What You Should Know About The Caffeine Content In Coffee Ice Cream

For true coffee aficionados that love the flavor of the drink, coffee ice cream is a delicious way to eat your java. We know that a sweet coffee taste is the mark of a good pint, but can this type of ice cream actually help you stay awake? It depends. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers caffeine a "generally recognized as safe," or GRAS, food substance if it's under .02% of the total product's volume. As such, food and beverage companies are not required to reveal the total amount of caffeine in its items or caffeine that comes from natural sources.

So when it comes to coffee ice cream, it can be hard to tell how much of the buzzy substance is in a pint — and that number can vary widely, along with the type used. Some brands add brewed java straight into their recipe, as Trader Joe's does with its Coffee Bean Blast Ice Cream (along with ground coffee beans), while others use instant coffee, espresso, coffee extract, or a combination of these. If a brewed cup of joe is deployed in a brand's formula, the caffeine content may also depend on what type of beans were used and how the java was brewed.

The amount of caffeine in coffee ice cream varies by brand

Since the caffeine content in coffee ice cream can be all over the map, it's worth looking at each pint on a case-by-case basis. For instance, 1 cup of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream contains 43.2 milligrams, which is a little less than half of the 94.8 milligrams in a cup of coffee, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In comparison, Talenti's Cold Brew Sorbetto boasts between 39 and 84 milligrams for every ⅔ of a cup, while its Coffee Chocolate Chip Gelato has between 43 and 91 milligrams for the same amount. If you're looking for your java ice cream to help keep you awake, these brands may be a good bet.

However, some pints are a little more conservative with this buzzy substance. A ⅔ cup serving of Dreyer's ice cream contains varying amounts of caffeine, but the brand says it should exceed no more than 25 milligrams. If you want to eat your scoops late at night, you can also try decaf options to get the flavor without the energy boost. Brands like Straus, Nightfood, and Blackbean all sell pints made with decaf coffee.

At the end of the day, it's safe to assume your coffee ice cream has at least a little caffeine unless it's decaf. If you want to know how much, you may want to look into each type individually.