How Much Caffeine is in a Coffee Bean? A Complete Breakdown

Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world, and coffee is one of its primary sources. But have you ever wondered how much caffeine is in a single coffee bean? Let’s delve into this topic and break it down.

Caffeine Content in Different Types of Coffee Beans

There are two major types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. These two varieties differ in taste, cost, and most importantly for our topic, caffeine content.

Arabica Coffee Beans

Arabica coffee is considered higher in quality and is more commonly used than Robusta beans. A single, unroasted Arabica coffee bean contains 1.9 milligrams of caffeine. By dry weight, an Arabica coffee bean is between 1.2 – 1.5 percent caffeine, meaning that it contains 1.2 – 1.5g of caffeine per 100g (3.5oz).

Robusta Coffee Beans

Robusta coffee beans, on the other hand, contain almost twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. A single, unroasted Robusta coffee bean has 2.9 milligrams of caffeine1. By dry weight, a Robusta coffee bean is between 2.2 – 2.7 percent caffeine, meaning that it contains 2.2 – 2.7g of caffeine per 100g (3.5oz).

The Magic of Ethiopian Coffee Beans

Ethiopia, often hailed as the birthplace of coffee, is home to a rich diversity of coffee beans that offer a wide range of flavors and aromas. There are between 6 and 10 thousand different types of coffee from Ethiopia, but they are usually distinguished by their region, altitude, and cupping score instead of by type1.

The Three Musketeers: Longberry, Shortberry and Mocha

When it comes to Ethiopian coffee beans from the species Coffea arabica, there are three main categories:

  1. Longberry: These are the largest beans and are often considered the highest in quality. They offer a unique value and flavor that sets them apart.
  2. Shortberry: Although smaller than longberry, these beans are still considered high quality. They pack a punch in terms of flavor and aroma.
  3. Mocha: These small beans are filled with a complex flavor profile that includes some acidity, spice, and even chocolate flavors. Despite their size, they deliver a rich and satisfying coffee experience.

The Birthplace of Coffee

The coffee plant originated from Kaffa, a region in southwestern Ethiopia. The Kafa Biosphere Reserve is located in the Kafa Zone of Ethiopia. It is inside this area where coffee was first discovered. And according to UNESCO, it is currently home to almost 5,000 wild Arabica coffee varieties.

A Legend Born in the Wild

The discovery of coffee in Ethiopia is shrouded in legend. According to one popular tale, a goat herder named Kaldi noticed that his goats were unusually energetic after eating cherries from a certain plant. He brought these cherries to local monks who, after some initial skepticism and an accidental roasting event, discovered the invigorating effects of what we now know as coffee.

Whether you believe in the legend or not, there’s no denying that Ethiopia’s contribution to the world of coffee is immense. From its wild forests to your morning cup, every coffee bean carries with it a piece of Ethiopian history.

Imbibing this legacy, Kerchanshe aims to spread this taste of authenticity world-wide and are the market leaders in terms of premium Ethiopian Coffee beans.

Want to know more about our products? Check here.

Why Does Coffee Contain Caffeine?

The coffee plant contains caffeine as a means to protect itself. Caffeine is toxic to most pests, so the caffeine acts as a natural pesticide. The Arabica plant, which contains around half the caffeine content of Robusta, has to grow at higher altitudes where fewer pests live. The Robusta plant can survive even at sea level because the caffeine levels are so high in the plant.

Decaf Coffee: Does It Contain Caffeine?

Decaffeinated coffee beans do contain a certain level of caffeine. Decaf coffee typically contains around 6mg of caffeine per 250ml serving. While this amount is significantly lower than regular coffee, caution does need to be taken when drinking decaf as several cups could quickly add up to have a stimulating effect.


The amount of caffeine in a coffee bean can vary depending on the type of bean and whether it’s decaffeinated or not. While the average amount of caffeine in a single coffee bean might seem small, it’s important to remember that we typically consume more than one bean’s worth of coffee at a time! So next time you enjoy your cup of joe, you’ll know exactly how much caffeine you’re consuming.