When you’re perusing the menu at your local coffee shop, there are a lot of great options. Should you try the cold brew, stick with a classic latte, or opt for a flat white? If you’re a particular fan of the velvety, rich cappuccino, you may have a question: does a cappuccino have caffeine?
Cappuccinos do have caffeine — but exactly how much depends on one important factor. Keep reading to learn all about cappuccinos and how much caffeine you can expect. Espresso-forward drinks await!
What’s a cappuccino?
Cappuccinos are strong, espresso-forward coffee drinks. They’re made with one part espresso, one part steamed milk and one part milk foam. If you compare that to a latte, the espresso-to-milk ratio is much higher, so you’ll taste the espresso much more. These drinks are a great way to sample perfectly pulled espresso — without having to drink it straight.
What makes a cappuccino wet or dry?
If you spend enough time in coffee shops, you’ll hear people ordering dry or bone-dry cappuccinos. Dry cappuccinos have even less steamed milk than regular cappuccinos, and the bone-dry variety is essentially just espresso topped with milk foam. A wet cappuccino is closer to a latte, meaning that it has more steamed milk than usual.
In terms of caffeine, though, none of these types of cappuccinos matter. Wet, dry, and bone-dry cappuccinos only differ in steamed milk, not in espresso.
How many shots of espresso in a cappuccino?
All of a cappuccino’s caffeine comes from the espresso, so you can figure out the amount of caffeine from the number of shots. Most cappuccinos are made with one or two shots of espresso (you can specify when you’re ordering). A typical shot of espresso has about 64 milligrams of caffeine.
So does a cappuccino have caffeine? A single-shot cappuccino has 64 milligrams of caffeine, and a double-shot cappuccino has 128 milligrams of caffeine.
Can you get a decaf cappuccino?
Technically, you can make a decaf cappuccino by pulling a shot of espresso using decaf coffee beans. If you can convince a barista to whip this up for you, it will have almost no caffeine in it. But making espresso with decaf isn’t very common — most people want the jolt of caffeine in their shots — and you might get a funny look from your barista and anyone else in earshot. If you do go down this path, we’d recommend tipping your barista well for being so accommodating!
How many cappuccinos can you drink in a day?
This is mostly a matter of personal preference — if your caffeine tolerance is particularly high, you might be able to drink a whole lot of cappuccinos without experiencing negative side effects. But the FDA recommends keeping your daily caffeine intake to 400 milligrams or less, which means you can safely drink 6.25 single-shot cappuccinos or just over 3 double-shot cappuccinos a day. That still sounds like a lot of espresso to us — and there are plenty of calories in the milk, too. So maybe play it safe and stick to one or two delicious cappuccinos?
The Bottom Line
A cappuccino does have caffeine — at least 64 milligrams — just like a latte or any other espresso drink. If you order a cappuccino with just one shot of espresso, you’ll drink less caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee. You can drink up to six cappuccinos in a day while staying within the FDA caffeine recommendation! And though you can technically make a caffeine-free cappuccino, you’re probably better off sticking with a cup of decaf coffee.
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