How Much Caffeine Is In Cold Brew Coffee? (Vs. Iced Coffee)

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Caffeine in Cold Brew Coffee vs Iced Coffee

It all comes down to caffeine content, so before making a choice, it is smart to know these two incredible drinks you are comparing.

The basic caffeine breakdown will identify if the cold brew has more caffeine content than your coffee with ice drink:

  • A usual 16-ounce iced coffee has a caffeine content of more or less 165 mg.
  • On the other hand, a typical 16-ounce cold brew have more or less 200 mg (to 238 mg) of caffeine.
  • If you want to go brand specific, to be convinced, Starbucks’ 16-ounce cold brew has 200 mg of caffeine after being brewed for 20 hours.
  • Compared to their iced coffee, the caffeine content is 20% higher since their iced version clocks in 165 mg of caffeine.
  • Dunkin Donuts, which also included cold brew on their regular menu, shows almost the same numbers of having 10.8 mg of caffeine for every ounce of their cold brew. 

Source: See the full caffeine chart here from Center for Science in the Public Interest here.

When it comes to caffeine content, cold brew has more and based on other factors, the caffeine content can even be doubled.

cold-brew-coffee-caffeine-content

What Makes Cold Brew Caffeine Strong?

What impacts the higher caffeine content in the cold brew is brewing. The brewing says it all.

Iced coffee is brewed like your usual regular coffee, and then after the brewing, it is served over ice once cooled.

This brew has a different methodology.  

It is made at a room temperature in 12-24 hours by steeping the ground coffee before filtering out the grounds. And in case you’re wondering how long does a cold brew coffee last, here’s our thought.

At this point, you will also notice that in a cold brew, you are using a concentrated coffee. Once the coffee grounds are filtered, this concentrate is mixed with water.

It ideally follows a balanced and equal ratio of 50% coffee concentrate and 50% water.

This makes a cold brew, and this process produces more caffeine, but it also gives off bolder flavors.

Overall, cold brew would have more caffeine content because iced coffee gets diluted faster than cold brew due to its concentrated coffee content.

Related: Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Amount of Caffeine in Other Coffee Variants

It’s clear that the cold brew is declared as the caffeine booster winner between a cold coffee brew and an iced coffee, but it doesn’t mean that it has the most caffeine content among all coffee variants.

Caffeine on its own is a wildcard. The content listed in labels are simply approximations but can still give you a good notion of how much caffeine you are ingesting in your every cup. Factors like the roast, coffee variety, and brewing method play a role in how much caffeine you can get.

  • Filtered coffee – popularly known as brewed coffee- is ground coffee beans being brewed in hot water. Typically, an 8-ounce cup of filtered coffee has 95mg of caffeine.
  • Decaffeinated Brew – it is a common misconception that decaf coffee has zero caffeine content. Decaf coffee still has but very minimal at 2 mg for an 8-ounce cup.
  • Instant coffee – a ready mix coffee where you need to add hot water has less caffeine than filtered coffee. For an 8-ounce cup, these coffee sachets have a caffeine content of 62 mg.
  • Espresso – some consider this as the most robust coffee, maybe because of its service size. A single 1-ounce shot of espresso has about 63 mg of caffeine. Do that math should you want to consume an 8-ounce cup of this.
  • Oriental Coffee – made in a distinct container with boiling water, this hot brew has about 135 mg of caffeine.

Also Read: How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee?

FAQs

Why does cold brew make you more nervous compared to a hot brew?

Cold-brew is consumed faster than hot ones because it is, after all, a drink intended to cool you off. The jumpiness may be caused by the faster rate of caffeine consumption and not the amount of caffeine on a cold brew.

Why is cold brew more expensive than other coffee variants?

Contrary to hot coffee, where you can already serve a cup in a matter of minutes, cold brew needs advanced planning – which makes it more expensive.

Coffee businesses need to start the steeping process almost a single day ahead before it can be prepared and served.

In business, the time investment is expensive, and once their steeped coffee is consumed, they’re done for that day unless you’re willing to wait a minimum of half a day just for a cup.

What is the shelf life of homemade cold brew concentrate?

Your cold brew will remain fresh for 1-2 days only, so it is highly recommended that you have the correct proportions to avoid wasting a potentially good cup of cold brew.

Hoping you learned from this post on how much caffeine is in cold brew coffee. The next time you’re wondering how much caffeine goes into that cup, you’ll have an idea.

Charles Vallena
Charles is the author and managing editor of Cuppabean.com. A self-admitted coffee addict, he drinks 2-4 cups of coffee a day to get his fix. In the morning, you'll often find him brewing his freshly grounded arabica coffee beans on his french press coffee. Read more about the site here.

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