Ranking the Sources Of Caffeine

By this point in time, caffeine has become a staple in societies around the world. Though most people will automatically associate caffeine with coffee, our favorite cup of java isn’t the only source of caffeine out there!

Even though the globe certainly loves its coffee (we consumed over 165 million 60 kilogram bags of coffee alone in the last year), caffeine isn’t just in coffee beans. Contrary to popular belief, there are over 60 different plant species that produce natural sources of caffeine, some of which you might recognize and others you may have never heard of. 

To help you narrow down your choices and discover a new way to get your morning boost, we put together a list of our top ten favorite sources of caffeine. We wanted our list to cover as many options as possible to give you the best chance at discovering your favorite caffeine source! 

Without further ado, let’s get to exploring the wide world of caffeine! 

10. Milk Chocolate

To kick off our list, we have a slightly surprising but familiar food; milk chocolate! In nature, caffeine is most commonly found in coffee beans and cacao beans. Though milk chocolate is more processed than other forms of chocolate, it retains some of this caffeine. 

On average, an ounce of milk chocolate chips contains around 5.7 milligrams of caffeine. While that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, it’s probably more than you previously thought!

9. Coffee Liqueur 

Most alcohols are not caffeinated beverages, but you get the best of both worlds in the case of coffee liqueur! As you might have learned from our Caffeinated Cocktail series, the world of coffee and cocktails is a lot closer than you may realize. 

While we’re big fans of coffee liqueur, it’s ranked lower on this list purely because of serving size. The average serving of Kahlua, for instance, is around 1.5 ounces, which contains approximately 5 milligrams of caffeine. The taste is excellent, but this entry falls shorter than some of the others as far as an effective way to consume caffeine; this entry falls shorter than some of the others. 

8. Dark Chocolate

The older, wiser cousin of milk chocolate, dark chocolate is one of the more common and natural ways to consume caffeine outside of coffee. Dark chocolate is higher in caffeine content than other types of chocolate due to the higher concentrations of cacao. You can usually find the cacao percentage on the side of a dark chocolate bar, and the higher the ratio, the higher caffeine content there is!

In an ounce of dark chocolate that’s around 60-69% cocoa, there will typically be around 24.4 milligrams of caffeine. That’s a step up from milk chocolate!

7. Soda

Though soda is a broad category of drinks, the average soft drink will probably have some caffeine in it. Like most products, it’s difficult to generalize across all sodas due to the wide range of caffeine content, sugars, and flavors. However, the average soda will almost definitely contain some level of caffeine.

On average, a soda will contain from 30 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per can, with some brands falling above and below those numbers. 

6. Black Tea

While coffee has enjoyed recent popularity, it was not the first caffeinated hot drink. Tea has played an enormous role in popular culture throughout time, and it remains one of the most popular beverages in the world to this day. Depending on steeping time, specific type, and water temperature, you can get a reasonably wide variety of caffeine content in black teas.

An average black tea will have around 45 milligrams of caffeine per cup (8 ounces), putting it on par with many sodas caffeine-wise. 

5. Green Tea

Are you surprised to see green tea above black tea? It’s a common misconception that black tea will have more caffeine than green tea, so we don’t blame you! While it’s true that many black teas will have more caffeine, green tea can still pack a punch. It slots in above black tea, as you have more options when it comes to green tea.

The average cup of green tea will have around 28 milligrams of caffeine, making it an excellent balance for people who want the lightness of tea with the boosting power of coffee!

4. Energy Drinks

As we get closer to the top of this list, the heaviest hitters start to appear. It should be no surprise that energy drinks are one of the most popular ways to get caffeine, as they have both high levels of caffeine and a wide variety of flavors. In a way, energy drinks are comparable to soda but with significantly higher levels of caffeine. 

Energy drinks can be helpful for healthy adults looking for a jolt, but young people might want to avoid too many energy drinks. Caffeine is a useful stimulant, but too much of it can have some side effects, including high blood pressure and trouble sleeping.

An average energy drink will have around 91 milligrams of caffeine per cup (8 ounces), making it one of the most potent sources of caffeine. 

3. Caffeine Pill

Number three on our list might surprise some people, but a caffeine pill can be an excellent solution for people who have struggled with caffeinated foods and beverages in the past. As opposed to drinks with caffeine, a caffeine pill offers only the caffeine effects, without any sugars or other ingredients. This can circumvent some of the health problems people might experience with the components of coffee or soda.

However, caffeine pills will also offer a significant amount of caffeine per dose, so if you turn to caffeine pills, you should reduce your use of other caffeinated products. You can usually find caffeine pills in 100 or 200-milligram doses. Because of their extremely high caffeine content, only use a caffeine pill with caution, and if you have concerns, consult a medical professional.

2. Yerba Mate

The runner-up in our list holds this spot due to high popularity around the world and a comparable experience to our number one choice. Yerba Mate is a type of herbal tea that has exploded in popularity in recent years and comes with a high level of caffeine. You’ve likely seen cans and tea bags of yerba mate popping up all around you in grocery stores, and for a good reason! 

Yerba Mate, on average, has around 80 milligrams of caffeine per cup, making it an excellent option for a moderate caffeine intake. 

1. Coffee 

The number one choice on our list should come as no surprise, but by our standard, coffee is still the best way to consume caffeine! Coffee is incredibly popular and can be made to taste every time. From espresso to cold-brewed coffee, a few cups of coffee a day will give you all the caffeine you need!

The amount of caffeine in coffee depends on the brewing method, but a regular cup of black coffee (8 ounces) will have around 91 milligrams of caffeine. 


At Amora, our mission is to spread great coffee to as many people as possible! To do this, we’ve perfected a 9-step roasting process, roast our coffee in small batches, and send each freshly roasted bag directly to you, the consumer. We’ve also cultivated some of our favorite teas to add to your list! Try our subscription service today to experience coffee as it should be, without any hassle! 

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