How Much Caffeine Is In A Shot of Espresso?

Coffee Education
John Alden
July 26, 2023

For the uninitiated or the casual coffee drinker, coffee is usually a source of caffeine rather than a drinking experience.  From the droll tones of “the best part of waking up” to a quick run to a fast food place for some warmed over drip coffee, most people’s relationship with coffee is as a source of quick energy.  However, for those of you seeking to broaden your horizons by learning why coffee is something to be passionate about, the experience can go far beyond just a single energy boost.

But let’s be real.

At the end of the day, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’re drinking coffee for the caffeine.  For us here at Perfect Extraction, espresso is one of the most holistic and enjoyable coffee drinking experiences, so let’s discuss the elephant in the room: how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso? (Surprisingly, it’s less than you’ve been led to believe!)

The Caffeine Content of Espresso

So let’s all just assume you already know what espresso is.  If not, take a second, go read our article walking you through the basics (and then some) of espresso, then come back and get your caffeine questions answered. 

Still here? Great.  Let’s discuss the caffeine content of a single shot of espresso.

Caffeine Content of Espresso

The caffeine content of a shot of espresso can vary depending on several factors, including the type of coffee bean used, the roast level, and the brewing method all play a role in determining the caffeine content of espresso.

On average, a single shot of espresso contains about 63 milligrams of caffeine. However, this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above. Some espresso shots may contain as little as 30 milligrams of caffeine, while others may contain up to 100 milligrams or more.

What Factors Affect Caffeine Content?

As stated above, a couple different things can change the caffeine content of your wake up call.  The type of bean used to create your drink is actually one of the biggest factors that can affect how much caffeine is in your espresso shot. Arabica beans, the most commonly used beans for espresso, have a lower caffeine content than Robusta beans, which contain almost twice the amount of caffeine as Arabica beans.  

Additionally, the roast level of the beans can also affect the caffeine content.  Darker roasts typically have a slightly lower caffeine content than lighter roasts, because the longer a bean is roasted, the more caffeine is burned off.

Finally, the brewing method used can also affect the caffeine content of espresso. Espresso machines use high pressure to force hot water through the coffee grounds, which can extract more caffeine than other brewing methods, such as an Aeropress.


At the end of the day, if you’re drinking espresso, you’re going to be getting some caffeine.  While a traditional cup of drip-brewed coffee will typically contain anywhere between 80 and 100 mg of caffeine, a typical espresso drink brewed as a double shot will run you somewhere between 110 and 140 mg of caffeine.  So if, like us, you’re looking for a strong, concentrated beverage with a reasonable amount of caffeine to jumpstart your morning, look no further than your next espresso.   

About Perfect Extraction

We are a small team of specialty coffee nerds dedicated to giving you the best information you can find on the internet about all things coffee.

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