Chocolate is produced from the seed of the tropical ‘Theobroma cacao tree’, aka the cocoa tree. Cocoa beans go through a process of drying and fermentation to develop the flavor and color. Cocoa beans contain caffeine, but the amount of caffeine in the beans varies with the type of beans and the degree of fermentation.
The caffeine in chocolate differs according to the manufacturer. Caffeine in dark chocolate may contain about 5-20 milligrams of caffeine per ounce of chocolate. Caffeine in milk chocolate may contain about 5-6 milligrams or less per ounce. Generally the rule is the darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine content.
Standard candy bars generally have less than 10 milligrams of caffeine. However, there are some over-achievers:
– Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bar (serving size 1.5 oz.) contains 20 milligrams of caffeine, in contrast to their Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar (serving size 1.6 oz.) which contains only 9 milligrams of caffeine.
– The limited edition Snickers Charged bar contains a whopping 60 milligrams of caffeine! That’s almost the equivalent to a 8 fl oz. cup of coffee, which contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine.
The foundation of all chocolate, called ‘Chocolate Liquor’, is the liquid or paste that is produced when cocoa beans are roasted and ground.
Some do not regard white chocolate as a true chocolate because it does not include ‘chocolate liquor.’ If white chocolate contains any caffeine at all, it would only be in trace amounts. People who are sensitive to caffeine would probably be better off consuming white chocolate. But don’t despair, there’s always the possibility of a sugar-rush :).