We all love our coffee but we are also concerned about daily caffeine intake, right!

Unfortunately, we hear many stories that say caffeine is not good for health.

But, I can tell you that it’s the word of mouth that spreads badly.

You can consume our favorite espresso every day and still not exceed the caffeine limit.

Just so you know, healthy adults can consume upto 250gm – 400gm of caffeine in a day.

For you to stay with in the daily caffeine limits, you must know how much caffeine is in different espresso shots.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Shot Of Espresso?

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture food database, a shot of espresso has 62.8mg of caffeine. One shot equals an ounce (29.6gm) of espresso. A shot ounce is the general serving size of espresso.

Espresso is an Italian drink. A concentrated form of coffee is usually topped with a beautiful golden crema. A traditional Italian espresso formula uses 7gms of coffee with a brew ratio of 1:3. Yielding 21gms of single shot espresso, which is less than a coffee shot.

The rest of the world brews espresso using 16-22gms of coffee with a 1:2 coffee to water ratio. And yields 32-38gms of liquid, close to 1.5 shots of coffee. And has 63 mg of caffeine in a standard shot of espresso.

The perfect recipe for espresso at home is to use 6-8gms of fine ground coffee with a 1:2 coffee to water ratio and 25-30 seconds. But the trial and error method works best. Change the amount of coffee according to your desired taste. because the golden ratio is defined by whatever works best for you.

Some cafes use about 22gms of coffee to make a double shot of espresso. If the coffee ratio per ounce is high, it makes an over-extracted bitter espresso. At the same time, if the coffee ratio per ounce is low, it makes an under-extracted weak and sour espresso.

How much Caffeine Is In Different Espresso Shots?

Caffeine levels can vary from beverage to beverage you make with coffee beans. Calculate caffeine in espresso shots by the coffee to water ratio used in the espresso machines. As the coffee used per shot increases, caffeine levels increase.

Caffeine in different espresso shots

Caffeine In Different Espresso Shots:

No.of Espresso ShotsNo.of OuncesCaffeine Quantity
1 shot of espresso1 ounce63mg
2 shots of espresso (Doppio)2 ounces128 mg
3 shots of espresso3 ounces190 mg
4 shots of espresso4 ounces260 mg 
1 shot of Starbucks espresso1 ounce75mg
1 shot of decaf espresso1 ounce8mg
2 shots of decaf espresso (Decaf Doppio)2 ounces16mg
Caffeine In Espresso Shots

A shot of decaf espresso has a negligible amount of caffeine. As little as 8mg caffeine per ounce compared to a regular espresso shot.

There are other espresso drinks worth trying. Let me explain the difference and caffeine levels in each of them.

The list of different beverages made using espresso:

RISTRETTO

Ristretto is a very short espresso shot. Ristretto means restricted in Italian.

Ristretto uses a smaller brew ratio ranging between (1:1 – 1:2) coffee to water, brewed in 15-20 seconds. Less hot water pushes through the grounds very quickly. the restricted time compared to the standard espresso brew time.

Ristretto is a shot that lacks clarity but has a heavy body and mouthfeel.

ESPRESSO

The coffee to water ratio between (1:2 – 1:3) used in an espresso machine results in one shot of espresso. The traditional Italian espresso formula is 1:3 coffee to water ratio.

DOPPIO

Doppio is a double shot espresso which means double in Italian.

ESPRESSO CON PANNA

Espresso con Panna or espresso with cream is a single shot of espresso topped with 2 tbsp of whipped cream. Mostly espresso con Panna presented in a demitasse cup or small glass.

The drink looks ¼ of a small glass with espresso and on the golden crust of crema sits a dollop of whipped cream. This aesthetically pleasing coffee drink or dessert is served in Starbucks too.

ESPRESSO LUNGO

Lungo means long in Italian, which indicates the extraction of coffee is long.

Lungo uses a 1:4 coffee to water ratio and is brewed for approximately 1 min, and double the time used to make an espresso.

By lengthening the brew time to make a lungo the clarity increases, but body and thickness decrease.

If you like Americano, give lungo a try next time. It’s worth the replacement.

Different types of espresso coffee

Types of espresso drinks and caffeine quantities:

Espresso typeCaffeine quantity
Espresso 63mg per ounce
Ristretto 65-70mg per ounce
Lungo 60-65mg per ounce

Ristretto is a concentrated espresso. As the water used and brewing time are less than espresso. ristretto has less volume but the same amount of caffeine.

