Before we get into an in depth explanation of everything, I thought I’d quickly answer the question first: yes, a cappuccino does have caffeine. It’s less caffeine than what you’d find in an 8 ounce cup of brewed coffee, but it’s still caffeine nonetheless.
How much caffeine in a cappuccino?
It’s difficult to say exactly how much, but on average, a cappuccino made from a single shot of espresso has about 80mg of caffeine per serving(6 ounces or so).
By contrast, an 8 ounce cup of brewed coffee has 160mg of caffeine.
Does that mean cappuccino is weaker?
The reason there is such a large difference between the caffeine content of a cappuccino and of regular coffee is that regular coffee is 8 whole ounces of brewed coffee, whereas cappuccinos contain just a single espresso shot. Everything else is steamed milk.
If you were to have a cappuccino with a double shot of espresso, the caffeine total would be doubled, too, now reaching 160mg, comparable to a cup of brewed java.
Are these exact figures?
In the section above, I’ve mentioned that cappuccinos contain about 80mg of caffeine per serving and drip coffee contains about 160mg.
Are those exact figures? No way! Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say exactly how much caffeine there will be as there are a lot of other variables.
The most potent variable here is the kind of coffee bean you’re using.
First off, arabica beans have less caffeine than robusta beans. Some coffee beans within the arabica or robusta family tend to have more caffeine than others, and some manufacturers even make high caffeine blends (usually from mixes of robusta and arabica) that have excessive amounts of caffeine in each serving.
To best judge how much caffeine is in your cappuccino or coffee, you should check the product label on your coffee beans. Some manufacturers do include numbers for how much caffeine you’ll get per serving.
Finally, it’s also important to consider the volume of coffee you are drinking. A 12 ounce cup of coffee has nearly 300mg of caffeine, whereas a 12 ounce cup of cappuccino made from two espresso shots has around 160 mg of caffeine.
Wait, isn’t espresso supposed to be stronger?
At this point you’re probably wondering why espresso(and by extension, cappuccino) is considered stronger than drip coffee but has so much less caffeine.
Espresso is stronger than drip coffee, much more stronger. Consider this:
- One espresso shot is 1.5 ounces and contains 80 mg of caffeine
- One cup of drip coffee(or filter/french press/what have you) is 8 ounces and contains 160 mg of caffeine
If you were to drink the same volume of cappuccino – almost 5 shots to get to 8 total ounces, you’d have consumed a whopping 400mg of caffeine.
The same volume of drip coffee gets you just 160mg. See the difference?
In the end it all depends on the amount of coffee grounds that you use. If you were to use enough coffee grounds for just one shot of espresso and pulled 5 shots from it, you’d have a very diluted beverage.
But if you pulled 5 shots from 5 servings of coffee grounds, you’d get the 400mg of caffeine.
What about calories?
Cappuccino has more calories than drip coffee, period.
There’s just no doubt here – and this is especially true if you’re buying the stuff from fast food coffee chains.
Drip coffee is usually enjoyed black, in which case, you’re looking at just 1-2 calories per 8 ounce cup!
If you decide to add one tablespoon of 2% milk and one teaspoon of sugar, you’re looking at 25-26 calories per cup.
Note: If you tend to drink 16 ounce coffees(or any other large serving), you’ll need to multiply the figures provided here accordingly.
Compare that with cappuccino: along with the espresso shot, which is 1-2 calories, you’re adding 4 ounces or so of milk, so the total calories comes out more to around 60 per single serving.
Most coffee shops won’t serve you 6 ounce cappuccinos, though, as their sizes will be more like 10-12 ounces, in which case you can double to 60 calories straight to 120. Added sugar or syrups? PILE ON THE CALORIES!
Are calories necessarily bad? Of course not, if you’re drinking and eating in moderation and have room for the calories, enjoy! But if you’re watching your weight and food intake, you need to take this into consideration.
How much caffeine in instant cappuccino?
First off, I don’t really consider instant cappuccino to be “coffee”. But in case you were wondering, yes, instant cappuccino does have caffeine in it: anywhere between 30-100 mg per serving.
The reason the number is so vast is that instant coffee is quite temperamental and manufacturers use a whole host of different beans and blends to make it.
As a result, it’s hard to say how much caffeine there actually is.