Do French Press Coffees Have More Caffeine Than Other Brews?

French Press, also known as a coffee press or press pot, is a manual coffee brewing machine. The machine makes coffee by plunging ground coffee in hot water of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It then isolates the grounds from the coffee by squeezing down the filter.

However, based on factors like grind size, French Press may make coffee with more or less caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, energy drinks, and tea. Though it boosts brain activity and vitality, excessive caffeine can cause heart problems like irregular pulse owing to the restricted blood supply.

According to the FDA [1], you should not consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day as a healthy adult.

So knowing the caffeine content is vital. So, does French Press have more caffeine? Keep reading to find out.

French press coffee

Does French Press Have More or Less Caffeine?[What Does the Research Show]

French Press may contain more or less caffeine depending on various aspects like brewing time and amount of coffee grounds. Generally, if you use the same type of ground coffee for all brewing methods, French Press will have less caffeine per ounce than Espresso.

This is because you need significant amounts of coffee grounds to prepare Espresso than French Press, making it highly caffeinated.

On top of that, Espresso uses finer ground beans with more caffeine, while French Press uses coarse grind.

On the other hand, French Press requires a higher water-to-coffee ratio and hence less concentrated.

However, according to an Australian study, French Press has more caffeine content than pour over at 742 milligrams per liter. Pour over caffeine content is only 692 milligrams per liter.

This is because its grounds are immersed in the water for extended periods and are coarse in size instead of medium.

But its caffeine level is less compared to brewing methods like Espresso, which boasts 4,200 milligrams of caffeine per liter.

Based on the same study, the stovetop brewing method produces 2,192 milligrams per liter, while cold brew boasts 2,240 milligrams per liter.

French press coffee making
Blooming French press coffee

Factors That Impact Caffeine Content of a French Press Coffee

Below we will discuss the various factors that influence caffeine content in coffee brews, especially French Press coffee.

Grind Size

Generally, French press coffee brewed from finer ground beans contains more caffeine and a bitter flavor. However, caffeine levels are usually lesser when brewed from the coarse grind. It does not matter how long the coffee takes to brew or how much water the grounds absorb.

This explains why French Press coffee has lower caffeine levels than Espresso, which uses a finer grind. So, you must use a coarse grind when brewing coffee using a French Press.

Water Temperature

Water temperatures significantly affect caffeine solubility. Generally, higher water temperatures allow for the quick extraction of compounds like caffeine, oils, and acids.

So, your French Press will have more caffeine content when brewed under higher water temperatures than at cooler temperatures.

According to the National Coffee Association, the ideal water temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply, it should be between boiling and hot to avoid under-extraction.

Brewing Time

The longer the brewing times, the higher the caffeine content your French Press coffee will likely have. This is because longer brewing time ensures adequate contact between the coffee grounds and water.

Meanwhile, shorter brewing times result in minimal contact and under-extraction of caffeine.

However, you should not allow French press coffee to brew longer than 4 minutes. If you do, your cup of coffee will likely be bitter because of too much caffeine extracted.

Generally, the best French Press coffee should be left to brew for 4 to 5 minutes.

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Coffee/Water Ratio

Depending on your taste buds, you can start with a 1:12 coffee-water ratio when preparing your French Press coffee.

But if you want something less potent, you could use a 1:15 balance. This means for every 1 gram of coffee, you should add 12 or 15 grams of water.

By increasing the amount of water with the coffee grounds remaining constant, your French Press will have less caffeine.

Conversely, if you increase the number of coffee grounds and not the water, your coffee will have more caffeine.

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Type of Roast

Because of the longer roasting process, dark roasts have lower caffeine content but a more intense flavor than other roasts.

Light roast beans, on the other hand, are roasted for less time. This, therefore, makes them heavier and denser than darker and medium roasts.

And as a result, light roasts are richer in caffeine. For this reason, light roast beans are the best for brewing a French Press coffee.

How Much Caffeine Is In an 8-Ounce Cup of French Press Coffee?

An 8-ounce cup of French Press coffee may contain between 80 and 135 mg of caffeine when using coarse-ground beans. This is relatively less caffeine than drip, pour-over coffee, and Espresso.

As it turns out, a cup of standard drip coffee contains between 95 and 165 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. Meanwhile, an 8-ounce cup of pour-over coffee boasts about 175 mg of caffeine because it uses extra hot water to brew.

That said, a single shot of Espresso, which equals one ounce, contains 47 to 64 mg of caffeine. So, an 8-ounce serving is equivalent to 3 shots of Espresso.

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The French Press brewing method is one of the best, giving you more control over your coffee’s flavor. However, French Press makes coffee with less caffeine than the Espresso and cold brew methods. Conversely, a French Press coffee may sometimes contain more caffeine than a pour-over coffee.

However, your French Press coffee may have more or less caffeine based on grind size, water temperature, and brewing time. Generally, a finer grind will produce more caffeine content when all things are constant. Similarly, higher water temperatures and longer brewing times are associated with more caffeine.


Sujit Modak

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