What coffee has the most caffeine in it?

Many are used to the coffee made from Arabica beans, which has the lowest caffeine concentration. However, the search for coffee with the highest concentration of caffeine or the highest caffeine content began with the search for better-tasting coffee with highly caffeinated Robusta beans.

The coffee brands with the strongest taste and highest content of caffeine are now becoming popular in some parts of the world, especially with the popularity of the world’s strongest cup of coffee competition and other related events. However, there is a difference between a strong tasting cup and the most caffeinated coffee.

Coffee with most caffeine is not always your choice but sometimes, depending on situations, you might prefer dark roast for instance if you want a quick jolt or want just a cup a day and not any more. Most people prefer coffee with high concentration since it renders a rapid boost, especially in the morning.

Nevertheless, there are more misconceptions about the amount of caffeine in coffee than there is truth. Based on the discussion, the amount of caffeine in coffee will depend on several factors including type of beans - this being the largest determinant - amount of coffee used, the roasting method and whether it is a drip or cold brew method.

This article answers the question of what coffee has the most caffeine in it?

Coffee bean type and caffeine content

coffee beans on cup

The real difference in determining the amount of caffeine to have in coffee is the type of bean you go for. Robusta and Arabica are the main contestants in this race and Robusta appears to win. Some Robusta beans have double while others have four times the amount of caffeine in them.

Robusta is more resistant to pests and is easy to cultivate compared to Arabica. The beans are usually found in cheaper blends and instant coffees. Unfortunately, this kind has no greater flavor profile compared to Arabica.

Coffee made from Robusta beans will therefore deliver a quick jolt and this is what you get at the gas station morning coffee in most cases.

However, most coffeehouses stick with the Arabica beans given the lower quality flavor in Robusta coffee. Arabica contains complex flavors and delivers better results for light, medium, and dark roasts. It is bitter compared to Robusta. These complex flavors come from low caffeine content.

It comes down to what you are expecting and want in coffee. If you prefer more punch, then it may be likely that Robusta is more preferable but if you want tastes, then Arabica should be your choice.


Although Arabica and Robusta are two different brands at the two extremes, many coffee houses use the power of blending to deliver completely different results than the two extremes. Nevertheless, the blends are also suited to a certain end, for instance, taste or more punch.

The other extreme of the two is the decaffeinated coffee, which some people think does not have any coffee at all. Decaffeinated coffee is probably a brand familiar with pregnant women because of the thought that it doesn’t have any caffeine at all.

The saying goes that decafs help reduce risks related to taking caffeine at pregnancy. This is not usually the case, and as long as the right amount of caffeine is taken - say 5 cups in a day max, there may not be any negative effects of taking caffeine.

Most decafs are treated before roasting to reduce the amount of caffeine in coffee beans. Components used to treat coffee this way include water, carbon dioxide or solvents. For this reason, decafs have 97% of the caffeine removed from them although they still will have around 5-10 milligrams depending on the type of beans and the process used in removing the caffeine.

Type of brew and caffeine amount

pouring cold brewed coffee

Coffee drinkers know the type of roast they brew determines the amount of caffeine in the coffee. However, while this is true, it might not necessarily make a very big difference.cTaste preference, by far, is used by many to choose coffee with the highest amount of caffeine.

Dark roasts

Dark roasts are believed to be the ones with the highest amount of coffee because of the dark brew they give. Dark roasts have bold tastes compared to lighter roasts, which have floral or citrus overtones. Many associate these overtones and florals with weaker coffee. This does not mean dark roasts will necessarily have more caffeine than light roasts. Sometimes they do have less.

Light roasts

Coffee drinkers sometimes think that the process of roasting will burn some and reduce the amount of caffeine in the coffee. By this argument, it goes that darker blends have lesser caffeine content. This may have some bit of truth in it although, in truth, roasting will remove very little caffeine in it.

When beans are roasted, they expand. Those roasted for a longer period will lose more water. They then will grow larger and less dense. Thus lightly roasted beans may have a larger content of caffeine by volume.

Amount or weight of beans

The amount of beans may determine the amount of caffeine in it although there is less difference when you measure the two types.

Method used to brew

The method of brewing will again determine the amount of caffeine in the coffee, although again this is not as of much difference as you might think. Does a shot of espresso have more caffeine than a mug of drip coffee?

Caffeine content in coffee will increase per serving with the increase in the duration of the brewing method. For instance, you can expect about 40 milligrams of caffeine from 1 ounce shot of espresso and 120 mg of caffeine from a 12 oz mug of drip coffee. Espresso is, therefore, superior in terms of the amount of caffeine when you consider this factor.

Cold-brew coffees versus drip coffees

Since they contain a higher coffee/water ratio, cold brew coffee is superior compared to drip coffees in terms of the amount of caffeine they have. This, however, will depend on how you brew and how much is diluted. Different people have different brewing and diluting preferences. You are recommended to base the decision of brewing method on your taste preference.