Coffee is good. Really good. But which coffee will give you the biggest boost? That’s a question many of us ask ourselves when we’re dragging our asses into the coffee shop each morning or digging through the cupboard to find the grinds.
Well, it’s no surprise that espresso has a high caffeine content: that’s 45-75 milligrams per ounce. Drip coffee sports a mere 20 mg per ounce but size is a big deal, as all of us have grabbed the 16 oz coffee at the shop: so two ounces of espresso is around 150 mg of caffeine, 12 oz of drip coffee hits the 240 mark, 16 oz. of drip equals around 320 mg and a 20 oz hits around 400 mg of caffeine.
When coffee is roasted, according to Tech Insider (which did an excellent job digging into caffeine levels, by the way), it causes the beans to lose water and expand. Lighter roasts seem to have more coffee per scoop but different strains of coffee have different caffeine levels. Arabica coffee makes up some 70 percent of the world’s beans but Robusta beans have nearly twice the caffeine. Both strains of bean are native to sub-saharan Africa. But Robusta is apparently easier for farmers to care for and is loaded with anti-oxidants. It is more acidic and more bitter, however.
You should also think about the way you grind beans if you’re looking for more caffeine. The finer you grind a bean, the more surface area there is to extract said caffeine. Plus water temps that are between 195 and 205 seemingly force out the most caffeine from grinds. That’s probably why cold brewed, iced coffee has less caffeine than drip. If you just want to mainline caffeine, best to go for a straight double espresso from robusta beans.
My personal favorite is the espresso machine (as I’m sure many of you love them as well). If you can’t drop the cash on a new one, there are loads of them on Craigslist. It just takes a bit of research. But it’s definitely worth the effort to find a good machine. It’ll round out your morning routine and save you money in the long run.