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Instant coffee, also known as soluble coffee, is a fast, easy, and often inexpensive alternative to brewed coffee. Best of all, no coffee maker or brewing is required to stir up a cup of instant coffee in a matter of moments. While all of this sounds great, instant coffee often loses some of the intense aroma, flavour, and caffeine content associated with coffee beans, grounds, and espresso. 

Considering how vital caffeine is to the coffee experience, this can be a major con for many people, but it may not be as bad as you think. So, how much caffeine is in instant coffee? This article explores the answer to this question and compares instant coffee to other common caffeinated beverages. It will also answer common questions pertaining to instant coffee to help you better understand what instant coffee is and what makes it different from brewed coffee.

Caffeine in Instant Coffee Explained

What Is the Caffeine Content of a Cup of Instant Coffee?

So, how much caffeine is in instant coffee? The amount of caffeine in a cup of instant coffee varies greatly depending on the brand of coffee and how much coffee you use.

In general, instant coffee has a caffeine content ranging from 2 to 130 milligrams of caffeine per cup if you include decaf. A 40 to 100mg range is most common for caffeinated instant coffee.

In general, instant coffee has a caffeine content ranging from 2 to 130 milligrams of caffeine per cup if you include decaf. A 40 to 100mg range is most common for caffeinated instant coffee.

Some instant coffees boast a higher caffeine content, but for the most part, a two-teaspoon, or a 2-gram serving, which is the typical amount used in the average cup of instant coffee, has a caffeine content of 63mg.

What Effects Caffeine Content in Instant Coffee and Coffee Beans?

Most people add two teaspoons of instant coffee per cup of hot water, but how much you use when making it depends on your personal taste and flavour preference. If you prefer a weak coffee flavour, you may want to use less and possibly add milk. If you prefer a stronger coffee flavour, you may choose to add more instant coffee granules.

With brewed coffee and instant coffee alike, where the coffee is grown and how the coffee beans are roasted also affect how much caffeine will be in your drink. The longer a coffee bean is roasted, the more caffeine and flavour it will develop. In addition, coffee grown in lower altitude conditions will result in higher caffeine content.

Does Instant Coffee Have Less Caffeine Than Brewed Coffee and Other Caffeinated Drinks?

How much caffeine does instant coffee have compared to other coffees and caffeinated drinks? Instant coffee has about 30 to 50% less caffeine than espresso or brewed coffee. So if you are looking for a drink with more caffeine, instant coffee may not be ideal for your purposes unless you enjoy drinking several cups of coffee to get an effect similar to one brewed coffee.

Again, the instant coffee caffeine content is primarily determined by the brand. However, if you compare coffee drinks based on a 12 oz cup size, 96 milligrams of caffeine is common in instant coffee, 136 milligrams of caffeine is common in brewed coffee, and 64 milligrams of caffeine is common in espresso. With espresso, keep in mind that you may drink a double, bringing the caffeine content up to 128 milligrams of caffeine per 12oz cup.

Compared to an energy drink, caffeine in instant coffee again tends to come up short. Energy drinks vary greatly, but they tend to have about the same caffeine content as brewed coffee. The main difference with an energy drink is that it will often contain high levels of sugar and caffeine, which can contribute to the overall amount of energy you get from drinking them.

An instant tea drink or brewed tea drink will always have less caffeine than instant coffee. Tea tends to have only about 25 to 30 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Just remember to take into account that you may drink several cups.

How Much Caffeine Is Recommended per Day?

Now that we know all about the amount of caffeine instant coffee contains, how much caffeine is recommended for safe consumption in a single day?

While the numbers can vary based on certain health factors specific to you, size, weight, and susceptibility to caffeine, a 400mg daily caffeine intake is recommended for adults. It is also recommended that you not exceed 600mg of caffeine per day. You will begin to feel jittery if you have too much caffeine in your system. This is your body’s way of alerting you that you have possibly had too much at one time.

On the other hand, pregnant women are advised against consuming more than 200mg of caffeine per day to avoid possible complications if they choose to consume it all.

Other Instant Coffee Considerations

Are There Any Health Concerns Related to Instant Coffee?

While we do not aim to provide medical advice, many people wonder whether or not there are any health concerns related to instant coffee. While instant coffee is generally thought to be unharmful and possibly even good for you in some ways, instant coffee contains more acrylamide than brewed coffee.

Acrylamide is thought to be harmful when consumed in larger quantities. Still, the amount in instant coffee is considered more than safe, exceptionally if you do not exceed the daily caffeine intake recommendation.

What Are the Health Benefits Associated With Instant Coffee?

While caffeine is an addictive substance that targets your nervous system to get a stimulated response, caffeine in coffee is, in fact, thought to be good for you when ingested using moderation.

Like brewed coffee, instant coffee contains antioxidants and nutrients in every cup. One study showed some instant coffees might have more antioxidants than normal coffee, but typically, instant coffee tends to have somewhat less overall.

Coffee, instant coffee included, may also help prevent health issues such as liver cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and type 2 Diabetes for some people.

How Is Instant Coffee Different From Regular Coffee?

Regular coffee and instant coffee both start as green coffee beans. They are then roasted, and this is where the process splits. Regular ground coffee or coffee beans are then bagged and sold for brewing at home. Instant coffee follows a more complicated production process to form a concentrated, soluble coffee product. For anyone wondering, this means that you can not use regular coffee grounds to make a cup of coffee in the same way as instant coffee.

How Is Instant Coffee Made?

After the initial roasting, instant coffee is made into a concentrate. To do this, the roasted coffee beans are ground and brewed. The brewed coffee is then heated at a low temperature for a lengthy amount of time to reduce the coffee down to a concentrated form.

Next, the concentrate is dehydrated using either a spray-drying or freeze-drying process. The dehydrated coffee concentrate is then cut or ground into small pieces resulting in a powder or granule texture that will easily dissolve and reconstitute in hot water.

Enjoy Your Instant Coffee!

Instant coffee typically has about 30 to 50% less caffeine than brewed coffee and espresso. Of course, the amount of caffeine in instant coffee varies greatly based on the brand and the amount of instant coffee powder or granules you use to make a cup.

You may want to introduce instant coffee into your regular caffeine intake schedule if you are looking for a weak coffee or cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink in a day. It’s also an excellent option if you’re too busy and thus avoid the coffee shop or brewing coffee with a coffee machine.

Are you a coffee enthusiast? Do you like instant coffee in addition to brewed beverages? Let us know in the comments!

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