Does adding milk to coffee reduce caffeine?

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Does adding milk to coffee reduce caffeine? Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

Does adding milk to coffee reduce caffeine?

As a coffee lover, adding milk to coffee isn’t exactly a new concept to you. And maybe your version of a perfect cup of coffee is one with the creamy and velvety smoothness that only whole milk or heavy cream can offer. The rich smoothness of creamy coffee can make you consume cup after cup without consciously taking stock of how much coffee (or caffeine) you’ve taken and this can eventually lead to overloading your body with caffeine. 

This can be tricky, and if you think the addition of milk or cream to your coffee tunes down its caffeine content, then prepare to have a rethink. Adding milk to coffee converts a dark supposedly bitter liquid to a tasty, smooth and creamy drink and has a number of other less obvious effects like shooting up its calorie content and tuning down acidity but it has no effect on the caffeine. You heard that right, absolutely no effect! This shouldn’t be a surprise because milk does not contain any substance that affects caffeine in any way. 

The caffeine content in a cup of black coffee remains exactly the same after you add your favorite milk or cream to it. That said, there are other ways in which milk affect coffee which might interest you;

It reduces acidity: coffee has high pH level and as such is very acidic and adding milk to it is a good way to reduce this acidity. The proteins in milk react with chlorogenic acids in coffee and the result if this reaction is a reduction in the coffee’s acidity. So, if you have problem with very acidic coffee adding milk to your coffee is a good way to solve it.

It increases calorie content: we all know that the calorie content of black coffee or espresso is very near zero but with the addition of milk or cream this changes tremendously since both milk and cream have high calorie content. 

It introduces certain nutrients: coffee contains neither carbohydrates nor proteins but the addition of milk to it introduces these nutrients and other nutrients contained in milk. This evidently adds to the nutrient value of your coffee drink. But the extra sugars plus the high calories can make you gain weight.

So adding milk to your coffee reduces it’s acidity, increases calorie content, introduces carbohydrates and proteins but doesn’t alter the caffeine content.

Does adding water to coffee reduce caffeine?

Does adding water to coffee reduce the amount of caffeine? Photo by Battlecreek Coffee Roasters on Unsplash

If you’re concerned about your daily caffeine intake and would like to cut down a bit, and you’re thinking up ways to reduce it. Then you decided that maybe diluting your coffee with water might do the trick. Well, interesting thought. But let’s examine it closely, adding water to a cup or carafe of coffee will only increase the amount of coffee drink but won’t reduce the caffeine content. So, if you add water to your coffee, you get more coffee but same amount of caffeine. And if you end up consuming the entire coffee drink, you’ll get the whole caffeine loaded into your body system. But that doesn’t spell doom for you and you don’t have to ditch your favorite drink because your body can’t handle all that caffeine because even if adding water to coffee doesn’t reduce its caffeine content, there are other effective ways to reduce the caffeine in your coffee drink and we discussed some of those methods below;

Brew with less coffee grounds: this can be done in two ways, either you reduce the amount of coffee grounds you use per brew while keeping the amount of water constant or you use your normal amount of coffee grounds and increase the quantity of water per brew. This will make the resultant coffee drink a bit mild and the caffeine content will decrease. Actually the stronger and bolder the coffee drink, the higher the caffeine content. Mild coffee drinks are somewhat low in caffeine.

Adjust the grind size: brewing your coffee with very fine grounds allow for more caffeine extraction. So for less caffeine extraction, use coarse grounds but not too coarse to avoid under-extraction. 

Mix with decaf coffee beans: for less caffeine in you coffee drink, mixing your 100% Arabica coffee beans with decaffeinated coffee is good practice. This gives you a low caffeine coffee drink. You can mix 100% Arabica coffee with decaf coffee in a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 or whichever way you prefer, and blend together to give you a personalized low caffeine coffee. 

Reduce your brewing time: did you know that the longer you brew coffee the higher the amount of caffeine in it? Did you really know that? Okay, even if you didn’t, now you know. And what does this tell us, that you can reduce the level of caffeine in your coffee drink if you shorten your brewing cycle. Also, cold brewed coffee contains about 30% less caffeine than your traditional drip brewed coffee. So, if reducing the amount of caffeine consume is really important to you, try cold brewed coffee.

Use only 100% Arabica beans: there are mainly two types of coffee beans; Arabica beans and Robusta beans. And Arabica beans naturally coffee less caffeine than Robusta beans. Using only 100% Arabica beans will give you much lower caffeine than Robusta beans. 

Does adding milk to coffee have any health benefits?

Are there any health benefits to adding milk? Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Many coffee lovers add milk to their coffee, are you one of them? If yes, have you ever wondered if milk in your coffee has any health benefits? Or any benefits at all. Of course we all know that adding milk to coffee makes it smooth and tasty, and increases its calorie content, yes, aside that what else? Let’s find out.

The truth is, adding milk to coffee doesn’t actually have any super duper health benefits. Are you surprised? The major benefit you get from adding milk to your coffee is really the improved taste and feel of the coffee in your mouth and of course, the extra nutrients from the milk which makes your coffee more nutritious.

Also, milk has the ability to reduce the acidity of coffee. Milk proteins react with the chlorogenic acids in coffee and the result is a less acidic coffee drink. This is good news for those who have a problem with very acidic coffee. 

