Is Espresso Stronger Than Cold Brew?

Coffee lovers can often not only enjoy the flavor, but also appreciate the boost they can get from the brew.

That said, there are so many choices out there! It can be hard to tell which ones can provide the strongest boost to get you through the day.

Two options that tend to be quite strong are espresso and cold brew.

Let’s compare these two brewing methods to determine which one is the strongest!

Considering Strength

There can be a few different ideas about what strength means.

Some may think of strength in terms of the flavor, meaning that a strong brew is something that is rich and bold.

However, others think of it with regard to the amount of caffeine it provides.

There can be quite a large range of caffeine in different coffee beverages, and each brewing method offers a unique way to access that caffeine effectively.

In some cases it can come from the amount of pressure used, while in others it may be attributed to the length of time spent brewing.

What Can Effect The Strength Of The Brew?

In order to find the option with the right amount of caffeine for you, it’s important to know what allows for the best possible extraction of the caffeine, flavor and other benefits.

Some of the variables that can effect this are the brewing time, any ingredients you may mix into your coffee and the coarseness of the grounds used.

Brewing Time

Some brewing methods can be quite quick, while others take a full day or more.

For example, the brewing time for espresso is very quick, but includes a lot of pressure, resulting in a brew with a lot of caffeine content.

On the other hand, cold brew is brewed with cool water, but is allowed to extract for at least 12 hours.


No matter how strong the initial brew is, the caffeine content is going to decrease when you mix it with other ingredients.

So if you tend to add more milk, creamer or other additions to a certain kind of coffee, it may end up with a lower amount of caffeine than another.

Consequently, it’s worthwhile to think about what kinds of ingredients you add to either espresso or cold brew.

If there is one you don’t feel the need to dilute as much, it’s most likely to be the stronger option.

Ground Coarseness

Some brews will require grounds that are more coarse, while others use very fine grounds. Often, this works in combination with the brewing method and time to provide the best possible result. You’ll also need to think about whether or not a filter is present, though that often effects flavor more than the caffeine content.

Which Is Stronger?

While some may debate otherwise due to the ingredients that may be added in, cold brew is likely to have more caffeine overall.

Typically, espresso can contain up to 75 milligrams of caffeine for every ounce, which isn’t a ton considering most espresso drinks are quite small.

However, cold brew can contain close to 300 milligrams in a 10-ounce beverage, depending on the kind of cold brew it is.

Keep in mind that the grounds you’re using will play into this greatly, as well as anything you may add to dilute the brew.

Which Is Better?

The answer to this is entirely up to you!

Each coffee lover has unique tastes. Some might prefer bold flavor while others like something crisp and clean.

This concept becomes even more obvious when we look at just how many brewing methods there are out there.

One of the ways you can find your ideal brew is to experiment with both espresso and cold brew.

A manual grinder can be a great help for getting your beans to the perfect espresso grind!

However, keep in mind that it’s a good idea to compare espresso beans to others before you get started on any espresso brews, just to make sure you’re getting what you need.

Finally, if you find that espresso is the ideal choice, it can be worthwhile to try out percolator coffee as well!