How much caffeine is in that decaf?

Trying to eliminate caffeine from your diet? Chances are you’ll have to try harder. Here’s a comparison of the caffeine content in a variety of coffees.

For comparison, an 8-ounce cup of drip-brewed coffee typically contains 85 mg of caffeine.

  • Nine out of 10, 16-ounce decaffeinated drip-brewed coffee beverages from nine coffee houses contained 8.6 to 12.9 mg of caffeine — only one had no caffeine
  • Starbucks’ decaffeinated espresso contains 3 to 15.8 mg per shot
  • Starbucks’ brewed decaffeinated coffee contains 12 to 13.4 mg per 16-ounce serving
  • Espresso drinks such as lattes (which contain two shots of espresso) can deliver as much caffeine as a can of Coca Cola — about 31 mg

“As little as 10 mg of caffeine can produce reliable subjective and behavioral effects in sensitive individuals,” say Dr. Roland Griffiths, a professor of behavioral biology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

This study shows that many decaffeinated coffee drinks deliver caffeine at doses above these levels.

10/15/06 21:13 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.