What is Red Eye Coffee? (Black Eye and the Dead Eye!)

Coffee has been a staple in the lives of many for centuries. From the moment you wake up to the last sip before bed, coffee is a ritual that has taken on many different forms.

Whether you prefer it black, with cream and sugar, or blended with ice, coffee is the perfect pick-me-up for any occasion. But have you ever heard of Dead Eye, Black Eye, or Red Eye coffee? These coffee drinks have become increasingly popular over the years and are loved by strong coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

If you’re looking for a caffeine-packed coffee, these drinks are perfect for you. Whether you’re a student studying for exams, a busy parent, or someone with a demanding job, these drinks will give you the energy boost you need to power through the day. 

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what these drinks are, how they’re made, and their unique taste. We’ll also discuss the caffeine content and how to order them at your favorite coffee shop. So, get ready to learn everything you need to know about Red Eye, Black Eye, and Dead Eye coffee.

Eye Coffees

What is Red Eye coffee?

Red Eye coffee, also known as a “Shot in the Dark,” is a simple but powerful coffee drink. It is made by adding a single shot of espresso to a cup of drip coffee.

Red eye refers to the reddening of the eyes caused by sleep deprivation or fatigue, and this coffee may help alleviate that.

Red Eye coffee is perfect for when you need a caffeine boost, but don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast. It is a popular choice among truckers, students, and anyone who needs to stay awake and alert.

The combination of the strong espresso shot and the milder drip coffee creates a drink that is not only potent but also flavorful. This simple coffee drink has become a staple in many cafes and restaurants and is also a popular choice for home brewing.

Red Eye Coffee

Red-eye coffee is also known by several other names, depending on the region or culture. Here are a few alternative names for red-eye coffee:

  • Shot in the Dark
  • Hammerhead
  • Depth Charge
  • Eye Opener
  • Stink Eye
  • Turbo Coffee
  • Sludge Cup
  • Oil Spill
  • Red Hammer

What is Black Eye coffee?

Black Eye coffee is a stronger version of Red Eye. It is made by adding two shots of espresso to a cup of drip coffee, giving it an extra jolt of caffeine. It is also known as a “double shot in the dark” in some regions.

Black Eye coffee is not for the faint of heart. It’s a powerful and robust drink that can help you power through even the most demanding days. The combination of espresso and drip coffee provides a unique flavor profile that will tantalize your taste buds and give you the energy you need to tackle your day.

This drink is a favorite of many coffee lovers who are looking for a little extra kick to get them going. So, if you’re in need of a serious caffeine boost, Black Eye coffee might be just what you’re looking for.

Also Read: Espresso vs Drip Coffee

What is Dead Eye coffee?

Dead Eye coffee is the strongest of the Eye coffee drinks. It is made by adding three shots of espresso to a cup of drip coffee, giving it an extra powerful caffeine punch. It is also sometimes called a “triple shot in the dark”

This coffee is a popular choice for those who need a serious caffeine boost, such as night shift workers, medical professionals, or anyone who has a long and tiring day ahead.

With its potent combination of drip coffee and triple espresso shots, this drink is sure to give you the jolt of energy you need to power through even the toughest of days. While it may not be for everyone, those who appreciate a strong and bold coffee flavor will surely enjoy this drink.

Red Eye Coffee Recipe

Red eye coffee is a popular choice for those who need an extra energy boost to start their day or stay awake during a long day of work. With just a few simple steps, you can easily make a delicious and invigorating cup of red eye coffee at home.
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • 1 Espresso machine
  • 1 Coffee grinder
  • 1 Drip or Pour over Coffee Maker


  • 8 oz Brewed Coffee
  • Single Shot Espresso, Double shot for Black eye and Tripe shot for Dead eye
  • Sugar or Sweeteners (Optional)


  • Start by brewing a cup of drip coffee using your preferred method. While Making red eye coffee I use Pour over coffee maker.
    You can use any type of coffee brewer whether it's pour-over, drip, or Chemex.
  • Place the cup of freshly brewed coffee under the Espresso machine and brew a single shot of Espresso straight into the cup of coffee
  • You can add milk or sugar to taste if desired. Your Red Eye coffee is ready to drink!


