How Much Caffeine is in a Shot of Espresso?

One shot of espresso has about 75 mg of caffeine, but this number fluctuates quite a bit depending on the beans, the grind, and the machine used to make it. We’ll go through the factors that alter the amount of caffeine in espresso.

May 31, 2024
Espresso are being equally distributed to two cups.

A standard shot of espresso ranges from 63 mg to about 80 mg of caffeine per shot — with the average sitting at an even 75 mg. A doubleshot delivers around 140 mg. 

Several factors can influence the total amount of caffeine per shot, including:

  1. The type of coffeeCoffea robusta has more than twice as much caffeine as Coffea arabica.
  2. Grind size — a finer grind allows more caffeine to be extracted in an espresso machine.
  3. Water temperature — hotter water can extract caffeine more efficiently and produce a stronger shot.
  4. Brew time — the longer the water is in contact with the grounds, the more caffeine it contains.
  5. Tamping pressure — firmly tamped coffee beans slow the water as it moves through the shot and increases extraction efficiency.

Even though espresso comes in small quantities (1 ounce), a single shot contains as much caffeine as 8 ounces of standard drip coffee.

How Much Caffeine Is in a Shot of Decaf Espresso?

Decaffeinated doesn't mean caffeine-free, given that a standard shot of decaf contains about 0.3 to 7 milligrams of caffeine. Although this is far less than its caffeinated counterpart, it can still act as a stimulant to people who don’t drink coffee or are sensitive to caffeine.

If you want to reduce your caffeine intake, decaf espressos may be the way to go. You don't have to sacrifice your morning coffee or the wonderful flavor of espresso.

Caffeine Comparison Chart: Espresso vs. Other Coffee Drinks

Although espresso contains more caffeine per ounce, regular coffee contains more caffeine due to its serving size. But what about the caffeine levels found in other popular coffee drinks? 

Let's look at some comparisons to put this into perspective; just remember that these are averages: 


Serving Size

Total Caffeine



1 oz

75 mg

2.6 mg/mL

Double Espresso

2 oz

140 mg

2.4 mg/mL

Triple Espresso

3 oz 

215 mg 

2.4 mg/mL


6 oz

110 mg

0.6 mg/mL

Pour Over

8 oz

175 mg

0.7 mg/mL

Regular Drip Coffee

8 oz

80–120 mg

0.3–0.5 mg/mL

French Press Coffee

8 oz

80-135 mg 

0.3–0.6 mg/mL

Cold Brew Coffee

8 oz

100-200 mg

0.4–0.8 mg/mL


8 oz

140 mg

0.6 mg/mL

Instant Coffee

8 oz

30-110 mg

0.1–0.5 mg/mL

Vietnamese Coffee

4 oz

66–130 mg

0.3–0.5 mg/mL

This comparison can help you choose your beverage based on your preferred caffeine intake. Whether you prefer the intensity of a triple-shot espresso or a regular drip coffee, there's an option for everyone.

Related: Pour-over vs French Press vs Phin Filter

What is Espresso?

Espresso is an Italian style of coffee involving a concentrated “shot” of coffee (1 ounce each). 

Espresso is brewed with an espresso machine, which forces hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. This results in a highly concentrated shot of coffee that's strong and flavorful. This shot can be sipped as-is or blended with other ingredients (usually steamed milk) to create other coffee creations like lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, macchiatos, or flat whites.

Caffeine 101: What You Need to Know

Caffeine is a natural stimulant in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. This stimulant activates the nervous system to energize you and prevent drowsiness. However, these aren't the only benefits to gain from consuming caffeine.

Here are the effects that caffeine could have on our bodies and minds [1,2,3]:

  1. It may help sharpen your mind, making you feel more awake and less tired.
  2. It may increase adrenaline, leading to improved physical performance.
  3. It may increase your resting metabolic rate, aiding in weight management.
  4. It may influence neurotransmitters like dopamine, making you feel happier.
  5. It may improve cognitive function and enhance memory recall.

Keep in mind that everyone's tolerance for caffeine varies. For example, someone who is sensitive to caffeine could experience strong effects with a single shot. Others could enjoy up to four shots without too much of an impact.

The key is finding the right balance for your body and needs. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure or have underlying health problems.

Related: What Are the Long-Term Effects of Caffeine?

Tips on Managing Your Caffeine Intake 

We agree that coffee is great. However, consuming too much caffeine can lead to undesired side effects like increased anxiety or arrhythmia. 

The American Medical Association says 200 milligrams is the safest bet. However, 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is still safe

Here are some tips for those who are sensitive to caffeine or are looking to reduce their intake:

  1. Keep a diary of your intake to understand how much caffeine you're drinking throughout the day and regulate it if necessary.
  2. Gradually reduce your caffeine intake to lower the potential for withdrawal symptoms like headaches and irritability.
  3. Avoid caffeine late in the day to ensure it doesn't interfere with your sleep cycle.
  4. Pay attention to the size of your servings to reduce your intake without giving up your habit.
  5. Experiment with low-caffeine coffee varieties or switch to decaffeinated options.
  6. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to reduce the need for caffeine.
  7. Ensure your diet includes a balance of nutrients that increase your energy, like bananas or tomatoes.
  8. Engage in regular physical activity to boost your energy and improve your sleep.
  9. Practice stress-relief techniques like meditation, given that stress can lead to increased caffeine use.
  10. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to feel rested and reduce dependency on caffeine.
  11. Cut back more if you notice problems like jitteriness, anxiety, or palpitations after consuming caffeine.

With these tips, you can manage your caffeine intake to align with your health goals while enjoying your morning coffee. And if you can't manage your caffeine intake alone, ask a doctor for advice.

Related: What You Need to Know About Caffeine Withdrawal

FAQs: Caffeine Content of Coffee

Here are answers to some common questions about caffeine.

1. How does the caffeine in espresso compare to that in regular coffee? 

Espresso contains more caffeine per ounce, but it is still less than regular coffee, which, because of its size, contains about 95 milligrams.

2. What's the caffeine content in four shots of espresso? 

Consuming four shots of espresso equates to about 252 milligrams of caffeine.

3. Is there any caffeine in a shot of decaf espresso? 

Decaf espresso still contains a small amount of caffeine, usually ranging from 0.3 to 7 milligrams per shot. However, it contains 3 milligrams of caffeine per shot on average.

4. Is there a difference between a shot of a dark roast and a lighter roast? 

It’s a common belief that light roasts contain more caffeine than dark roasts, but the difference is actually negligible. You can try Cafely's dark roast and medium roast to get a better understanding of its differences.

5. How much caffeine should I limit my caffeine intake to? 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), you should limit your daily caffeine intake to 200 mg. Although, you can safely consume up to 400 mg. 


  1. Fiani, B., Zhu, L., Musch, B. L., Briceno, S., Andel, R., Sadeq, N., & Ansari, A. Z. (2021). The neurophysiology of caffeine as a central nervous system stimulant and the resultant effects on cognitive function. Cureus, 13(5).
  2. Renda, G., & De Caterina, R. (2020). Caffeine. In Principles of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics (pp. 335-340). Academic Press.
  3. Alasmari, F. (2020). Caffeine induces neurobehavioral effects through modulating neurotransmitters. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 28(4), 445-451.