How caffeinated is your coffee? – McDonald’s vs. Starbucks

Ahhh, magical coffee. While those of us in Paleo/CrossFit  land shun every other vice we have a passionate love affair with coffee. Perhaps, it’s because it causes a dopamine release which enables a better workout? Perhaps, it’s because, as Andy Deas once commented on the Paleo Solution Podcast, “I have so little left…”.

So, being the coffee-phile that I am, and the fact I love charts, I was stoked when I came across a diagram on laughingsquid that compared the caffeination levels of various coffees. Unfortunately, their display of the data was basically an abomination, so I had to go ahead and create my own version of the chart. It’s not nearly as cute but it does accurately compare the caffeine from the different coffee retailers (McDonald’s, Seattle’s Best, Biggby Coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Brewed Coffee, and Starbucks).

caffeine per coffee


Here’s the original data from Thrillist (via laughingsquid).

You can basically consider this the end of this blog post. That is, unless you want to hear my rant on why the original chart stinks.

So many reasons:

  1. Pie charts look pretty but are extremely difficult to analyze visually (i.e. the whole point of a chart). For example, Caribou and Peet’s look virtually identical. Compare the data though and there is nearly a 20% difference in caffeine levels.
  2. Pie charts are used to show percentages of a whole. Caribou Coffee appears to be about a quarter of the whole. The whole what?
  3. Deathwish Coffee does not sell brewed coffee and seems to have been added to the chart simply for shock value (it is definitely gnarly sounding).

Alright. Now I’m done.

By Phil

Phil is the media wizard behind the brilliant FuncThat. He discovered CrossFit in 2009 and has been hooked ever since. He eagerly awaits the day CrossFit adds weight and age classes to the Games since he's confident he could dominate the 125 pound, 38 year old male division (as long as double unders aren't included). You can follow Phil and FuncThat on pretty much every social media platform ever. Here's a summarized list: Google+, Twitter, Facebook. If you're looking for help setting up your affiliate's site or need a hand with your social media you can contact Phil at

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