Ah, caffeine. This beloved chemical makes our morning coffee so much more than a flavorful way to begin the day.
Cold brew is notorious for being filled with caffeine. It is marketed as the go-to coffee choice when you need an extra jolt. But, does cold brew have more caffeine?
Keep reading to find out.
How Much Caffeine Is In Cold Brew?
The caffeine content of cold brew varies greatly. You can buy a cold brew ready-to-drink at a supermarket, from a coffee shop, or make cold brew coffee concentrate yourself. Each option can have widely different amounts of caffeine.
For example, Stok Cold Brew has 145mg of caffeine per serving. A bottle of Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee has 279mg per serving. As a too high example, Bizzy Cold Brew has 750 mg per serving (1); however, this is not a typical caffeine level for a cold brew.
From Starbucks, a tall cold brew coffee has 155mg of caffeine. In comparison, a similar drink at Dunkin Donuts has 174mg per serving (1).
400mg is regarded as a safe intake of caffeine per day, so most of these beverages are within a healthy range (2).
Why does cold brew have more caffeine?
Homemade cold brew initially has much more caffeine due to the coffee to water ratio. An initial batch of cold brew uses two to three times more coffee than a hot brew method that yields the same liquid amount.
A cold brew concentrate can have over 500mg of caffeine per 8oz of liquid, while a hot brew of equal volume usually has about 100mg. However, the cold brew method’s resulting mixture is not a ready-to-drink beverage like the hot brew method.
For useful tips on cold brew making, read this article. We also wrote about the right ratio for cold brew, the right amount of time to make it, a piece about storing cold brew, or ways to sweeten it. You can also learn about cold brew’s pros and why it is not the same as iced coffee.
Well, Is Cold Brew Stronger?
Surprisingly, if ratios of beans to water are equal, caffeine is higher in hot brewed coffee. This is due to the effect hot water has on caffeine in the beans.
Caffeine’s solubility is primarily driven by temperature, such that at higher temperatures, significantly more caffeine will dissolve in solution than at cooler temperatures.
Cold brew has more caffeine because the brewing process uses more coffee. More coffee means the brew has more potential to become extremely potent. If hot brewing used as many beans as most cold brewing methods, the resulting beverage would have much more caffeine.
Coffee to water ratio is the biggest factor in caffeine levels of cold brew coffee.
Many ready-to-drink cold brews have more caffeine than their chilled coffee counterparts because manufacturers use more coffee in the production process. However, if you make your own cold brew, you can control the amount of caffeine. Simply use less concentrate in your morning cup if you want to lower your caffeine intake. Alternatively, you can increase the amount of concentrate if you want more caffeine.
Not all cold brew coffee has more caffeine than hot brewed coffee. If beans and water are equal, hot brewed coffee will have more caffeine. However, cold brew usually uses more beans than a hot brew, so it isn’t easy to compare.
Does cold brew have more caffeine than iced coffee?
Old Brew usually has more caffeine than iced coffee. Iced coffee is regular, hot brewed coffee served over ice, so it can quickly become diluted. Because of this, an equal amount of cold brew coffee will have more caffeine than iced coffee because it is not as diluted.
Does cold brew have more caffeine than espresso?
Cold brew does not necessarily have more caffeine than espresso. On average, 50ml of cold brew has about 85mg of caffeine, equivalent to 30ml of espresso.
Why does cold brew coffee make me more jittery than hot brew?
Many people consume cold brew faster. The jitters can come from the rate of caffeine consumption and not necessarily the amount.
- (n.d.) Cold Brew Caffeine Informer. Retrieved from https://www.caffeineinformer.com/search#stq=cold%20brew&stp=1
- (n.d.) Caffeine: How Much Is Too Much? Retrieved from //www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/