Adding milk to your sizzling hot coffee makes its temperature drop and this is a good thing because always drinking very hot coffee can cause tiny burns in your throat and this increases your risk of having oesophageal cancer. Therefore milk in your coffee can reduce your risk of oesophageal cancer or even prevent it.

Also, some research have shown that adding milk to antioxidant-rich beverages like coffee and tea can reduce the effectiveness of the antioxidants or even block them totally, while other studies arrived at a different result. 

These studies claim that the proteins in milk react with polyphenols, which are the major antioxidants in coffee, making them less effective in combating free radicals. But a study by Nestle on the effects of milk in coffee, tells us that milk does not affect the bioavailability of polyphenols and thus their effectiveness. The results are too conflicting for us to be really sure so there’s nothing to worry about. If you enjoy milk in your coffee, your only real worry should be the extra calories.

How much caffeine is in decaffeinated coffee?

To enjoy your favorite beverage without worrying about high dose of caffeine in your bloodstream, you opt for decaffeinated coffee. But do you know that decaf coffee isn’t exactly caffeine free? Of course you know and that’s why you’re curious about how much caffeine is in decaffeinated coffee.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, coffee beans Alan be described as decaf is 97% of its caffeine has been removed. This is to say that decaf coffee beans contain between 1 to 3% of their original caffeine content. And to know the precise amount of caffeine in any given coffee, you have to consider it’s origin, roast quality and decaffeination process. This is because the caffeine content of coffee depends on its origin and roast quality and the amount of caffeine in decaf depends on the decaffeination process it went through. 

So how much caffeine is in decaf coffee? A study in the US analyzing the caffeine content of decaf coffee across several coffee shops found that a 16 ounce cup of contains between 8.6 to 13.9 milligrams of caffeine, on average you have 9.4 mg of caffeine. This is really not much compared to the 188 milligrams of caffeine in a 16 ounce cup of regular coffee.

Starbucks decaf espresso contains between 3 to 15.8 mg of caffeine per shot while the decaf coffee contains between 12 to 13.4 mg of caffeine. For Dunkin’ Donuts, a cup of decaf coffee contains between 7 to 15 mg of caffeine while McDonald’s decaf coffee contains between 8 to 18 mg of caffeine.

How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee?

Keeping track of the amount of caffeine you taken in demands that you know exactly the amount of caffeine in every cup of coffee you consume. As a regular drinker of coffee, this s very important. Luckily for us coffee lovers, the caffeine content in different coffee cups isn’t a secret. It’s actually public knowledge and anyone who so wishes can find out and as a regular consumer of coffee it’s important you know this. 

The caffeine content in coffee differs according to origin, roast quality, brewing method, amount of coffee grounds per brew and the serving size. This means that caffeine content varies from coffee drink to coffee drink and depends on the factors mentioned above. Despite this difference, we can still keep track of how much caffeine we consume because it falls into a range. 

An 8 ounce cup of regular coffee has between 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine in it. A shot of espresso has between 47 to 75 milligrams of caffeine. An 8 ounce cup of instant coffee has between 27 to 173 milligrams of caffeine. 

The caffeine content in commercial coffee retailers is usually higher than your home brewed coffee and for your favorite coffee brands, the quantity of caffeine in their coffees is given below;


Pike Place roast (12 oz.): 235 mg

decaf Pike Place roast (12 oz.): 20 mg

cold brew with cold foam (12 oz.): 155 mg

caramel macchiato (12 oz.): 75 mg

cappuccino (12oz.): 75 mg

Dunkin’ Donuts

brewed coffee (14oz.): 210 mg

decaf brewed coffee (14oz.): 10 mg

Americano (14 oz.): 249 mg

cold brew (14 oz.): 260 mg

latte (14 oz.): 119 mg


McDonalds doesn’t have a standard amount of caffeine in the coffee drinks they offer but the average is usually 109 mg for a small cup of 8 ounces of brewed coffee, 145 mg for the medium sized 14 ounces and 180 mg for the large cup size (between 21 to 24 ounces).

For how long does caffeine stay in our bodies?

How long does caffeine stay in our bodies? Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

If you’ve ever wondered what happens after you take a cup of coffee and how long it takes the caffeine to completely disappear from your system, then brace yourself because you’re about to find out.

We’ve been told the many amazing benefits of coffee and the unpleasant and somewhat scary effects of it. And even the possibility of caffeine addiction plus the not so nice withdrawal symptoms. But one thing we’re still yet to know is how long it takes our baby system to metabolize caffeine and completely flush it out of our bodies. 

It takes about 45 minutes for caffeine to be absorbed by the body and according to the American Academy for Sleep Medicine, the half-life of caffeine is up to 4 – 6 hours. This simply means that if you take 120mg of caffeine, after about 5 hours 50% (which in this case is 60mg) of the caffeine would have been broken down leaving only 60 mg of caffeine in your system. 

Another interesting fact is that the rate at which humans metabolize caffeine differ from individual to individual according to each person’s level of caffeine sensitivity. And this can be genetic since some individuals with some specific genes metabolize caffeine much slower than others. Other factors include age, medical condition and interaction with other drugs.