Does Cappuccino Have Caffeine? Is It More Than Regular Coffee?

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Whenever I stay up late for my daily grind, I am always accompanied by a mug of drip coffee. However, my taste buds have been dying of boredom recently. For a change in flavors, I decided to drink a cappuccino. But, wait, does cappuccino have caffeine? 

A cappuccino made with a single shot of espresso has 63 mg of caffeine, compared to about 95 mg of caffeine in a cup of drip coffee. Medium-sized cappuccinos, like a Starbucks Grande, usually have a double shot of espresso or about 126 mg of caffeine.

Let me share everything I know about cappuccino’s caffeine content and efficacy for pulling an all-nighter. 

What Is Cappuccino?

A cup of cappuccino, a delicious espresso beverage

Cappuccino is a popular Italian coffee beverage made from espresso and milk, but unlike a single-shot cafe latte, a cappuccino has equal amounts of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. Its etymology is also surprising: it got its name from the color of a Capuchin friar’s robe! 

The creation of cappuccino

The modern-day cappuccino is the result of having milk-with-coffee variants. It was inspired by Kapuziner, a Viennese-style coffee that was popular in the 1700s. It’s topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon. 

After the invention of espresso machines in the early 20th century, Italians improved the coffee recipe by adding steamed milk to coffee, thereby giving birth to the contemporary cappuccino.

Now that you are familiar with this joe’s history, grab your phone or paper and list down everything you need to make this delicious cup of cappuccino.

Cappuccino’s basic ingredients

Your cappuccino has the following ingredients poured in equally proportioned layers:

  • 1/3 Espresso

Espresso is the bottom-most part of your cappuccino. You usually need an espresso machine for this coffee extract, but you can also pour Aeropress espresso or French press espresso.

  • 1/3 Steamed milk

The middle layer of your cappuccino is steamed milk.

To steam your milk, you need a milk frother or an espresso machine with a milk steamer. Fill 1/3 of the measuring pitcher with cold milk. Then,  submerge the steam wand near the pitcher. It’s important to aerate the milk with little to no air bubbles to make the milk’s texture smooth.

  • 1/3 Milk foam

The topmost part of your cappuccino is a layer of frothed milk.

This foamy substance is created once milk fat is broken down. After heating the milk for five to six seconds, start moving the steam wand above the surface to create microbubbles and make it airy. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can try other ways to steam and froth your milk.

How Much Caffeine Is in a Cappuccino?

Cappuccinos are caffeinated drinks. But will drinking cappuccinos be too much for your daily intake? Let’s find out whether its caffeine is enough to keep you going. 

The caffeine content of a cappuccino depends on the amount of espresso in it. You need at least an espresso shot for a regular-size cappuccino. Each espresso shot is one ounce with roughly 63 mg of caffeine. 

If you want to double the shots, your cappuccino will have at least 120 mg of caffeine. According to Healthline, you can consume 173 mg of caffeine from a 16-ounce cappuccino. It’s still considered healthy since 400 mg of caffeine is the caffeine limit for most healthy adults.

Does a cappuccino keep you awake?

A cup of cappuccino can keep you wide awake for a few hours unless you have a high caffeine tolerance.

That’s because it is made from espresso that contains caffeine. 

Based on a medical review, you will feel energetic 15 minutes after you drink a cappuccino. Six hours later, half of the caffeine consumed is reduced to half, but the time it takes for caffeine to wear off still depends on your body’s metabolism. You won’t feel sleepy yet, but the energy boost isn’t going to be the same after an hour.

Does cappuccino mix have caffeine?

A cappuccino mix is made from powdered milk, instant coffee, and white sugar and has 45-100 mg of caffeine in a small packet. You can also buy the ingredients separately and brew them in hot water. 

Making a fresh cup of cappuccino can be time-consuming. If that’s the case, you can always use an instant cappuccino mix that has a substantial amount of caffeine. It’s somewhat drinkable, but the texture will be different.

Can you make a cappuccino without caffeine?

Unfortunately, you can’t make a completely caffeine-free cappuccino, but you can get close.

A decaffeinated cappuccino is a healthy substitute for regular cappuccino, but the caffeine content in decaf beans isn’t zero. For every eight grams of decaf beans, you can still get three milligrams of caffeine. It’s nothing to be afraid of since you’ll feel the caffeine kick in based on your tolerance and body weight.

Coffee vs. Cappuccino: Caffeine Content

Does a cappuccino have coffee in it?

Espresso is stronger than coffee, but what about cappuccino? 

A cappuccino surely has coffee in it since its key ingredient is espresso, a type of concentrated coffee. However, cappuccino’s espresso flavor is weakened by the steamed milk, making it less intense compared to regular filtered or drip coffee.

Do cappuccinos have as much caffeine as coffee?

The caffeine content of both cappuccinos and coffee depend on the beverage size and the type of coffee beans you use. In the case of a cappuccino, it also depends on the milk-to-espresso ratio if you deviate from the traditional 2:1 ratio mentioned earlier. 

A six-ounce traditional coffee has 95 mg of caffeine, while a cappuccino made with one shot of espresso has only 63 mg of caffeine. It’s a small difference, but it matters to those who are conscious of their daily caffeine intake.

Robusta has more caffeine than Arabica beans. For every 16 grams of ground Arabica coffee, you get 12 mg of caffeine and 27 mg of caffeine per gram for ground robusta. If you want your cappuccino to have more caffeine than regular coffee, you need to add another shot of espresso.

Does a large cappuccino have more caffeine than coffee?

The larger the container, the more espresso shots you need to fill in your cup. If you add more espresso, you will get more caffeine from your cappuccino. 

A large cappuccino is 16 ounces. Hence, you will need four ounces of espresso for a double-shot cappuccino with 150 milligrams of caffeine.

This large-size cup of Joe also has more milk in it. Don’t worry because adding milk will neither reduce nor dilute the caffeine. 

You can also request triple or quad shots for larger cappuccinos, but be careful not to exceed your recommended daily maximum caffeine intake. 

Is Cappuccino Caffeinated Enough?

I’ve always been a fan of the strongest coffees at Starbucks. But after my cappuccino escapade, I have figured out that this creamy Joe is far from what I expected. It actually tastes milky but has moderate caffeine to rev me up all night. 

However, if its caffeine content isn’t adequate for you, you can always go for a bigger drink size and add another espresso shot. Or you can try subbing in some high-caffeine coffee beans.  

Do you want to go all out for more coffee drinks? If so, I recommend comparing cappuccinos and lattes for starters. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with both beverages and find it hard to choose between the two.

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