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Cold Brew vs. Espresso

Cold Brew vs. Espresso

Cold Brew vs. Espresso: Which One Provides More Caffeine Kick?

It's believed that roughly 73% of people drink coffee every day. There are a lot of different reasons why people drink coffee. Some like the taste, others the communal aspects.

However, perhaps the most common reason why people drink the hot beverage is for the caffeine content. In the morning coffee world, two beverages stand out for their high caffeine content: cold brew and espressos.

So between cold brew vs. espresso, which one has the higher caffeine kick? And how much caffeine should you be consuming each day? This guide will answer these questions so you can decide which options best fit your preferences and caffeine needs.

What Is Cold Brew?

Before we learn more about their respective caffeine content it's important to be familiar with how cold brew and espresso are made. Cold brew coffee involves steeping coffee grounds for an extended period.

Making cold brew at home doesn't involve a lot of equipment, but it will require a good deal of time. You're making a coffee concentrate by letting the grounds soak for up to twenty-four hours.

The result is a strong drink that lacks some of the acidity of other coffee beverages. Many people agree that the taste of cold brew is also a lot smoother.

Because it's so concentrated most people will dilute it first when serving it. You can do this either by adding water to the finished product or milk and sugar.

As the name suggests, it's usually served cold over ice. Check out our guide if you want to learn how to make your cold brew at home.

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is also a concentrated shot of coffee. The difference is in the brewing method. Espresso makers use vast amounts of pressure to quickly force hot water through coffee grounds.

When grinding coffee beans for espresso the grounds must be as fine as possible. That way they can be tampered into a single serving. Besides the brewing method, one of the biggest differences between cold brew and espresso is the quantity.

Cold brews can yield a lot of coffee that is meant to be sipped and enjoyed. Espresso yields a small amount of coffee, typically one or two shots worth. To enjoy espresso on its own, you simply throw back the shot.

Though the flavors are meant to be savored, espresso is a drink designed for busy people. Alternatively, you can also combine espresso shots with different forms of steamed or hot milk. This is how you create coffee drinks like lattes.

Which One Has More Caffeine: Cold Brew vs. Espresso?

The answer to these questions can be a bit complicated. If you're going by serving size, cold brew drinks do technically have more caffeine. It's estimated that one serving of cold brew can have up to 250 milligrams of caffeine in it.

A cup of espresso on the other hand can only have up to 70 milligrams of caffeine in it. However, if we're going by the amount of caffeine per ounce, espresso is the clear winner.

The average espresso shot is around one ounce, while the average cold brew is around eight ounces.

That means that per ounce, cold brew only has 28 milligrams of caffeine compared to espresso's 70 milligrams. Ultimately, the amount of caffeine you get comes down to how you prepare and enjoy it.

How Much Caffeine Should You Be Consuming?

There's no denying that caffeine can have practical benefits on our lives like making us more alert when we need it most. However, like anything, consuming too much can harm instead of help.

In addition to raising your heart rate, too much caffeine can affect your sleep and upset your stomach. So how much should you be consuming each day?

According to the FDA, you shouldn't consume more than four hundred milligrams of caffeine per day. To put that in perspective that breaks down to:

  • Four cups of coffee
  • Two cups of cold brew
  • Six small cups of espresso

Keep in mind that different coffee beverages can have variations in their caffeine content. So if you brew your coffee extra strong one morning it might represent double the caffeine.

Don't panic about consuming too much caffeine. Going overboard with your cup of coffee one day won't ruin your health.

However, it's something that regular coffee drinkers should be aware of. You don't want to make a habit of consuming over four hundred milligrams of caffeine per day.

How to Find Quality Coffee for Your Cold Brews or Espresso

It doesn't matter if you want to make cold brew or espresso - you need quality coffee to do either. Unfortunately, finding quality coffee beans can be a challenge especially if you're shopping at the grocery store.

So what are some good signs that you've stumbled upon an excellent supplier? First, pay attention to the country of origin. Depending on where it's grown, different growing conditions will impart different flavors.

As such, any coffee seller worth their salt will have no problem listing all of the different farms they use to supply their product. Next, pay attention to when they roast their coffee beans.

Once a bean is roasted it quickly has an expiration date. So the beans should be roasted as close to consumption as possible. Lastly, make sure they don't sell pre-grounded coffee.

This is another telltale sign that your seller doesn't care about quality. While pre-ground might be more convenient it can drastically affect the flavor and shelf-life of your coffee.

That's why many corporate coffee companies at preservatives and fillers to their pre-ground coffee to make it last longer.

Ready for High-Quality Coffee? Shop At Time for Caffe

We hope this guide helped you learn more about the caffeine content of cold brew vs. espresso. Here at Time for Caffe, we believe that regardless of which option you prefer you deserve to have delicious coffee in your life.

And that starts with bean freshness. That's why we roast our coffee beans the day before they ship so they arrive at peak freshness.

So if you're ready to taste the difference quality coffee can make in your cup of Joe, explore our different blends today.


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