What Is The Strongest Type Of Coffee A Caffeine Addicts Guide!

What Is The Strongest Type Of Coffee? A Caffeine Addicts Guide!

Last updated on January 29th, 2024 at 12:34

That morning coffee, for some of us it is all about the caffeine and getting that wake up jolt and what is the strongest type of coffee is a question that is often asked and searched for.

The term “strongest type of coffee” is very ambiguous as it can also relate to taste and flavor profile as well as the caffeine content.

In this article I aim to cover both aspects of that question.

Are you ready to find out what the most caffeinated coffee is?


Then keep reading!

What Type Of Coffee Has The Most Caffeine?

Here is the quick and easy answer to what type of coffee has the highest levels of caffeine. On a per fluid ounce or milliliter, it is undoubtedly a ristretto shot made with robusta coffee beans that are of a dark roast.

A ristretto is a short, focused shot of espresso that is intense and while containing slightly less caffeine (68 mg vs 63 mg on average), it is slightly smaller in quantity 20 ml vs 30 ml (0.65 Oz Vs 1 Oz).

Clearly serving up a whole 12 oz cup of espressos or ristretto’s will contain an insane amount of caffeine (12 x 68 mg & 16 x 63 mg) respectively.

Thus, to give you a much better picture on a per-cup basis of what is the strongest type of coffee, we need to look at the over all total caffeine content as many cups of coffee beat the total amount of caffeine content in both an espresso and ristretto.

Two of the strongest types of coffee are French press and cold brew, both brewed with dark roasted coffee beans, notably with robusta beans.

That is just the short answer, let’s dig deeper and get a more detailed answer.

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Which Coffee Has More Caffeine Arabica Or Robusta?

Most coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts can name only two of the four coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta which is normal as these two result in 90% of all coffee bean sales globally.

Out of coffee curiosity, the remaining two are Excelsa and Liberica, both of which are more difficult to find and not have any more caffeine than the other two.

Generally speaking, Arabica beans are seen as being more tasty than robusta but a well-grown, well-looked-after robusta plant. Often you will find that a blend contains both.

Robusta beans have 1.8x as much caffeine than Arabica beans. On average, Arabica beans have 1.5% caffeine content, whereas Robusta has 2.7%.

Hands down, the winner is Robusta as it has almost double the caffeine content on average. Due to this elevated caffeine content, they are more bitter in flavor than Arabica beans, which are sweeter and have nice fruity flavors.

Coffee Fact: The name “Robusta” comes from the plant’s more robust ability to resist disease and infection. They are known for being easier to farm and less expense involved in the agricultural process.

Now we have sorted out which beans you should be looking at for highly caffeinated beans. Let’s now look at the roast and which coffee roast has the highest caffeine content.

Which Coffee Has More Caffeine Arabica Or Robusta
Arabica And Robusta Beans Have Different Caffeine Levels

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Which Coffee Roast Has The Most Caffeine Dark Or Light?

Many people will tell you that the strongest coffee is from dark roast coffee beans While this may be true in terms of the traditional deep dark and typical coffee taste, it is not necessarily true when it comes to the amount of caffeine in coffee.

Does this mean that light roasts and lighter roasts have greater caffeine?

It depends.

The answer is not clear as you would think as it depends on how you measure it. On a bean by bean basis, both a light roast coffee bean and a dark roast coffee have around the same amount of caffeine.

This is where it gets complicated and the great coffee roast debate begins.

When coffee beans go through the roasting process, their mass reduces the longer they are roasted, which means the darker the roast is, the lighter (in weight) the beans become. With this in mind, a kilo, or pound of coffee beans when you count the beans individually a darker roast will have slightly more beans than a lighter roast.

Now, the paradox of how you measure your bean comes into play as which coffee will have the most caffeine content. As a barista, be it a home barista or professional barista I have a very strong preference for measuring by using a digital coffee scale.

Note: Using a digital coffee scale and getting an exact amount is critical for controlling the variables, which will ensure that you get a perfect brew every single time. When you measure by volume by using a scoop, you get differing amounts of weight each time.

Measuring by scoop (by volume) and making two cups of coffee with different roasts of the same beans, the lighter roasted coffee beans will produce a coffee that has a greater amount of caffeine than a darker roasted cup of coffee.

If you measure by weight, with all else equal, the darker roasted coffee will have more caffeine.  When it comes to caffeinated coffee and caffeine levels as you have seen so far, there are a lot of factors at play, including how you measure your coffee, the roast, the beans and the brewing method.

Explain in more detail if you brew one cup of coffee by measuring your beans by volume by using a scoop the lighter roast has more caffeine. The light roasted beans are heavier and denser on a per-bean basis than their darker counterparts. The volume is the same as dark roasts, but the density is different, it’s greater and thus has more caffeine.

