Like many people, I rely on coffee in the morning to really get me going for the day. I always use more than the directions require to get more caffeine for that extra morning jolt.

How much ground coffee should I use to reach caffeine critical mass in my brew? Is there a formula for volume of grounds per unit of water that I can use so I can get the maximum caffeine experience without wasting coffee?

  • 7
    "How can I maximize the caffeine content of my coffee?" Chew it longer. :-)
    – Greg
    Nov 30, 2010 at 3:11
  • 9
    Don't drink coffee on the days you don't really need it or skip coffee for a couple of days. This should get you off the more caffeine buzz and you'll get more effect of the coffee that you do drink. (I don't drink coffee in the weekends to get up quite easily on Mondays with a cup)
    – Barfieldmv
    Nov 30, 2010 at 11:21
  • 1
    @Barfieldmv, you could end up with weekend headaches though.
    – Benjol
    Dec 6, 2010 at 14:10

9 Answers 9


Use lighter roast coffee: caffeine burns off as the roast darkens. All other things equal, though, the stronger the cup of coffee, the more caffeine will be in it. You aren't going to reach caffeine saturation just by brewing (even very) strong coffee. So brew coffee with lighter roasted beans to your maximum desired strength.

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    I had no idea this was the case. Nov 30, 2010 at 14:28
  • It actually depends on how you measure. Bean for bean, light and dark roast have the same caffeine content, but dark roast has less water content, since more water evaporates during the longer roasting process, and the beans also get larger. So if you measure by weight, 1 gram of dark roast will have MORE caffeine than 1 gram of light roast. But if you measure by volume, then yes, the light roast will contain more caffeine. kickinghorsecoffee.com/caffeine-myths-dark-vs-light Dec 19, 2022 at 0:27

If you want to take in twice the amount of caffeine, why can't you just drink twice the amount of coffee? If you start messing with the ratio of bean to water, or trying other tricks, you're likely to just get bad tasting coffee.

  1. Start with a bean with more naturally-occurring caffeine.

    Colombia Excelso 1.37%
    Colombia Supremo 1.37%
    Indian Mysore 1.37%

  2. Prepare the coffee in a manner that produces the most caffeine.

    drip: 1 cup (7 oz, 207 ml) = 115–175 mg.
    brewed: 1 cup (7 oz, 207 ml) = 80–135 mg.
    espresso: 1 shot (1.5–2 oz, 45–60 ml) = 100 mg

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee

  • Starting with Robusta would be even better - something like 2.7% caffeine by weight.
    – user5561
    Apr 1, 2014 at 1:59

If all you are after is caffine I'd just buy some caffine pills, you can get 16 packs here in the UK. If it must be in coffee then dissolve a couple in a normal brew.

However I must say I wouldnt recommend it - overdosing on caffine is bad - especially on a regular basis.

  • I don't think that caffeine pills will dissolve in coffee. (They don't in orange juice)
    – jjnguy
    Nov 30, 2010 at 22:03
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    Why would you dissolve them? Just wash them down with coffee.
    – Nat Bowman
    Aug 25, 2017 at 16:00

There is liquid caffeine you can add if you're just in it for the caffeine jolt. A capful of 5150 juice is 83mg and is comparatively extremely cheap when weighed against pre-made energy drinks and 5 hour energy.

You can add it directly to the coffee, which will make the coffee much more bitter, or you can take a shot of it and then drink your coffee as normal.

I can say from experience that although I am finding myself more and more immune to coffee, soda, and 5-hour energy, 5150 still works (and works well, and fast). Perhaps it's because so much of the caffeine is absorbed in the mouth.

Without wanting to preach, I wanted to say, as NBenatar mentioned: no matter what route you go, be careful. I also know from experience that caffeine addiction is very bad, and actually makes you significantly more tired. Over time you need the morning caffeine just to reach energy levels that normal people experience without any caffeine. From the second article:

The millions of people who depend on a shot of coffee to kickstart their day are no more alert than those who are not regular coffee drinkers, say researchers.

A cup of coffee, suggests a study, only counteracts the effects of caffeine withdrawal that has built up overnight.

I can say with all honesty, the first week of drastically cutting back my caffeine really sucked, but now I'm more alert in the morning than my colleagues who drink coffee like it's their job...though, we're programmers, so I guess it kind of is their job :)

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    Be careful. This stuff is very dangerous and can kill you EASILY. Nov 29, 2010 at 23:31
  • I really don't want to add anything extra to my coffee, especially if death is a symptom! Nov 30, 2010 at 14:32
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    Well...kill is a bit strong, it would take 21 bottles to kill me and I'm pretty thin - energyfiend.com/death-by-caffeine However, I do FULLY agree, be VERY careful if you do buy 5150 (or caffeine pills, anything like that)! Caffeine addiction is no joke, and from experience I can say that the symptoms of even a mild "overdose" are no fun at all. Nov 30, 2010 at 19:49

Buy cheap robusta coffee instead of expensive arabica coffee. Robusta has about twice as much caffeine as arabica. If you're only drinking coffee for the caffeine then buying arabica is a waste of money.

  • I will look into this. I always believed I should I use Arabica since it's believed to taste better. Nov 30, 2010 at 14:27

Have you try Yerba Mate tea? It has similar effect as coffee and it is way healthier for you. You could drink more than a cup a day too!

It is believe to have cholesterol lowering properties (along with antiobesity properties) and contains minerals as well.

Having different flavors keeps it interesting too!

  • 2
    being an Argentinian, and a heavy consumer of yerba mate (as most people in my country) I feel obliged to comment on this one. The presence of caffeine as the active substance in yerba mate was long disputed, because it was reported that another similar substance ("mateine") was there. Now it's [almost] settled and accepted that yerba mate does contain caffeine. The arguments took a long time to ripen just because caffeine is not a well chemically defined substance, but a family of chemical compounds. Also, a main effect of yerba mate is diuretic (mild) and not "antiobesity". Nov 30, 2010 at 1:55
  • I'm not much of a tea drinker but I will investigate. Nov 30, 2010 at 14:34
  • @belisarius Ohhh okay, I have heard of mateine in yerba mate-- although I thought that mateine is "like" caffeine. Maybe I am mistaken-- But thank you for the correction, It's always nice to have other people's inputs!
    – konamiwa
    Dec 1, 2010 at 1:10

You could brew the coffee the night before and let it sit on the warmer over night Only brew about 4 cups should be down around 2 cup ms by morning this in theory should double the concentration of everything

  • 1
    You don't like drinking coffee, do you?
    – ElmerCat
    Dec 13, 2015 at 1:49

To get the best coffee (and therefore caffeine) ratio to water drink Espresso.

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