Why Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine - Unlocking the Caffeine Mystery!

Why Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine? – Unlocking the Caffeine Mystery!

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 12:12

One thing is clear, cold brew has more caffeine, but why does cold brew have more caffeine is a bigger question to ask.

The answer is simple, and more basic than you probably realize, an elusive obvious perhaps.

Here is the simple and basic answer if you are in a rush: More coffee is used to make a cold brew is the reason why it is more caffeinated.

Keep reading for a more detailed answer.

Why Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?

The main reason that cold brew coffee has more caffeine comes down to one key factor:

More coffee is used to make cold brewed coffee.

Two huge influential factors in the amount of caffeine that your coffee drink has are the amount of coffee used to make the drink and the volume of the beverage.

Cold-brewed coffee is made using a 1:6 or 1:8 coffee to water ratio, meaning there is a high concentration of coffee in relation to the water used to make the drink.

The grind size and brew time are related to each other as is the brewing temperature and caffeine extraction rate.

While hot coffee and hot water extraction is much more effective at extracting caffeine, hot water is not used for cold brew coffee as this coffee’s flavor profile requires that you extract the low flavor compounds to get the well-rounded and balanced mellow flavors.

It is the large coarse grind size that permits a longer brew time without over extracting the bitter notes and flavors and giving the caffeine long enough to be extracted.

Why Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?
Cold Brew Have More Caffeine

Read: Does cold brew have more caffeine than iced coffee?

How Much Caffeine Is In Cold Brew Starbucks?

A regular cold brew coffee at Starbucks has an ample 155 mg in the smallest drink size that it is available in to a whopping 360 mg of caffeine in the largest Trenta 30 oz (900 ml) drink size.

Starbucks being, well, Starbucks, means there is a wide range of options as far as their cold brew coffee goes. The following table below shows you the caffeine content of the most popular cold brew drinks for all drink sizes that they are available in.

Drink Size Regular Cold Brew Coffee Vanilla Sweet Cream Col Brew Cold Brew Coffee With Milk Cold Foam Cold Brew Coffee Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Coffee Irish Cream Cold Brew
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 155 mg 140 mg 150 mg 155 mg 140 mg 140 mg 140 mg
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 205 mg 185 mg 200 mg 205 mg 185 mg 185 mg 185 mg
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml). 310 mg 275 mg 300 mg 310 mg 275 mg 275 mg 275 mg
Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml). 360 mg 320 mg 330 mg 360 mg 320 mg 315 mg 315 mg

It is clear that at the two higher drink sizes that cold brew is available in for all the popular flavors and toppings is highly caffeinated.

At Latte Love Brew, we consider more than 150 mg in a single drink to be highly caffeinated as this is the equivalent of two shots of espresso. Please stick to the guidelines set out by the FDA which suggest a maximum daily caffeine intake of 200 mg per day for pregnant ladies and 400 mg for healthy adults.

Cold Brew Coffee Vs Other Coffee Drinks

Cold brew coffee is very different from other coffee drinks as it is specifically designed and brewed to extract the low temperature flavors which results in a very mellow and well-rounded coffee that is very easy to drink and has an acidity that is up to 66% less acidic than other coffee beverages.

Let’s see how cold brew coffee compares to other coffee drinks!

Drink Size Regular Cold Brew Coffee Iced Coffee Brewed Coffee Caffe Latte Cappuccino Flat White
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 155 mg 120 mg 155 mg 75 mg 75 mg 130 mg
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 205 mg 165 mg 235 mg 150 mg 150 mg 195 mg
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml). 310 mg 235 mg 310 mg 150 mg 150 mg 195 mg
Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml). 360 mg 285 mg 410 mg N/A N/A N/A

Despite caffeine being easier to extract at higher temperatures, it is clear that cold brew coffee and the long extraction time is just as effective at extracting the caffeine content and stands up well, and in most cases better when compared to other coffee beverages when it comes to the amount of caffeine that is in a coffee drink.

Read: Cold brew Vs Iced coffee?

How To Make Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is very easy to make. It is undoubtedly one of the easiest coffee drinks to make and requires the least amount of equipment.

Equipment Needed To Make A Cold Brew Coffee

Very few equipment is needed to make an amazing and tasty cold brew coffee. Here is what you will need:

  • A ceramic flat burr grinder.
  • A large glass airtight container.
  • A metal mesh sieve.

A ceramic flat burr grinder is preferred as it produces the best quality and most consistent grind size.

Ingredients You Will Need To Make An Amazing Cold Brew Coffee

At Latte Love Brew, it is our philosophy and ethos that the best ingredients and the best equipment will produce the best tasting coffee.

However, it is not our style nor manner to encourage anyone to over spend on any equipment or coffee that they cannot afford. Simply buy the best that you can afford.

Here is what you will need:

  • Premium quality Freshly roasted medium-dark or dark roasted whole coffee beans.
  • Bottled or filtered water.

The better your beans and the better the quality of your water, the better your cold brew coffee will be. I suggest Nicaraguan organic dark roast coffee as the coffee is shade grown and is sweeter, with notes of chocolate, caramel and light citrus flavors coming through.

