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

Espresso is the pure, concentrated form of coffee. But does packing more coffee flavor into a tiny shot mean you get a bigger dose of caffeine too?

How does the amount of caffeine in espresso compare to drip coffee and other brew methods?

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, typically two shots of Espresso equals the caffeine content in the cup of coffee.

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

A triple espresso shot contains about three times the caffeine of a solo shot – so 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.

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 Cold Brew. 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 used can also affect the amount of caffeine in your coffee. 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.

This means that a cup of coffee made with Robusta beans will have more caffeine than a cup of coffee made with Arabica beans.

Coffee mug

Read a detailed guide on coffee caffeine content

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?

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 regular black 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. 

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.

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 should not consume 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 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.

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 Espresso Have More Caffeine Than A Cold Brew?

No, Espresso doesn’t typically have more caffeine than a Cold Brew. While Espresso is concentrated and known for its strong kick, a 1-ounce shot contains approximately 63 milligrams of caffeine. On the other hand, Cold Brew is brewed as a highly concentrated coffee and then diluted, resulting in a milder flavor and lower caffeine content, with a 16-ounce serving usually containing around 190-210 milligrams of caffeine.

Is Espresso The Strongest?

Espresso is indeed one of the strongest coffee options out there. It’s a concentrated shot of caffeine, packing a robust and intense flavor in a very small serving.

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.

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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.