Wondering how much caffeine is in your daily dose of espresso? Here’s how much is in the typical single and double shot.
A single shot of espresso typically contains between 60 and 90 milligrams of caffeine while a double shot has twice that amount (120-180 mg). Caffeine content can differ depending on; size, amount of grounds, beans, etc. By comparison, an 8 oz. serving of drip coffee contains 90-110 mg of caffeine.
For more details on caffeine content of espresso and what impacts it, keep reading below.
How Much Caffeine Is In a Single Espresso Shot?
A single shot of espresso generally has between 60 and 90 milligrams of caffeine. Single espresso shots can have different sizes and be made with different types of coffee beans and use slightly different brew method which leads to different amounts of caffeine in the cup.
First you should understand that coffee beans are a natural product. Different types of beans grown in different places with different methods will have different amounts of caffeine in them. Robusta has almost twice the amount of caffeine as Arabica for example. But coffees grown at higher altitudes have less caffeine than that same coffee tree at a lower altitude.
Many people think that the roast level has something to do with the caffeine content but that’s not the case. The amount of caffeine in the bean stays the same whether it’s a dark or light roast. However, darker roasts are easier to extract. That means it’s easier to get all the caffeine from a darker roasted bean than a lighter roasted bean. However, with proper brewing methods that are adapted to the roast level, it shouldn’t matter much.
Then there is the actual brewing. Some coffeeshops/baristas will use more coffee grounds than the next one. Of course in more grounds there is more caffeine.
How Much Caffeine Is In A Double Espresso?
A double shot of espresso will usually have 120-180 mg of caffeine depending on the beans and brewing methods. However, you can have espresso that is outside that range because of different factors.
An 8oz cup of brewed coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine but it can vary quite a bit from 60 to 120mg.
Espresso often seems to have a stronger impact than drip coffee but most people that drink drip coffee likely get more caffeine since they drink more than 8 oz. The espresso is drank more quickly so you get a bigger hit of caffeine at one time.
What Impacts The Amount of Caffeine In Espresso?
The amount of caffeine in a single or double shot of espresso can vary quite a lot depending on a few factors. The range above is what most espressos fall into but there can be shots that have less or more caffeine. Here’s are the most important factors that impact the caffeine content in an espresso:
- Amount of grounds
- Bean type
- Grind size
- Shot Size
There are a few other factors like pre-infusion, water temperature that can also have a minor impact on caffeine content. However, let’s take a look into the three factors mentioned above and how they impact the amount of caffeine in your cup.
Amount of grounds
It all starts with how much coffee you put in the filter. Caffeine is in coffee grounds and brewing it pulls it out. More coffee = more potential caffeine. Of course it has to be extracted first. In an espresso machine, the caffeine actually comes out mostly in the later part of the brew.
So if you want more caffeine in your espresso, let a little bit more water flow through the coffee. However, that doesn’t necessarily do any favors to the taste of your shot. Vice versa you could use less water to reduce caffeine but this is also not great for taste. Most people choose to balance the taste and don’t care that much about a little more or less caffeine.
There are a few different types of coffee beans. The most common is Arabica with Robusta as distant second. Robusta has almost double the caffeine content of Arabica. Espresso grounds are commonly a blend of mostly Arabica with a little Robusta (for better crema). The blend ratio can differ or even be 100% Arabica or Robusta. This obviously impacts the caffeine content a lot.
Also, the height at which the coffee is grown at makes a difference. In general, the lower the altitude the coffee is grown at the more caffeine is in the beans. Specialty coffee often mentions the altitude the coffee is grown at on the bag but most supermarket coffee doesn’t.
And finally, coffee grown in different locations, under different conditions with different processing can lead to different tastes and caffeine content.
The grind size is quite important to get the right espresso taste and texture. Grind size is largely decided by the taste of the final result. However, finer ground beans are faster to extract so you also get more caffeine faster.
Again, taste leads grind size so you shouldn’t use this to increase caffeine content but be aware that it can have an effect.
The factors above impact the amount of caffeine per gram of espresso. However, the size of the espresso has a very large impact on how much caffeine you actually get.
A 30 gram shot @3 mg per gram means 90 mg per cup
A 60 gram shot @2 mg per gram means 120 mg per cup.
So larger shots quickly get you much more caffeine, even if there is less caffeine per gram of liquid.