Hey everyone, Caffeine Man here and today I’m gonna be going over several brewing methods and how each one affects the caffeine level. I’ll be going over the cold brew, hot brew, French press, drip coffee, immersion and other brewing methods such as Chemex and the Keurig. Also I’ll be discussing other factors that contribute to different caffeine levels such as light roast vs.
Dark roast, different kinds of beans, grind levels and much, much more. Coming right up. INTRO: C *THUD M *THUD* *LIGHTNING STRIKE* Hello again, thanks for joining me. Today I have another informative video for you and it’s actually a subscriber encouraged video. I planned on doing this video a little bit later on but thanks to their question I realized that it’s and important topic that I should probably cover sooner rather than later. About five weeks ago, I asked, “How much caffeine do you drink?” I’ll include that link in a card above in case you want to watch it. In that video I went over the caffeine content of coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda and much, much more.
So feel free to check it out. I also ended up getting a comment and a question from a subscriber named “That ain’t bad”. He, or she, asked if I could do a video explaining different roasts and brewing methods and how they affect the caffeine content. I gave them a very brief response, because I love to respond to all my caffeine lovers comments, and let them know I planned on doing a video. Today is that day so thank you to That Ain’t Bad for your question. Now that simple question is a good question and it’s a big question. If we were to take a look at an energy drink can or even a soda bottle, you’ll easily see how much caffeine is in it, but when it comes to coffee, the numbers are drastically different across the board. Part of the reason why I started this channel was because I wanted to keep people informed on all things caffeine related and when it comes to coffee, it is very temperamental.
Why do I say that? Because an average cup of coffee has between 80 and 120 milligrams. If you watch many of my previous videos, you’ll know I say that a lot because it’s a very common stat. Then I go on to say that a Dunkin Donuts 8 ounce cup of coffee has 140 milligrams; McDonald’s 109; Starbucks 155; So why all the differences in such a large range? Well, there’s a lot involved and I’m about to go over all of it. Also, I’m not going to be talking about the best method and how it makes the coffee taste. I’m gonna be sticking to what’s important to my channel and what my viewers want to know, and that is “How do these coffee brewing methods affect the caffeine in the coffee?” So there are several factors that affect caffeine which include brew time, dwell time, water temperature, grind level, roast level, bean type and blend, and all of these have a significant effect on the final extraction of caffeine.
So where do I start? Let’s start off with basically how coffee is brewed. Coffee is brewed with hot water around 93 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot water dissolves the beans more easily and speeds up the diffusion so you can get more flavor faster, as well as extracting everything else faster, including acid and caffeine. Now that we know that, let’s talk about the opposite method, which is cold brew. When we look at cold brew, it takes a longer amount of time to extract the flavor, as well as the caffeine, because it doesn’t have the heat causing the faster extraction. Cold brews usually taste smoother or less bitter because the cold water doesn’t extract as much caffeine or acid out of the bean, as hot water would. Cold brews tend to be 60% less acidic than hot brews and a cold brew takes anywhere between 12 and 24 hours to completely brew. When I did the research for the Dunkin Donuts cold brew I found that it had between 25 to 50 milligrams less, from small to large.
It’s because the extraction is slower with cold water, than hot water and the same applies across the board for all the coffee companies. The caffeine count will always be slightly lower on the cold brew than the hot brew. Now let’s move on to espresso. Now when most people say the word espresso, they think of a small drink which is much stronger than coffee, but in truth espresso is actually a brewing method of coffee, so it really is just a stronger coffee because it’s made with coffee beans.
But let’s talk more about this brewing method. First off, you need finely ground coffee beans for espresso the finer the grind the more surface of the coffee is exposed to extract the flavor and caffeine. This fine grind is then in tightly packed in hot water is forced through the grinds at extremely high pressure for about 20 to 25 seconds. The top of the beverage has a crema which is produced by emulsifying the oils in the ground coffee which does not occur any other brewing methods.
Depending on the bean used, an espresso averages between 45 and 75 milligrams per ounce making it the highest caffeine level of all the brewing methods. Next we have several other brewing methods which are similar to each other. There’s the drip method with the old-fashioned coffee brewer and, man talked about fashion. Look at this thing. Nice little designs on there and then there’s also immersion which is most commonly done with a French press or a cool futuristic R2-D2 French press! There’s also Chemex, which is not shown here, but it’s also a similar drip method.
Now although all these brewing methods will produce a different body to the coffee and different flavor, it doesn’t affect caffeine count too much. Most coffee machines will brew four to five minutes… although in this case, it might take a little longer When you’re using the French press most people keep it immersed for 4 to 5 minutes and sometimes 6 minutes and that’s based on personal preference. *BEEP* *BOOP* BEEP* BEEP* *BOO* *BEEP* That’s right R2! As for a Chemex the recommended time is 4 to 5 minutes. Therefore all these coffee brewing methods are brewed for around the same amount of time, 4 to 5 minutes.
So your drip coffee is going to come in at about 80 to 120 milligrams, which on average is about 100 milligrams for 8 ounces, so you’re getting about 12 to 13 milligrams per ounce. A French press will get you anywhere between 80 and 135 milligrams per 8 ounce cup, which averages out to about 110 milligrams for an 8 ounce cup, which comes out to about 13 to 14 milligrams per ounce. As for a Chemex it has about the same amount as drip coffee, therefore all of these methods will produce around the same amount of caffeine.
*BEEP* *BOOP* BEEP* BEEP* *BOO* *BEEP* Overall the longer that you brew the coffee with hot water, the more caffeine you’ll extract out of it, although slight. I do specify hot water because cold brews do have less caffeine although they are brewed much, much longer, that’s because the hot water extracts it faster. Additionally there will still be a lot of people out there that say cold brew has more caffeine than a hot brew, but if you just look at the numbers, everything that’s posted from Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and all the other companies, you’ll see that the cold brew have less caffeine.
