How Much Caffeine Is in an Americano? 2023 Breakdown

Whether you’re a pro at sampling coffee and the multiple tasty beverages concocted from it or new to the game, you’ve most likely heard of an Americano. You may also believe that an Americano is a fancier name for a regular cup of brewed coffee, right? Wrong. While it may taste similar to your morning cup of joe, there’s nothing regular about a tasty Americano. It even has more caffeine than a normal cup of coffee.

When sipping on your morning cup that came from your automatic drip coffeemaker, you’re usually getting about 95 mg of caffeine according to how strong you’ve made it. When you get the opportunity to enjoy a freshly made 12-ounce Americano, you’re consuming roughly 154 mg of caffeine which is quite a bit higher. Let’s learn more about the Americano, the caffeine inside, and whether adding this coffee to your routine is the right move for you.

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What Is an Americano?

First, before you consider drinking an Americano, you should learn a bit about it. The coffee, formerly known around the world as a Caffe Americano, gets its origins back in World War II according to most accounts. During the war, American soldiers practically lived on coffee. This left the army needing to grind, package, and send around 32 pounds of coffee for each serviceman a year. That’s a lot of coffee.

Why couldn’t the soldiers that were stationed in Italy not drink the local coffee from shops closer to them? That answer is easy. They claimed they couldn’t stand it. Unfortunately, even with American troops unable to enjoy the local coffee, the army simply couldn’t keep up with the demand. This left the soldiers using the stronger espressos available in Italy. Using a bit of ingenuity, however, they found a way to make the coffee more enjoyable and less bitter by diluting the espresso with hot water. Thanks to locals in the area, this drink became known as the Americano.

a cup of Americano on wooden table
Image Credit: islandworks, Pixabay

The Caffeine in an Americano

When determining the caffeine inside an Americano there’s one key consideration; the number of espresso shots used to make the drink. One shot of espresso contains roughly 77 mg of caffeine. This is why so many people turn to a shot of espresso or espresso-based coffee beverages when they need to get their day started quickly. If you’re having a small, 8-ounce cup of Americano you would only use one shot of espresso. This would leave the Americano only having 77 mg of caffeine inside. However, if you’re like most people and want a big cup of coffee, using a 12-ounce mug is often the go-to. When making an Americano in one of these sized cups you would use 2 shots of espresso. Those 2 shots push the caffeine amount of the Americano to 154 mg.

Let’s see how the caffeine inside an Americano compares to other popular coffees on the market.

Americano  154 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce serving
Turkish Coffee50 mg of caffeine per 2-ounce serving
Nescafe Gold66 mg of caffeine per 8.64-ounce serving
Latte154 mg of caffeine per 16-ounce serving
Cappuccino154 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce serving

Is the Caffeine in an Americano Dangerous?

If you’re an avid caffeine drinker, you may not notice the additional caffeine in an Americano compared to that in a regular cup of brewed coffee. However, people who aren’t accustomed to having high levels of caffeine each day may consider this amount very high. This is why knowing your caffeine tolerance is so important before you embark on any coffee beverage that features espresso.

caffe americano
Image Credit: taelove7, Shutterstock

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

Again, everyone is different. The Food & Drug Administration recommends that a healthy adult only consumes 400 mg of caffeine per day. For those of us who live on coffee, the likelihood of drinking more than that is significant. When you consume a lot of caffeine, there are signs you should watch for that will tell you when you’ve had too much. If you experience jitteriness, nervousness, a headache, increased heart rate, nausea, or insomnia, it’s best to back away from caffeine. If issues persist you may want to consult your doctor.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re a coffee lover who wants to try them all, you don’t want to miss the Americano. Keep in mind, an Americano does contain 154 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce serving which is more than you’ll find in your basic cup of coffee. If you’re okay with the extra caffeine or feel you need the boost, feel free to enjoy a tasty Americano to get your day started.


Featured Image Credit: PTMP, Unsplash

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