Drinking an espresso can provide a high octane “jolt” to your system, giving you that early morning or late afternoon boost you need to get going, but is this because espresso has more caffeine than a standard drip coffee? Not necessarily. Many factors have to be taken into consideration for a correct caffeine comparison of the two. This is not exactly an easy measurement to take because, in a way, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. What do I mean by this? Read on to find out which has more caffeine.
The first factor to take into consideration when establishing the caffeine value in your brew is the serving size. Over the years, the standard coffee size has increased. In the 1950s, the standard size of a drip coffee was about 5oz. whereas today the smallest serving size at places like Starbucks is approximately 12oz. Of course, most people don’t usually order the smallest size from places like Starbucks. They order sizes like the “grande” which is 16oz. or even one of the largest sizes like the “trenta” which is a whopping 31oz. The next thing to take into consideration are other determining factors such as type of coffee bean, time brewed, water temperature, roast type, percentages in the blend, etc. All of these factors and of course, most importantly, the size of your coffee drink will determine the caffeine quotient.
Caffeine Per Serving
Once you have all your numbers from the factors listed above, how exactly do you plug them into the caffeine calculator to
determine whether drip coffee or espresso has more caffeine? The answer may seem straightforward considering that a a double espresso which is roughly 2oz. contains about 80mg of caffeine and a 12oz. drip coffee contains 120mg. An open-and-shut case, right? Wrong. It doesn’t seem just to measure it this way, given the gross discrepancy in size difference. To be fair, we have to examine the caffeine concentration per ounce. If we take a single shot of espresso which has roughly 40mg of caffeine per ounce and measure it against a standard drip coffee which has approximately 10mg per ounce, we find that in fact, espresso does have more caffeine.
Which has more caffeine, espresso or drip coffee? If we go by concentration per ounce, the espresso wins out. If we go by size, the drip coffee wins out. Even still, the answer is not that clear cut. Depending on your blend and consumption time, factors can vary which alter not only the numbers in these figures but the coffee’s assimilation into the body. While drip coffee generally has more caffeine overall, espresso is usually consumed at a much faster rate. This makes it so the caffeine in an espresso is absorbed into the body more rapidly. Faster absorption equals faster caffeine effects on the body.
In the end, it comes down to preference and not numbers. If you prefer espresso, you’ll feel the caffeine effects more quickly. If you prefer a drip coffee, your drink lasts longer and it’ll take more time to feel the caffeine effects. Whatever your coffee (and/or caffeine) preferences may be, from one coffee lover to another, enjoy your brew!
Okay, so now that you’re a little more clued up on the caffeine content of Espresso vs. Drip Coffee, be sure to enjoy as much quality coffee on your next trip to Italy! If you’re coming to Rome in particular, read this blog post to find out where you can get good coffee in the eternal city!