Does Espresso Have More Caffeine than Coffee?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 24th, 2023

Many myths circulate the world about caffeinated beverages, especially those as popular and unique as espresso. Some people believe that because espresso is more concentrated than regular coffee, it has more caffeine. This seems logical at first glance, but there’s more to it than that.

But how much more caffeine does espresso have compared to standard coffee? Are there any other differences between them? Let’s take a look!

Is there more coffee in Espresso than coffee?

Espresso has more caffeine per ounce than regular coffee, but drip coffee has more caffeine per serving. A standard one-and-a-half ounce of espresso has between 90-100 milligrams of caffeine, while eight ounces of brewed coffee contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, on average. So, while espresso is more potent by concentration, regular coffee is stronger in total caffeine content.

The breakdown of caffeine in each coffee type

A typical cup of espresso (2-ounce serving) contains 45-75 mg of caffeine per ounce. Compare that to drip coffee (served in various sizes), which contains 20 mg of caffeine per ounce. You will notice that espresso will give you way more caffeine. See the table below for more information:

  • Espresso (2 oz): 150 mg Caffeine
  • Drip Coffee (12 oz): 240 mg Caffeine
  • Drip Coffee (16 oz): 320 mg Caffeine
  • Drip Coffee (20 oz): 400 mg of Caffeine

As you can see, espresso has the most caffeine per ounce, but you will get more caffeine if you sip a large, drip coffee. However, remember there are factors beyond the size that determines the amount of caffeine you ingest.

What is espresso?

Espresso is a strong coffee brewed by forcing pressurized hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. It is known for its intense flavor and high caffeine content. Espresso is popular in coffee shops and cafes, and many people use it as a base for other coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos.

Compared to drip coffee, espresso has more caffeine per volume. A single shot of espresso contains around 63 milligrams of caffeine, while an 8-ounce cup of drip coffee contains 70-140 milligrams of caffeine.

This makes espresso an ideal choice for those looking for a quick pick-me-up or who need a jolt of energy. Espresso can also be used in baking and cooking to enhance the flavor of recipes like cakes, syrups, and sauces.

What is coffee?

Coffee is made from roasted coffee beans ground and brewed with hot water. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world and has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s often enjoyed with sugar, milk, or cream and can be served hot or iced.

Coffee can also be used as an ingredient in various recipes, from cakes and cookies to cocktails and savory dishes.

Regarding caffeine content, espresso has more caffeine than regular coffee. On average, espresso contains 30-50 mg of caffeine per ounce, while a single cup of brewed coffee contains around 70-140 mg of caffeine.

Espresso is also more concentrated, meaning that the same amount of espresso has more caffeine than the same amount of drip coffee. However, it’s important to note that the caffeine levels in both drinks can vary depending on the type of bean used and how it was brewed.

How much caffeine is in espresso?


The rate of caffeine in your espresso drink can vary depending on three things: the volume of espresso, the form of an espresso shot, and the roast used. They should clarify how each of these impacts the caffeine rate differently.

Amount shot of espresso…

A single espresso shot provides 64 mg of caffeine. As you add more espresso, of course, the level of caffeine rises. Such as cappuccino, the standard flat espresso, and even coffee beverages containing 2-3 ounces of espresso. Thus, the typical range is between 128-192 mg of caffeine for an espresso beverage.

The type of espresso shot matters

This is vital because the amount of caffeine varies depending on how much water is forced through the coffee ground and at what speed. Ristretto and lungo espresso shots are two examples.

Ristretto uses half the water and extracts it faster than a regular espresso. It means that the average espresso shot has less caffeine. The opposite is a lungo espresso shot. This needs half the liquid and takes longer to process, ensuring it has a degree of caffeine slightly higher than normal espresso.

The type of coffee roast

coffee beans

While many think espresso is a single roast, it’s the fine grind to extract the concentrated flavor. It ensures you can have espresso from any blend or roast you want.

There are 3-4 roasts: black, medium-dark, and medium-light and all of them have varying levels of caffeine. The longer it roasts a coffee bean, the less it contains caffeine, so the dark roast has the least caffeine.

Many coffee shops are using their espresso with a dark roast. For example, Starbucks has dark (regular) and white (blonde) espresso. One shot of their normal espresso contains 75 mg of caffeine, and one shot of their blonde espresso contains 85 mg of caffeine.

How much caffeine is in coffee?

hot coffee

An average 8 oz coffee contains 70-140mg of caffeine. As your cup of coffee grows, so does the level of caffeine. Depending on the roast, the amount of caffeine in coffee may change, just like espresso. Also, their 8 oz dark roast has 130 mg of caffeine, while their 8 oz blonde roast espresso has 180 mg.

What affects the amount of caffeine in espresso and coffee?

Espresso and coffee are two different brewed coffee, but both contain caffeine. While espresso generally has more caffeine, the amount in both drinks can vary depending on several factors, such as the beans used, the brewing method, and the serving size.

Espresso generally has more caffeine per serving because it is made with a finer grind and is brewed under pressure. However, the caffeine content of an espresso shot can be significantly reduced if it is diluted with extra water.

For a cup of regular drip coffee, the caffeine content is generally lower than espresso but can also vary depending on the types of beans used, the brewing method, and the amount of coffee used. Ultimately, the amount of caffeine in either espresso or coffee will depend on the abovementioned factors.

Does the brewing method affect caffeine levels in both drinks?

Yes, the brewing method does affect the caffeine levels in both drinks. Espresso typically contains 65 mg of caffeine per serving, less than the average cup of coffee. However, depending on the brewing method, espresso can contain more caffeine than coffee.

For example, the espresso method extracted almost twice the amount of caffeine compared to stovetop espresso, around 47% more caffeine than a cold brew and more than 80% more caffeine than French press and pour-over coffee. Ultimately, this means that if you’re looking for a higher caffeine content, you should choose espresso over regular coffee.

Is there any difference between decaf coffee and decaf espresso?

There is a difference between decaf coffee and decaf espresso regarding caffeine content. Decaf espresso typically contains higher levels of caffeine than decaf coffee. Generally, decaf espresso contains 3-15.8 mg of caffeine per shot, whereas decaf coffee contains 12-13.4 mg of caffeine per 16-ounce (473 ml) serving.

The difference in caffeine content is due to the different methods used for decaffeinating each beverage. Decaf espresso is typically decaffeinated through Swiss water processing, while regular coffee is often decaffeinated using ethyl acetate or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction.

Answer: So, which one has the most caffeine?

Although in both espresso and coffee, there are factors that can affect the amount of caffeine, coffee typically has more caffeine. On average, you’d have to consume 3 shots of espresso to match the amount of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee. The bold, strong taste and concentrated espresso cause many people to believe they have more caffeine. But in fact, coffee is the winner.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.