There is an equal amount of caffeine in espresso and ristretto but less volume. So, an ounce of ristretto will have slightly higher caffeine levels.

But, Lungo uses double the water used in espresso.

Caffeine is the first compound that liquefies in water during extraction. So that the longer brew time will have an insignificant impact on caffeine levels.

How Much Caffeine Is In A Double Shot Of Espresso?

A double shot espresso, usually called doppio, has about 128 mg of caffeine. These days doppio has become a standard shot in most cafes.

Cafe’s extract doppio using a two-spout portafilter. Because it is a versatile and generally accepted design. A double spout portafilter also helps to make two singles from a double shot.

Dual spout brew pulls 2 cups of espresso and dispenses them to separate cups.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much Caffeine?

According to the National Coffee Association USA, an adult can consume up to 5-6 shots of espresso per day. NCA has also mentioned in recent research that 300-400 mg of caffeine intake daily is not associated with overt, adverse effects in adults.

Caffeine is this white, crystalline, odorless and bitter-tasting compound in coffee beans. Caffeine acts as a natural barrier for pests.

A general guide for safe caffeine levels according to NCA:

Age criteria Safe caffeine intake per dayNo.of espresso drinks
Adult (18 above)300 – 400 mg5-6 espresso shots
Children (13 – 18)100 mg1.3 espresso shots
Pregnant woman 200 mg3 espresso shots

Although the research done for safe caffeine levels. The tolerance levels of caffeine change from person to person. Depending on metabolism and genes.

Consumption of coffee daily might increase your capacity to tolerate caffeine levels too.

People susceptible to caffeine might have slow metabolism in their liver and high binding in the central nervous system. These people will have stimulating effects even with the slightest intake of caffeine.

People who are less sensitive to caffeine have a faster metabolism. These people can have a cup of coffee right before bedtime and still do not affect their sleep.

Listen to your body and regulate coffee consumption. Keep in mind that coffee also has a lot of positive benefits on the body. Caffeine is one of the prominent coffee compounds, but several others help you in many ways.

With these safe caffeine guidelines in mind. You can have 3 shots per day as 3 shots of espresso are well under the limit of adult caffeine intake per day.

ESPRESSO VS COFFEE

Caffeine in one ounce shot of espresso is approximately equal to 4 ounces of drip coffee. When you compare both beverages by serving size, espresso has less caffeine. Yet, if you consider the same quantity of each drink, espresso has more caffeine. A general serving of espresso is by ounce shots, and drip coffee is 8 ounces.

Caffeine levels in different brewing methods

Espresso is a concentrated coffee made using fine coffee grounds with an espresso machine at a much lower coffee to water ratio.

On the other hand, drip coffee is a diluted version of a beverage made with coarse ground coffee using any brewing method.

There is no difference between the choice of coffee bean when it comes to espresso or drip coffee. Most cafes use the same arabica coffee beans. but different grind sizes and extraction methods to produce espresso and drip coffee.

Caffeine in one shot of espresso is half the amount of caffeine in a regular cup of drip coffee. But, this rule is valid only when you are a black coffee drinker.

Any other beverage made in cafes generally uses a double shot of espresso as its main ingredient. And topped by your respective preferences. Which comes up to the same amount of caffeine intake irrespective of the beverage.

What Causes The Difference In Caffeine Levels?

The difference in caffeine levels is caused by the type of coffee bean, selecting the desired roast, grind level, extraction levels, saturation point of coffee, the temperature of water used and the brewing time. Beans from one plant to another give a different level of caffeine. Coffee plants grown on one side of the mountain, grown in the shade, also differ in caffeine levels from each other.

These variables balance the best possible taste for a cup of brewed coffee. Understanding the perfect balance comes with time and practice.

COFFEE BEANS: The type of coffee bean used to make coffee determines the caffeine levels in the cup. Arabica coffee beans have half the amount of caffeine levels in the bean compared to robusta beans.

Robusta, as the name suggests, produces a robust cup of coffee. The robusta coffee bean has 2.7% of the caffeine in the bean.

Robusta coffee beans are used in classic Italian espressos.

Arabica coffee beans have a 1.5% caffeine quantity in beans. It produces a delicate cup of coffee with less caffeine. Arabica is accepted by many Americans and is widely used in all Starbucks stores.

