The quick answer is yes, coffee extract does have caffeine. Since coffee extract is made by soaking coffee beans in alcohol, and caffeine is soluble in alcohol, the caffeine content would remain intact. However, usually when using coffee extract in cooking and baking, you would only use a little bit, as extract is strong and concentrated. So the caffeine content in a few teaspoons of coffee extract is probably not enough to have much of a stimulant effect. This is especially true if the extract was dispersed in a dessert, such as frosting or ice cream, etc. So go ahead and have that second slice of tiramisu— it won’t keep you up all night.
Decaf Coffee Extract
If you need coffee extract to be decaffeinated, then you can make it with decaf coffee. Or you can make the short-cut coffee extract with decaf instant coffee. To learn all about coffee extract and fast substitutes, check out 3 Easy Ways To Substitute Coffee Extract.
What is Coffee Extract?
Coffee extract is a concentrated liquid made out of coffee beans and usually alcohol that impart an intense coffee flavor on food and drinks. It may be hard to find on store shelves, but luckily, it’s fairly easy to make at home, it just requires some planning. If you don’t have the time, there are two easy and fast ways to get a coffee extract substitute. These methods produce more of an “essence” than extract but they have the same function, and it should not alter your food or drink.
How To Make Coffee Extract from scratch
Coffee extract can easily be made at home. You will need whole coffee beans and an alcohol of your choice.
- Crush 1/4 cup of coffee beans with a mortar and pestle or rolling pin.
- Put the crushed coffee beans in a glass container with an airtight lid– like a mason jar.
- Pour 1 cup of any vodka of your choice into your jar. Ensure the beans are saturated in the alcohol. Note: You can use another alcohol in place of vodka, such as bourbon or gin, but they will add a flavor that vodka won’t. You also may use food-grade liquid glycerin instead of alcohol.
- Place the jar somewhere where it can sit at room temperature in a dark place. It should be left there for about 1 week. You should swirl the mixture gently every day. At the end of the week, your mixture should be dark brown in color.
- Strain the mixture, and you’re left with coffee extract!
If you don’t have the time to spare, a good coffee extract brand is Watkins. A good espresso powder is King Arthur’s to use instead of instant coffee or espresso to add flavor to baking.