Do Cappuccino’s Have Caffeine?

If you’re at a coffee shop and you ask for “decaf coffee” only to be met by “sorry, we don’t have decaf,” you have two options: walk out of the coffee shop or order an alternative low-caffeine or coffee-free drink. Looking at a milky cappuccino, one might think it doesn’t have as much caffeine.

Cappuccinos have caffeine though it can be reduced upon request. A standard cappuccino can have as much caffeine as a cup of Americano (black coffee), though the milk and sugar in Cappuccino can disguise the bitter taste of coffee. To get the caffeine-free version, you must order “decaf cappuccino.”

In this article, you will learn more about cappuccino and other low-caffeine drinks you can order at a standard coffee shop. You will also find out the pros and cons of cappuccino, so you’re better informed before you crown it as your favorite drink. But first, let’s start with how cappuccino is made.

Cappuccino: A Brief Overview

Cappuccino is prepared by pouring steamed milk on top of an espresso base. By default, a cup of this drink features a shot of espresso. In case you’re wondering about the beverage’s caffeine contents because you want to have it at night, remember that you’re consuming a shot of espresso. 

This can disrupt your schedule if you’re not a habitual coffee drinker. However, if you regularly consume coffee, then you have a level of tolerance where steamed milk and sugar can actually make you sleepy.

There’s no point in trying other means to reduce cappucino’s potency when decaf cappuccino is available. Ask the barista if he can prepare a cup of “decaf cappuccino.” If he tells you that the cafe doesn’t have decaf beverages, then you have to start looking for low-caffeine alternatives.

Coffee-Free Drinks at cafes

If the cafe doesn’t have a decaf cappuccino, you might have to pick a coffee-free alternative. The following drinks are usually available at most coffee shops.

  • Hot Chocolate – Most premium coffee shops prepare high-quality hot chocolate made from real chocolate (baking bars). It tastes great and even has a hint of caffeine, thanks to cocoa beans.
  • Tea – If hot chocolate doesn’t suit your mature image, you can opt for tea. Black tea or English breakfast tea can have a little caffeine, but most iced teas don’t. You can ask the barista for further information.
  • Milkshakes – While high-end coffee shops may not offer milkshakes, they almost always have decaf coffee. The mass-appeal stores that can run out of decaf beans often have an assortment of milkshakes you can order. These shakes rarely have caffeine.

Low-Caffeine Beverages at Cafes

Since most coffee drinks are espresso-based, you can request the barista to control the amount of espresso he pumps into the beverage. Dilution can affect the taste of your coffee, especially if you order Americano or Brewed Coffee. However, here are beverages that taste great even when they don’t contain a heavy dose of espresso.

  • Cappucino – You can order a cappuccino with half the regular espresso and still have a great-tasting drink. 
  • Cafe Mocha – This drink can taste great even when it features a quarter of the espresso. However, the taste of chocolate overpowers the coffee. 
  • Cafe Macchiato – Usually made by adding a layer of frothed milk atop espresso, this drink can also be made by diluting espresso with water before adding foamed milk.
  • Latte – Depending on your taste, you can order a cafe latte with half or a quarter of the espresso. It is advisable to reduce sugar when diluting a latte in order to retain its taste balance.

Pros of Cappuccino:

If you have started changing your mind about Cappuccino upon learning that it contains caffeine, here are some advantages to balance the picture.

Good for Health 

According to a netmed, drinking up to 180 ml of cappuccino every day can be beneficial to your health. Prevention of heart problems and the avoidance of bad cholesterol movement are among the advantages of such a routine.

Has a “Good Enough” Factor 

Unlike pure coffee drinks, you can mess up a batch of espresso and still get a decent cappuccino because of how much its flavor profile depends on milk and additives. You might not find the perfect cup everywhere, but you’ll rarely be as disappointed as you would be from getting an imperfect americano.

Widely Available 

Cappuccino is popular enough to be available at every cafe. Even restaurants that serve coffee and coffee vending machines offer cappuccino.

Easy to Reduce/Avoid Caffeine 

Given that you go to a big-name coffee shop, you’ll be able to get a decaf cappuccino. For all other cafes, you can instruct the barista to lower the amount of espresso in the serving. This doesn’t affect the taste of the beverage as much.


While coffee connoisseurs would scoff at instant coffee, the truth is that cappuccino from a pouch of instant coffee mix tastes the same as the average cappuccino. If you’re not into coffee culture yet, like a milky cup of cappuccino, you can get yourself a cappuccino instant mix and taste test the difference. 

Again, the fact that cappuccino relies so heavily on milk and sugar alongside its top texture for its flavor means that the method of coffee-making with the least fresh grounds, instant coffee, can also make a decent cup of cappuccino.

Decaf Cappuccino Mix: Best Options for Emergencies.

If you find out that a certain establishment doesn’t have a decaf cappuccino, you can give them a Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee Packet and instruct them to use it for the espresso part of cappuccino preparation. The packets feature freeze-dried coffee that turns into espresso upon interacting with hot water. 

You can alternatively get Nescafe Cappuccino Decaf sachets that also contain milk powder with a frothing agent. With these sachets, all one needs is hot water to get a decent cup of decaf cappuccino.

Final Thoughts

Cappuccino doesn’t have caffeine if it is made with decaf espresso. Most standard coffee shops have decaf beans. In case there isn’t any decaf espresso to make caffeine-free espresso, you can ask the barista to lower the espresso dosage or give him decaf instant coffee to use as a substitute.

Tim S.

Tim loves roasting, brewing, and experimenting with coffee. After years of perfecting this craft, working as a barista, and owning a small coffee service in college, he has decided to share his knowledge with the world.

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