How Much Caffeine is in a Single Shot of Espresso?

Espresso is a specialized way of making coffee that originated in Italy, the method requires hot water to be exported under pressure through very fine coffee grains. Espresso can be made using various types of coffee beans and roast varieties. Espresso is usually more concentrated than coffee that is produced using different processing methods. This method of coffee production produces a thicker, more concentrated coffee. A shot of espresso usually serves as the base for many popular coffee beverages such as cappuccino, caffe latte, and Caffe macchiato. 

Espresso typically contains a higher percentage of caffeine per unit volume than other coffee types. However, contrary to popular belief, there is less caffeine in a shot of espresso compared to a regular size mug of coffee. The amount of caffeine found in a shot of espresso will vary depending on the origin of the beans used and the method used to roast the beans; these are factors that should be taken into consideration when comparing caffeine content.

According to nutritional data compiled by the Department of Agriculture, a single shot of espresso contains approximately 63mg of caffeine. A shot of regular coffee would usually contain approximately 12-16 mg of caffeine however, regular coffee is rarely consumed by the shot, it is often consumed in large coffee mugs, approximately 8 ounces of coffee per mug. This works out to be at least 95 to 128mg of coffee per mug. 

Espresso Origin 

An Italian inventor, Angelo Moriondo developed the concept for the espresso machine in the 1800s however, the machine failed to reach the commercial market. A few years later in 1906, Luigi Bezzera and Desiderio Pavoni developed another machine built off the back of Moriondo’s idea for a rapid-fire coffee machine. The idea of the machine was to create a single cup of coffee in seconds, “Caffe espresso.”

In the 1960’s Carlo Ernesto Valente further developed the espresso machine to produce a nine bar espresso machine which produced super fast shots of coffee. 

What is Caffeine? 

Caffeine is a naturally derived stimulant that is found in coffee, tea, cocoa, and various plants. It stimulates the brain and nervous system producing feelings of alertness, it provides the consumer with an extra boost of energy and some studies have shown that caffeine can boost concentration and focus. 

The first cup of coffee was produced in 2737 B.C. However, some historians report that coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd named Kaldi in the 9th Century. Whatever the case may be, caffeine has been around for many years, religious leaders and scholars have used caffeine as a tool to aid long prayer and study sessions, and it continues to be utilized effectively as a natural stimulant worldwide. 

How Does Caffeine Work in The Body? 

When you consume a caffeinated beverage or any food product that contains caffeine, the gut rapidly absorbs the caffeine and it quickly enters the bloodstream. It is then transported to the liver, where it breaks down and impacts different organs in the body. However, it primarily affects the brain. When you consume caffeine, you feel energetic and alert because it essentially inhibits the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that causes tiredness. 

Often coffee drinkers experience the effects of espresso quickly because they drink it fast, regular cups of coffee are usually sipped slowly over time thus the caffeine hit is less intense. One cup of coffee can hit the bloodstream in about 15-20 minutes. Espresso shots usually take about 10 minutes to work, because they are concentrated and they are often consumed quickly. 

More Information About Espresso 

Espresso is essentially produced by pushing steaming hot, pressurized water into well-ground, densely packed coffee beans. This process results in a full-bodied, very rich, robust cup of dark coffee. Espresso shots are traditionally served in a small demitasse cup, approximately four to five ounces in size. Espresso shots usually serve as a base for various drinks such as cappuccinos and Americanos. 


The most basic and simple espresso drink consists of one shot of espresso. Usually, this requires a shot filter and approximately 8 grams of fine ground coffee bean. 


Ristretto comes in a smaller cup and is made with half the amount of water than for a single shot of simple espresso. The caffeine content is approximately 33mg per single shot of ristretto according to the Mayo Clinic. 


A doppio is essentially a double shot of espresso. 


Cappuccino is produced using about a third of espresso, a third steaming hot milk, and third foam milk. You can also try another type of cappuccino called a dry cappuccino which is made with a smaller measurement of milk. A small to a medium-sized cup of cappuccino contains about 80 mg of caffeine. A large 120 mg cup of cappuccino contains about 120 mg of caffeine. 

Caffe Latte 

Caffe Latte is made using one part espresso and two parts hot milk, finished off with a tiny amount of milk foam. Usually, they are made with a double shot of espresso, demerara sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. A typical latte using a double shot of espresso should contain about 140 mg of caffeine. 


Mocha is typically sweet and is made using a latte as a base with chocolate-flavored syrup or cocoa powder. Sometimes people add additional ingredients like caramel and mint-flavored syrup. A medium-sized cup of mocha might contain about 80 mg of caffeine. 

Espresso Macchiato 

An espresso macchiato is essentially a shot of espresso combined with a little bit of steamed milk and some milk foam. This usually contains around 63mg of caffeine, it is usually made with a single shot of espresso.


Americano is a popular choice for iced coffees and is usually made with a single shot of espresso and extra hot water added. Although it is watered down, a single cup should contain about 63mg of caffeine. 

Health Benefits of Drinking Espresso 

Despite some negative effects reported by some about drinking espresso. There are many health benefits associated with drinking it. Here are some of those benefits: 

Boosts Long Term Memory 

Drinking caffeinated drinks such as espresso can help to boost your long term memory. It helps to improve the amount of information you assimilate and retain. Therefore, drinking espresso before you study for an exam or before you take an examination could facilitate the process of recalling information. 

Boosts Concentration and Focus 

One of the most powerful benefits of consuming espresso is the boosting of concentration and focus. Studies have highlighted that drinking caffeinated beverages such as espresso or strong coffee could help to boost concentration and focus. According to Healthline, the stimulative effects of caffeine promote the production of dopamine which affects how well you can focus or concentrate on a particular task. 


Caffeine contains powerful antioxidants that work to inhibit free radicals which essentially cause disease in the body. Caffeine contains hydroxycinnamic acids, these are the compounds that facilitate the inhibition of free radicals. 

Great For Exercise 

Drink a shot of espresso before you start a workout, it boosts energy levels and improves performance. Caffeine is often found in pre-workout powders, drinks, and supplements which are popular amongst athletes and bodybuilders. 

Weight Loss Aid 

Caffeine has been known to boost weight loss efforts because it not only speeds up metabolism but it also acts as an appetite suppressant. This is why caffeine is also found in weight loss supplements that boost metabolism and speed up the weight loss process. 

Reduces Stroke Risk 

Some studies have shown that drinking espresso can help to reduce the risk of stroke, especially in women. These studies highlight that caffeine consumption can reduce the overall risk of stroke however, more tests need to be undertaken to confirm this further. 

To Conclude 

In a single shot of espresso, there are approximately 66 grams of caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine in a single shot will depend on the quality of the roast, the age of the bean, and various other factors that need to be taken into consideration when thinking about the amount of caffeine found in a single shot of espresso. Also, the caffeine levels vary depending on where the bean was grown and how fine the grain is when it has ground. There is no definitive answer because the caffeine levels will vary from cup to cup and from coffee to bean to coffee beans. However, for the sake of knowing an approximate amount of caffeine contained in a single shot of espresso, it is ultimately about 66mg per single shot cup. 


Leave a Comment