinated drinks carry about 2 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. By comparison, brewed coffee contains an average of about 80–100 mg of caffeine in the same size cup, while a double-shot of espresso packs roughly 80 mg into a more compact serving.
Want something with more kick? A 12-oz cup of refreshing cold brew can contain as much as 150–240 mg of caffeine.
Just remember, each person’s taste and tolerance is different. Sample a few drinks for yourself and see what the buzz is all about.