How Much Caffeine In A Shot of Espresso and Why Espresso Makes You Express-o:

The United States is one of the biggest coffee consumers worldwide. 62% of Americans drink coffee daily, and the average American coffee drinker drinks just over 3 cups daily. Most people need a cup of coffee in the morning to help wake them up, and sometimes when you’re a little extra sluggish and need a sudden boost you may take a shot of espresso. So, what is it about espresso that provides that extra kick? Let’s find out by seeing how much caffeine in a shot of espresso.

How Much Caffeine in A Shot of Espresso

What is an Espresso?

Espresso is a concentrated and thick form of coffee that has a strong and bold flavor. The coffee beans in espresso are the same as in a cup of coffee and the basic difference is in the brewing method. An espresso machine uses high pressure to force hot water through finely-ground coffee. Espresso is usually served as shots. It uses a 1:2 water to coffee ratio which makes it much more concentrated.

How Much Caffeine in A Shot of Espresso?

The beans used in coffee are usually Arabica or Robusta, and an espresso is no exception. Robusta contains twice the caffeine in Arabica so espressos made of Robusta would be stronger and thicker as is Classic Italian Espresso. But in America, coffee shops like Starbucks makes espresso as well as regular drip coffee from Arabica beans, so why does it feel like espresso is more stimulating than a cup of coffee? Let’s try to understand it by breaking down the numbers:

  • One serving that is 1 ounce shot of espresso contains 64 mg of caffeine
  • One serving that is 8 ounces of brewed coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine  
  • Starbucks one shot (1.5 ounces) of espresso contains 75 mg of caffeine
  • Starbucks one cup (8 ounces) of coffee contains 155 mg of caffeine.

So ideally a cup of normal coffee has more caffeine than a shot of espresso but still, espresso gives you that extra jolt, let’s understand that by comparing the same amounts:

One ounce of espresso has 64 mg of caffeine whereas one ounce of drip coffee contains 12 mg of caffeine so espresso is much more concentrated with caffeine because of the brewing method, the finely ground coffee beans provide a larger surface area for the high-pressure water to transfer the caffeine quickly. Another reason to explain this is that espresso in America is consumed very fast, whereas a cup of coffee will be sipped on, so the caffeine entering your system in a given amount of time is more.

Now that you know all about an espresso shot and compared it with your cup of joe let us also see some popular espresso-based drinks available and compare their caffeine content

What is a Double Espresso?

Double espresso or ‘doppio’ is exactly what it sounds like, 2 shots of espresso. An espresso uses 7 g of coffee grounds to yield 30 ml (1 ounce) whereas doppio uses 14 g of coffee grounds and yields 60 ml of coffee (2 ounces). It contains double the amount of caffeine coming up to 128 mg.

What is a Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is a three-layer beverage with espresso (one or two shots, more commonly 2 in America) in the bottom layer, steamed milk in the middle layer, and thick and airy milk foam on the topmost layer. These layers are well balanced but since the milk is not mixed the espresso has a strong flavor, this is known as wet or classic cappuccino

A dry cappuccino has a lesser amount of steamed milk, a bone-dry cappuccino has only the top layer of froth and no steamed milk.

A short cappuccino (8 ounces) at Starbucks contains 75 mg of caffeine, giving 9.38 mg of caffeine per ounce.  

What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Mocha And A Cortado?

What is a Latte?

Latte or Café Latte is similar to a cappuccino in terms of ingredients- one or two shots of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. But in a latte, there is more steamed milk with a ratio of espresso to steamed milk being 1:2 and a light layer of milk foam. Also, while a cappuccino is more distinctly layered the espresso and steamed milk are mixed in a latte. There are also several variations available today by adding vanilla or hazelnut etc. 

A short latte (8 ounces) at Starbucks contains 75 mg of caffeine, giving 9.38 mg of caffeine per ounce. 

What is a Mocha?

Mocha, short for café mocha or mocha latte, is a variant of a latte that has chocolate syrup or chocolate powder added to it in addition to espresso, steamed milk, and foam.

A short mocha (8 ounces) at Starbucks contains 88 mg of caffeine, giving 11 mg of caffeine per ounce. This increased amount is because of the caffeine in chocolate 

What is a Cortado?

Cortado is a beverage that contains espresso (double shot) and warm milk in a 1:1 ratio. While the milk in a cortado is steamed it doesn’t have milk foam or froth. It is served in smaller-sized glasses even in large chain stores like Starbucks

A short cortado (8 ounces) at Starbucks contains 150 mg of caffeine, giving 18.7 mg of caffeine per ounce. It is usually served in 6 ounces glasses giving 112.5 mg of caffeine per serving

Cortado Vs Latte

It is the size of the drink and the ratio of espresso to milk that distinguishes lattes from cortados.