GRIND: Choosing the right grind for your coffee is the ultimate game-changer. To make an espresso, you need fine ground coffee, which is less coarse than sand. But also not so fine that the machine finds it difficult to push water through the portafilter.

The sole reason your machine is pulling shots way too sooner or faster than 25-30 seconds is the grind size. Adjust the grind size accordingly and test again until you find your perfect taste.

ROASTING: When coffee beans are roasted, it loses density. So, the darker the coffee beans are roasted, the smaller they become.

They measure coffee beans by volume. After roasting the bean gives different caffeine levels in the coffee. Due to the smaller size, a dark roast coffee will produce less caffeine in the cup. Light roast coffee beans are more by volume, resulting in a caffeine-rich coffee.

TEMPERATURE:  The water temperature could be the most overlooked part of the entire brewing process. Because you extract more caffeine when brewing with hot water.

Water temperature decides the time it takes to extract. The compounds like oil, caffeine and acids from coffee beans. As caffeine is one of the primary compounds to get pulled. Using the correct temperature is crucial.

According to NCA, the temperature for brewing coffee should be between 195F to 205F.

Light roast coffee beans need slightly higher temperature water, to help speed up the extraction process.

Dark roast coffee needs low-temperature water to avoid over-extraction.

TIME: In a few brewing methods, infuse the coffee grounds and water for a certain duration of time. The longer the steeping time and higher the water temperature. the more caffeine-infused into the cup.

The key to making a perfect cup of espresso is just to try, taste, learn, adjust, improve, and taste.

Once you figure out all these factors that create your beautiful espresso. You reach a stage of making a perfect shot of espresso in your cup every time.

How To Reduce Caffeine In Coffee?

The 4 most essential factors in lowering caffeine in coffee are Arabica beans, Dark roast coffee, extraction process and measuring coffee.

  1. Arabica beans help reduce caffeine in coffee because it has the least amount of caffeine compared to Robusta or Liberica beans. Most Americans and Starbucks use Arabica coffee beans.
  2. A dark roast coffee bean reduces caffeine intake as it loses a lot of water in the bean during the roasting process. By volume, a dark roasted coffee bean results in a weak brewed coffee and less caffeine per cup.
  3.  Extraction of coffee plays a role in reducing caffeine in your cup by avoiding longer immersion brewing methods.
  4. Caffeine content by weight increases while caffeine content by volume decreases.

A simple list to understand measuring coffee by volume

  1. 1 tablespoon = 5 grams
  2. 1 scoop = 2 tablespoons = 10 grams
  3. 1 cup ( 10 fl oz) = 16 tablespoons = 80 grams

Why Is Espresso So Strong?

Espresso feels stronger than coffee because of the time you take to drink the beverage and the strength of the liquid. People misunderstand the richness of espresso as strong coffee. 

Espresso is a concentrated coffee, and it’s meant to be drunk faster, fast enough not to let that crema disappear. As the quantity of drip coffee is more and diluted, people take much longer to finish a drip coffee. So it doesn’t seem stronger. But the caffeine packed in drip coffee is usually double the espresso.

Crema is a creamy emulsion of coffee oils and stores the coffee aroma. But, crema dissipates quickly. Espresso is gulped down before crema disappears.

Is Espresso Healthier Than Coffee?

Espresso is a healthy drink compared to any other coffee. It lets you enjoy the robust coffee flavor with no fat, no additional milk or creamer. Espresso has negligible amounts of calories, too, making it healthy to drink a couple of cups per day.

Caffeine check, fat check, calories check. Espresso is like joy in a cup for health.

Espresso boosts energy and helps to improve focus & concentration during daily activities.

Espresso improves digestion. It is low in calories, lowers heart diseases, improves mood and energizes the body & mind.

Espresso is easier on the stomach because of the brewing time. The shorter the brewing time, the easier coffee is for the stomach. Though espresso is a concentrated coffee, it has less caffeine and is better for your stomach.

Due to the brewing process of espresso, water comes into contact with ground coffee for a short duration. Which lets only a few compounds dissolve in water, making it easy on your stomach. And the exact reason why espresso has less caffeine too.

Clarity On Caffeine Myths

There are a lot of myths that people have related to coffee. Some might be true, but you have to understand caffeine is not just present in coffee.

For now, let us get clarity on some coffee-related caffeine myths:

1. Drinking coffee after 3 PM causes insomnia.

Drinking coffee in the afternoon doesn’t cause insomnia in people. It depends on the metabolism of your body. If you have faster digestion, caffeine is kicked out within 4-5 hours from your body.

