Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine? Hot Chocolate vs. Coffee & Tea

Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2022
Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine? Hot Chocolate vs. Coffee & Tea
Learn about the caffeine content in hot chocolate vs. coffee and tea

Hot chocolate is a popular cozy winter beverage that can be soothing and comforting. But it actually contains caffeine, similar to coffee or tea. 

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases alertness and can sometimes relieve headaches. However, too much caffeine can have side effects including anxiety and insomnia.

Learn about the caffeine content in hot chocolate vs. coffee vs. tea.

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

Hot chocolate

The amount of caffeine in hot chocolate varies on the type of chocolate used and the serving size. For example, here is the amount of caffeine in well-known hot chocolate brands:

  • Starbucks offers hot chocolate with about 15 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces.
  • Swiss Miss, Hershey's, and Nestle sell instant or packaged hot chocolate mixes that contain much less caffeine. Their caffeine content is only about 0.01% of the product.


Coffee has the highest caffeine content compared with tea or hot chocolate. Depending on how the coffee beans are roasted, ground, and brewed, a cup of coffee can contain a variety of amounts of caffeine.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks Pike Place Roast contains 310 mg of caffeine, whereas a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks Americano includes 225 mg of caffeine.

Drinking decaf can help you greatly if you want to cut back on your caffeine intake. According to the CSPI, a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks decaf coffee has a meager 25 mg of caffeine, which is 12 times less than a 16-ounce cup of coffee with all the caffeine.


Like coffee, tea has varying amounts of caffeine, which can be attributable to the brand, amount of water used, amount of tea used, and serving size.

For instance, according to the CSPI, green tea has a lower caffeine content than black tea. An 8-ounce bottle of Arizona Iced Tea has 15 mg of caffeine, whereas the same brand's black tea has 7.5 mg.

Most herbal teas are caffeine-free. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, you can eliminate most of the caffeine from green tea leaves by rinsing the leaves for 180 seconds in hot water, which is 203 F (95 C).

The bottom line

Although hot chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee or tea, it is important to note if you want to avoid caffeine entirely.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2022
Image Source: Getty image