How Much Caffeine Is In Chocolate Vs Coffee – Which Has More?

Many people don't realize that some foods contain naturally occurring caffeine, and chocolate is one of them. So does this mean that you can substitute hot chocolate or chocolate candy and ditch espresso beans and coffee beans in order to get that much-needed caffeine boost?  

Find out here in this complete guide on how much caffeine is in chocolate vs. coffee. We'll cover the average amount of caffeine in both as well as some pros and cons for each. 

Before getting into the facts on caffeine content, let’s talk chocolate. Chocolate is a food product that is made from cacao pods that have been roasted and ground. It is available in many forms, including solid, liquid, and paste. As you probably already know, there are several different types of solid chocolate, including dark, milk, and white.  

In terms of caffeine, dark chocolate (which is considered the healthiest) contains 12mg. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, has a whopping 34mg caffeine, and white chocolate contains 0mg. That means if you want to get the biggest energy boost from your chocolate consumption, milk chocolate is the best option.  

When comparing caffeine in chocolate vs. coffee, chocolate doesn’t quite match up (we’ll cover the details on the caffeine content of coffee later on). However, 34mg of caffeine is enough to give some people a slight increase in energy, so don’t underestimate the energizing powers of milk chocolate.  

milk chocolate

How Much Caffeine Is In Hot Chocolate? 

So what about chocolate beverages like hot chocolate?  

Since hot chocolate drinks are typically made by mixing either water or milk with a dried chocolate powder, this affects the caffeine content. While a solid serving of milk chocolate has over 30mg caffeine, a cup of hot chocolate only contains 5mg, and the same can be said about chocolate milk. 

So once again, coffee wins when comparing the amount of caffeine in hot chocolate vs. coffee. That being said, it is possible to increase the caffeine content in your hot chocolate by using real, solid milk chocolate to make the beverage.  

hot chocolate

What Is The Caffeine Content Of Coffee 

Many people use coffee as their main source of caffeine, and why wouldn’t they? It’s delicious, healthy (more on that next), and a great way to get the day started. Best of all, coffee is one of the most energy-boosting substances out there.  

The amount of caffeine in your coffee depends on a few things, like the roast type, brewing method, and serving size. If you were to brew a standard cup of coffee with a traditional coffee machine, then you’re looking at about 95mg of caffeine per 8-ounce cup.  This means that 1 serving of coffee has significantly more than 1 serving of solid milk chocolate.  

There are, however, differences in the caffeine content for different types of coffee. Here’s a quick breakdown:  

Chocolate Vs Coffee
  • Espresso - 1 shot of espresso has an average of 64mg caffeine. 
  • Latte - An 8-ounce latte has an average of 85mg caffeine. 
  • Cappuccino - An 8-ounce cappuccino has an average of 85mg caffeine. 
  • French Press - The caffeine in a French press can range from 80 to 135mg depending on the beans used and the steeping time.  
  • Decaffeinated Coffee - Contrary to what you might think, decaf coffee actually does contain some caffeine, usually about 12mg. 
  • Macchiato - A 2-ounce macchiato has an average of 85mg caffeine.  
  • Flat White - A 12-ounce flat white has an average of 130mg caffeine. 
  • Instant Coffee - An 8-ounce cup of instant coffee can have anywhere between 30 and 75mg caffeine.  

Pros & Cons Of Drinking Coffee For An Energy Boost 

In addition to giving you a boost of energy, there are several surprising health benefits for drinking coffee, but there are also some drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons that come along with drinking coffee regularly:  

  • Boost brain power and mental clarity 
  • Allows you to burn fat more quickly 
  • Contains essential nutrients like magnesium and niacin 
  • Can lower the risk of certain diseases, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Type 2 Diabetes 
  • Has the potential to stain teeth 
  • Can negatively affect your sleep patterns 
  • Can cause heartburn in some individuals 

Caffeine Amounts - Regular Chocolate Vs. Hot Chocolate Vs. Coffee? 

Now that we’ve covered all the basics of caffeine in chocolate compared to coffee, let’s do a full recap on the effects of the caffeine contained within each. In the table below, not only will we cover the caffeine content but also the potential side effects that come along with both coffee and chocolate.  


Regular Chocolate 

Hot Chocolate (and Chocolate Milk) 


Average Amount of Caffeine 

At about 34mg per serving, milk chocolate has the highest amount of caffeine when compared with dark and white chocolate.  

The amount of caffeine in chocolate beverages - like hot chocolate and chocolate milk - depends on how you make the drink. If you’re using a powdered mix, then there’s probably only about 5mg caffeine.  

A traditional cup of coffee has an average of 95mg caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine in your coffee beverage depends on how the coffee is made, the beans used, the serving size, etc.  

Long Term Health Effects 

Eating too much sugary chocolate can have some negative long-term health effects, like obesity and diabetes. However, consuming dark chocolate in moderation can be beneficial since it is thought to contain several important antioxidants.  

Most chocolate beverages contain high amounts of sugar, which can cause weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and even heart issues. It’s best to keep your chocolate-sipping habits at a minimum.  

Coffee has some positive long-term health effects, like improved athletic performance, more mental sharpness, and the ability to increase metabolism. But as is the case with most things, it’s best to remember that moderation is key.  

Ability To Keep You Awake 

To be completely honest, eating a piece of chocolate probably won’t give you a major energy boost. However, there are some chocolate products that are specifically formulated with higher levels of caffeine.  

Hot chocolate and chocolate milk are not the ideal beverage choices for staying awake. Most contain just 5mg caffeine, and there’s actually more caffeine in most decaf coffee drinks. 

If you’re trying to wake up in the morning or pull an all-nighter, drinking coffee can definitely help. Compared to solid chocolate and chocolate beverages, it definitely has the greatest ability to induce wakefulness and boost energy.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much caffeine is in hot chocolate vs. decaf coffee? 

Decaf coffee can have anywhere between 2 and 12mg of caffeine, while most hot chocolate drinks have 5mg. However, if the hot chocolate is made with real milk chocolate rather than a dehydrated powder, then the amount of caffeine could be more like 35mg. 

How much caffeine is in chocolate-covered coffee beans? 

According to the USDA, a 1-ounce serving of chocolate-covered coffee beans contains as much as 227mg caffeine. However, this depends on the type of bean that is used; some manufacturers make them with decaffeinated beans, so in that case, the amount of caffeine would be a lot lower.   

How much is considered too much coffee? 

Every individual has a different tolerance for coffee, but the general rule of thumb is to try and limit yourself to 400mg caffeine per day or less. So if you’re drinking regular coffee that has about 95mg caffeine per cup, you should have no more than 4 cups of coffee per day. 

How do hot chocolate and Red Bull compare? 

In our guide on Red Bull vs. coffee, we found that Red Bull has over 110mg of caffeine per can. Compared to hot chocolate, which typically has about 5mg caffeine unless made with real milk chocolate, Red Bull is much more caffeinated.  


There you have it - the complete guide on how much caffeine is in chocolate vs. coffee. In terms of caffeine content, coffee is the winner, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat chocolate every now and then. Many studies say that chocolate in moderation is good for health, so go ahead and indulge in a sweet treat occasionally.