Outrage over Costa cappuccino as study reveals the coffee contains same amount of caffeine as *four* Red Bulls

A new study has found that one Costa cappuccino contains 325mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of drinking four cans of Red Bull

Outrage over Costa cappuccino containing same caffeine as four Red Bulls
(Image credit: Getty)

A new study revealing that one Costa cappuccino contains the same amount of caffeine as four Red Bull cans has sparked debate online about UK coffee chains' hot beverages. 

If you're looking for a quick fix to stay awake this winter, you might want to rethink your go-to coffee spot. 

A new study has now found that one Costa medium cappuccino delivers a whopping 325mg of caffeine, which is roughly the equivalent of four cups of tea or four cans of Red Bull. The shocking findings have been published by the UK consumer group Which?, as part of their research comparing the strength of popular drinks across the country's top High Street coffee chains.  

Greggs and Pret A Manger offer the second most powerful brews, with their medium cappuccinos packing in 197mg and 180mg of caffeine, respectively. Meanwhile, Caffè Nero's edition of the foamy drink contains between 110 and 115mg. The prize for the weakest caffeine content belongs to Starbucks, with the US coffee giant's cappuccinos delivering just 66mg of the stimulant. The data is likely to interest countless people across the country and potentially even pique some folks' interest in healthy alternatives to coffee.


(Image credit: Getty)

As for filter coffee, Pret A Manger is your best bet if you're looking for a fast boost without the milky aftertaste. The sandwich shop franchise, which is known for its £25 subscription service, puts a whopping 271mg of caffeine into its £1.60 cups of filter coffee. Starbucks contains less than half this amount, with just 102mg. You'll also find an energy-spiking option over at Greggs, where just one filter coffee contains 225mg of caffeine. 

For reference, an average mug of instant coffee you'd enjoy at home has 100mg, while a typical mug of filter coffee contains 140mg.

UK coffee drinkers have been quick to share their mixed reactions to the study online, with some admitting that they're not shocked by its findings. 


(Image credit: Getty)

"Costa have basically been drugging us for years but anyone’s who’s had a Costa coffee cannot claim to be surprised by this info," one person wrote on Twitter. 

Another person said they assumed Caffè Nero would top the list for the strongest cappuccino, tweeting that they "always feel like their coffee is rocket fuel!" 

Others criticized Costa for its strong cappuccinos, voicing concerns over what too much caffeine could do to the body

"I say this as a huge coffee lover: putting three espressos in one MEDIUM cappuccino is unhealthy and ridiculous. That’s four cans of red bull! This is dependency-causing behaviour," one person said. 

Others took the opportunity to share their opinions on the UK coffee chains overall. 

"I find Starbucks generally a weak and watery experience in every respect," one person wrote.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.