September 7, 2007, Newsletter Issue #124: Some Factors Add Caffeine To Decaf Beans

Tip of the Week

Decaffeinated coffee is at least 97 percent caffeine-free, with an average of 2-3 mg. of caffeine, but there are several factors that can slightly alter the caffeine level of your cup of decaf coffee.

Those factors include:

Blend composition

Brewing extraction rates


Roast color

Water temperature

Higher extraction rates, warmer water, a finer grind, and a lighter roast all result in a higher caffeine level in decaf coffee. This could potentially increase the caffeine level from approximately 2 mg to 6 mg per cup.

Even should these factors increase the amount of caffeine, your decaf coffee will still have far less than the caffeine per cup in regular coffee. It will even have less caffeine than some 1-ounce servings of chocolate.

How does the caffeine in decaf compare with other foods and beverages?

Coffee, 8-ounce drip: 104-192 mg.

Tea, 8-ounce brewed: 20-90 mg.

Iced tea, 8 ounces: 9-50 mg.

Soft drinks, 8 ounces, 20-40 mg.

Cocoa Beverage, 8 ounces, 3-32 mg.

Milk chocolate, 1 ounce: 3-32 mg.

Dark Chocolate, 1 ounce; 5-35 mg.

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