So for those of you that say cold brew has more caffeine, it could be because the water to coffee ratio is less. There are plenty of companies out there that do a cold brew concentrate. But for your average cup of coffee the water to coffee ratio will be the same as a hot coffee which will result in a lower caffeine count. Now before moving on, I wouldn’t do this video justice if I didn’t talk about the Keurig. Keurig first started selling their Brewers to offices in 1998. As it grew in popularity they began selling brewers for home use in 2004. In 2006, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters acquired Keurig and its sales soared even higher. In 2012, Keurig’s K-cup patent expired, making K-cup up sales difficult with far more competition on the market, but also making the machine far more desirable for its customers by having so many coffee options. Then just recently, in 2018, Keurig Green Mountain merged with Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
So why did the Keurig become so popular? This is because it always gives you a good, and some would say great, cup of coffee every single time, in under a minute. And let’s face it, we live in a need it now world. Just when four to five minutes became too long to wait for coffee, Keurig comes along and makes a machine that does it in less than one minute with very little cleanup. So how is it brewed? Well, Keurig actually found a happy medium between two different brewing methods; your standard drip method and an espresso type method. Hot water is forced through the K-cup, but definitely with not as much pressure as an espresso machine, but enough to pump it through, in less than a minute. What I like to call a helping hand to push the water through the coffee, as opposed to letting gravity take its course. So how does that affect the caffeine? Keurig claims that an 8 ounce cup of coffee using the standard 2 ounce K-cup would yield between 75 and 125 milligrams of caffeine. They also have extra bold K Cups which have 30% more ground coffee in them than the regular K cups, which increases the caffeine count to about 150 milligrams for an 8 ounce cup.
Therefore not too much different than all the other drip methods and given the fact that there are so many companies that make K cups now, it’s all going to be brand dependent. Next let’s look at a slightly controversial topic, as well as commonly misconceived topic. And that topic is light roast versus dark roast, and I’m gonna try to explain it in a way that isn’t confusing to anyone… I hope. So here’s the key thing to remember. During the roasting process a coffee beans caffeine is not affected. Wait… what did he just say? That can’t be true can it? and a lot of you may be saying the same thing. How can that be true? Doesn’t cooking it longer or shorter affect the caffeine? Science has proven that the caffeine in a coffee bean remains quite stable during the roasting process and that roasting a coffee bean does not affect the caffeine. What is affected, is its size.
When coffee is roasted, it loses about 90% of its water content and during this roasting process, a being loses its mass and the density of the bean changes beans. Beans that are roasted longer are less dense but larger, so let’s take a look at this picture. I’d like to take a second to thank sweet Maria.com for use of their amazing roasting image. They allow reuse when given credit and a link to their website. I’ve included a link to their website in the description box below and I highly recommend you check it out for more detailed information about the roasting process. They do an amazing job explaining it. As you can see from the picture, it starts off small in its raw form. As it is slowly roasted the coffee bean gets darker and larger. A dark roasted coffee bean is roasted sometimes only 20 to 30 seconds longer than a light roasted bean and within these seconds, becomes a little darker and slightly swells in size. You can clearly see from the first image to the last image that the beans have changed in size.
So what does this all mean? It means if you measure by scoops, which most places do, light roasted coffee will have more caffeine than dark roasted coffee, because more beans are used. However if your coffee is being measured by weight, like some specialty coffee shops do, then the dark roast is going to have more caffeine because more beans are used based on its size. So the argument of what has more caffeine, light roasted beans or dark roasted beans is null and void. An individual bean has about 6 milligrams of caffeine in it. Whether it’s light roasted or dark roasted doesn’t matter for its caffeine. It’s only for flavor and boldness. It’s all a matter of how you prepare these coffee beans. If they’re measured by scoop light roast has more caffeine because more beans are used. If it’s measured by weight your dark roast is gonna have more coffee beans and thus more caffeine, so be sure to bring up those facts in your next argument of light roast versus dark roast, so that person can be just as amazed as you are right now.
Next I want to briefly talk about the grinds. As mentioned with espresso, finer grinds give more surface area for flavor and caffeine to be extracted. Water reaches the surface area and saturates the grind with ease, as there’s a greater contact area. This is why espresso, as well as the hot water being forced through with high pressure, has the highest caffeine content of all the brewing methods. A French press will usually use a medium grind so that the grinds are more easily strained, but given its immersion time it has the second highest caffeine content, just beating out drip coffee. Drip coffee also uses a medium grind but you can switch up your grinds with a coffee maker because of the filtration system. Some coffee makers do come with a bold option which brews the coffee slightly longer to give it a more bold flavor and given the slightly longer brew time, will have slightly more caffeine and comes in just a few milligrams less than the French press.
And lastly, one more quick fact that affects the caffeine are the beans used. 70% of the world’s coffee comes from Arabica beans and Arabica beans have about 6 milligrams of caffeine in them. The other kind of bean is a Robusta bean. A Robusta bean will have about twice the amount of caffeine than Arabica bean. Given that it has twice the amount of caffeine, caffeine is very bitter, which will make the coffee more bitter, which is why it’s not as widely used as Arabica beans.
And that just about does it. If you found this information useful, feel free to hit the like button and if you want to stay informed on all things caffeine related hit the subscribe button. I post new videos every Tuesday night, and if you think other people will be interested in this information feel free to share it on your social media platforms as well. Thanks again for watching *BEEP* *BOOP* BEEP* BEEP* *BOO* *BEEP* R2 thanks you too! .