How much caffeine in espresso | (Is it more than the Coffee?)

When we feel down after a hectic day of work, a shot of espresso is an obvious remedy for our mood and has a magical essence that lifts our spirits in the mornings.

Espresso is our go-to drink whenever we feel tired, drained, or need an energy boost.

But does Espresso really have more caffeine content than a regular cup of coffee?

Well! it depends on the size of the drink. A single shot of Espresso has 60-72 mg of caffeine and a double shot has 120-133 mg of caffeine. While a regular 8-ounce cup of coffee can contain up to 80-120 mg of caffeine.

So, a serving of regular coffee has more caffeine than espresso but Espresso is obviously more concentrated.

Esoresso shots

How Much Caffeine is in a shot of Espresso?

According to USDA, a shot of Espresso has 60-72 mg of caffeine with a typical serving size of 1 to 1.5 ounces, while a double shot of Espresso has 120-133 mg of caffeine with a typical serving size of 2 to 2.5 ounces.

Many Espresso based Espresso drinks such as Cappuccino, Latte, or Americano is prepared with at least a double shot of Espresso so they surely give you a larger caffeine bump compared to a single shot of Espresso. 

How Much Caffeine is in a cup of Coffee?

Generally, a regular 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 80-120 mg of caffeine. But it depends on several factors like brewing method, type of coffee beans, the size of the cup, and the amount of coffee used while brewing a cup.

There are many different popular brewing methods like French Press, Pour Over, and Drip coffee. Each of these methods has a different brewing style which can affect the amount of caffeine in the drink.

Some people love a larger cup of coffee of 10 – 12 ounces while others can suffice with a smaller cup of 4 – 6 ounces. In this regard, it makes more sense to measure the amount of caffeine intake on a per-ounce basis. And typically, a brewed cup of coffee has 7.8 to 15.5 mg of caffeine per ounce. 

The type of coffee beans also affects the amount of caffeine we are having. Robusta beans; which are generally considered an inferior type of coffee bean actually have more caffeine which is 18 – 20 mg/g. While Arabica beans, which are more appreciated and liked by coffee snobs have less amount of caffeine which is 10 -12 mg/g.

Arabica beans are more flavorful and aromatic than Robusta beans. The former has more bitter and earthy flavors which are certainly not desirable. And we all know we don’t drink coffee just to fulfill our caffeine intake we drink it because we love the flavors of coffee.

Coffee mug

Read a detailed guide on coffee caffeine content

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

You will get a larger dose of caffeine if you drink a regular 8-ounce cup of coffee than a single shot of Espresso. But if we talk ounce for an ounce then Espresso wins the race. 

Espresso is the most concentrated coffee drink and is certainly stronger and bolder than a regular cup of coffee. But a single shot of Espresso has only 1 to 1.25 oz of the drink and who stops at 1 or 2 oz while drinking coffee? 

Normally, we like to have a larger cup somewhere between 6 to 12 oz. That’s why we get a larger caffeine dose when we have a cup of brewed coffee.

But why do some people believe espresso gives them a bigger caffeine buzz than brewed coffee?

It is probably because the Espresso shot is more condensed and we finish it off in a couple of sips which gives us a quick caffeine jolt.

If you are looking to reduce the amount of caffeine you consume daily, Espresso will be a wise choice. However, you should limit yourself to just one shot.

How many shots of espresso is unhealthy?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of espresso that is considered unhealthy can vary depending on a number of factors, such as a person’s age, sex, weight, and overall health

However, in general, it is recommended that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is roughly equivalent to four to six shots of espresso.

Espresso has several health benefits when consumed in moderation. Despite that excess of everything is bad so does apply to Espresso.

Read a detailed guide on how much Espresso is unhealthy

Why Is Espresso Served In Small Quantities?

Espresso is usually served in small cups with a glass of sparkling water in restaurants and cafes. Have you ever wondered why is it so?

Espresso serving

Well, compared to brewed coffee, espresso is much more concentrated and has more robust and intense flavors. You do not really need much of it per serving.

Imagine having an 8oz cup of espresso, you’ll need too much coffee for that and the flavors will be strong enough to give you panic attacks and might also upset your stomach.

Moreover, espresso contains no fewer coffee beans than a standard 8-ounce cup of coffee, it just has a lesser amount of water.

When Americans come to Europe after the Second World War they didn’t like the intense shots of Espresso which were typically served in Cafes around Europe. So, they started ordering espresso shots with added hot water on top, and this became known as Americano.

How many shots of espresso is unhealthy?

Final Thoughts

Espresso is the best choice if you want to reduce your caffeine intake while enjoying strong and robust flavors. Alternatively, you can go for brewed coffee if you want something less robust and with a good dose of caffeine.

If we are talking about caffeine per serving, brewed coffee wins, but when it comes to caffeine per ounce, espresso is KING.


Does Espresso Have More Caffeine Than A Cold Brew?

Compared to a shot of Espresso, a serving of Cold brew has more caffeine than 197 to 213 mg of caffeine. Although, cold brew is less concentrated than Espresso but a typical serving of cold brew is 16 oz which is way larger than a 1 oz shot of Espresso. 
As cold brew is never exposed to heat, one might expect that it will extract a much smaller amount of caffeine during the brewing process. But in actuality, it has a higher caffeine concentration because it uses a high coffee-to-water ratio.

Is Espresso The Strongest?

A shot of espresso has lesser caffeine than a regular serving of coffee but it is certainly more strong and rich in flavors as it’s more concentrated. 

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Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.