The Ultimate Caffeine Scale for Coffee-Lovers

By Megan Dority — / Coffee Talk

Thanks to one glorious, flavorful brew, people are just a little bit hooked on caffeine (here’s looking at you, coffee). Caffeine naturally affects the body’s metabolism and nervous system. Most people know it best for its jolt of energy in the morning. Some folks eat it, some drink it—and who’s to say one is better than the other? People who drink coffee. That’s who. 
But if you do need a run-down on the caffeine content in some other delicious treats, you’re in the right place. Taking a look at this list will be like dipping your toes into the coffee pot. To test the temperature, obviously. Isn’t that how everyone does it? 


12 to 20 mg per 1 ounce 

Unless you’re eating a bar of 100% dark chocolate, the caffeine content from cocoa is probably not going to interfere with your bedtime routine. Plus, nobody should ever be discouraged from eating chocolate regardless of the time of day—chocolate muffins and coffee with high caffeine make a perfect morning pair. 

An image of crushed dark chocolate on a white table.


Ice Cream 

20 to 80 mg per 8 ounces 

Just to be clear, we’re talking about coffee ice cream. This one could easily get out of hand if just one bite turns into the whole pint. No judgement here, but an entire pint of coffee ice cream could have up to 180 mg of caffeine. If you’re someone who falls asleep during movie night, this is the sweet treat for you.

Coffee ice cream being scooped by a silver ice cream scooper.  


0 to 100 mg per 16 fluid ounces 
Tea is a tricky one. It’s all over the map with its caffeine content, which is madness. Tea cannot be trusted. Just play it safe and always choose coffee instead. 

A clear glass containing tea sitting on a coffee table.

Drip Coffee 

26 mg per 1 fluid ounce 
Sometimes, all you need is a classic cup of joe to get your morning buzz. Drip coffee might not be the strongest on this list, but it’s always reliable (unless you need high caffeine—in that case, stay tuned). You can find drip coffee all over the world, and people do some pretty experimental things with brewing styles—if you don’t know about the Costa Rican sock thing, give it a search. 

A white mug of drip coffee on a black table with a white hand holding it.

Death Wish Coffee 

59 mg per 1 fluid ounce 
Death Wish Coffee is the wild card you didn’t know you needed. It’s a strong coffee using beans cultivated for maximum caffeine content and flavor. It tastes good enough to drink more than one cup, but tread lightly. Each cup of our Dark Roast and Medium Roast blends contains about 300 mg of caffeine. If you’re someone who drinks three or four cups of coffee for the taste, this stuff will keep your energy levels through the roof. 

Two bags of Death Wish Coffee with a black background. One bag of Dark Roast, one bag of Medium Roast.


64 mg per 1 fluid ounce 
There are some fancy ways to drink espresso. But one shot of espresso will always be right around 64 mg of caffeine. That said, it can add up quickly. How many shots of espresso do you think are in a large espresso drink? The simple answer—anywhere between two and four. And then, some folks even ask for extra (not all heroes wear capes). 

Two shots of espresso.
If you’re frequently reaching for a soda or an energy drink for your caffeine fix, it’s time to make a new choice. To get your caffeine buzz the right way, consult this list and give your favorite a go. Heck, just try them all in one day. Who’s to say what the best choice is? 
Well, you could say—if you drank coffee. 

RELATED: Dark Roast vs. Medium Roast: What's the Difference?

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