So, caffeine effects are different from person to person. Understanding your metabolism helps to know when you can have another cup of coffee.

Without disturbing your precious sleep.

2. Drinking coffee dehydrates your body.

Caffeine doesn’t dehydrate you. The diuretic effect of caffeine can make you pee a lot. Due to this, a lot of fluids are flushed out. However, the diuretic effect is so mild in coffee that it cannot impact the overall dryness of your skin or body.

You drink a lot of fluid along with coffee. That makes up for the water lost during pee.

Only too much caffeine can make you suffer from dehydration. To rule out this, try drinking 2 cups of water for every cup of coffee.

3. Coffee is bad for your health

Coffee isn’t bad for you at all. A Harvard study says that coffee has no relation to cardiovascular diseases. And instead, caffeine helps to reduce several chronic diseases.

Some researchers have proven that caffeine might even be suitable for people with cancer. And has a protective effect on Parkinson’s disease.

There is no link between caffeine and high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

4. Pregnant women should not have coffee

Women who are pregnant and who breastfeed can have a limited amount of caffeine per day, without any doubt. But, consulting a doctor and taking advice on your limit is probably a good idea.

According to NCA, a pregnant woman can consume up to 200 mg of caffeine per day. Take a decision based on your body. Know how your body is reacting to caffeine consumption.

No studies prove caffeine is bad for the baby, or caffeine can reach through the placenta to the baby. The decrease in consumption is advised only because of the decreased metabolic rate during pregnancy.

5. Does consuming coffee cause infertility?

Some controlled clinical studies on infertility, but caffeine intake did not correlate.

6. Is Caffeine addictive?

Although many people start their day with a cup of coffee, it’s not an addiction.

Caffeine is a stimulating drink that stimulates the central nervous system. Consuming 2-3 cups of coffee every day might give a person this dependency. But, it doesn’t affect a person physically.

Stopping caffeine intake suddenly might result in a couple of bad days with headache, bad mood or hard to concentrating. But that is only because your body is used to taking a certain amount of caffeine per day.

Can I Have An Espresso Before The Workout?

Consumption of espresso before the workout is beneficial for weight loss. helps you stay alert & increases endurance. And drinking coffee half an hour before a workout has enormous results in physical performance. The adrenaline pump helps in speed and strength during working out. And lets you go on for a longer duration.

Espresso is highly concentrated and helps you feel the effects of caffeine sooner. Espresso gives you an immediate kick. while regular coffee takes longer to deliver its effects.

Caffeine is an excellent source of energy. Coffee beans contain caffeine, which is why coffee gives you an energy boost.

Caffeine is generally considered a performance enhancer. And to live up to the name, drinking espresso ( caffeinated drink) lets you be at peak effectiveness.

According to the University of Luton, one shot of espresso before a workout boosts performance by 11%. Coffee makes daily workouts intense. And helps you push more and work harder in boosting the results.

People who have a sensitive stomach should avoid taking caffeine before a workout.

Do you know anyone who can benefit from reading this article about caffeine? Help your friends better understand caffeine in coffee by sharing it.

FAQ’S

What Is An Espresso?

Espresso is a type of coffee drink and a coffee brewing method. Espresso machines use 132 pounds per square inch of pressure to brew a cup. Espresso is neither a particular type of coffee bean nor a particular roast. It’s the way coffee is extracted.

Espresso uses mild, low acid coffee beans. which are roasted for a longer duration and help the bean lose most of the chlorogenic acids and oils that appear.

Why Does Espresso Taste Bitter?

Espresso tastes bitter because of the over-extraction. wrong coffee to water ratio, wrong grind size and sometimes uncleaned machine.

The key to the perfect brew is the proper coffee to water ratio. If the water used to brew is less, it results in a sour cup and if the water used is more for the coffee, it produces a bitter cup.

A grind too fine will take longer to push coffee into the cup. This extended duration causes a bitter cup because of more prolonged extraction.

As coffee beans have roughly 12% oil, during the brewing process, these oils get released. Clean it before a fresh brewing batch gives a fresh and clean cup of coffee.

How To Get More Caffeine From The Beans?

To get more caffeine from the coffee beans in espresso. choose light roast fine ground coffee and increase coffee quantity while brewing in coffee to water ratio. As espresso uses pressure to extract coffee. It produces more caffeinated espresso when less water is in contact with more coffee.

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