March 14, 2008, Newsletter Issue #151: Caffeine Amount in Espresso

Tip of the Week

It's a common misconception that espresso has more caffeine than regularly brewed coffee. The average single shot of espresso (made with arabica) contains between 45 and 70 mg of caffeine. A 12 ounce cup of instant coffee can have as much as 350mg of caffeine.

However, since espresso doesn't refer to a type of coffee, but rather the brewing method used to make it, how much caffeine in it will depend upon the beans used. Robusta coffee beans contain 40-50% more caffeine than arabica coffee beans. In Italy, many espresso blends are based on dark-roasted robusta.

If you're concerned about how much caffeine is in your espresso drink, ask your barista whether they use arabica, robusta, or a blend. Or ask them to make your espresso with decaf.

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