Does Espresso Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?

Does Espresso Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?

Comparing the caffeine content between espresso and regular coffee is still a big thing among coffee lovers; some people believe espresso has more caffeine than drip coffee. Although the espresso shot gives you a wake-up jolt more than the drip coffee, does that mean it has more caffeine?

If you are a coffee lover, you will know that the difference between drip coffee and espresso goes beyond the taste or the experience people get from drinking either. Moreso, the level of caffeine in drip or espresso differs, although most people don’t know why.

Bear in mind that caffeine content in coffee is determined by the type of coffee beans, the kind of roast, the quantity consumed, the ground size, etc. We will be debunking these myths and arguments about which has more caffeine with a few facts below.

Caffeine in espresso

The espresso drink is a very concentrated type of coffee with an average serving size of two-ounce. The espresso is prepared differently from regular coffee, which is what makes it concentrated. The shot size for espresso drink might differ from café to café, and the difference in the shot can be so significant for the following reasons:

  • The difference in beans. The caffeine level in beans from different countries differ – sometimes, beans from the same country grown in other areas can also have varying caffeine content.
  • Espresso reciepes differs from café to café. One coffee shop might decide to use 22g of coffee beans to prepare their espresso shot, while another café might choose to use 18g. The difference in beans quantity will naturally affect the caffeine levels.

Caffeine in Black coffee

Your regular black coffee is not as concentrated as the espresso, which translates to mean each ounce of the drip coffee has less acidity, aroma, and also caffeine. The black coffee can contain between 80 to 120 mg of caffeine in an 80-ounce cup.

Again, the brewing method differs; while some people like a very strong cup, others like theirs mellow. Moreso, naturally, no two beans have the exact caffeine content. Robusta beans have a higher caffeine level than Arabica beans.

Saturation and Roast

The roast and saturation is another major factor that affects caffeine content in either espresso or drip. Beans that are lightly roasted contain a higher caffeine content than the darker roast because of the roasting time and process.

Saturation deals with the quantity of water that comes into contact with the coffee grounds during the brewing process; the higher the saturation level, the more caffeine you can extract from each brew.

For the espresso, the grounds are well saturated by the time the shot is prepared, while the saturation level that occurs when preparing the drip depends on the machine model.

Is Espresso Stronger than Coffee?

Practically, espresso has more caffeine per ounce, while drip coffee has a higher caffeine per serving. However, our results will be inaccurate if we judge either drink per serving; this is because there is a significant difference between the size of the espresso shot and the size of the coffee cup.

The espresso shot is usually smaller (2-ounces) compared to the cup that can vary from 8-ounces to over 30-ounces. In a serving of espresso, there is approximately 80 mg of caffeine and about 80 to 120 mg of caffeine in a cup of drip coffee.

On average, the espresso shot is 2-ounces in size, while the drip coffee cup is 12-ounces. Judging by this, we can say they contains more caffeine per cup. However, if we compare the drinks per ounce against per size, espresso contains a significantly higher amount of caffeine than the drip.

Because espresso has a strong, bold, and concentrated taste, people tend to believe it contains more caffeine – the same way, people used to think dark roast coffee contains more caffeine than light roast; meanwhile, the reverse is the case.


Although various factors affect the caffeine level in both espresso and drip coffee, drips typically contain more caffeine. To match the caffeine level in an 8-ounce cup of drip coffee, you need to consume three shots of espresso.