The combination of brewed coffee and espresso gives a strong and bold flavor that is perfect for those who love intense coffee. Experiment with different ratios of coffee and espresso to find the perfect balance of flavor and strength that suits your taste. Making Red Eye coffee at home is an easy and affordable way to get an energizing cup of coffee with a tremendous caffeine jolt.

The taste of Eye coffee!

As someone who enjoys a strong cup of coffee, I can say that Eye coffee drinks definitely pack a punch in terms of taste.

The addition of espresso gives it a unique flavor profile that is not found in regular coffee. The bitterness of the espresso complements the richness of the coffee, resulting in a bold and intense taste.

The taste of Eye coffee can be described as bold, intense, and invigorating. Red Eye coffee has a milder taste compared to Black Eye and Dead Eye coffee, while the latter two have a more intense and bitter taste.

Overall, these coffee drinks are not for the faint of heart, but rather for those who prefer a strong, bold cup of coffee. Due to the high level of caffeine in these coffee drinks, they are not recommended as a day-to-day drink.

How much caffeine is in these Eye coffees?

As someone who enjoys a strong cup of coffee, I always consider the caffeine content when choosing my drink. A Red Eye coffee has one shot of espresso and typically has around 160-180 mg of caffeine. This is a moderate amount of caffeine. 

According to the USDA, a single shot of espresso contains around 63 milligrams of caffeine, while an 8-ounce cup of drip coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine.

This means that a Dead Eye coffee, with its three shots of espresso and drip coffee, can contain up to 280-300 milligrams of caffeine or more, depending on the serving size. This is a higher amount of caffeine and may be too much for some individuals, especially those sensitive to caffeine.

Black Eye coffee, on the other hand, contains two shots of espresso and has approximately 230 – 250 mg of caffeine per cup.

Additionally, factors such as the size of the coffee cup, the roast level of the beans, and the brewing time can also affect the caffeine content in coffee drinks.

It’s recommended that adults consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day, which is about the amount of caffeine in a Dead Eye coffee.

That’s why Dead Eye coffee is okay to drink occasionally, but shouldn’t be your regular coffee choice.

Read a guide on How many shots of Espresso are safe to drink

How to order Red eye, dead eye, and black eye coffee at Starbucks?

If you want to order one of these Eye coffee drinks at Starbucks, here’s what to ask for:

Red Eye coffee: Ask for a regular brewed coffee with a shot of espresso

Black Eye Coffee: Ask for a regular brewed coffee with two shots of espresso

Dead Eye coffee: Ask for a regular brewed coffee with three shots of espresso. It is also known as Green eye Coffee.

When ordering your Eye coffee drink, you can customize it by requesting additional ingredients like milk or sweetener. For example, you can ask for a Red Eye with cream or a Dead Eye with sugar.

Final Thoughts on Red Eye Coffee

Red eye is a special espresso-based beverage that is perfect for caffeine lovers looking for an extra boost of caffeine.

This unique blend of coffee makes it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts who need an extra boost to start their day or to power through their work.

For me, red eye coffee is a great way to stay awake late at night to complete assignments and tasks.

Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or just starting to explore the world of coffee, red eye coffee is definitely worth trying.

However, keep in mind that eye coffee drinks should only be consumed in moderation because of their high caffeine content.

Read about other Espresso based coffee drinks


What’s the difference between Red Eye and Americano?

The main difference between a Red Eye and an Americano is the way these drinks are prepared.
Americano is prepared by adding a shot of Espresso to hot Water. While the red-eye coffee is prepared by adding a shot of Espresso to brewed coffee.

Can you add milk to Red eye coffee?

Yes, you can add milk to Red eye coffee, just like any other coffee drink. It’s all about personal preference, and adding milk can help balance out the bitterness of the espresso.
Traditionally, milk or cream is not added to red-eye coffee since it is meant to be consumed strong and unsweetened.

What is a lazy eye coffee drink?

A lazy eye coffee drink is similar to Red eye coffee, but instead of adding a shot of espresso to regular coffee, it’s made by adding a shot of decaf espresso to regular coffee. It’s a good option for those who want the taste of coffee but don’t want the extra caffeine.

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.