High-Street coffee shops’ caffeine content varies widely, Which? finds
New research from Which? reveals huge differences in the amount of caffeine in popular hot drinks at high-street coffee shops, with some drinks containing up to six times the amount of caffeine as rival offerings.
The consumer champion looked at the caffeine content of cappuccino, espresso, and filter coffees at popular coffee chains such as Caffè Nero, Costa, Greggs, Pret a Manger, and Starbucks.
The results show that consumers could be consuming significantly more or less caffeine than they had bargained for.
Costa was found to offer the strongest medium cappuccino, with a cup containing 325mg of caffeine, which is around the same amount as four cups of tea and nearly five times as much as a Starbucks cappuccino, which contained the least amount at 66mg.
Pret a Manger’s espresso was found to contain six times as much caffeine as Starbucks, with 180mg compared to 33mg.
Pret’s filter coffee also had the highest caffeine content at 271mg, while Greggs had 225mg.
Starbucks had the second-lowest caffeine levels in both the cappuccino and espresso categories, with 66mg and 33mg respectively.
Caffè Nero had the second-lowest levels of caffeine after Starbucks, with 110-115mg in cappuccinos and 45mg in espressos.
Shefalee Loth, Which? Nutritionist, said:
“Many of us rely on coffee to get us through the dark winter mornings, but our research shows you may be consuming significantly more, or less, caffeine than you bargained for.
“Our analysis has shown that there are big variations in caffeine content between drinks from different high-street coffee shops.”
“Most of the time this shouldn’t be an issue but if you drink a lot of coffee or need to limit your caffeine intake you might want to consider what you’re ordering and where from.”
The amount of caffeine in a drink can be limited by requesting fewer shots when ordering.
Most coffee chains have at least two shots of espresso, and caffeine intake can quickly add up for those who drink multiple cups a day.
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