How much caffeine in espresso

How Much Caffeine In Espresso?

How Much Caffeine In Espresso?

Majority would say that espresso has more caffeine than a regular drip coffee. But is this really true? How much caffeine in espresso?

Well, it depends on your perspective. During late 50’s a typical coffee serving size was between 4 to 6 fl oz (118-177mL) but as time goes by, the cup size multiply to almost eight times. According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), a typical cup of drip coffee (8 oz) has approximately 65-120 mg of caffeine. However, it’s very difficult to assess of how much caffeine you are consuming in typical cup of coffee.

Caffeine is the most consumed drug by people and coffee is a major source for this, health experts advise people to avoid this because of some ill effects. Even decaffeinated brew can cause such discomfort feeling. If you drink for five to ten cups, the dose of caffeine can reach to the level present in a cup or two caffeinated coffee.

Some would say that the caffeine in a typical cup of drip coffee and espresso is about 92.5mg and 40.0mg, respectively. The drip coffee with 92.5mg contains larger concentration of caffeine than espresso with about 40.0mg. So it can be concluded that a drip of coffee has more caffeine than espresso.


So How Much Caffeine In Espresso?

But the more correct approach in measuring caffeine concentration is per ounce (oz). In expresso, it is about ½ to 1/3 less caffeine and is contained in just 1 oz of liquid expressed in figure as 30-50mg/oz. Your 1 oz of espresso solution is about 30-50mg of caffeine in solution.

In beverage perspective, espresso is served in much smaller volume, thus, we get less caffeine but in a volume perspective, espresso has more caffeine compared to drip coffee because of its higher concentration of solubles in 1 oz of coffee.

People usually say that espresso has more caffeine than a drip coffee because caffeine itself is a bitter compound since espresso is roasted darker and creates higher concentration of bitter molecules. This rationale sounds right but this is not.

The bitter compounds arising from darker roast are not because of caffeine but rather bitter compounds during Maillard reaction. Italians drink upward of 5 to 10 espresso per day without having any jittery feels because espresso has lower caffeine concentration.

There are many factors to consider when brewing coffee such as its type, grind size, brew time, dwell time, water temperature, etc. can make a significant impact on the final caffeine extraction. However, there’s no certain or standard caffeine content of coffee because of these variables that need to be considered:

  • Beverage size. The cup can be at 4oz, 5oz, 12oz or 24oz.
  • Blends. Roasters can create their own blends of various beans resulting to different caffeine content.
  • Bean type. Is it Arabica, Robusta or both?
  • Grind. Is it fine grind, ultra-fine grind or coarse.
  • Water temperature. The recommended temperature range is 195-205 Fahrenheit.
  • Milk. Is there an additional milk or not, as it will dilute the caffeine content.


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One 2 oz double espresso has about 80 milligrams of caffeine while a 12 oz brewed coffee has 120 milligrams. A single shot espresso has an estimated 40mg per ounce while a brewed cup only has around 10 mg in each ounce. In terms of concentration, we can notice that espresso is having more caffeine. Caffeine can be rapidly assimilated when taken in concentrated dosage. It can hit your central nervous system than sipping a drip cup on an hour. In addition, caffeine is extracted into the brew by hot water acting as a solvent. All brewing methods don’t reach the same caffeine percentage. Why?

  • The grinds must be 100% saturated to extract all the caffeine in it.
  • The ideal water temperature is 95-1005 degree celcius. Temperature can affect directly on how quickly caffeine is withdrawn from the bean.
  • All of the available caffeine is released during the first minute of extraction. Espresso shot brewing time is from 10-30 seconds.

Grind is also be a factor that can influence how quickly caffeine is extracted. The finer grind you can have the faster you can extract the caffeine. Espresso is prepared using pressurized water, more ground coffee, resulting to a higher concentration of caffeine. Since it is very easy to extract caffeine from coffee, so the more caffeine, use more ground coffee.


Again, your espresso drinks contained 3 milligrams to 15.8 milligrams of caffeine per shot while brewed coffees had caffeine concentration ranging from 12 milligrams to 13.4 milligrams per 16-ounce serving. Even moderate caffeine levels can increase agitation, anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure.


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