How Much Caffeine in a Shot of Espresso

How Much Caffeine in a Shot of Espresso?

As coffee snobs, we couldn’t leave this question without a definite answer.

One shot of espresso is 1 ounce or 30 ml. This espresso volume contains 64 mg of caffeine. Caffeine is generally considered safe for most people in moderation. You can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day according to Mayo Clinic. [1]

So, it’s important to understand how much caffeine is in your espresso. Read this post and you will have clear answers about caffeine in espresso.

Table of Contents

Espresso Caffeine Per Ounce

Espresso coffee is brewed by forcing very hot water under high pressure. For espresso, you use finely-ground coffee.

One shot of espresso equals about 1 ounce of liquid coffee. This short volume contains approximately 64 mg of caffeine. Caffeine content can vary greatly depending on the following factors [2]:

  • Type of bean
  • Coffee brand
  • Roasting
  • Grind size
  • Brewing method

In general, the darker the roast, the less caffeine there is in your cup. This is because caffeine burns off as coffee beans are roasted. Blends with more medium-roasted beans have more caffeine than 100% dark-roasted blends.

Espresso volume also affects caffeine levels. Double shots contain about 125mg. A cappuccino or latte at Starbucks made with a double shot, has about 150mg. [3]

Espresso Caffeine Per Regular Serving

For many coffee shops, the regular serving volume for an espresso is 1.5 ounces. This volume contains about 96 milligrams of caffeine. So, if you drink 2-3 espressos of this volume per day you’re on the safe side.

But, if you consume 3 grande lattes from Starbucks, then you are off the limit. With these volumes, you’ll get about 450 mg of caffeine.

How much espresso you should drink per day.

“The optimal amount of espresso that one can drink per day is 3.” Says Giuseppe Fiorini, barista and Italian coffee artist. “Beyond that point, the acidity and caffeine will start to be too much for most adults.” [4]

Even if these cups contain about 1.5 of an ounce, then you wouldn’t get more than 310 mg of caffeine. Which is less than the Mayo Clinic’s recommendation of 400 milligrams per day.

Giuseppe recommends trying a variety of brewing methods. And experimenting with different roast levels to discover new flavors.

How Much Caffeine in a Shot of Espresso

Espresso Caffeine: Robusta Vs Arabica

Arabica coffee beans have an average caffeine content of 1.7%, while Robusta coffee beans contain 2.5%. Arabica coffee has almost half of the caffeine compared to Robusta. Yet, the latter has a bitter taste and a lower acidity level. [5]

The total caffeine content in an espresso shot is between 40-75mg. On average, espresso has 64 mg of caffeine per single shot (1 oz).

This is the optimal amount of caffeine if you’re using Arabica coffee beans for espresso.

If you’re using Robusta coffee beans, then the total amount of caffeine will be double! Robusta beans automatically boost the amount of caffeine. So instead of having 63mg, you would have 126mg (or more if you use even more Robusta beans).

Caffeine in Starbucks Espresso

Espresso shots are a little different than 1 ounce. Feel free to refer to the following table for volumes and caffeine content:

Even with 3 Doppios per day, you’re on the safe side about caffeine consumption. 3 x 1.5 oz x 64 mg = 288 mg per day. At Starbucks, you should be careful with larger cups. Regular coffee and milk-based drinks, like lattes, have even more caffeine.

Why Most People Consider Espresso Is Having More Caffeine

The common perception is that espresso has more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. But why? A “regular” cup of coffee refers to drip coffee, the kind you make in a coffee maker or French press. A regular 8-ounce cup of drip coffee contains approximately 95 milligrams of caffeine. [6]

In contrast, a single shot (1 ounce) of espresso contains about 64 milligrams of caffeine. So, how does espresso have more caffeine than drip coffee? The answer: espresso has more caffeine per ounce but not per serving.

The only way to get more caffeine from espresso is to drink more of it at once — say, 4 oz instead of 1. If you compare 4 oz of espresso to 8 oz of drip coffee, then yes: espresso does contain more caffeine.

Does Espresso Caffeine Energize You Faster

Espresso has more caffeine per ounce. It may not have more caffeine overall in the drink, but it delivers it faster. Since we tend to drink espresso a lot faster than regular coffee, the caffeine kicks in a lot faster.

There’s a good reason why the Italians drink their espresso quickly. They drink espresso while the crema is still on top of the beverage. And don’t hold on to their cups while they enjoy it. [7]

It’s because they are concerned with getting their dose of caffeine as fast as possible. Regular coffee has more caffeine per cup, but espresso hits faster if you drink it like an Italian.

espresso shots

What Espresso Has The Least Caffeine

Most people don’t have the equipment to make a ristretto shot at home. If you do, try pulling an espresso from 7 grams of dark roast beans ground relatively coarsely. That should have less caffeine than other shots.

The caffeine in coffee is extracted by water flowing through it. And more water means more of the caffeine will be extracted.

When making a ristretto, you use the same amount of ground coffee as you do for an espresso. But, extraction time is shorter and uses less water. The result is that less of the caffeine is extracted out of the coffee than would be if you used more water.

Does Decaf Espresso Contains Caffeine

Decaf coffee is not completely free of caffeine. The decaffeination process removes 97% of the caffeine from coffee beans. Leaving a small percentage in the final product.

The decaf espresso coffee has 3–15.8 mg of caffeine per ounce. While the caffeine is a lot lower than regular coffee, it’s still there. [8]

Decaf coffee has far less caffeine than regular coffee. But it should be consumed in moderation. Drinking too much of it may contribute to several side effects. Jitteriness, anxiety, heart palpitations, and the list goes on.

The Bottom Line

Espresso has always been a symbol of Italy’s coffee culture. Today, it is enjoyed everywhere in the world, especially in the USA. 

But in spite of its popularity, there’s still a lot of confusion on how many shots of espresso there are per cup. How strong it is and what real espresso should taste and look like. Hopefully, this post will provide some clarification on all those questions.

Coffee’s mission has always been to empower people to live their best lives. And that’s a lifestyle choice we want to support.

What To Do Next?

Now you know how much caffeine in a shot of espresso. It’s time for you to brew your own cup of coffee. 

Searching for espresso beans or any kind of espresso gear? Feel free to read our buyers’ guides and reviews. 

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