Many people prefer to drink instant coffee as it is the easiest to make and quite possibly tastes best given the price of it, but not many people ask themselves how much caffeine is in instant coffee. For a couple of pennies, you can get a pack of instant coffee that is strong, will make you ready for the day and is absolutely delicious!
But of course, the best part? Not having to brew and wait, you just need to empty a packet or put a few spoonfuls of powder in hot water or milk. What could be easier? Instant coffee is giving you energy plus saving it by not making you do so much work!
But if you think about it… How strong is instant coffee?
How Much Caffeine is in a Packet of Instant Coffee?
As a coffee lover, you already know that there are thousands of ways to make coffee and that they are all unique in both taste and level of caffeine. But this goes for instant coffee as well, especially because there are so many brands that produce it.
Let’s start off by what Google tells us about instant coffee. If you want to search for the amount of caffeine in 100 grams, then it will tell you about 3 different cases. “Instant coffee” has 26 milligrams of it, “Chicory instant coffee” has 21 milligrams and “French instant coffee” has a whopping 246 milligrams. And this is what we are supposed to believe when we want to find out about our instant coffee. Amazing, right?
Google tells us that there are 3 kinds and 2 vastly different amounts.
If that’s what you believe then I’m sorry, but please throw that thought away. There’s no general rule for every kind of coffee and these stats are most definitely not true.
What Determines the Caffeine in Coffee?
First of all, let’s look at how instant coffee is made.
The process is simple. It goes like this: brewing (same as usual coffee, just more concentrated), getting rid of water, packaging. From this, it’s already quite clear that you’re not consuming random chemicals, but normal coffee. The powder that’s left dissolves, thus it turns the water or milk you’re using into your desired kind of drink.
The type of beans used has a huge effect on the result. If you buy beans that are from a lower altitude, then you will end up with a higher amount of caffeine content. This is because caffeine is originally an insect repellent, so the higher the altitude is, the fewer insects there are and finally, the less caffeine the plant has.
But because of the process, the amount of caffeine can easily be determined in instant coffees. It all relies on the roast. The longer you do it, the stronger your coffee becomes. So if your instant coffee was made with barely any roasting or too little, then you might not get the same kick out of it as you would from your own brewed coffee.
Once you have your beans it’s time to grind them up. Of course, this part is hard to change if you already have a coffee machine, but if you can, make sure to use a fine grinder. The smaller the beans are ground up, the more caffeine extracted.
If you buy a new grinder that your machine uses, then first make sure they are compatible. Your coffee maker might not be able to process a finer grind and will put small pieces of beans in your coffee. It’s not a good feeling when you are trying to enjoy your morning coffee and a hard piece of something suddenly flaps down your throat.
But the easiest thing you can control when you’re trying to brew your own coffee is the water temperature. It determines how much coffee is extracted from the beans, so make sure you heat it up and make your coffee that way if you want more energy from it.
Different Types of Instant Coffee
Nescafe’s instant coffee has about 57-65 milligrams of caffeine content per serving, which is about half of what you would drink if you chose regular brewed coffee. Unfortunately, though, most instant coffees are this way, so if you don’t look for a specific brand that sells stronger coffee, then it’s unlikely you will just find one.
Although, if you prefer weaker coffee, then you better go with Folgers. Their “crystals” contain about 8-14 milligrams of caffeine. But they aren’t as popular because a lot of their coffees are bitter and dark, so this combination doesn’t really work. Not many people like bitter but weak coffee. (If you belong to this group then you might even want to consider switching to chocolate. The ones that have at least 45% cocoa in them also contain 12 milligrams of caffeine!)
But you can also get the world’s strongest coffee in a packet. The instant version was made for astronauts, but it’s available to everyone. Although you might want to consider checking in with your doctor first, as a cup of Death Wish contains 600+ milligrams of caffeine! In comparison, the healthy amount for the average adult would be 400. Drinking a cup of Death Wish would result in you taking in 1.5 times the recommended caffeine content amount. Doesn’t seem much, but it can easily result in heart failure, so drink safely.
Instant coffees are weaker than regular ones. You probably already knew that, but the surprising fact is that the caffeine content is half as strong.
You don’t save much money or time by using powder. So if you don’t drink it for the taste, then I highly suggest you start drinking regular brewed coffee. Or even better, find a local cafe (not one that’s part of an international chain) and find what you love.
In the end, instant coffee is great because it tastes nice and provides enough energy…for a while. But caffeine-wise…it isn’t much. So don’t drink two cups of instant coffee in the morning if you still feel tired afterward, just switch to the regular brew.
We’ll brew ya later!! ☕️