How Many Milliliters Is An Espresso Shot?

Espresso coffee in measuring cup the scale shows 30 millilitres or 1 ounce
This post may contain affiliate links. When you purchase through the affiliate links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, check out our Affiliate Disclosure page.

When I’m looking for a drink that will pack a punch, espresso is the first one that comes to mind. This beverage gives me a lot of caffeine in just a small cup. I also love its thicker consistency, rich taste, and foamy topping.

One shot of espresso should be 30 milliliters or 1 ounce.

Since espresso has a higher concentration of caffeine when compared to a regular cup of drip-style coffee, it’s consumed on a smaller scale. With that being said, there are style variations that can be enjoyed. From an espresso crafted at a local coffee shop to traditional Italian espresso, not every espresso shot measures the same. There are also many different types of espresso cups and machines to choose from, especially when brewing and enjoying at home.

Creating Espresso Shots

This high-powered caffeine concoction is made by forcing hot water, roughly 190 °F, through precisely measured and tightly-packed coffee grounds. The iconic foamy topping can be created in a few different ways. From using simple household mason jars and a coffee press to steaming milk, the top crema layer can be achieved.

While this process may seem like it should be left to baristas, espresso machines can also be purchased to make this at home. Traditionally, dark roast coffee is used when making espresso. With that being said, I like to experiment with different flavors and coffee roasts as my husband and I like to enjoy a cup of espresso on the weekends.

Sizes and Variations

Depending on the size of the filter basket being used, this brewed coffee shot can be served as a single, double, or triple. Even though the standard size is considered to be 30 ml, 60 ml can be had in a double, and 90 ml can be enjoyed in a triple.

To make a 30 ml espresso shot, a scale can be handy in measuring between 6.5-7.5 grams of freshly ground coffee beans. Where a double shot requires 13.5-14.5 grams of ground coffee, a triple requires 20.5-21.5 grams. Even though these drinks are created in a short amount of time, they require precision, skill, and timing.

Aside from being experienced on its own, espresso can also be combined with different forms of milk or hot water. When espresso is mixed with frothed milk, for example, beverages like latte macchiato and caffè latte can be sipped on. When blended with hot water, drinks such as caffè americano can be enjoyed.

Espresso Machines

I love making espresso at home. To do this, I use my small, single-serve machine. It is compact and easy to store. There are also other options available that allow more than one espresso to be made at one time. They can be bought in various sizes, colors, and designs. Some are beautiful and would make a great addition to a kitchen countertop.

Italian Espresso Shots

This beverage, which was first created in Italy, is taken very seriously (so much so that an Italian Espresso National Institute was created in 1998) and preferred in many parts of Europe. According to the standards set by this institution, an Italian espresso shot should be between 22.5-27.5 ml, including the froth on top.

Under Italian belief, the iconic white china cup is the perfect and only appropriate cup for espresso. Since it can hold between 50-100 ml, this simple porcelain cup allows people to get the full experience of drinking espresso, from the taste to its looks.

Espresso Cups

There are many styles of cups available for drinking espresso. On top of these designs, there are also different sizes and sets to choose from. Known as a demitasse, these small cups can be made out of ceramic, glass, stainless steel, and even handcrafted wood. Traditionally, demitasse can hold between 60-90 ml.


When choosing what type of cup to drink espresso out of, there are a few factors to think about. Most importantly, is size. Traditionally, espresso is made to be consumed from a porcelain cup. This allows for the temperature to remain more constant in the beverage until the drink can be finished.


Drinking an espresso out of a cup that is bigger than 60-88 ml runs the risk of the crema on the top spreading out and mixing into the espresso before it can be enjoyed. The size of the cup should directly relate to the amount of espresso being brewed. Then, this will allow the crema to be consumed appropriately.


In order to enjoy every little bit of the espresso, a cup where the bottom of the inside is rounded makes this both easy and possible. While espresso cups with square bottoms are available, this shape is harder to get the last few drops out as they tend to get stuck in the corners. A rounded-bottom cup allows for the liquid inside to be easily dribbled out when the cup is almost empty.

Experiencing the Espresso Shot

With a higher caffeine concentration compared to other coffee drinks, this beverage is consumed in smaller quantities. In fact, the standard size is 30 ml. With a quick trip to the local coffee shop or by purchasing a small appliance, this Italian beverage can be enjoyed by almost anyone.

Aside from being a refined and internationally preferred beverage on its own, espresso pairs well with different forms of milk and hot water to create strong caffeinated beverages, like the latte macchiato. Forcing hot water with strong pressure through finely-ground coffee, and topping with a foamy crema, has become famous for its thick consistency, rich flavor, and frothy topping.

I find this drink to be both personable and refined. Its strong and intense flavor makes drinking an espresso an experience.  With espresso taking precision and skill to create, I think it is best when it can be sipped on and enjoyed during a weekend brunch.