How Much Caffeine is in Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans?

mccafe-mug-coffee-beans-couponsA couple weeks ago, McDonalds Canada sent me a nice package with a mug, coupons for their new McCafe espresso drinks, and some chocolate covered coffee beans.

I had never eaten chocolate covered coffee beans until that parcel arrived.

And well, now I am addicted.

After eating a half of the bag when I first opened the package, my usual speed was pushed up to full on sprint. You guys who have met me in person can imagine what Janice on a major hit of caffeine must be like. Yes, it is a bit wild.

After that initial coffee bean experience, I got a little scared off. Clearly this was not a safe drug of choice for me.

But, of course, I ended up going back for more.

The next time, I only ate about four. It was a safer, more reasonable amount — a caffeine hit that I could tolerate.

So I got braver. Well, a little stupid. The other afternoon, when I was super tired and had tons of work to do, I drank two Coke Zeros and ate about 15 of these delicious dark chocolate covered coffee beans.

Not a good idea. Oh my word. Anxious, edgy and my hands were noticeably shaking. But the side effects didn’t end when I went to bed. I ended up waking up early in the morning, with my chest tight with anxiety and pressure. It was intense!

So, you think that I would be cured of ever wanting any more of that chocolatey stimulant.

BUT NO — this morning, I couldn’t resist dipping into the remainder of the bag. They are oh so good people!

And now, I am buzzing as my little fingers fly across the keyboard.

Which made me wonder, how much caffeine is in chocolate covered coffee beans?

Why am I so incredibly sensitive to this form of caffeine — having a stronger reaction to them then I do to drinking coffee?


A search online led me to this incredibly helpful chart of information about caffeine from the BC government.

According to that chart, it is not surprising that I was affected by the coffee beans. I had seriously OVERDOSED on caffeine consumption — yes, far too much caffeine Janice!

To compare the caffeine amount I have been consuming in the chocolate covered coffee beans, I have posted a sampling of the items covered in the caffeine content chart:

In three chocolate covered coffee beans there is 36mgs of caffeine.

(In only THREE! I have eaten more than a dozen and a half at a time! Which means, I have at times eaten more than 216mg! ONE can of cola has the amount of caffeine as THREE beans! Oh my word.)

Colas and some root beers (regular or diet) 355 mL (1 can) — 36-46mgs
Espresso (from arabica beans) 30 mL — 40mgs
Espresso (robusta beans) 30 mL — 100mgs
Coffee, variety of brews 350 mL — 177-268mgs
Frozen mochas (‘fast food’ versions) 300 mL — 35-70mgs
Tea, black or green 240 mL — 8-55mgs
‘Energy’ Drinks varies — 70-170mgs
Guarana drinks 355 mL — 30-800mgs
Yerba drinks 355 mL — 100-200mgs
Milk Chocolate 30 g — 7mgs
Dark Chocolate 30 g — 19-58mgs
Chocolate covered coffee beans 3 beans — 36mgs

source: BC Community Nutritionists Council, School Food Advisory Committee

TELL US: Are you sensitive to caffeine or have negative caffeine side effects? Have you ever “overdosed” on caffeine? Do you depend on caffeine to get you going through the day?

Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.
Wanna chat? Find me at: @5minutesformom, @janicecroze and


  1. says

    Oh my, you poor thing. I never knew how much caffeine was in a chocolate covered coffee bean, but I’ve eaten them before and remember that I wasn’t prepared for the “high” I received. WOW, that is a lot of caffeine you consumed. When I drink coffee (Starbucks) I always have to get extra shots. I think I have become immune. And yes, cannot function without my caffeine. I know that I can, but do I want to? Nope. I can drink coffee all day long and still sleep at night. Although now that I am 45, I am sure that will catch up to me at some point. Happy detoxing!

    • says

      Lol – that is quite a commitment to your coffee.

      I JUST started coffee/caffeine two years ago! Up until then, I didn’t use it. Now, I am a bit hooked. But not every day. It makes me edgy.

  2. says

    I can only imagine the hyper that even a handful of those beans could produce! WOW.
    I do know they are wicked good for migraines… guess the sheer amount of caffeine is why!

  3. says

    I ended up throwing out the bag, I couldn’t stop myself from eating them. I lived off them back in University. They work so well and are so goooooooooood!!!

  4. says

    I tend to get migraines if I have too much caffeine. And, oddly, certain kinds of caffeine seem worse than others. The caffeine in a regular mocha or latte will give me a stomachache and possibly a migraine. But a couple of Diet Cokes or a chai is fine. I try to stick to under 100 mg in a day. Usually just one Diet Coke.

  5. says

    I don’t have much of a reaction to caffeine, but all I drink is soda. Last year, my brother in law sent me some chocolate covered coffee beans when he was traveling in Cuba and they sounded so gross I couldn’t get myself to try them. Considering how much I love chocolate, I think I’d better just stay away completely.

