Do some coffee makers extract more caffeine than others?

by Stacie
(Fairfax, VA)


QUESTION:


It seems that no matter what coffee bean we buy we just can't get a buzz from our drip home brewer. (Not so when we use Lavazza coffee in our Bialetti stovetop espresso pot...) Which coffee makers do a better job at extracting caffeine? How do we get the most buzz for our buck? I don't want to buy another coffee maker without knowing what to look for when it comes to maximizing caffeine content. Thanks!


ANSWER:

Interesting question. : )

The extraction of caffeine goes hand in hand with the extraction of the coffee itself. So if you want as much caffeine as possible extracted, you want the best possible extraction from the coffee grinds themselves.

The Bialetti will do that for you, as will a percolator, or even a French press.

The problem with the drip brewer, as popular as they may be, is that the hot water simply drips through the grinds. No pressure is applied. There is no mechanism whereby the water is forced around every grind, extracting every last drop of flavor...and caffeine.

The way most people get around this is to make a stronger brew by increasing the proportion of coffee grinds to water.

But if you are after maximum extraction – of both flavor and caffeine - just stick with brewing methods other than drip brewers.

Comments for Do some coffee makers extract more caffeine than others?

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Oct 26, 2010
Best extraction
by: Larry Singer

I've tried them all: drip (expensive & inexpensive), French press, percolator, etc. The best I've found is the Cuisinart percolator. I use one heaping coffee measure per cup (5 oz), and the result is perfect coffee every time.

Oct 26, 2010
caffeine info...
by: pistachio

Unlike soft drinks or foods with set caffeine levels, there is no set concentration of caffeine in coffee. Different varieties of coffee beans contain different levels of caffeine. Arabica beans range from 1.2% to 1.8%, Robusta beans can reach as high as 2.4%, and some relatively non-commercial beans such as Excelsa (aka Chari) can have almost no caffeine at all, making them a perfect component for naturally low-caffeine coffee bean blends. Also, many processing factors can increase or decrease the amount of caffeine in coffee. See the table below to see a comparison of the amounts of caffeine in various type of coffee and other products.

Robusta coffee (drip brewed)
140 - 200 mg caffeine per 6 ounce average cup
Arabica coffee
(drip brewed) 75 - 130 mg average 6 ounce cup
Arabica/Excelsa blend coffee (drip brewed) 40 - 60 mg average 6 ounce cup
Espresso (typical serving)
30 - 50 mg average 1 ounce shot
Instant coffee 40 - 100 mg average 6 ounce cup
97% decaf coffee
3 - 6 mg caffeine per 6-7 ounces average cup
99.92% Euro decaf standard coffee
8 - 16 mg caffeine per 6-7 ounce average cup
Hot cocoa
10 - 15 mg caffeine per 6-7 ounce cup
Dark chocolate candy bar
50 - 100 mg caffeine per 6 ounce bar
Milk chocolate candy bar
30 - 50 mg caffeine per 6 ounce bar
Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew soda 20 - 26 mg caffeine per 6-7 ounce drink
Green tea (brewed)
12 - 30 mg per 6-7 ounce average cup
Black tea (brewed)
40 - 60 mg per 6-7 ounce average cup

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