Home » Instant Coffee Caffeine Levels Report: Mastering Your Morning Brew

Instant Coffee Caffeine Levels Report: Mastering Your Morning Brew

Is Caffeine in Instant Coffee too Less or Too Much?

Since the emergence of instant coffee I have been impressed with the way this type of coffee is made. I like it because it is easy to prepare and gives a fairly good caffeine flavor. This caffeine is what makes me and millions around the world drink coffee. But is instant coffee a substitute for fresh coffee? Or rather, does instant coffee contain less caffeine?

Several companies started producing instant coffee. And commercials have started telling you to replace your daily fresh coffee with instant coffee. If I want to replace my coffee with instant coffee, one of the first things I will look at is the amount of caffeine in the instant coffee.

Does instant coffee contain less caffeine? According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), one teaspoon of instant coffee contains about 40 mg of caffeine.

It is not far from the percentage of caffeine found in some types of fresh ground coffee, for example. If you compare this percentage with a coffee such as espresso or French press, which contains caffeine, up to 200 mg. certainly, the percentage of caffeine present in instant coffee is less than fresh coffee.

Caffeine in Instant Coffee Compared To Coffee Beans

Instant coffee contains less caffeine compared to any type of coffee. Caffeine are one of the most important things that are considered to regulate the diet and maintain the freshness of the skin and the vitality of the body etc. I will mention several facts that must be known in order to determine whether the amount of caffeine in instant coffee is a cause for concern or not?

  • Instant coffee contains antioxidants. Sometimes the antioxidants are much greater than those found in fresh coffee. This is definitely a good thing.
  • Instant coffee always contains less caffeine compared to fresh coffee. To find out how much caffeine is in fresh coffee, just read the product label.
  • Instant coffee contains acrylamide in an amount up to twice the amount found in fresh coffee. This substance is considered a toxic chemical, but the amount found in either instant coffee or fresh coffee is less than what is considered harmful.

The instant coffee is quick to prepare, requires little effort, and tastes very acceptable. There is no logical reason why you should not use it, especially if you are traveling and time does not help you to make your own coffee.

Why Does Instant Coffee Contain Less Caffeine?

A recent Mayo Clinic study on caffeine shows that the caffeine present in instant coffee is about 30% less than the rate of caffeine in other types of coffee. This is not the first study to confirm that the caffeine in instant coffee is less. It was preceded by many studies, the most important of which is the USDA study.  

Both instant coffee and ground coffee are made from the same types of coffee. There are two types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta.

Arabica is the most popular and the best quality, while Robusta is the most common but somewhat less good. Robusta is more popular because it is less expensive and contains less caffeine than Robusta.

Due to Robusta’s cheaper price and higher caffeine content, more companies are turning to Robusta in the production of instant coffee. Despite that, the caffeine present in instant coffee is still less than any fresh coffee!

The main reason why instant coffee contains less caffeine is the way it is prepared. When preparing instant coffee, freeze drying or spray drying is used, and both methods cause a decrease in caffeine because it burns some caffeine during the process. Note that both methods do not cause coffee to lose its flavor and antioxidants.

For a deeper look into brewing techniques, you can check out our comparison on Brewing Techniques: Blends vs. Instant.”

Caffeine levels in instant coffee slightly differ from one company to another. And also according to the user’s preferences. Some, for example, prefer to use more than one packet of instant coffee. This definitely affects the amount of caffeine in the cup of coffee.

How to Measure Caffeine in Instant Coffee?

All reputable companies that manufacture instant coffee or any other product put all the information and ingredients of their product on the product label. You can accurately check the amount of caffeine of instant coffee by reading the product label. If you come across a product without a label, whether it is instant coffee or something else, I recommend that you dispose of it immediately.

These companies measure the caffeine of their instant coffee and place it on the packet label. Each company differs in the way it reads the proportions of product ingredients. But most of them measure the caffeine in instant coffee use a method called ultraviolet spectroscopy. It is a very accurate method, inexpensive for corporate use, but expensive for personal use.

Therefore, measuring the amount of caffeine in instant coffee is not very useful especially when the amount is already recorded on the product label. Even if you want to measure the amount of caffeine yourself, the result will be very close to the number on the label.

But if you insist on that. A method for measuring the amount of caffeine in instant coffee is using ultraviolet spectrometer. Yeah, the same method used big companies.

It is not as easy as you think because you need to get to a suitable laboratory to start your analysis of the amount of caffeine in the instant coffee. Also, you will need to understand some basics of analytical chemistry.

Decaf Instant Coffee – Is it Really Zero Caffeine?

Because some people are sensitive to caffeine, or because some people want decaf coffee. Fast coffee companies have produced decaf instant coffee. Also, other types of fresh coffee come in the form of decaffeinated coffee.

Decaf instant coffee is an excellent option for those who suffer from allergies or do not want caffeine for different reasons.

However, this does not make the instant coffee contains zero caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee in general, whether it is instant coffee or fresh coffee, contains very trace amounts of caffeine. These percentages are negligible, but they are present.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coffee Caffeine Vs. Soda

Coffee has more caffeine than soda. A can of soda has about 30-40 milligrams of caffeine, but a cup of coffee can have 95-200 milligrams. So, if you need a strong energy boost, coffee might be better.

Click here to learn more about caffeine in coffee versus soda.

Is There Instant Coffee To Make Cold Brew Coffee?

To make cold brew coffee, you primarily need espresso. Instant coffee does not extract an espresso drink.

Is Instant Coffee The Same as Coffee Capsules and Pods?

Coffee capsules and pods are specially made for the production of espresso drinks using coffee machines. While the instant coffee is only needs hot water to be ready. Explore more about the differences between Coffee Capsules vs Pods.

Does Instant Coffee Come With Different Roasting Degrees?

Usually the degree of instant coffee roasting ranges from light to medium roasting. As for the degree of roasting dark coffee, it is intended for making espresso. Instant coffee does not produce high quality espresso.

Is Instant Coffee The Same As Ground Coffee?

Instant coffee differs from pre-ground coffee beans. As the ground coffee beans usually contain more caffeine and freshly flavored coffee.


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