What’s the caffeine content in espresso, is a question you hear a lot about but don’t get many specifics. Most coffee drinkers usually say that espresso has more caffeine than drip coffee. But do you know how much caffeine is in espresso, and what factors affect the caffeine content?
So, continue reading this article and discover the difference of caffeine content between coffee and espresso.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural brain stimulant that is found most commonly in tea, coffee, and cacao plants.
The caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, keeping you alert. The bloodstream absorbs caffeine fast once coffee is consumed. From there, it breaks into compounds that affect the function of various organs. However, caffeine’s primary effect is on the brain.
A recent study connects that drinking two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day lowers the risk of suicide to 45%. Another study reported that caffeine reduces the risk of depression by 13%.
Study shows that drinking the second cup of coffee provides no further benefits unless consumed after 8 hours from the first cup. The caffeine may increase the use of fat as fuel when it comes to exercise and physical training. Caffeine helps the glucose stored in muscles to last longer by delaying the time it takes for your muscles to reach exhaustion. This natural stimulant may also increase tolerance to fatigue.
The Amount of Caffeine in Espresso: Single vs. Double Shot
Multiple variables affect the amount of caffeine in espresso, so any value is an estimate we can accept.
Studies show that the range of 25-214 mg shot of espresso variate the amount of caffeine your body absorbs. I will assume the variables such as 14g for double-shot and 7g for single-shot and using Arabica beans for your espresso.
Looking at the science behind the caffeine content of coffee shows that caffeine makes up 1.2% of the coffee bean mass. Throughout the brewing process, we can expect to extract most of the caffeine, assuming we’ll get about 90% of the caffeine from the extraction.
So, by doing the maths,
a 7g single-shot espresso will have 7g (x) 0.012 (x) 0.09 = 75.6mg of caffeine, while a 14g double-shot espresso will have 14g (x) 0.012 (x) 0.09 = 151.2mg of caffeine.
Which Has More Caffeine: Coffee or Espresso
Espresso is a bolder and slightly thicker than a coffee drink that comes from finely-ground beans brewed with high-pressured hot water.
There’s a common misconception that espresso has more caffeine than a cup of coffee, which is generally wrong. If you’re looking at caffeine per volume, then yes, because espresso is more concentrated compared to a regular coffee. However, if you’re looking at the caffeine per serving, then the amount of caffeine in espresso or a latte or an americano is less than compared to serving other types of coffee.
For example, a Starbucks Grande Latte contains two shots of espresso that have 150mg of caffeine. Even if you order two extra shots of espresso for your latte, it’s still less caffeine than the Drip coffee.
Standard drip coffee has more in caffeine content due to the variety of flavors, different brewing methods, and sizes in which regular coffee is served. A 16oz brewed coffee has around 180-200mg of caffeine, which is a little higher amount of coffee than my estimate of the double-shot espresso.
You can directly measure the caffeine content by the ratio of your coffee in grams and water in milliliters. So meaning to say, a 15g of coffee to 255ml of water is a 1:17 ratio.
The ratio to describe the strength of the coffee is 1:12 to 1:18, considering the normal range for drip coffee is 1:15 coffee to water ratio.
Brewed Coffee Espresso
NORMAL (1:15 coffee water ratio)Normal 1:2 coffee water ratio
8 fl.oz (237ml) – 152mg caffeine1 fl.oz (30ml) – 63g caffeine
12 fl. oz (355ml) – 228mg caffeine2 fl.oz (60ml) – 120g caffeine
16 fl. oz (473ml) – 303mg caffeine
20 fl. oz (591ml) – 379mg caffeine
What are the Variables that Affect The Caffeine In Espresso?
The amount of caffeine in a shot of espresso requires a good look at some of the variables that affect the beverage.
Here are the following variables that affect the caffeine from espresso.
- Amount of coffee used. The right amount of ground coffee to use is 7g if you are preparing to brew a single-shot espresso and 14g of ground coffee for double shot espresso. Following this measurement is required to avoid bitterness and burnt aftertaste.
- Type of coffee bean. The two types of coffee are Arabica and Robusta bean. Caffeine content is one of the different characteristics these two beans have. The Robusta bean contains nearly twice the amount of caffeine compared to Arabica. In the States, the majority of coffeehouse who sells coffee uses 100% Arabica beans or sometimes 90% Arabica to 10% Robusta beans.
- Type of roast. Most coffee drinkers thought that light-roasted coffee beans contain more caffeine because of the duration it takes to ‘cook’ the beans. It only takes about 9 minutes to light roast the coffee beans. A perfectly dark-roasted bean takes about 30 minutes to be ‘cooked.’ While the roasting process happens, it also removes the essential factors from the coffee beans, such as dark-roasted beans contains less water.
- Extraction. Espresso beans are brewed faster and follow a strict range of water temperatures. A finely ground coffee is pushed through a high-pressured hot water temperature for at least 30 seconds. Compounds of the coffee beans are extracted and dissolved into the water. The process quickly removes the caffeine from the coffee beans.
Hopefully, by knowing ‘how much caffeine is in espresso,’ you finally understand the contents of your favorite coffee drink. If you have a caffeine sensitivity, you shouldn’t overdo your caffeine intake. It still best to enjoy your espresso cravings, but you should drink moderately. Find out more about espressos.