Caffeine content of specialty coffees

J Anal Toxicol. 2003 Oct;27(7):520-2. doi: 10.1093/jat/27.7.520.


Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed drug with its main source found in coffee. We evaluated the caffeine content of caffeinated and decaffeinated specialty coffee samples obtained from coffee shops. Caffeine was isolated from the coffee by liquid-liquid extraction and analyzed by gas chromatography with nitrogen-phosphorus detection. In this study, the coffees sold as decaffeinated were found to have caffeine concentrations less than 17.7 mg/dose. There was a wide range in caffeine content present in caffeinated coffees ranging from 58 to 259 mg/dose. The mean (SD) caffeine content of the brewed specialty coffees was 188 (36) mg for a 16-oz cup. Another notable find is the wide range of caffeine concentrations (259-564 mg/dose) in the same coffee beverage obtained from the same outlet on six consecutive days.

MeSH terms

  • Caffeine / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Coffee / chemistry*
  • Food Analysis / methods*


  • Coffee
  • Caffeine