The good news is that colas and energy drinks have specific amounts of caffeine added to them, so it's easier to know how much caffeine is in them.
This guide outlines how much caffeine is in each of these drinks, including decaf coffee and tea, sodas, popular energy drinks, bottled iced teas, Starbucks coffees, herbal teas (or tisanes), and more. Caffeine is measured in milligrams (mg). For healthy adults, the FDA cites 400 milligrams per day as an amount not generally associated with negative effects.
Caffeine in Coffee
Many factors influence caffeine levels in coffee, so the amounts for each drink can vary widely. However, this general guide can help you determine approximately how much caffeine is in your coffee drink.
- Drip brewed Arabica coffee (6 oz): 80-130 mg (often around 110 mg)
- Drip brewed Robusta coffee (6 oz): 140-200 mg
- Drip brewed Passiona Excelsa/Arabica low-caffeine coffee blend (6 oz): 40-60 mg
- Drip brewed decaf coffee (8 oz): 2-12 mg, although testing has shown that decaf coffee levels are sometimes much higher
- Instant coffee (8 oz): 27-173 mg (often around 65 to 90 mg)
- Instant decaf coffee (8 oz): 2-12 mg
- Dunkin' Donuts coffee (16 oz): 143-206 mg
- Einstein Bros. coffee (16 oz): 206 mg
- Percolated coffee (5 oz): 80-135 mg
- Starbucks coffee drinks: Varying levels
Caffeine in Espresso
Espresso is generally lower in caffeine than drip brewed coffee.
- Espresso, single shot: 29-100 mg (often around 75 mg)
- Espresso, double shot (doppio): 58-185 mg (often around 150 mg)
- Decaf espresso, single shot: about 8 mg
- Decaf espresso, double shot (doppio): about 16 mg
- Nespresso Espresso Capsules: 55-65 mg
- Nespresso Lungo Capsules: 77-89 mg
- Starbucks espresso and iced espresso drinks: Varying levels
Caffeine in Tea
Tisanes or "herbal teas" (including many of Celestial Seasonings' "teas") are usually caffeine free. Similarly, teas blended with other ingredients (such as mint green teas or masala chai) will often have lower caffeine levels than unblended teas.
Most studies show that black tea has between 40 and 120 mg caffeine per 8-ounce serving. Decaf black tea usually contains about 2-10 mg of caffeine.
Green tea. usually contains around 25 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving. It's about half of the amount of caffeine found in a typical cup of black tea and one-quarter of the amount found in a typical cup of coffee.
The information below comes from a very interesting article on tea and caffeine by Bruce Richardson, who has been instrumental in debunking caffeine myths surrounding tea. Each 7-ounce cup of tea was steeped for three minutes.
Starbucks tea and chocolate drinks caffeine levels vary.
Caffeine in Iced Teas
Depending on how you brew homemade iced tea, it will contain varying amounts of caffeine. However, iced teas often contain a similar amount of caffeine to their hot tea counterparts. True iced teas (iced teas made with caffeine-containing Camellia sinensis) contain caffeine. Caffeine-free iced herbal tea is made with rooibos, chamomile, and other caffeine-free herbs.
Snapple Iced Tea
Bottled iced teas also contain varying amounts of caffeine. Many Snapple Iced Tea varieties contain 42 mg of caffeine per bottle. Snapple flavors with 42 mg of caffeine include:
- Cranberry Twist
- Diet Lemon
- Diet Peach
- Diet Raspberry
- Very Cherry
Snapple's Red Tea line is made with rooibos and is naturally caffeine-free. Snapple's Diet Green Teas contain 60 mg of caffeine per bottle, while their regular Green Teas contain 30 mg of caffeine per bottle and their White Teas contain less than 1 mg of caffeine per serving. (There are two exceptions to this—Lime Green and Diet Lime Green both contain 5 mg of caffeine per serving or 10 mg of caffeine per bottle.) Snapple's Just Plain Unsweetened and Lemonade Iced Tea both contain 18 mg of caffeine per bottle.
Arizona Iced Teas
All Arizona iced teas contain caffeine. Their black teas have 15 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce serving. Their green teas contain 7.5 mg caffeine per serving. Their white teas contain 6 mg caffeine per serving.
Other Iced Teas
Expect these caffeine levels for other common iced teas:
- Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea: 7 mg per 12-ounce serving
- Nestea Iced Tea: 26 mg per 12-ounce serving
- Generic instant iced tea mix: 27 mg of caffeine per teaspoon of mix
- Generic decaf iced tea mix: 1 mg of caffeine per teaspoon of mix
Caffeine in Colas and Sodas
The caffeine levels listed below are for 8-ounce servings. They are in declining order.
- Pepsi Zero Sugar: 69 mg
- Mr. Pibb: 40 mg
- Sunkist Orange: 40 mg
- Wild Cherry Pepsi: 38 mg
- Pepsi-Cola / Pepsi Twist / Diet Pepsi Jazz: 37.5 mg
- Pepsi One: 37 mg
- Mountain Dew / Mountain Dew Code Red / Diet Mountain Dew: 37 mg
- Diet Pepsi: 36 mg
- Coca-Cola Zero: 35 mg
- Mello Yello: 35 mg
- Coca-Cola Classic / Cherry Coke / Lemon Coke / Vanilla Coke: 34 mg
- Tab: 31.2 mg
- Diet Coke: 30.4 mg
- Dr. Pepper / Diet Dr. Pepper: 27 mg
- Barq's Root Beer: 23 mg
Caffeine-free sodas include Mugg Root Beer, 7-Up, Sprite, Fresca, Fanta (all flavors), Slice, and Sierra Mist.
Caffeine in Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are high in caffeine, with some being very concentrated.
- 5-Hour Energy Shot (2 oz): 200-207 mg
- AMP (8.4 oz): 74 mg
- Arizona Caution Energy Drink (16 oz): 200 mg
- Enviga (12 oz): 100 mg
- Full Throttle (16 oz): 144 mg
- Jolt (12 oz): 71.2 mg
- Monster Energy (16 oz): 160 mg
- No Fear (8 oz): 83 mg
- No Name (formerly known as "Cocaine;" 8.4 oz): 280 mg
- NOS Energy Drink (16 oz): 160 mg
- Red Bull (8.4 oz): 80 mg
- Rip It Energy Fuel (16 oz): 200 mg
- Venom Death Adder / Black Mamba / Killer Taipan / Mohave Rattler (16 oz): 160 mg
- Xyience Xenergy (16 oz): 184 mg
Caffeine in Chocolate & Chocolate Drinks
Chocolate naturally contains a small amount of caffeine.
Caffeine in Other Drinks
- Many blended yerba mates (8 oz): 20-35 mg
- Teabag yerba mate (one per 8 oz water): 35-50 mg
- Loose-leaf yerba mate (1-2 tablespoons in 8 oz water): 85 mg
- Guayaki Organic Energy Shots (2 oz bottle): 140 mg
- Guayusa (8 oz): 90 mg
Caffeine-Free Herbal Teas
These herbal teas do not contain caffeine.
- Barley tea
- Caraway decoction
- Cardamom tea
- Chamomile tea
- Cinnamon infusion or decoction
- Fanta (all flavors)
- Fennel tea
- French verveine (lemon verbena") tea
- Herbal chai
- Herbal water
- Lemon balm (Melissa)
- Lemon water
- Mint (peppermint, spearmint, etc., but not Moroccan mint, which typically contains green tea and, thus, caffeine)
- Raspberry leaf
- Rooibos (a.k.a. "Red Bush Tea")
- Rose (excluding rose-flavored black teas, green teas, white teas, etc.)