Sources related to average caffeine content per preparation method
for (6oz cup, arabica coffee)

  • Filter drip 150 [Mg. of Caffeine]
  • Percolated 125
  • Espresso 100
  • Instant 60
  • Decaffeinated 4

    instant coffee to have less caffeine than the methods involving filtering.
    I just can't get my head around that, as in instant (e.g., Nescafe) coffee preparation we practically put the coffee into the cup and eat it.
    How is it possible filtered beans to have more caffeine than eaten beans?

  • 1
    It could be that the reason is that you don't apply pressure in Turkish coffee, like you said, you just put the ground beans in a cup. Also, the temperature is lower, at least from what I know (from Balkans+Istanbul) - you don't put the coffee in boiling water.
    – schvaba
    Apr 16, 2015 at 19:18
  • You may be right. Regarding the preparation, you don't put the coffee in the boiling water, as you said, you put it in the cold water and then wait for it till it boils (few minutes), so it stays at pretty much the boiling point, moreover for far longer than espresso (which is on average, extracted for 25 sec (1ml/sec)).
    – Ziezi
    Apr 16, 2015 at 19:45
  • Yes, I remember sth. similar although a few minutes in boiling water seems like a lot. Regarding the percolator, the lower density of steam compared to that of water might have an effect of your list as well, i.e., on how much caffeine gets extracted.
    – schvaba
    Apr 16, 2015 at 19:58
  • 1
    Instant coffee and Turkish coffee are two completely different things. Similar to the difference between minute rice and rice. Apr 17, 2015 at 19:09
  • 1
    I think there are too many variables to really determine "caffeine amount" from numbers like you've listed: e.g., how "strong" is the coffee, how much coffee (grounds) were used to start with, etc. See also questions like this one about caffeine content and others tagged caffeine.
    – hoc_age
    Apr 20, 2015 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


With instant coffee, you are not "practically eating the beans;" you are drinking reconstituted dried coffee.

To create instant coffee granules, the manufacturer first brews the coffee using conventional methods and then either freeze-dries or spray-dries the coffee to create a soluble powder form. Dried coffee.

The amount of caffeine in the instant coffee will depend largely the original brewing process. Since commercial instant coffee is created in very large volumes, they are likely extracting coffee faster than our meticulous home-brewed methods. So while caffeine is water soluble, it takes more time for the caffeine to be extracted and absorbed in the water than other compounds. And "more time" is not something that the mass-produced instant process allows. Less extraction time = less caffeine.

  • 2
    See also a question about how instant coffee is made.
    – hoc_age
    Apr 20, 2015 at 19:13
  • Do you have a source to support this? I'd reason that they would want to get the most out of their resources (of which the roasted coffee probably is the most expensive) so they'll try to extract as much as possible. I'd push for the highest extraction rate that still tastes reasonable (or good if it's meant to be specialty coffee). I don't know how that impacts caffeine, probably depends on the other variables too, like temperature in the production process.
    – JJJ
    Oct 19, 2019 at 22:26

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