What is Short Black Coffee and How to make it?

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Johny Morrisson

Short black is a small and concentrated 30 mL shot of coffee, with a high coffee-to-water ratio of around 1:2. Short Black Coffee or simple short coffee is the name used in Australia and New Zealand for Italian Espresso shots.

Despite its diminutive size, a short black coffee is well-known for its powerful flavor and intense aroma, making it a popular option among coffee lovers worldwide.

short black coffee

Is espresso the same as short black?

Yes, Short Black is the same as a single shot of Espresso. The difference in names is likely a result of cultural or regional differences. In Australia and New Zealand, you’d call it a Short Black, while in Europe and the United States, you’d call it an Espresso.

The preparation and ingredients used for the drink remain the same, regardless of the name it is referred to.

A short black is simple – just a single shot of espresso. In fact, this is the foundation of all other espresso coffee drinks.


How to make a Short Black coffee

The recipe for Short Black coffee is no different than pulling a shot of Espresso. If you know how to pull an Espresso shot, that's good! If not, follow this step-by-step process.
You must have an Espresso machine to make a perfect short black coffee.
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • Espresso machine
  • Coffee grinder
  • Tamper
  • A shot glass or small cup


  • 7-9 grams Fresh coffee beans
  • 20 grams water


  • Preheat your espresso machine and portafilter by running water through it for a few seconds.
  • Grind your coffee beans to a fine consistency.
  • Fill the portafilter with ground coffee and tamp it down firmly.
  • Lock the portafilter onto the espresso machine.
  • Place your shot glass or small cup underneath the spout.
  • Press the button to start the espresso shot.
  • The shot should take around 25-30 seconds to extract, and you should aim for around 30ml of espresso in the cup.
  • Once the shot is complete, discard the used coffee grounds from the portafilter.
  • And voila! You now have a delicious short black coffee to enjoy. You can drink it as is or add a little bit of sugar or milk if you prefer.

Short Black vs Long Black Coffee

The main difference is that short black is a small, concentrated shot of coffee, while long black is made by adding 3-4 ounces of hot water to a short black shot to create a milder, more diluted cup of coffee.

A long black is typically made with two shots of Espresso and is served in a larger cup, around 100-120ml, and has a little layer of crema on top.

Coffee drinks known as short black and long black are essentially the same coffee drinks known as Espresso and Americano in the Americas and Europe, while the former names are popular in Australia and New Zealand.

Short black vs long black coffee

You may think that Long Black is the same as Americano, but there is a slight difference in the preparation technique. In Long Black, espresso is poured on top of hot water, while in Americano, hot water is added over espresso shots. This makes the drinks slightly different in texture.

Read a detailed guide on Americano vs Long Black Coffee

How does Short Black Cofee tastes?

Short black coffee is quite intense and strong in taste. ou’re getting those deep, rich, boldly roasty flavors in their most concentrated form. It also has subtle hints of sweetness and notes of dark chocolate depending on the type of coffee bean used.

In terms of serving, short black coffee is typically served in a small cup or glass, and it is often consumed without any sugar or sweetener.

You can drink short black coffee as it is for a concentrated punch but most commonly it is used as a base to make flat whites and long blacks for a more approachable taste.


Is There A Difference In Caffeine In Long Black And Short Black?

There is a caffeine difference between a Long Black and a Short Black. A Short Black, often known as Espresso, provides approximately 60-72 mg of caffeine per shot (30ml).
On the other hand, The caffeine concentration of a Long Black varies depending on how many Espresso shots are used. Typically it is made with a double shot of Espresso which has around 120-133 mg of caffeine

Which coffee is stronger short or long?

Obviously, short-black coffee is stronger and more concentrated than long-black coffee since long-black coffee has added water which dilutes the strong flavor of coffee and makes it smooth and easy to drink.

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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