How Much Caffeine Is In An Espresso Shot?

How Much Caffeine Is In An Espresso Shot?

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. 

Caffeine content of espresso is assumed as around 75mg per shot and 150mg for double shot. But actually, the amount of caffeine in any drink or espresso varies since there are many factors that can affect how much caffeine ends up in your drink thus, it is only an estimated amount. In Starbucks, it was observed that in their espresso has 63-91mg of caffeine per cup. Thus, it is assumed that 14g for a double and 7mg for a single and coffee bean blend. If you’ve got large or strong coffee, it is possible that the barista used 3 or4 shots. 

Caffeine makes up 1.2% of the mass of coffee beans, so when it is brewed 90% of it will be extracted. A single espresso shot will have 151.2mg of caffeine. How?  A single 7g espresso shot will have 75.6mg of caffeine and a 14g double espresso will have 151.2mg of caffeine. 

But how much caffeine is in an espresso shot?

There are some factors that could affect the caffeine in espresso. 

Amount of coffee used. It is ideal to use 7g of coffee beans for a single shot of espresso and 14g of coffee beans for a double shot. 

Type of coffee bean. There are two types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Both have different characteristics and one is the caffeine content. Robusta grows at a lower altitude and needs hardier and be resistant to bugs and has nearly twice the amount of caffeine as Arabica. 

Type of roast. Darker roast have very slightly more caffeine. It is a very common misconception that lighter roast.

Extraction. There are many compounds from the coffee which begin to be absorbed and dissolved into the water when you start to brew and mix the grounds with hot water. 

Caffeine can be extracted based on these three methods.

  1. Swiss water process. This method is an organic way of decaffeinating coffee. It utilizes osmosis to extract caffeine and have a 99.9% decaffeinated result.
  2. Solvent-based process. This method uses the combination of methylene chloride, ethyl acetate and water to make solvent used to extract the caffeine.
  3. Carbon dioxide process. From the name itself, this method uses carbon dioxide, a compound found in coffee as a gas, removing the caffeine and leaving other flavor compounds intact.

Grind. This could 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. 


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How much caffeine is in an espresso shot?

The caffeine content of your espresso mainly depends on where your coffee is coming from. On an average, 1n 8 ounce (236ml) cup of coffee contains up to 7mg caffeine while a regular coffee has 70-140mg. An espresso contained 3-15.8mg per shot while decaf coffee has 12-13.4mg of caffeine per 16-ounce (473ml) serving.

A 7mg of caffeine content is low but this figure is not advisable for those who are suffering kidney disease, anxiety disorder or caffeine sensitivity. Even a small amount of caffeine could increase agitation or anxiety. Experts suggest of drinking 5-10 cups of decaf could get the amount of caffeine in 1-2 cup of regular, decaffeinated coffee. Thus, be very cautious in avoiding caffeine. 

But for those who consume large doses of caffeine and without experiencing any ill side effects but are caffeine sensitive should select decaf. On the other hand, caffeine is also identified as possible trigger for heartburn. So, if you are experiencing heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) you are advised to reduce your caffeine intake. 

Again, take note of these factors that may affect the caffeine content of your espresso as 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.

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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