Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Espresso - The Answer Might Surprise You!

Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Espresso – The Answer Might Surprise You!

Espresso has literally an untouched reputation as being the King of caffeine, while others claim this is rather unjust and that other drinks like a French press have more caffeine. This article deals with the topic and question: Is cold brew stronger than espresso?

If you are in a rush, the answer is yes and no! I’ll get into the details in a second; stay tuned and keep reading to find out!

What Is A Cold Brew Coffee?

A cold brew coffee is a coffee brewing technique that breaks with the norm of using hot water and instead uses cold water to make a rather unique and delicious cup of coffee with a standard 1:8 coffee to water ratio.The brewing process uses water that is as cold as possible and a very large, coarse grind size or whole unground coffee beans are used.For the best results, cold brew your coffee in your fridge. Notably, there is a big difference in brewing time when cold brewing coffee.The brew time is typically 12 to 24 hours, meaning you need a deal of patience when cold brewing.There are a number of different techniques for brewing coffee this way namely suspended, full immersion and the rather nice Japanese flash cold brew which has its origins in Kyoto, Japan.You can also make a cold brew concentrate.

Pro Tip: Make a world-class double brewed cold brew coffee by using hot water during your first round of brewing and letting it cool down to room temperature. Remove the grounds and chill your brew in your freezer or fridge until almost ice is forming. Add a second round of coffee grounds and brew in your fridge.The result of the above pro-tip is a delicious cup of coffee with all the hot and cold temperature compounds extracted and married together.
What Is A Cold Brew Coffee
Cold Brew Coffee Is Awesome
Read: Best grind for cold brew 

What Is An Espresso?

An espresso drink is a coffee brewing technique that was invented by Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy after his invention of the espresso machine in the late 1800s. The original espresso machine was steam powered, using the pressure created to quickly produce the shots of espresso.

Naturally, the machines have improved over the years and are no longer steam powered and you no longer need to head to your local coffee shop to enjoy a good quality shot of espresso thanks to the miniaturization and creation of home espresso machines that can do the same job.

A top quality fresh espresso shot is short, sharp and rather focused with only 30ml of espresso (1 ounce) served in a demitasse cup. For it to be served, and made perfectly, it needs 9 bars of water pressure, hot water of 96C (205F) and with fresh dark roasted coffee beans.

The mix of fresh dark roasted beans and their oils and the water pressure, as well as the distinctive tiny cup that produces the rich thick crema on top of your shot of espresso.

Using the wrong cup, the crema just spreads out. It is due to the small size of the cup that it is maintained.

What Is An Espresso
A Well Made Espresso.

Read: How to brew strong coffee

Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso?

This is a two-part question. As I mentioned at the start of this article, the answer is yes and no. I am a stickler for accuracy and being honest.

There is more caffeine in espresso when you measure it on a per-ounce basis (per 30ml). Typically, a shot of espresso contains 65 mg of caffeine, which is just under 2.2 mg per ml.

A 12 ounce cup of espresso (12 espresso shots) is 780 mg of which is a lot more than what you will get from a 12 ounce cup of cold brew to give a direct comparison.


nobody drinks a 12 ounce cup of espresso.

A 12 ounce cup of cold brew coffee contains on average 153 mg to 240 mg of caffeine, which is clearly way more than an espresso and more than a double shot of espresso.

It is fair and factual to say that cold brew has more caffeine than an espresso on a per-cup basis.

Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine Than Espresso
Cold Brew With Milk Is Delicious!

How Much Caffeine Is In Cold Brew?

On average, there is 153 mg to 240 mg of caffeine in a 12 ounce cup of cold-brewed coffee. The large variation is due to different amounts of caffeine in different coffee beans and longer (or shorter) extraction times.

A Starbucks cold brew has from 150 mg to 270 mg of caffeine per 12 ounce cup. The amount varies depending on which roast and beans are used.

How Much Caffeine Is In An Espresso?

The amount of caffeine in an espresso varies slightly, from 65 mg to 75 mg per shot. At Starbucks, their espresso is measured at 75 mg per shot.

Cold Brew Vs Espresso Taste

These two coffees taste very different. A cold brew is smoother, sweeter and more balanced with a well-rounded taste. An espresso is intense, vibrant and bolder.