  6. says

    Onyl ODd once… I thought I was immune to coffees effect then one day I stupidly had that third cup and whamo I started shaking like a leaf on a tree. I had no idea what to do or if there was an antidote. I am stopping at two from now on. I know two, what a wuss.

    • says

      Next time try milk or cheese. Calcium (as well as Magnesium and to a lesser extent potassium) will help to offset the effect of Caffeine and other xanthines on your nervous system. Milk and other dairy products will get the calcium into your body quicker than almost any other method of deliver (outside of injection).

      It isn’t an instant fix, but calcium is the closest thing to a caffeine antidote (I’m speaking as a pharmacist, here).

  7. yoyooy says

    Haha um:
    15 coffee beans x 12mg per bean = 180mg
    not 540mg, you said 36mg per THREE beans… 540mg would be if it was 36mg per single bean. And wow I never knew people could have that kind of reaction to caffeine, I have had up to 1000mg in a day before and didn’t have noticeable jitters at all (this was a 1 time accident). I know that probably isn’t healthy at all to have that much, but it just doesn’t have much effect on me :(

  8. Heardy says

    LOL! Fantastic post, informative and funny as hell :-) I love chocolate coated coffee beans, so much so I always eat too many and end up bouncing off the walls at a million miles per hour, which is why I don’t buy them very often, they are very addictive, not to mention tasty :-) I take it Shash sent you more chocolate coated coffee beans in the care package?

  9. John says

    Eat as many as you wish (I do). If you do not like the affects on your system, eat less or none at all; everyone is different, and everyone has different tolerances.

  10. Isaac says

    Someone gifted my parents a box of chocolate covered coffee beans when I was 10 or 11, somewhere around there. I ended up sneaking into the fridge and eating the whole box, I had migraines for a few days straight, and I now get semi-headaches or slight discomfort at just the smell of coffee. I’m actually sitting in a coffee shop right now, and the smell is giving me discomfort :/

  11. carol menotti says

    i started eating two dark chocolate covered espresso beans at the first sign of a migraine and so far so good ….a person at a craft show selling candy told me about them, I got them at our local Trader Joes………… wow if this continues to work and I never have to take another migraine pill again it would be wonderful. I rather go natural then use a expensive prescription drug anytime :)

  12. Norm says

    I regularly drink two 30ML cups of high caffeine coffee daily. In addition I add 4 coffee shots each that have 80mg of caffeine per shot. I have had severe ADHD since I was young and all it does is make me alert and focused. My hands never shake. I never get a tight chest or feel bad.

  13. MATHHHHHH says

    If 3 beans have 36mg of caffeine, that means 1 bean has 12 mg. To consume 540 mg at once, you would have to eat a staggering 45 beans…. A dozen and a half gets you to 216mg (still wayyyyyyyy to much)

  14. Mandi says

    Yeah, omg! They make me so hyper. I just ate some after drinking a cup of coffee huge mistake! I’m either going to go crazy and run around, or I’m going to throw up. These things need a warning printed on the label.

  15. says

    I had a really bad intense job that took over my life in the winter. I basically lived on Trader Joe’s chocolate covered espresso beans — I’d down a handful in the am and just go on that — and Bugles. I ended up losing 7 pounds (a lot for me, because I’m not 5′!) in about 5 weeks. When the job ended, I refused to ever eat those again (both the beans and Bugles), because I have such a negative association with them (the afrorementioned job).

    BUT while I was eating them, they were SOO good. I was truly addicted. I’d eat handfuls at a time. The stress, anxiety, and caffeine totally destroyed my appetite. I wouldn’t advise using it as a diet method though. I think I lost mostly muscle from being chained to the computer all day (and night). Also I felt horrible the whole time.

  16. Brianna Harrison says

    My friend gave me about 30 of them for lunch. I didn’t know. I couldn’t stop shaking and I kept getting hot flashes. My eyes couldn’t focus on anything. Two hours in and all the colors were blurring together and I was confused as to where I was. After that, the crashing came. I just passed out for a few hours. Worst headache. Terrible dizziness for hours. Just the idea of one of those makes me want to puke. Ugh

  17. Jesse Hodges says

    We manufacture dark chocolate covered coffee beans where I work- tough job but I have to taste test them periodically. They do provide a nice pick me up- but need to be rationed as they are way too easy to mindlessly snack on. Having an open 5 pound bag in the room is a recipe for the jitters within a few hours. I am fairly sensitive to caffeine, which provides an early warning for over indulgence. In the past we manufactured tons of this product for the military- there is probably a warehouse still full of it somewhere, ready to go into MRE packages.

