Caffeine Quantified: Your Favorite Coffee Chains Ranked, Weakest to Strongest

The folks at Thrillist conduct a long-overdue study into which chain’s coffee is strongest, and the results may cause you to change your morning routine.

Coffee is one of those things where the cure is the disease. Similar to cigarettes, the more you consume, the more you come to depend on it. If you drink coffee all the time to stay perked up, you will become tired all the time, and require more heavy-duty perking up. However, perhaps if you drink the strongest cup of coffee commercially available, you’ll maintain a constantly perky equilibrium. A new chart lets you know where to find the right cup to feed any level of caffeine dependency.

Created by recommender blog Thrillist, the new chart is a visual representation of the amount of caffeine several popular chains contain. The team at Thrillist conducted research through the Center for Science in the Public Interest, as well as something called Energy Fiend, and found how many milligrams of caffeine per ounce are in cups from McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and the aforementioned strongest of them all, the aptly named Deathwish Coffee.

The amount of coffee is represented in the chart by a series of cups whose contents are converted to pie charts. The more caffeine the chain has, the larger the portion of the cup’s surface is rendered coffee-colored. Have a look at the chart below, and let us know in the comments if this might change your mind about where you procure your morning cup.

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  • Tim Sturk

    You have left out info regarding blend content and roast profile which greatly affect caffiene content. Not to mention how these coffees actually taste. Caffiene has no discernible taste contribution at the levels we drink it. So this piece is just sensationalism without substance.

  • Kate Donkin

    This explains why McDonald's coffee just doesn't do it for me. I never knew exactly why until now.

  • heretiq

    Great article. I'm bookmarking Co.Create! While this article won't prompt an immediate change in my coffee consumption habit, the recent decision by Starbucks to move its Wifi service to Google has. Google has demonstrated a clear disregard for individual privacy rights and has been caught outright lying and circumventing privacy provisions in web browsers. Starbucks decision to prioritize cost reduction over their customers' privacy is a clear case of the bottom-line winning over values. I will not reward such disloyalty with the privilege of satisfying my coffee addiction.

  • Sherry Wu

    Slightly irked by the consistent misspelling of "Thrillist", but thrilled to see confirmation of my hunch that the quality of McDonald's coffee is only a tiny step above that of swamp water.

  • Jen King

    So where do we find Deathwish? Is this was the companies advertise them to be or were they chemically tested?

  • Jason Fields

    I'd like to know caffeine content for more boutique brands too like Intelligentsia, Sightglass, La Colombe, Joe's, Blue Bottle, etc.