how much caffeine in a shot of espresso?

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Johny Morrisson

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. The caffeine content may vary depending on the type of the beans.

So, typically two shots of Espresso equals the caffeine content in the cup of regular brewed coffee. But a serving size of brewed Coffee is around 8 ounces while a double shot of Espresso is only 2 ounces.

The key factor is the espresso brewing process itself. Using finely ground beans and forcing hot water through them under intense pressure produces an ultra-concentrated and caffeinated coffee shot.

Esoresso shots

Caffeine Content in Espresso and Other Coffee Drinks

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 drinks such as Cappuccino, Latte, or Americano are prepared with at least a double shot of Espresso so they have around 120 mg of caffeine. 

A triple espresso shot contains about three times the caffeine of a solo shot – around 200 mg typically. Triple shots aren’t as common as solo or double espresso, however, some specialty coffee chains like Starbucks offer a triple shot base in some of their extra-large lattes and cappuccinos.

For comparison, 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 Cold Brew. Each of these methods has a different brewing style which can affect the amount of caffeine in the drink.

Coffee mug

What factors influence the caffeine content in espresso?

The amount of caffeine in your coffee mainly depends on the type and origin of coffee beans.

Robusta beans, which are generally considered to be of lower quality, actually have more caffeine than Arabica beans, which are more popular with coffee enthusiasts.

Robusta beans contain 18-20 milligrams of caffeine per gram, while Arabica beans contain 10-12 milligrams of caffeine per gram.

Espresso is typically made with a blend of Robusta and Arabica blends that’s also the reason why it’s so much concentrated in caffeine.

The roast style of beans has also a slight effect on the caffeine content. Light Roasted beans have a little more caffeine compared to dark roasted beans.

Amount of Caffeine in Starbucks Espresso and Coffee drinks

Here’s a complete breakdown of caffeine content in popular Starbucks Coffee and Espresso drinks

Name of DrinkShort 
(8 oz)
(12 oz)
(16 oz)
(20 oz)
Blonde Caffè Latte85 mg85 mg170 mg170 mg
Blonde Espresso85 mg
170 mg
Caffe Latte75 mg75 mg150 mg150 mg
Espresso75 mg
150 mg
Pike Place Brewed Coffee155 mg235 mg310 mg410 mg
Dark Roast Brewed Coffee130 mg195 mg260 mg340 mg
Cold Brew155mg205 mg310 mg360 mg
Iced Coffee120 mg165 mg235 mg285 mg
Decaf Coffee15 mg20 mg25 mg30 mg
Caffeine in Starbucks Coffee Drinks

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

Yes, Espresso is almost 6 times more stronger and potent compared to regular Coffee. Typically, brewed cup of coffee has 7.8 to 15.5 mg of caffeine per ounce while Espresso has 60 mg of caffeine per ounce.

Sure, 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 has more caffeine.

Usually, we like to have a bigger cup – somewhere between 6 to 12 oz. That’s why we get a bigger dose of caffeine when we drink our regular coffee compared to a single shot of Espresso.

How many shots of espresso is unhealthy?

In general, it is recommended that adults should not consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is roughly equivalent to four to six shots of espresso.

However, 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.

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 much more concentrated and has more intense flavors. You do not really need much of it per serving. Moreover, espresso contains no fewer coffee beans than a standard 8-ounce cup of coffee, it just has a lesser amount of water.

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

When Americans came 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 coffee.

Espresso serving

Final Thoughts

And that’s the skinny on caffeine in your espresso! Now that you know a solo shot packs about 70mg of caffeine; the coffee’s favorite stimulant, you can dial in your daily intake.

Got any other espresso caffeine questions? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your favorite high-octane beans for an afternoon pick-me-up dose of coffee fuel.


Does Decaf Espresso have Caffeine in it?

Decaf espresso does contain a small amount of caffeine, around 2-3 mg per serving. The decaffeination process removes around 97% of the caffeine from the beans, so you’ll get a thicker espresso texture without the full jolt.

Can you sleep after drinking Espresso?

No, generally it’s not recommended to drink espresso before sleeping. The Caffeine content in Espresso might disrupt your sleeping cycle and cause trouble in sleeping. It is recommended not to take in caffeinated beverages 4-6 hours before sleeping.

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Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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