Espresso and steamed milk are used to make cortados, which can either have no foam or a small quantity of microfoam. There is a much more milk in a latte, and the microfoam layer is almost always solid. Lattes can be made with caramel or peppermint syrup in lattes, but in cortados, the espresso is the star.

What is Eye Coffee?

The ‘eye’ is a very strong coffee drink that is basically brewed coffee with shots of espresso, depending on the number of shots it gets its name

The Red Eye: Drip coffee + 1 shot of espresso

The Black Eye: Drip coffee + 2 shots of espresso

The Dead Eye: Drip Coffee + 3 shots of espresso

The caffeine content can be calculated by knowing the caffeine in brewed coffee and an espresso shot that we have seen earlier, so let’s see how much each of these contain

The Red Eye: 95 mg + 64 mg= 159 mg of caffeine 

The Black Eye: 95 mg + (64*2) = 223 mg of caffeine 

The Dead Eye: 95 mg + (64*3) = 287 mg of caffeine

What is an Americano?

An Americano is basically an espresso shot diluted with hot water. Its strength varies with the number of shots of espresso added and the amount of hot water used.

A short café Americano (8 ounces) at Starbucks contains 75 mg of caffeine, giving 9.38 mg of caffeine per ounce. 

What is an Espresso Martini?

This is a coffee, more particularly espresso-based cocktail, it’s a caffeinated alcoholic drink made with espresso, coffee liqueur, and vodka. In this drink, the espresso shot needs to be chilled before use. Let us look at an espresso martini recipe


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce coffee liqueur (usually Kahlúa)
  • 1-ounce espresso, freshly brewed
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Garnish: coffee beans


  1. Add vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, and simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

Since it uses one shot of espresso the caffeine content in one glass of martini is 64 mg.

So, the next time you choose an espresso shot over a cup of coffee for that extra kick you know that despite containing less amount of caffeine compared to a cup of Joe it gets the job done because of its rapid consumption and concentrated form. You could prepare Tequila Espresso Martini in a similar manner.


  1. NCA releases 2020 National Coffee Data Trends, the “Atlas of American Coffee.” (2020). National Coffee Association.,over%203%20cups%20per%20day.
  2. Shokouh, P., Jeppesen, P. B., Christiansen, C. B., Mellbye, F. B., Hermansen, K., & Gregersen, S. (2019). Efficacy of Arabica Versus Robusta Coffee in Improving Weight, Insulin Resistance, and Liver Steatosis in a Rat Model of Type-2 Diabetes. Nutrients, 11(9), 2074.
  3. Roberts, C. (2021, June 13). Is There More Caffeine in Espresso Than in Coffee? Consumer Reports.
  4. Dessert Drinks We Love: The Espresso Martini. (2022, January 10). Liquor
Sthuti Choudhary is a qualified dietitian who graduated from SVT College of Home Science in BSc. Food, Nutrition and Dietetics and has a certification in yoga. She's currently pursuing her Masters in Specialized Dietetics. Her goal is to help as many people with their health goals as well as spreading the knowledge that she has acquired.

Related Posts

Top 10 Symptoms To Look For After A Fall On Back

Experiencing a fall can be a profoundly disruptive event, potentially derailing not just your day but, in certain cases, having far-reaching complications for your overall quality of…

exercise with a goal

The Surprising Connection: How Muscle Mass Can Affect a Person’s Flexibility

When we think about flexibility, first image that comes to mind might be a yoga practitioner effortlessly contorting their body into various poses. On the other hand,…

Is High Muscle Mass Good for Health?

Muscle mass is the amount of muscle tissue in your body. In this post we are going to answer is high muscle mass good for health. Muscle…

7 Nutrient-Rich Foods After LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery is popular procedure for correcting vision problems. It is a life-changing experience, but it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully during recovery period….

Arthropathy: What is it and how is it treated?

What is Arthropathy? Arthropathy is general term for any condition that affects the joints. It can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints. Types of Arthropathy ….

Regorafenib Colorectal Cancer

Exploring Regorafenib Colorectal Cancer Treatment: Efficacy, Mechanism, and Current Research

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is significant global health concern, ranking as third most common cancer worldwide. In advanced stages, CRC can particularly be challenging to treat, requiring novel…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *