Regular caffeinated coffee can give you a pleasant caffeine buzz, but sipping decaf is a great way to enjoy the taste of coffee without the boost of caffeine.
But what about half-caff coffee? How much caffeine does it contain?
The average cup (8 fl oz) of half-caff coffee contains about 47.5mg of caffeine, or about 11.87% of the recommended daily caffeine intake for adults. This beverage is a 50/50 combination of decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee. Drinking half-caff could help you lower your daily caffeine consumption.
In this article, I’ll explain whether half-caff coffee truly contains half the caffeine of a regular cup of joe.
I’ll also discuss the potential benefits of switching to half-caff brews.
Does half-caff coffee really have only half the caffeine of regular coffee?
It’s true! Half-caff coffee contains about half the caffeine of a regular serving of coffee. That’s because it’s made using a 50/50 ratio of standard caffeinated and decaf coffee.
Of course, not all coffee contains an identical amount of caffeine.
Let’s examine some popular types of coffee and half-caff pods to determine exactly how much caffeine is in a cup of half-caff:
How much caffeine is in half-caff coffee?
I’ve established that half-caff coffee contains 50% of the caffeine in fully caffeinated coffees.
But because different varieties of coffee contain varying levels of caffeine, finding out precisely how much caffeine is in a cup of half-caff can be a little tricky.
Fortunately, we can explore some popular options to discover how much caffeine you can expect to find in your cup of half-caff.
Check out the chart below for a detailed breakdown of much caffeine you’ll find in homemade half-caff brews:
|Coffee brand and type||Caffeine per 8 fl oz||Half-caff equivalent (per 8 fl oz)|
|Folgers (Classic Roast)||114mg||57mg|
|Maxwell House (Medium Roast)||112mg||56mg|
|Eight O’Clock Coffee (Original Ground)||112mg||56mg|
|Café Bustelo (Ground Coffee)||150mg||75mg|
|Death Wish (Medium Roast)||472mg||236mg|
|NESCAFÉ CLÁSICO (Dark Roast Instant Coffee)||35mg||17.5mg|
|Starbucks (Dark Roast Premium Instant Coffee)||95mg||47.5mg|
|Green Mountain (Colombia, K-Cup Pod)||96mg||48mg|
|World’s Best Half-Caff Coffee (K-Cup Pod)||45mg||45mg|
|Maud’s Gourmet Coffee (World’s Best Half Caff)||55mg||55mg|
Because half-caff coffee is 50% regular coffee and 50% decaf, you can simply halve the caffeine content of your favorite type of coffee to discover how much caffeine it would contain if you made it half-caff-style.
How much caffeine is a standard cup of coffee?
The average cup (8 fl oz) of coffee contains an average of about 95mg of caffeine. So, how much caffeine is in half-caff coffee?
The answer is about half the caffeine in a regular cup of coffee—about 47.5mg per eight fluid ounces.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the maximum daily caffeine allowance for adults is 400mg.
Consequently, you (potentially) could drink up to eight cups of half-caff coffee each day without suffering any negative side effects.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should drink that much coffee daily.
After all, excessive caffeine intake is associated with some worrisome symptoms, including increased feelings of anxiety, headaches, and rapid heartbeat.
That said, switching from regular, fully caffeinated coffee to half-caff coffee could be beneficial, especially if you’re trying to reduce your daily caffeine intake.
Potential benefits of drinking half-caff coffee
Now that you’re up to speed with the caffeine content of a half-caff cup of joe, you might wonder, “Why drink half-caff when you could enjoy regular or decaf coffee?”
Well, there are quite a few potential benefits to drinking half-caff coffee, including:
- Reduced caffeine intake
- Gradual caffeine reintroduction
- Caffeine health benefits
- More complex flavor profiles
Reducing your daily caffeine intake
Caffeine can help you feel more awake and alert but can also lead to some unpleasant side effects, especially when consumed in large quantities.
For this reason, many coffee lovers occasionally switch from regular coffee to decaf.
But this transition can be challenging, as caffeine withdrawal can give you headaches, make you tired, and even make it difficult to focus!