If you measure by weight, 30 grams of a light and dark roast. While the weight is the same, the dark roasted beans are less dense and there are more of them. Remember, the caffeine content per bean is the same on a per roast basis. This means there are more beans in the darker roast when you are measuring by weight and, therefore, it has more caffeine.

In short, if a dark or light roast has more caffeine, it will depend on how you measure your beans.

Strong Coffee: Types Of Strong Coffee Drinks

Different coffee drinks have different amounts of caffeine. It is completely accurate to say and deduce that the total caffeine in a 12 ounce cup of French press coffee is higher than a double ristretto or double espresso shot.

The amounts of caffeine in each coffee drink varies based on its size and brewing methods. A fine example is an espresso shot, a popular and often thought of as the strongest coffee in terms of total caffeine levels has 68 mg for a 1 ounce (30 ml) shot, but a French press typically has 120 to 200 mg of caffeine per 12 ounces (360ml) serving.

There is no doubt which has more caffeine in total.

The caffeine content in a 12 ounce (360ml) cup of drip coffee has 140 mg, which is slightly more than double that of a one ounce of espresso shot. Despite having the perception of having less caffeine than espresso, it clearly doesn’t.

It is only on a per-ounce basis that a shot of espresso will have more caffeine than most other coffee drinks.

Compared to a drip coffee, the caffeine content of drip coffee has 11.6 mg of caffeine, whereas an espresso has 68 mg per ounce (per 30 ml).

A 12 ounce cup of cold brew coffee has 180 mg to 200 mg of caffeine on average, 15 mg per ounce (per 30 ml).

Keep in mind it is going to a be a fair bit of espresso shots or ristretto shots to match a cold brew – you’d need a triple shot of espresso for that.

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What Kind Of Coffee Has The Most Caffeine At Starbucks?

The Starbucks coffee drink that gives you the most energy boost due to its caffeine content is their venti 20 ounce (600 ml) blonde roast. Served hot, it will wake you up with an ample 475 milligrams of caffeine.

A close joint second is their clover brewed coffee with the reserve roast and dark roast having 470 milligrams of caffeine for the same venti size.

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What Country Has The Strongest Coffee?

According to the Marketplace website, in terms of caffeine consumption and caffeine content in their coffee, the Scandinavian countries of Finland (608 mg), Norway (322 mg), and Denmark (180 mg) took the top 3 places. Germany (145 mg) and Slovakia (144 mg) completed the top 5.

Curiously, 9 of the top 10 were all European nations, with Canada (9th, 125 mg) being the only non-European nation. Of the top 10, only Greece (10th, 116 mg) could be considered as a nation with a warm climate (Hot summers, cool to mild winters).

Very surprisingly, none of the top 10 countries on the strongest coffee list is a coffee producing nation.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Is The Strongest Type Of Coffee

What Coffee Is The Strongest?

The singular strongest coffee with the most potent taste and highest amount of caffeine per ounce is a ristretto. It is so strong due to having a very focused coffee to water ratio and brewed with hot water.

The strongest roast of coffee in terms of taste and depth of flavor is a dark-roasted coffee with French and Italian roasts having a very strong coffee. However, dark roasted coffee has slightly less caffeine than other roasts and thus the strongest coffee in terms of caffeine content is a blonde roast.

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

No, a shot of espresso is not stronger than that regular coffee. A single shot of espresso has 75 mg of caffeine while a short 8 oz cup of brewed coffee has 155 mg. When it comes to total caffeine content, regular coffee has a greater caffeine kick.

No, both an espresso and an Americano have the same amount of caffeine.

A well-brewed cup of coffee made with robusta coffee beans will keep you awake the longest as robusta has significantly more caffeine than arabica beans.

Brewing a cold brew coffee with them will have a high amount of caffeine due to the focused coffee to water ratio of 1:8.

Why Do I Feel Sleepy After Drinking Coffee?

Caffeine has the effect of blocking adenosine which helps to make you feel alert. However, once the caffeine wears off after a few hours you may feel a build up of adenosine, which may hit you all of a sudden and give you an energy crash and make you feel tired. 

Frappé-ing It All Up – What Is The Strongest Type Of Coffee?

The question, what is the strongest type of coffee is a complex question to answer as it is accurate to say that an Espresso or ristretto is the strongest type of coffee but only in terms of per ounce (or ml) but most certainly not the strongest in terms of total caffeine content.

Several other coffees, due to their greater quantity, have more caffeine due to their extraction process pulling out more caffeine.

In terms of the strongest flavor it is undoubtedly a ristretto, which is a smaller, more focused espresso. A ristretto is typically 2/3rd of the size of an espresso, but it has a 1:1 coffee to water ratio, while an espresso has 1:1.5 coffee to water ratio.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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