how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso

How Much Caffeine Is In A Shot Of Espresso | Explained

Last Updated on 10/04/2022 by Miki

If you are a coffee lover, your day most likely starts with a cup of coffee. Caffeine in coffee might help you give ‘a kick’ to motivate yourself or it could make you feel relaxed before a hectic day ahead. How much caffeine in our coffee surely affects us all one way and another. We all know the benefits of drinking coffee in the morning. You wake up feeling more alert. You are able to have a lot more energy. You feel more motivated. When you drink coffee, it actually releases hormones in the body to keep you alert. Whatever the reason is, drinking coffee has become a part of our daily routine.

Espresso & Caffeine

Espresso coffee is one of the most common drinks in the world. It is a potent beverage and is a favourite among many café goers. Espresso is made from dark roasted coffee beans and is served in a small cup. A shot of espresso is made by taking an ounce of espresso and pressing it through a filter with an eighth inch of compressed grounds. The result is an espresso that is only about one inch in height. Espresso has a rich flavour. The flavour, which is dark and strong, is often described as being bittersweet. The intensity of the flavour determines how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso. Espresso has one of the highest concentrations of caffeine that can be found in any drink.

Have you ever wondered how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso? Does the caffeine level differ depending on coffee beans or brewing methods? Let’s check out the answers here.

how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso

How Much Caffeine In A Shot Of Espresso

According to USDA, one fluid ounce (30g) of espresso contains 63.6mg of caffeine. However, this quantity is not always the same with every coffee. There are several factors that affect the caffeine level in a shot of espresso.

  1. Types of coffee beans
  2. Roast level
  3. Brewing methods
  4. Coffee amount
  5. Levels of coffee grinds

We will look at each factor here.

What Factors Affect How Much Caffeine In Coffee?

1.Types Of Coffee Beans

Some coffee beans like Robusta naturally have higher caffeine levels compared to others like Arabica. In fact, Robusta has a 2.7% caffeine content on average, which means it has almost double the amount of caffeine of Arabica that has 1.5%. Due to its high caffeine content, Robusta is less susceptible to insects that will lead to a higher yield. That’s why it is less expensive and it is used for instant coffee.

2.Roast Level

It is quite interesting to know that dark roast actually contains less amount of caffeine. The caffeine molecules will be broken down due to the longer heating duration process. As you can guess, light roasts contain more amount of caffeine due to the shorter heating. It influences how quickly caffeine will be extracted from the grinds.

3.Brewing Methods

Caffeine extraction occurs when hot water is forced into coffee grinds. This means each brewing method will result in different caffeine extraction. The grinds should be evenly saturated to extract all the caffeine contained. Hot water acts as a solvent and its ideal temperature is around 95-105°C. It influences how quickly caffeine will be extracted from the grinds.

4.Coffee Amount

A simple shot of espresso actually is not always the same with every cafe you visit. Some cafes may use 20g of coffee beans for a shot whereas others may use only 16g. This will obviously result in different caffeine levels.

5.Levels Of Coffee Grinds

Levels of coffee grinds affect how quickly caffeine will be extracted. Finer grinds make caffeine extraction faster as a larger surface area with water makes saturation easier. If the grind is too coarse, you will have under-extraction whereas over-extraction will occur when the grind is too fine. All of these will influence caffeine levels.

How Much Caffeine In A Black Coffee

Now, moving on to how much caffeine is in a coffee. It’s pretty considerable. If a person drinks one cup of strong brewed coffee daily, it would amount to about 280 mg per day. Just for one cup! Having said that, if you choose to drink regular long black, the caffeine content would be between 65 – 160mg. I know there is a huge difference, but it all depends on the factors explained above.

Does Espresso Contain More Caffeine Than Black Coffee?

The answer is yes and no. Why?

On average, one serving of 8oz cup of black coffee contains 100mg of caffeine. On the other hand, one serving of double shots of espresso contains 80mg. So, if we look at the level of caffeine content by per serving, black coffee has more caffeine. However, if it is calculated per ounce, espresso has more caffeine. That’s why the answer is not simple.

People tend to think espresso contains more caffeine than black coffee because it tastes bitter. Espresso is made from a dark roast, which causes its bitterness. However, the amount of caffeine has nothing to do with bitterness.

Another point to consider is that we drink espresso much faster than black coffee because of its serving size. The average single shot is 30ml while a cup of black coffee is generally 150ml. Your caffeine intake from espresso goes faster, which makes us feel that espresso is strong and has more caffeine. Quite interesting, isn’t it?

How To Make Less Caffeinated Coffee

As mentioned so far, there are some tips to make your coffee less caffeinated if you would like to cut down on your caffeine intake without completely switching to decaffeinated coffee.

  • Use 100% Arabica beans
  • Choose a dark roast
  • Ground beans a bit coarser
  • Use less ground coffee
  • Use an espresso machine or a French press to make coffee

If you apply those tips to make coffee, you will have less caffeinated coffee.

On the other hand, your coffee will contain more caffeine if you choose more than one of the following.

  • Use Robusta beans
  • Choose a light roast
  • Ground beans a bit finer
  • Use more ground coffee
  • Use a drip coffee machine

You can surely choose whichever you would like depending on your needs and preference.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much

According to the FDA, most adults should not consume more than 400mg of caffeine per day. This equals around 4 regular cups of black coffee or around 5 double shots of espresso. It might not seem that much if you are a heavy coffee drinker though. In that case, it would be a good time to think about your daily caffeine intake for your overall health. You could gradually reduce the number of cups you have in a day or you could try to make less caffeinated coffee as mentioned before.

It is highly recommended that you listen to your body as it will tell you when you’ve had enough and when you should stop. Just like anything else, moderation is the key.

Final Thoughts

We can still enjoy our delicious cups of coffee daily if we pay a little more attention when we make coffee and drink in moderation. Mind you there are other drinks that contain caffeine like energy drinks. In fact, some of them have more caffeine than black coffee, so please be aware if you have other drinks as well as coffee.

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