All my fellow coffee-fiends will agree with me here, caffeine isn’t a want, but a need. Nothing gets rid of those Monday morning blues like a hot cup of joe.
It just sets you up for your day and gives you that much-needed kick to blaze through the day with some energy. I personally can’t start my day without one.
Cold brew is a great choice, especially on a hot day, when you want something cold and refreshing that will still give you that hit of caffeine.
Well, cold brew is well known for being jam-packed full of the stuff.
It’s literally marketed as the must-have drink for those who need an extra pick-me-up for their day. But does it actually contain all that much more than your regular hot drinks?
Keep reading to find out.
How Much Caffeine Is In A Cold Brew?
Since there are quite a few different varieties of cold brew on the market, the amount of caffeine they contain will depend on the variant that you buy.
You’ll find cold brew in most coffee shops, but there are also ready-to-drink options that you’ll find in supermarkets as well as cold brew concentrates so that you can prepare your favorite drink at home.
So let’s take a look at the different caffeine levels these drinks have.
Usually, cold brews will have anywhere between 140 mg to 300mg of caffeine. Stok’s cold brew has 145mg while Stumptown’s is fairly higher at 279 mg.
However, there are brands that have a ridiculously large caffeine content such as Bizzy’s cold brew which has a whopping 750 mg of caffeine.
The latter brand, is far from your usual caffeine level, and considering the safe recommendation of caffeine per day is 400mg, I wouldn’t advise guzzling many of these.
That is unless you want a very sleepless night.
If you prefer to drink from coffee shops (Find out about Chef Alice Quillet and Anselme Blayney who runs some of the best cafes in the French Capital here), after all, they do it best, then you’ll be looking at about 155mg of caffeine from Starbucks, and around 170mg if you take a trip to Dunkin Donuts.
Why Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?
There are loads of benefits from swapping a hot coffee for a cold brew but for those of us that struggle to rise and shine each morning, the additional caffeine is definitely one of the best perks.
A homemade cold brew is likely to have more caffeine in it due to the coffee-to-water ratio.
A batch of cold-brew is likely to have around two or three times more coffee in it than a homemade hot coffee would, while they both have similar amounts of water.
In fact, cold brew concentrate usually has over 500mg of caffeine for 8 ounces of water. Contrastingly, an 8-ounce latte or cappuccino will have just 100mg of caffeine.
But it’s important to remember that a cold brew mixture is not ready-to-drink like a hot brew would be. So this can balance things out a little.
So Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Hot Coffee?
You may be surprised to learn that if the same amount of coffee beans to water was used in a hot brew as it is in a cold brew, a hot brew would win hands down.
This is because of the effect that hot water has on coffee beans, particularly the caffeine within these beans.
However, the simple fact is that the volume of coffee beans in hot brews is nowhere near as large as it is in cold brews. This is because the process of brewing cold brews requires more coffee.
And with more coffee comes more caffeine so a cold brew has the potential to be very potent. A strong glass will wake you up for sure.
Most of your premade ready-to-drink cold brews will contain a lot more caffeine than other colder premade drinks such as iced lattes or frappuccinos due to the volume of coffee beans used to make cold brew.
If you fancy a cold brew that doesn’t have such a caffeine punch then you would be better off buying the cold brew concentrate so that you can control your caffeine intake.
In this instance, you’d just need to pour a little less of the brew into your cup.
Contrastingly if you want as much caffeine as possible then keep the concentration flowing for a little while longer when you’re serving yourself the delicious drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Has More Caffeine Cold Brew Or Iced Coffee?
Iced coffee is simply a hot coffee that is just served over ice.
This ice can then melt and dilute the drink further so you’ll tend to find that a cold brew has more caffeine than an iced coffee.
Which Has More Caffeine Cold Brew Or Espresso?
It’s pretty much a tie. 50ml of cold brew will have around 85mg of caffeine in it which is the equivalent of 30ml of espresso. So both have similar levels of caffeine.
Why Does A Cold Brew Make Me More Jittery Than A Hot Coffee?
Caffeine jitters usually come from how fast you consume caffeine rather than how much caffeine you consume.
A cold drink is much easier to guzzle down than a hot drink, which is why you’ll tend to be more jittery.
So does cold brew have more caffeine than hot coffee drinks? Well, it depends. Not all cold brew coffee will exceed your regular hot drinks.
And if you have an equal coffee to water ratio in both drinks then your hot drink will have much more caffeine.
However, it’s very rare that you’ll find a hot drink with the number of coffee beans that a cold brew has, so as a general rule of thumb, yes cold brew is stronger than your regular hot drink.
Not all coffee is created equal and due to the discrepancy between beans though, it makes the two a little hard to compare.
Regardless, cold brew is a delicious drink that is sure to revitalize you each and every morning so I’d certainly recommend swapping your hot coffee over for a refreshing cold brew, especially in the hotter summer months.