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Does Coffee Extract Have Caffeine?

If you’ve ever enjoyed a nice coffee flavor in coffee ice cream, pastries, or other culinary delights, it’s a good chance you’ve tasted coffee extract. 

This coffee bean elixir packs a flavorful punch. But does coffee extract have caffeine in it? 

The basic answer is yes, it does. But as with many things, the full answer is a bit more complicated. Read on to learn more about coffee extract!

coffee ground

What is Coffee Extract?

Coffee extract is the big secret to rich coffee flavor in baked goods and pastries, and it’s surprisingly simple to make. 

The best coffee extract is nothing more than coffee beans and alcohol, such as vodka or another neutral liquor. 

There is, however, one complication. There is a bit of name confusion around coffee extract. Coffee concentrate, used for drinks like cold brew coffee, is also sometimes called coffee extract. 

But if you want to keep things accurate and correct, coffee extract and coffee concentrate are two different things.

The coffee concentrate is made with water. Most methods use cold water, but hot water coffee concentrate is also possible. 

Many people consider espresso to be a type of coffee concentrate. However, by definition, coffee extract is made with alcohol instead, and it’s pretty easy to make coffee extract at home.

How to Make Coffee Extract

All you need to make coffee extract at home is some lightly ground coffee beans, the alcohol of your choice (although vodka is standard for this), and a mason jar. 

It’s best to start with whole bean coffee instead of pre-ground and grind them lightly with a burr grinder. 

Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle or a food processor if you want, as uniformity isn’t essential here as you’re not brewing with it.

grinded coffee


The best recipe to get the coffee extract of your dreams is ¼ cup of coffee to 1 cup of vodka or other neutral alcohol. 

Simply pour your grounded coffee beans into a mason jar, add the cup of vodka, and seal it up. 

Store your future coffee extract in a cool, dark place, and give it a shake to mix it up every couple of days.

After two weeks, you can strain off the coffee bean leftovers and start using your extract. For a deeper, richer coffee flavor, you can leave it to steep for up to a month for a much stronger extract. 

You can keep the extract in the mason jar you used to make it or pour it into a glass bottle.

If you make coffee extract in a big batch, it makes a great gift! You can use the finished product in a lot of different places. 

It works exceptionally well in chocolate desserts, like brownies and cakes. And of course, anywhere you want that rich taste. It even makes delicious milkshakes.

coffee cake

Does Coffee Extract Have Caffeine?

The answer to the question, “Does coffee extract have caffeine” is simple and complicated at the same time. 

Since coffee extract uses roasted coffee beans, it does have caffeine. The caffeine content in your coffee extract depends on what type of bean, what concentration, and similar factors.

The concentration is mostly pretty standard, but some people mix double-strong coffee extracts, which will have a higher level compared to the regular recipe.

The beans you use can have a big impact on the caffeine content. This is because some species of coffee bean have higher concentrations of the stimulant compared to others. Robusta beans and Arabica beans are the most common, so we’ll stick with them.

For Robusta beans, you can expect 2.7 grams of caffeine for every 100 grams of coffee beans. With Arabica beans, expect 1.5 grams for every 100 grams of coffee. 

That’s a big difference! 

Many factors can determine how strong the extraction is and how high the caffeine content in your finished coffee extract is.

This includes steeping your coffee beans for a more extended period, using a higher proportion of coffee to alcohol, how often you mix it up, and 

The amount of caffeine in your coffee extract is easy to control, just by changing up the beans, time, or proportions. These tweaks can also deepen the coffee flavor.

How Much Caffeine is in Coffee?

As mentioned before, the amount of caffeine in coffee depends on the type of bean and the concentration and the method used to extract the coffee flavor and other compounds. 

Robusta coffee beans are often used for instant coffee precisely because they have higher caffeine content. They’re also often cheaper than Arabica.

The extraction method also plays a significant role in the amount of caffeine that ends up in the finished product. 

The caffeine content in cold brew coffee tends to be higher because the coffee is exposed to water for an extended period (12 hours or more).

In contrast, ground coffee in a drip coffee maker tends to produce a lower concentration.

Coffee extract tends to have a higher amount of caffeine compared to other extraction methods due to how long the coffee is in the liquid, as well as using alcohol as opposed to water. 

But because you also tend to use smaller amounts to flavor things like coffee ice cream and baked goods, the amount you actually consume is lower than a standard coffee serving.

Is Coffee Extract Real Coffee?

Whether or not coffee extract is real coffee sort of depends on what you consider “real coffee.” 

In the right proportions, you can use it as a substitute for instant coffee, especially in recipes for ice cream or other desserts. But keep in mind that it won’t make a perfect coffee drink. 

The concentrated coffee bean flavors are great in pastries but too strong to sip.

You can occasionally substitute real coffee that you’ve brewed for coffee extract in recipes, but the flavors won’t be as intense in most circumstances. 

It’s also worth noting that water-based coffee doesn’t always mix as well as an extract.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee Extract

How Much Caffeine is in a Coffee Bean?

The average coffee bean contains about 6 milligrams of caffeine. 

However, each coffee bean has a different concentration of caffeine, depending on too many factors to count.

Robusta coffee has more caffeine compared to Arabica, and some other varieties of coffee can have different levels. But the 6-milligram average is a good one to use as a baseline.

Does Coffee Fruit Extract Have Caffeine?

Coffee fruit doesn’t taste anything like coffee beans, either in their roasted or raw form, but it does have caffeine. The exact amount depends on a lot of factors.

In the interest of reducing waste, a lot of people have turned to coffee fruit either as a replacement for or a supplement to coffee beans. 

Coffee fruit extract can contain between 5 and 20 mg of caffeine per serving, depending on how it’s made.