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Caffeine in Hot Chocolate vs Coffee: A Look at The Difference

hot chocolate vs coffee

Who doesn’t love a warm hot chocolate on a cold, winter night or a hot cup of coffee to help them wake up in the morning? While both of these drinks are quite beloved, have you ever wondered how much caffeine is in each one? Being aware of your caffeine intake is very important. That’s why we’re here. By giving you an in-depth look at how much caffeine is in your cup, you can make a more informed choice when the time comes. Is it better to drink a cup of hot chocolate or indulge in a few cups of coffee? Let’s find out. The short answer is that coffee has quite a bit more caffeine than hot chocolate.

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A Quick Look at Caffeine Content: Hot Chocolate vs Coffee

Hot Chocolate Coffee
7.44 mg per 8 oz 95 mg per 8 oz

How Much Caffeine in Hot Chocolate?

Hot chocolate is often used as a great drink to unwind when the air outside is a bit chilly. It is not often that people think of it as a pick-me-up when you need an energy boost. When it comes to the caffeine content in hot chocolate, it isn’t very high. If you go out to Starbucks or McDonalds and order a hot chocolate, you will be consuming roughly 25 mg of caffeine. When you make your hot chocolate at home, the caffeine amount is quite a bit less and averages around 7.44 mg per 8-ounce cup. This is due to the package of hot chocolate, like Swiss Miss, having less caffeine.

hot chocolate in a mug
Image Credit: Nica Cn, Unsplash

How Much Caffeine in Coffee?

Coffee is the leader when it comes to waking people up and keeping them going throughout the day. It is also considered one of the most caffeinated beverages out there. Brewed coffee has anywhere from 95 to 200 mg of caffeine according to how it is made. These levels of caffeine are changed according to the number of coffee beans used, the type of beans, the amount of water, and even brewing methods. When compared to hot chocolate, however, it is clear that coffee can have up to 40 times more caffeine in one cup.

Where Does the Caffeine Come From in Hot Chocolate & Coffee?

Although it is only a trace amount, there’s no denying the fact that hot chocolate contains caffeine. You may be curious as to where this caffeine comes from. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans. These beans are one of the many plants out there that contain naturally occurring caffeine. Most products you consume with chocolate in them will contain these beans and therefore, have a bit of caffeine.

The caffeine inside your cup of coffee perks you up thanks to the coffee beans used to brew it. Coffee is grown in warmer climates, normally at higher elevations, in an area called the Bean Belt. There are two types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Both types of coffee contain naturally occurring caffeine that finds its way into your cup. The amount of caffeine you receive depends on the type of coffee used and how you brew it.

a hot cup of coffee
Image Credit: René Porter, Unsplash

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The Bottom Line

While both hot chocolate and coffee contain caffeine, it is clear to see that coffee is the clear caffeine champion in this battle. A cup of coffee can contain up to 40 times more caffeine than the same size cup of hot chocolate. If you’re looking for a hot beverage to enjoy in the afternoons, hot chocolate may be the answer. Coffee and its higher caffeine content are known to keep people awake and more alert no matter what time of day they enjoy it.

Featured Image Credit: Left – Hot Chocolate (Aldarami, Pixabay) | Right: Coffee (Beyza Efe, Pexels)


Melissa Gunter

Melissa has been a fan of coffee since the first sip she stole from her Granny's cup when she was just a girl. Now, she spends each morning writing with a hot cup of coffee at her side. With a love of sweet and creamy bliss, Melissa and her daughter, Amber, stop by and try out every local coffee shop they see. Neither are afraid to try something new and have a long list of favorite coffee beverages they simply can't do without. When she's not freelance writing about her 2 passions, coffee, and pets, Melissa spends her time with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 fur babies. She also loves diving into the fiction world under her pen name, Rena Marin. If she isn't at the laptop or with the family, Melissa is out enjoying the mountains of East Tennessee she calls home.

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