Nicaraguan Segovia Dark Roast by Tiny Footprint coffee is a great choice as they are both fair trade and carbon-negative coffee. They plant more new treats to offset the carbon footprint of their coffee.

How Much Caffeine Is In Cold Brew Starbucks?
Bottled Cold Brew Coffee

Read: Does cold brew have more caffeine?

Instructions For Making A Cold Brew Coffee

Start by weighing your coffee and calculating how much water you will need. The golden ratio as set by the Specialty Coffee Association of America for cold brew coffee is 1:8.

Due to the long extraction time, it is a great idea to make a lot of cold brew coffee as the brew time can be as long as 24 hours to 36 hours. Plus, cold brew coffee will stay fresh in your fridge for 5 to 7 days.

To make 32 Oz (960 ml) of cold brew coffee you will need to weigh 4 Oz (120 grams) of whole bean coffee.

Weigh your whole beans and grind them to coarse and even grind size using your ceramic flat burr grinder. Grind in 5 second bursts and rest for 3 seconds.

The burst technique is the best for grinding coffee.

Put your 120 grams (4 oz) of coffee grounds in your airtight glass container. A glass container is preferred as coffee is acidic and will leech the chemicals from plastic into your coffee.

Add 32 Oz (960 ml) of bottled or filtered water. Ice-cold water is best. Put your coffee in your fridge to extract. This act of letting your coffee extract while it is in your fridge will extend the brew time but will ensure that you get all the low temperature flavor compounds.

After 21 hours taste test your brew. If it is to your liking, great, perfect. If it is not, leave it in your fridge to brew for a few more hours and taste test again.

When you have the perfect taste, filter your coffee grounds from your cold brew coffee. If you forget to filter your coffee grounds, you will end up with an overtly bitter coffee as it will continue to brew.

Use a metal coffee filter or a metal mesh sieve to remove your coffee grounds. The result will be bolder and better coffee with more coffee oils in your coffee.

Serve and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?

Why is Cold Brew Coffee So Strong?

The principal reason behind cold brew coffee being so strong is the strong and focused coffee to water ratio that is used to make cold brew. The typical cold brew ratio is from 1:6 to 1:8, which when compared to a drip coffee, which has a ratio of 1:15 to 1:17.

This alone, the use of a greater quantity of coffee in relation to the water which means it has a greater concentration of coffee and more coffee used means a greater caffeine content.

Why Does Cold Brew Give Me More Energy?

Cold brew coffee gives you more energy because it has a greater caffeine content than other coffee brewing methods. While hot coffee like drip coffee, espresso and other use heat to extract the caffeine cold brew coffee uses time.

Caffeine binds to the receptors of a neurotransmitter, adenosine, which is responsible for sleepiness and the feeling of fatigue. By blocking adenosine, you get a sensation of increased energy.

Why Is Cold Brew Better?

Cold brew is better because it is not only a healthier brew to enjoy than regular coffee but because it is delicious, balanced and well-rounded coffee. It is less acidic and is easier to enjoy, as I like to say, “naked” with no milk or sugar added, meaning it is low calorie, low sugar and has a great concentration of nutrients, antioxidants, and phenolic compounds that are great for you.

Does Cold Brew Coffee Have Less Caffeine Than Regular?

No, quite the opposite, cold brew coffee is a coffee that has an elevated caffeine content.

Here is how much caffeine you can expect in a cold brew coffee from Starbucks:

  • Tall 12 Oz (360 ml): 155 mg.
  • Grande 16 Oz (480 ml): 205 mg.
  • Venti 24 Oz (720 ml): 310 mg.
  • Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml): 360 mg.

This shows you a good benchmark of how much caffeine is in cold brew coffee, which is more than most regular hot brewed coffee beverages of a similar drink size.

Does Cold Brew Burn Fat?

Yes, cold brew coffee like all hot brewed coffee that are enjoyed black your resting metabolism can be increased 11%. When your metabolic rate is increased, the rate at which you burn fat is increased also.

Why Does Cold Brew Not Hurt My Stomach?

Cold brew coffee contains crude polysaccharides which have the effect of decreasing the irritation of your guy and enhancing the immunity of your digestive system.

Also, due to extracting the low temperature compounds, cold brew coffee is up 66% less acidic than hot coffee, which makes it easier on the stomach.

Is Cold Brew Good For Liver?

Coffee is strongly associated with a reduced risk of developing liver disease and is commonly used as an enema to aid liver health. Cold brew may be a better way due to the higher concentration and the reduced acidity.

Does Cold Brew Make You More Awake?

Cold brew cold can help you to be more alert due to the caffeine content and the documented effect that it has on blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of lethargy and tiredness.

Final Thoughts – Why Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine?

I hope that I have answered that question, why does cold brew have more caffeine and explained why this particular coffee beverage is more caffeinated.

If I have missed something, or you have any questions relating to the caffeine content of cold brewed coffee, ask us, and we will be happy to answer all questions that you have.

Join our cool coffee community and share your amazing coffee creations, ideas, latte art creations and tell us about the amazing new beans you are trying out. Find us on Facebook/Meta.

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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