What is Short Black Coffee

Short Black Coffee also known as “Espresso” or simply short is a traditional Italian coffee drink that is extremely popular throughout the world.

A short black is a small shot of coffee, around 30 ml, with a high concentration and a ratio of around 1:2 coffee to water.

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.

The inherent oils and tastes of the coffee are entirely extracted in this drink, resulting in a rich and nuanced flavor profile unrivaled by other coffee drinks.

short black coffee

Is espresso the same as short black?

Yes, Short Black is the same as a single shot of Espresso. It is made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans under high pressure. The result is a small shot of concentrated coffee topped with cream.

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


It is likely that the difference in names is 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.

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

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.

Long Black vs Short Black Coffee

The main difference between a long black coffee and a short black coffee is that a short black is a concentrated shot of coffee, while a long black is a diluted shot of coffee with added hot water.

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 blacks are exactly like Espressos with a small, concentrated serving size of 30 mL and a 1:2 ratio of coffee to water. And Yes! The layer of Crema at the top.

A long black, on the other hand, is made by adding hot water at the top of an espresso shot. This results in a larger volume of coffee with a smooth and mild taste. 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.

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

Taste and Flavor profiles of Short Black

Short black coffee is quite intense and strong in taste. It has a bold, robust flavor that is often described as bitter or nutty. However, it can also have subtle hints of sweetness, 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. This allows the full flavor of the coffee to shine through, and it is a great way to experience the rich, bold taste of espresso aka short black coffee.

Read the impressive health benefits of Espresso

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Short Black coffee is not some mysterious type of coffee it’s just an Australian name for World famous coffee drink “The Espresso”.

Now It’s time to give short Black coffee a try. You can either consume it as is or add it to some hot water to make long black coffee.


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 robust flavor of coffee and makes it smooth and easy to drink.

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.

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