‘Huge’ differences in high street coffee caffeine amounts
A medium cappuccino at Costa contains a “massive” 325 mg of caffeine — about the amount found in four cups of tea — almost five times as strong as a Starbucks cappuccino, which has the least at 66 mg. Which one? found.
Greggs and Pret a Manger cappuccinos contain significantly less caffeine than Costa at 197 mg and 180 mg respectively.
For comparison, a 250ml can of Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine.
A single espresso from Pret a Manger contains 180mg of caffeine, six times that of one from Starbucks, which had a “lean” 33mg by comparison, according to the Guardian’s findings.
Pret a Manger’s filter coffee also contained the most caffeine at 271 mg, two and a half times as much as the Starbucks version, which contained 102 mg.
Greggs was a close second to Pret in terms of its caffeine content at 225 mg in a cup of filter coffee.
Caffè Nero had the second-lowest caffeine content, after Starbucks, in both its cappuccinos – which contained between 110 mg and 115 mg – and its espresso at 45 mg.
The variations are not only due to the number of caffeine shots used in the chains, but also the type of coffee bean, of which there are two main types – Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica beans contain about half the caffeine of Robusta beans, and there are also flavor differences between the two.
However, the results show that buying high street coffee could be potentially problematic for consumers who are sensitive to caffeine or who are pregnant.
The NHS says pregnant women should consume no more than 200mg of caffeine a day, advising that there is 100mg in a cup of instant coffee and 140mg in a cup of filter coffee.
Which one? Nutritionist Shefalee Loth said: “Many of us rely on coffee to get us through those dark winter mornings, but our research shows you may be consuming significantly more or less caffeine than you anticipated.
“Our analysis has shown that there are large differences in caffeine content between drinks from different high street coffee shops.
“Most of the time, that shouldn’t be a problem, but if you drink a lot of coffee or need to limit your caffeine intake, you should consider what you’re ordering and where.”
A spokeswoman for Costa Coffee said: “The amount of caffeine present in each coffee depends on both the coffee and the size of the drink a customer orders.
“All Costa coffees can be enjoyed with decaffeinated coffee and we offer a wide range of decaffeinated beverages including the FuzeTea Superfuzions range.
“All caffeine information is available both in our store and through our website and we encourage our customers to be aware of the caffeine content in their favorite Costa coffee to ensure it is appropriate for their dietary needs or lifestyle.”
Pret a Manger declined to comment.