Gradually transitioning from fully caffeinated coffee to decaf is one of the best ways to decrease the severity of caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Consequently, going from regular to half-caff can help you eventually transition to decaf-only.
So, if you’re not quite ready to change to decaf coffee, going half-caff could help you decrease your caffeine intake while still providing a boost of caffeine to help you get through your day.
Gradually reintroducing caffeine
Half-caff coffee can also help you gradually reintroduce caffeine, preventing the common side effects of caffeine overload (jitteriness, racing thoughts, rapid pulse).
You can even use this article’s handy half-caff caffeine comparison chart to start with the lowest-possible half-caff options so you can gradually increase your caffeine consumption to a desired level.
Getting the health benefits of caffeine consumption
Too much caffeine can leave you feeling nervous and sick to your stomach. But in safe amounts, caffeine can be quite a beneficial stimulant.
Health benefits associated with caffeine consumption include:
- Decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Lowered risk of developing colon cancer
- Decreased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease
Because decaf coffee is almost caffeine-free, it can’t provide the same level of health benefits as regular, fully caffeinated coffee.
However, mixing these two coffees provides the health benefits of caffeine without the unwanted side effects of over-caffeination.
Enjoying more complex flavor profiles
Decaffeinated coffee has a reputation for not being as flavorful as regular coffee, which can turn some coffee drinkers off decaf, making it challenging to decrease daily caffeine consumption.
But when you mix decaf brews with regular ones, you can enjoy the best of both worlds!
Of course, combining rich caffeinated coffee with some of the best decaf coffee beans is bound to result in a fully customized flavor extravaganza, so don’t be afraid to experiment when making half-caff coffee at home.
How do you make half-caff coffee at home?
There are three tried-and-true ways to make half-caff coffee at home. For example, you could:
- Mix half a teaspoon of decaf and half a teaspoon of regular instant coffee in a mug and add hot water.
- Brew a batch of coffee using a 50/50 mix of decaf and regular coffee beans.
- Pop a half-caff pod into your Keurig coffee maker or Nespresso machine.
The instant coffee method is the fastest option, but the taste of instant coffee can leave much to be desired.
Brewing a cup of half-caff using a Keurig or Nespresso pod is the most convenient choice, and the flavor profile is typically a little better than what you’d find with instant.
However, brewing a half-caff batch using standard drip coffee makers or pour over coffee makers might be the best choice if you want to enjoy the best possible flavor.
That said, this option is the most time-consuming as you’ll want to grind the coffee beans yourself.
At the end of the day (or should I say, the start of the day), the decision comes down to personal preference.
Is half-caff always a 50/50 mix of decaf and regular coffee?
Technically, the only way to make half-caff is to blend a perfectly equal mixture of decaf and regular coffee.
But, of course, you’re free to get creative and make any decaf-and-regular coffee drink you’d like.
For example, suppose you’re transitioning from regular to half-caff (to go fully decaf in the future).
You can start your half-caff journey by enjoying 10% decaf and 90% regular coffee blends.
While this may not qualify as a half-caff drink, it’s a move in the right direction.
Besides, from that point, you can slowly decrease the regular coffee (maybe by 10% each week) until you’ve achieved a standard 50/50 blend.
After that, it’s a pretty easy transition to decaf-only coffee enjoyment.
Altering your half-caff coffee’s ratios can also ensure you’re only consuming exactly the amount of caffeine you’d like to consume.
Of course, you’ll probably have to do some math to figure out the precise milligrams per cup or fluid ounce.
However, with the help of a percentages calculator and the caffeine comparison chart included in this ranking, you can make short work of finding out just how much caffeine is in a 30% decaf and 70% regular cup of coffee!
A cup (8 fl oz) of half-caff coffee contains about 47.5mg of caffeine or about half the caffeine found in an identically-sized cup of regular, fully caffeinated coffee.
That’s because half-caff coffee is a 50/50 mix of decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee.
Switching to half-caff brews could be a beneficial decision, especially if you’ve been looking to reduce caffeine consumption or gradually introduce caffeine into your morning routine.
No matter your reason for choosing half-caff, you can customize your brew to enjoy the ideal amount of caffeine and the perfect level of flavor!