Cold Brew Vs Espresso Acidity

A cold brew coffee has much lower and mild acidity when compared to the medium acidity of an espresso.

Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

The caffeine content of a regular cup of coffee ranges from 105 mg to 210 mg for a 12 ounce (360 ml) serving. A cup of cold brew is stronger than regular coffee as the average caffeine content is from 153 mg to 240 mg per 12 ounce cup of coffee.

This is partially due to the brewing technique of pouring hot water over the ground coffee beans, and the short brewing technique when making regular coffee. A cold brew, despite using a much lower temperature, has a long extraction time and can draw out the caffeine and coffee oils and flavor compounds more.

Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Americano?

I’m a huge coffee fan of drinks of all types. I do enjoy a good Caffe Americano from time to time. This black coffee drink has an average of 90 to 120 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce serving. Similarly, speaking, a cup of regular drip coffee has 95 mg of caffeine.

Yes, cold brew is stronger and has higher concentrations of caffeine than a caffe Americano and a drip coffee.

Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Latte?


Cold brew, if you have not guessed by now, is a highly caffeinated coffee drink, and yes, it has more caffeine than a latte and latte macchiato. If you need to make a highly caffeinated beverage, the best way to do it is to make a great-tasting cold brew coffee using coarse grounds and steeping for at least 24 hours.

Is Nitro Cold Brew Stronger Than Espresso?


nitro cold brew coffee is stronger than a single shot and a double shot of espresso. The amount of caffeine in a nitro cold brew is on par with a regular cold brew but tastes different. The flavor profile is different due to being made with pressurized gas.

Why Is Cold Brew So Strong?

Cold brew coffee uses a very strong coffee to water ratio and uses a lot of coffee grounds, typically 125 grams (4 ounces) per liter made. Also, there is more ample time for the caffeine to be extracted than with hot coffee without the danger of over extraction.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Espresso

The total caffeine content in a cold brew is significantly greater than both a single and double shot of espresso. The reason behind this is due to the fact that the volume of coffee plays a large role in the total caffeine content of beverages.

An espresso is considered as highly concentrated due to the concentration of caffeine, which is 75 mg per ounce (75 mg per 30 ml) making it a high concentration of caffeine.

There is 153 mg to 240 mg per 12 oz (360 ml) of cold brew coffee. This works out to be 12.5 mg to 20 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce. Meaning 3.25 to 6 ounces of cold brew is equal to a shot of espresso in terms of caffeine content.

No, both a cold brew and an espresso are two very different coffee drinks with unique brewing methods and techniques. You can get a cold brew espresso, which requires cold water and a manual lever based espresso machine.

The taste of a cold brew espresso is very different from a regular espresso. This is perhaps where your confusion comes from.

The strongest coffee with the most caffeine per fluid ounce (or per 100 ml) is a ristretto. A ristretto is the baby brother of the espresso shot. It is made with a 1:1 coffee to water ratio and is 2/3 of an oz (20 ml).

No, there are other coffee drinks that have a much stronger coffee taste and significantly more caffeine on a per ounce basis. Cold brew coffee is one of the strongest in terms of total caffeine. Percolated coffee and double brewed coffee has more total caffeine. The reason behind this is more caffeine is extracted with hot water than cold water.

On a caffeine per ounce basis both an espresso and a ristretto have more caffeine.

No, contrary to belief, iced coffee is brewed with hot water and is more concentrated than regular coffee to compensate for melting ice. Cold brew coffee is brewed with cold water, unlike iced coffee it is cold extracted.

Final Thoughts, Frappé-Ing It All Up – Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Espresso?

Yes, cold brew is stronger than an espresso. It is highly caffeinated due to the brewing process and the fact that a lot of coffee by weight and volume is used. It is a high coffee to water ratio that makes a coffee highly caffeinated.

Now you have read and enjoyed this article, is cold brew stronger than espresso all that is left is for you to join our coffee community and share your coffee creations, latte art, recipes and those rib tickling coffee jokes and memes. Find us on Facebook/Meta!

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee. Learn more about me and Latte Love Brew by checking our About Page

Blogarama - Blog Directory