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Ordered a double shot of espresso and you think it’s still not enough? How big should a double espresso actually be? Here’s what you want to know?
A double espresso shot weighs around 60 grams/2 fl. Oz. in most coffee shops. A double espresso is simply twice the amount of liquid of a single shot. A Starbucks double espresso (Doppio) only measures 1.5 fl. Oz./44.4 grams. Ultimately, the barista decides how big the (double) espresso shot is.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the details of espresso sizes and if a double espresso is enough caffeine to get you fueled for the day.
How Many Grams Is a Double Shot Of Espresso?
The vast majority of double espressos weigh 50-60 grams. A double espresso is simply twice the amount of a single shot. How big the single shot is does depend on the coffeeshop but most places make single shots of 25-30 grams.
Of course there can always be small differences in shot size since most professional espresso machines have a pump that has to be stopped by hand. That means there can be small differences in every shot. However, a large percentage of double shots of espresso from a coffee shop will be in the 50-60 gram range. Machines that stop automatically also usually produce double espressos in that range.
Starbucks is an exception here. A single shot of espresso at Starbucks only measures 22.2 grams on average and a double shot (Doppio) measures 44.4 grams. That means to get an amount close to a double espresso from most other coffee shops, you’ll actually have to order a triple (66.6 grams) at Starbucks.
Grams are a much better indicator of the size of your cup of espresso than milliliters. If you were to count in milliliters you have the problem of also counting the crema (foam) on top which is much lighter. The amount and thickness of crema depends on the type of beans and the brewing preparation so it’s much more precise to measure in grams.
How Many Ounces Is a Double Shot Of Espresso?
The most common size of a double shot of espresso is two fluid ounces. That is twice the amount of a single shot which is around 1 fluid ounce.
Different coffee shops will use different measurements but 95% of espresso shots (outside of Starbucks) will weigh about 25-30 grams which is right around a single fluid ounce. A double shot should simply be twice that amount.
Two fluid ounce in a double shot is the standard in most of the coffee world. Classic Italian espresso is slightly less than one fluid ounce (0.85-0.95 to be exact.) But in most places outside of Italy a single espresso is one fluid ounce and a double is two fluid ounces.
The exception is Starbucks. A Starbucks double shot (Doppio) only measures 1.5 fl. Oz. While that is still double the single (Solo), It’s significantly less than standard and still less than the Italian standard. Why is that? I’m not sure but if I were to speculate, I’d say their single is so small that everyone will pay for the double anyways.
While we’re talking about fluid ounces here, most baristas will measure the weight of the liquid in the cup with a scale. The volume is not a good indicator since espresso often has crema (coffee foam) on top. And foam isn’t always the same weight per volume. So by just looking at the cup, you don’t know how much water was pushed through the grounds. A 3 ml difference is very hard to spot by eye, especially if it’s covered with foam, but is a 10% difference in weight if you were aiming for 30 ml. That 10% is significant and can lead to a very different tasting espresso.
Is a Double Espresso Just Two Singles?
A double espresso is called that because it’s double the standard serving. That means to brew a double espresso you put double the amount of coffee in the filter basket and push double the amount of liquid in to the cup. As you can see above, what that exact amount is can differ from place to place but it should always be double the amount of what the single serving is wherever you order.
The amount of ground coffee that’s put in the machine should be doubled from a single shot to get a double espresso. If the same amount of grounds is used as for a single but double the amount of water, that’s a long shot (lungo). This is a much more diluted type of coffee than a (double) espresso.
Usually baristas will use more grounds in the basket and brew one double shot. However, in some cases a barista can brew two single shots and combine them. There are some minor differences in taste because of the difference in brewing method. However, for the vast majority of people this is not noticeable at all.
Espresso machines often come with different size baskets that can be put in the portafilter. Using the right basket for the job is important since how full the basket is with grounds impacts the brewing process. Most good baskets will have an indicator etched in somewhere on it that indicates how much grams that basket is good for. Other times it just says small, medium, large or can even have a number of cups on it. In that case, you’ll just have to weight how much grounds it takes for the basket to be full.
Recommended Espresso Equipment
Besides an espresso machine, there are a few other tools that can make your espresso better. Here are my favorites:
- Espresso Machine: The Breville Barista Express (Amazon) is the sweet spot in price and quality for most casual home baristas. It comes with a built in grinder and most tools you need to brew espresso.
- Tamper: A nice tamper helps you tamp your grounds in the filter for the best result. Any correctly sized tamper can do the job but a nice heavy one just feels so much better in your hand than a plastic model. This Luxhaus one (Amazon) has a nice trick up it’s sleeve to make tamping very consistent.
- Beans: Good espresso starts with good beans. Using fresh beans is a big improvement over pre-ground coffee.
- Scales: Getting consistently good espresso means you have to know how much grounds is going into the machine and how much is coming out and how long this takes. A coffee scale is going to make your espresso much more consistent and also makes adjustments a lot easier. The Apexstone coffee scale (Amazon) is cheap and doesn’t look too sleek but is just as accurate as more expensive scales. The TimeMore scales (Amazon) look and feel a lot nicer but cost a bit more.
- Grinder: To make the best of your fresh beans, a good grinder is necessary. Espresso requires a good grinder to get the best results. The Baratza Sette 30 (Amazon) is a good espresso grinder that can also be used for other brewing methods and while not cheap, is good value for money. If you prefer hand grinders, the 1ZPresso JX-PRO is one of the best options (Amazon)
- Distribution tool: After grinding you can get some clumps in the coffee grounds. Those clumps should be broken up so the water can extract all the coffee grounds equally. Distribution tools are very simple things but this one (Amazon) is beautifully made and will look good in your kitchen.