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What Iced Coffees Have the Most Caffeine? 3 Popular Brands Compared

iced mocha coffee with straw

Iced coffees are a great way to answer your coffee cravings and enjoy a cool beverage at the same time. While these drinks are tasty, they still contain caffeine. In some cases, high amounts of caffeine. Are iced coffees dangerous due to their caffeine content? No, they normally aren’t, especially if you know how much caffeine you can handle, how much is recommended for daily consumption, and how much is inside each cup you drink.1

Below, we will compare the caffeine content of three popular brands and their iced coffees so you can better understand what you’re drinking each time you order one of these delicious cold coffee drinks.

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The 3 Iced Coffee Brands With the Most Caffeine

1. Starbucks

caffeine in Starbucks drinks

When it comes to coffee, iced or hot, Starbucks is the most popular in the game. With locations all over the world, Starbucks has its finger on the pulse of cold coffee. They also have a huge menu and several iced coffees to choose from. Here’s a look at two of their most popular offerings and the caffeine content found inside.

Name Starbucks Iced Brew Coffee Iced Caramel Macchiato
Caffeine in a Tall (12-ounce) 120 mg 75 mg
Caffeine in a Grande (16-ounce) 165 mg 150 mg
Caffeine in a Venti (24-ounce) 235 mg 225 mg

The Starbucks Iced Brew is their original and still one of the most popular. This drink, like most others offered at Starbucks, comes in various sizes and features caffeine amounts ranging from 120mg to 235 mg per serving.

The Iced Caramel Macchiato iced coffee is a fan favorite of people who pop by Starbucks each day. One of the reasons people love it is due to all of the customizations they can add to make it their own. If you’re a caffeine and caramel lover, this drink could be the one for you.


2. Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee

What’s better than coffee and a donut? For fans of iced coffee, it’s Dunkin’s version of this tasty coffee beverage. While Dunkin Donuts may not be as popular as Starbucks, that doesn’t mean the coffee they make is any less appealing. Let’s see their popular iced coffees and the caffeine content in each cup.

Name Dunkin’s Brewed Iced Coffee Extra Charged Iced Coffee
Caffeine in a small (16-ounce) 198 mg 240 mg
Caffeine in a medium (24-ounce) 297 mg 358 mg
Caffeine in a large (32-ounce) 396 mg 475 mg

When it comes to caffeine content, Dunkin’s Brewed Iced Coffee is a real contender. Even their small version features a whopping 198 mg of caffeine. If you’re brave enough to buy a large, you’re guzzling down nearly all of your recommended daily caffeine.

As the name suggests, Dunkin Donuts’ Extra Charged Iced Coffee is packed with caffeine to keep you motivated throughout your day. This drink features green tea extract and an additional 20% of caffeine per serving.


3. McDonald’s

hand holding a cup of iced McCafe drink
Image Credit: Jason Yuen, Unsplash

The fast-food giant McDonald’s hasn’t always been the first name when it comes to coffee, but throughout the years, things are surely improving. With the introduction of their McCafé Menu, they now have great-tasting coffee that can compete with the giants on the playing field. To keep up, they also upped the caffeine content in their more popular drinks in hopes of competing with Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

Name McDonald’s Iced Coffee McDonald’s Iced Mocha
Caffeine in a small (16-ounce) 133 mg 86 mg
Caffeine in a medium (24-ounce) 200 mg 167 mg
Caffeine in a large (32-ounce) 320 mg 200 mg

If you’re in the mood for a caffeinated iced coffee that is convenient and affordable, McDonald’s could be your clear choice. This iced coffee finds itself falling between the giants when it comes to caffeine content, but we’ll let you decide who wins when it comes to taste.

For an affordable iced coffee with a bit of flavor, McDonald’s Iced Mocha is another option. You’ll taste the mocha flavorings you enjoy in this chilly coffee beverage that will satisfy both your coffee and caffeine expectations.

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The Difference Between Iced Coffee & Cold Brew

While we compared three of the most popular coffee brands and their most popular iced coffee offerings, that doesn’t mean these are the only cold options you’ll find when you visit one of these locations. Take Starbucks, for example. The menu at Starbucks is quite extensive and includes several options like iced or cold brew. But, here’s the big question, are iced coffee and cold brew coffee the same?

What Is an Iced Coffee

For fans of cold coffee, iced coffee is an easy option both at home and on the go. Iced coffee is exactly what it says, brewed coffee poured over ice. This form of coffee can be ready quickly. It doesn’t take special brewing and doesn’t require special coffee beans. If you’re in the mood for an iced coffee, you can simply brew up a pot of your favorite brand, drop some ice in a cup, and pour. That’s it. If you like flavors, add them and enjoy.

What Is Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee takes far longer to make than iced coffee. This process requires coffee grounds to steep in cold water for 12 hours or more. For those who plan to make cold brew at home, the process must be started ahead of time to get the taste people enjoy. For many who enjoy cold brew coffee, stopping by their favorite coffee shop is their preferred method.

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Conclusion

As you can see in our comparison chart of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and McDonald’s iced coffees, Dunkin is the clear winner when it comes to caffeine content. For those who welcome a caffeine boost throughout their day, grabbing one of their iced coffees can give you what you’re looking for. Don’t count Starbucks and McDonald’s out, however. Each of these coffee powerhouses offers caffeinated iced coffee beverages to perk you up and help you get your days off to a great start.


Featured Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

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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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