How much is a double shot of espresso?

Double espresso served at restaurant and pub
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I am a huge fan of espresso shots. So, whenever I’m looking for an energy boost, a double shot espresso is often something that I consider. In a small cup, I can get a great tasting beverage that will give me the added brain boost I need for a productive day.

Espresso shots, which have a high concentration of caffeine, are small and convenient. On top of that, they offer a rich, intense coffee taste and a strong aroma. When it comes to ordering an espresso at a local coffee shop, however, a choice between a single and a double shot is often given. But what does the double have to offer?

Espresso’s History

What started out as an Italian beverage, which can be traced back to the first invented steam coffee machine back in 1884, the espresso eventually made its way into the U.S in the 1950s.  Although it was more popular when mixed with frothed milk to create lattes, the taste and ideas eventually spread and led to the creation of other espresso mixes.

As this Italian beverage gained popularity, so did other mixes, including the cappuccino, macchiato, and flat white. There are even a few popular alcoholic beverages that use espresso, like caffè corretto and the espresso martini.

Single vs. Double Espresso Shot

A double shot of espresso, commonly referred to as a doppio, is made with the same process as a single, just with different quantities of ingredients. In order to brew an espresso, finely ground, tightly packed coffee grounds are penetrated by hot water at high pressure. Once that is done, the crema layer (iconic foamy topping) can be added.

While the whole process takes a short amount of time, there is a lot of precision and accuracy that go into making a shot of espresso. The difference between making a single and a double shot of espresso, however, is all in the measurements and output. The ratio of coffee to water is 1:2 in both a single and double shot of espresso.

Grams & Ounces

7 grams of finely ground coffee is needed to make roughly 1 ounce for a single shot of espresso. A double shot, on the other hand, takes 14 grams of the same coffee grounds, to make roughly 2 ounces of espresso.  When thinking in terms of quantity, a double shot of espresso uses twice as much ground coffee to produce twice as much espresso.

Double the Caffeine?

Where a single shot of espresso contains anywhere from 29-100 mg of caffeine, a double shot contains 58-185 mg of caffeine. The reason that the amount of caffeine can vary so much is due to several factors including:

  • Coffee type- dark roast tends to have the best tasting results
  • Coffee ground size- ideally, grounds should resemble powder
  • Brewing time- around 30 seconds max.
  • Water temperature- needs to be very hot, but not boiling


There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to espresso. From the type of coffee and machines that are supposed to be used to the taste and composition, espresso is sometimes misunderstood.

Espresso Is a Coffee Bean

Espresso is often mistaken for a type of coffee bean. After all, some packages of coffee come labeled as espresso. This actually done to show buyers that the coffee in the bag would be a great option for making espresso. Espresso is actually a method of brewing coffee.

More Caffeine Than Coffee

Espresso does not have more caffeine than a cup of coffee if consumed based on serving size. Where a single shot serving of espresso has between 29-100 mg of caffeine, one 8-ounce serving of drip-brewed coffee has anywhere from 65-120 mg of caffeine.

Espresso Is Bitter

If prepared correctly, with high-quality ingredients and attention to detail, espresso is delicious. In fact, it has been described by many as having a rich and chocolatey taste. The bitterness that some associate with espresso can be caused when espresso was brewed with the use of steam.

Decaf Espresso

Commonly when people hear the word “decaf,” it is assumed that that means there is no caffeine in something. Unfortunately, that is not true. A double shot of decaf espresso contains around 16 mg of caffeine. While that is less than the caffeine in a double shot (somewhere between 58-185 mg), the espresso still does contain some caffeine.

Single Shot & Double Shot Espresso Have the Same Amount of Caffeine

There is a common misconception that both single and double shot espresso beverages have the same amount of caffeine. It is said that, since both use a ratio of 1:2 for coffee and water, the same amount of caffeine is brewed. But this is not true.

As described above, there are several factors that determine the strength of caffeine in an espresso shot. Among those that can result in more caffeine being brewed is different coffee roasts, ground size, brewing time, and water temperature. Where a single shot espresso has anywhere from 29-100 mg of caffeine, a double shot has a range that is almost twice as much.

Experiencing a Double Shot

I love a rich espresso to sip on. When I want an extra kick packed into a small cup, I’ll go for the double shot, commonly referred to as a doppio. While the process of making a double shot espresso is the same as making a single shot, the amounts of coffee grounds and water are different. Also, the end result is greater volume than that of a single shot espresso.

Despite some common misunderstandings about this Italian beverage, espresso is known for its decadent and chocolatey taste, mesmerizing aroma, and thicker consistency. With a doppio, a high amount of caffeine can be consumed in a small quantity.  Overall, the double shot espresso has a lot to offer, so don’t let the 2 oz volume fool you. It packs a mighty punch.