Having had the pleasure of visting Cuba several times, I have developed a deep appreciation for the country’s rich culture and traditions, including its coffee. I’ve many fond memories of slow afternoons in the cute coffee shops of Havana, crowd-watching and slowly drinking the local’s favorite drink. Cuban coffee, also known as cafecito or cafe cubano, is a strong, sweet coffee that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. But what about the caffeine content of this beloved beverage?
Contrary to popular belief, the caffeine content of Cuban coffee is not massively higher than that of other types of coffee. In fact, the amount of caffeine in Cuban coffee is pretty similar to that of other types of coffee, such as espresso or filter coffee. The strength of the local’s coffee drink of choice comes from its bold flavor and thick, syrupy consistency, rather than an unusually high caffeine content. The combination of finely ground coffee beans and sugar creates a taste that is truly one-of-a-kind.
Cuban Coffee Caffeine Content
An 8oz cup of Cuban coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine. This is almost identical to a regular cup of drip or filter coffee which usually has about 80-100 mg of caffeine. The table below compares the caffeine in Cuban coffee to other popular drinks.
|Type of Coffee||Caffeine Content (8 oz)|
|Cuban Coffee||100 mg|
|Cafe Bustelo||130 mg|
|Drip Coffee||80-100 mg|
|Cold Brew||65-100 mg|
|Instant Coffee||30-90 mg|
Caffeine in Cafe Bustelo vs Cuban Coffee
A common misconception is that Cafe Bustelo and Cuban coffee are the same thing.
Café Bustelo is a well-known brand of Cuban-style coffee that has a long and storied history. Originally a favorite among Cuban immigrants in New York City, it quickly gained popularity among Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants as well.
Cafe Bustelo also packs a serious punch. While not as high as some of the strongest coffees on the market, the 130mg per 8oz serving is far higher than your average cup of joe and 30-50mg higher than your average cup of Cuban coffee.
Effect of Roast On Caffeine Levels
The degree to which coffee beans are roasted plays a major role in both the final flavor and the caffeine content of the coffee. Dark roasted beans, like those commonly used in Cuban coffee, tend to have a stronger, smokier flavor, and a higher caffeine content to boot.
During the roasting process, the cell walls of the coffee beans are broken down, allowing for a more efficient extraction of caffeine during the brewing process. As a result, coffee made with dark roasted beans will generally have a higher caffeine content than those made with lighter roasts.
Does Cuban coffee have more caffeine?
Cuban coffee has more caffeine than regular coffee thanks to the finer grind size and it’s shorter brew time. An average cup of Cuban coffee has 100mg vs the 80mg found in a regular brew.
Is Cuban coffee stronger than regular coffee?
Cuban coffee is stronger than regular coffee. It contains anywhere between one and a half and twice as much caffeine per cup as a standard cup and has a stronger, darker flavor.
How much caffeine is in a Colada Coffee?
A colada coffee has 50mg of caffeine. It is usually served in a smaller 4oz cup and is the Cuban equivalent of espresso. Colada coffee is meant for sharing.