  18. says


    They are definitely addictive but your math seems to be a little off. “In three chocolate covered coffee beans there is 36mgs of caffeine” means that there are 12 mg per bean. If you eat 1.5 dozen (18 beans) that equals a total of 216 mg caffeine not the 540 mg you stated. A standard shot of espresso contains 72 mg of caffeine so you only consumed about the equivalent of a triple shot of espresso or a large strong coffee. The extra jolt you’re noticing is probably amplified by the sugar in the chocolate.

  19. says

    LOL – when I wrote this post so many years ago, I didn’t realize I messed up my math. Thanks to all of you who pointed it out. :)

  20. Jeanne says

    Thank you, Janice, for this article. And thank you, Michael, the pharmacist for your post regarding the antidote to caffeine. I just ate a couple of handfuls of these things for the first time but wasn’t thinking about the caffeine content CUZ THEY WERE THAT GOOD! Once I began to question, I googled and found your site. I stopped drinking caffeine products years ago and even a half cup of caffeinated coffee makes me feel bad and keeps me from sleeping. I was thinking that I was going to feel that awful jittery feeling and be bouncing off the walls tonight. I just sat down and ate some cheese and crackers, two cups of almond milk and a cup of yogurt so hopefully that will stave off the jitters. I will definitely eat them judiciously from now on, if at all, CUZ THEY ARE THAT GOOD!

  21. Me says

    Mark is right – you only had the equivalent of 1 cup of coffee. I think it is more psychological than anything :-)

    Thanks for posting the numbers, because I was just wondering about this. Those beans really are addictive. There are some good ones to be found on Amazon.

  22. says

    All of you are talking based on 3 coffee beans = 36mg caffeine, how do you know that?
    #1 The info on Nutrition Facts says that the beans represent only 10% of the whole Chocolate Covered Coffee Bean, 90% is chocolate, so i estimate 1 coffee bean = 140mg.
    #2 Caffeine content in coffee is 1-5% so the content of caffeine in one coffee bean is 1.4-7mg and 3 coffee beans = 4.2-21mg.
    #3 It’s different solid coffee than liquid, so a roasted coffee bean could be reduced in metabolism.
    #4 The % of caffeine in chocolate is minimal, if it is dark chocolate it can add some 10% of caffeine.
    #5 A pack of 20 Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans may content 28-140mg of caffeine.
    #6 A person can take max 200-600mg caffeine per day, so it would be fine.
    Who says the truth?

  23. Bri says

    Being a single mother who is forced to do everything on my own i practically live off coffee and i can definitely say it’s become an addiction, i can’t even function until I’ve had a cup of coffee in the morning and a couple months ago a friend introduced me to chocolate covered espresso beans and OHMYGOSH they are seriously my life saver some days when the coffee doesn’t seem to wake me up. I LOVE them. But be careful, recently with being busy and stressed all the time I’ve been drinkin coffee and eating espresso beans without even thinking it completely kills my apatite and i forget to eat quite often actually and I’ve passed out a few times in the past month or so from malnutrition. I’ve obviously been having issues with balancing my caffine addiction with my life and taking care of myself.. The struggle is real lol

  24. Dusti says

    I did this my early 20s with the same results. I found these guys at the bulk section of HEB today, (15 years and 4 kids later) at 10 and the took a 2 1/2 hour nap. No prob. My, how times have changed!

  25. Monica says

    I am very very sensitive to caffeine. Just drinking one dr. pepper soda can gives me the shakes. I’ll be quivering and can feel my heart beating. I’m not sure why this happens but it’s very interesting. I have “overdosed” once when I lost track of the number of caffeinated beverages I had had in the day and I was going out to eat a lot that day. It was frightening. The amount of energy and shaking was intense. I sure learned my lesson. I just ate a handful of dark chocolate covered espresso beans an then decided to look up how much caffeine is in them. So now I’m a bit scared to wait and see what kind of a reaction I’m going to have… Wish me luck guys….

  26. Emma says

    Oh my! I’ve just received a graze snack box and they had coffee beans covered in chocolate so I was intrigued to know the caffeine amount. Rather shocking to behold, but yummy to munch. I’ve only got 5 in my little snack box (I can only think of this as a good thing as they are seductively addictive!).

  27. Emma says

    Oh my! I’ve just received a graze snack box and they had coffee beans covered in chocolate so I was intrigued to know the caffeine amount. Rather shocking to behold, but yummy to munch. I’ve only got 5 in my little snack box (I can only think of this as a good thing as they are extremely addictive!).

  28. Keith says

    Right now I’m waiting for the caffeine to kick in and it should. I haven’t drank/ate anything with caffeine for over a year. Maybe I need more..

  29. Jay says

    Just ran across this post, I LOVE chocolate covered coffee beans. So much so that I got some Wilton’s dark melting disks, coffee beans and a Jell-o jelly bean mold and make them for my wife and I. As far as overdosing, I’m not sure,I haven’t slowed down long enough to find out. :-)


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