Which Coffee Has The Least Amount of Caffeine?

Everyone has or does drink coffee, but knowing how much caffeine is in that cup of coffee can depend on the brand and types of coffee beans that are used. If you are limiting your caffeine, you may be wondering which coffee has the least amount of caffeine?

Coffee that has the least amount of caffeine is any decaf coffee brand. However, if you are not particularly fond of decaffeinated coffees, there are some other brands of coffee that offer smaller amounts of caffeine for you to enjoy. These brands can be:

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  • Single Espresso
  • Instant Coffee
  • Decaf Instant Coffee
  • Naturally Low Caffeine Coffee Brands

This may leave you with any questions. One of which is why exactly some of these brands are considered lower in caffeine than others and even how you could reduce the caffeine in your coffee of choice. Read on in this article to find out the answers and to find some types of low caffeinated coffees to drink.

Which Coffee Has Less Caffeine?

Overall, you may be wondering what coffee has the least amount of caffeine and why. Besides decaf coffees, which despite their name, still have small amounts of caffeine, there are surprising types of coffees that are known to have less caffeine than the average cup.

Single Expressos are known to have less caffeine than a normal cup of coffee. While they are concentrated and more bitter, they are in smaller quantities that overall contain less than an average cup of coffee.

There are more types of coffee brands available that are lower in caffeine. These can range from decaf to even just common brands of coffee. Even instant coffees can have a lower level of caffeine. Types and brands of coffee that are known to have less caffeine are:

Each brand or type of coffee will have its own unique flavor. Some factors will influence the taste of the low caffeine coffee you choose. Here are some general reasons why decaf and instant will taste differently than regular ground coffee.

  1. Decaf coffee gets its unique flavor of a burned or cardboard-like taste from a decaffeination process. This process removes and minimizes the caffeine in coffee and strips the coffee of its natural flavors.
  2. Instant coffee, on the other hand, is coffee that has already been brewed. The process of making instant coffee is what creates the bitter and often flat flavor. Instant coffee undergoes a dehydration process and is often a poorer quality of coffee to get or drink. Since it is re-brewed and dried, this makes instant coffee easy to dissolve in a liquid.
  3. Ground Coffee is just that, coffee beans that have been roasted and then ground down to a certain point based on what the companies want it to be. Ground coffee is more flavorful and offers more natural blends as well.

Besides the reasons behind the different tastes, some factors also contribute to why some coffees have less caffeine than others.

Why Do Some Coffees Have Less Caffeine Than Others?

Many factors go into making coffee and why they will have the least amount of caffeine. The components that influence the amount of caffeine in coffee can vary, but the main factors are:

  • Coffee quantity
  • Coffee beans
  • Roast Profile

Coffee Quantity

Since coffee can be measured and used in different amounts, the actual caffeine intake that comes from it can vary greatly. If, for example, you are using ground coffee in either a coffee pot or something similar, the number of coffee beans or grounds that you place inside the filter can change daily based on measuring methods. This can influence how much caffeine you have gotten with each cup of coffee instead of based on the pot as a whole.

Even though single expresso coffee is considered to have the least amount of caffeine, it is also the highest by ratio. However, this coffee has the least caffeine because it comes in a much smaller size, unlike filtered coffee, which has a lower coffee-to-water ratio but a higher caffeine intake.

The chart below, taken from Eleven Coffees, can help visually see these ratios with coffee and caffeine.

Beverage Caffeine per serving Caffeine per Fl oz.
Espresso 45 mg 53 mg
Filter Coffee 100 mg 12 mg
Instant Coffee 65 mg 7.7 mg
Decaf 6 mg 0.7 mg

Coffee Beans

Since coffee comes from only two species of the coffee plant, they couldn't be any different from each other. Arabica coffee beans contain half the amount that robusta coffee beans contain. This means that if someone is looking to reduce their caffeine intake but keep a flavorful coffee, pure arabica coffee is the way to go.

There are differences in each species of coffee beans, some more noticeable than others may be. These differences may be:

Arabica Robusta

Sweeter with fruity, softer flavors

Darker with a bitter, earthy, and woody flavor

Difficult to grow

Easier to grow

Makes up 70% of coffee consumption

Makes up 25% of coffee consumption

Higher in quality

Lower in quality

1.5% caffeine concentration

2.7% caffeine concentration

Used for single-origin coffee

Primarily used in coffee blends

More expensive

Less expensive

Roast Profile

Believe it or not, the darker the roast, the higher the caffeine is for coffee. Even though the light and dark roasts contain the same amount of caffeine, dark roasted coffee beans are smaller due to prolonged roasting. This means that the smaller dark roasted coffee beans, the more needed to fulfill a needed weight or volume when preparing any coffee drinks.

Lightly roasted coffee beans are not roasted as long, giving them a lighter color. Since they are not dried of all moisture, light coffee beans are bigger, and less is needed to fill orders or are used in preparing drinks.

How Do You Reduce Caffeine in Coffee?

There are various ways that you can cut or reduce the caffeine in your coffee. Regardless of why you are choosing, or not choosing, to reduce the amount of caffeine intake you get each day, you can still enjoy drinking coffee without sacrificing a ton of the flavor you have grown to love.

Trying these methods to reduce the caffeine present in coffee can help a great deal before you just opt to switch over to decaf, which still contains caffeine. The methods that can help reduce the caffeine are:

  • Use less ground coffee. As mentioned, we learned that the more ground coffee you use, the more caffeine is present. Limiting and decreasing the amount of ground coffee you are putting in your coffee pot while keeping the same water amount can lower the caffeine that is and has been present in your cup of coffee.
  • Stay more with Arabica coffee beans. Since this species of coffee beans are more popular, it can be easier to drink. It is important that while it is probably easier to buy, try to always stay with 100% Arabica beans. This type of bean can come in-ground, instant, and even decaf coffee types.
  • Create your own low caffeine blend. While this may seem a little odd for someone who is used to buying a can of ground coffee at the store, this method has great benefits. After using low caffeine coffee beans, such as 100% Arabica, you can also blend in decaf beans. This can let you try different brands of Arabica beans as well as find the perfect mix.
  • Experiment with Instant Coffee. Since instant coffees are just concentrated powder, they have less caffeine than that of ground coffee. There may be some instant coffees that you do love the flavor of, even for rare occasions.


It is possible to find coffees that have a very limited caffeine amount. While decaf and 100% Arabica coffee seem like the only way to cut down the caffeine, there are other things to consider. Using less ground coffee, light roasted, and even instant can help with caffeine intake.

Finding which coffee brand or type you use will greatly depend on the taste you are expecting. Decaf coffees will taste less flavorful. However, preparing your own blends of low caffeine coffee can help with flavor.

Just know that drinking coffee doesn’t have to come to an end for you. All you have to do is experiment and find which coffee blends you like and enjoy.

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