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Does Espresso have more caffeine than regular coffee?

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Espresso caffeine vs. regular coffee caffeine

Many coffee lovers wonder about this – which of the two types of coffee has a higher caffeine content – and more than a few prefer to stick with regular coffee as they’re afraid an espresso will keep them up all night. Let’s see what the experts have to say.

Is there more caffeine in Espresso than in drip coffee?

The idea that an espresso has a high content of caffeine comes mainly from the taste. A good espresso has a heavy body and a bitter-sweet taste, just one sip is enough to feel the kick. At least this is what many believe. 

However, the simple fact that a coffee beverage tastes bitter doesn’t necessarily mean it has more caffeine.

Besides caffeine, coffee beans contain a great number of other compounds – carbs, oils, lipids, and acids – that give it flavor. Also, the roasting grade highly influences the flavor of the final product, with darker roasts generally tasting more bitter than lighter roasts.

The point is bitterness is not indicative of a high caffeine content.

But, indeed, when you are very tired and need something stronger than a little pick-me-up, an espresso will do the trick. Espresso gives you a quick shot of caffeine simply because it is more concentrated. And you gulp it down real quick.

That’s how it is supposed to be since espresso in Italian refers to speed – a beverage that is easy to prepare and quick to drink.

So, the answer is No, espresso doesn’t have more caffeine than drip coffee, it’s quite the opposite. A cup of regular coffee will give you a stronger energy boost than a shot of espresso!

Why does coffee have more caffeine than espresso?

Volume, it’s all about volume. One shot of espresso is one ounce, maybe one and a half, whereas one regular cup of traditional brew is typically six ounces. Espresso is more concentrated, but drip coffee delivers a stronger caffeine kick, albeit over a longer period of time. You don’t just gulp down six ounces of coffee unless you’re extremely late and your boss is already on your case. 

Otherwise, most people have an entire ritual built around their coffee and they like to take their time stretching their coffee break until the last sips are actually cold.

And we have the numbers to prove regular coffee is in fact stronger. A standard one and a half ounces of espresso has somewhere between 90 and 100 mg of caffeine, while a six ounces cup of drip coffee has around 120-130 mg of caffeine.

Obviously, you could achieve the same results, and more, by ordering a double espresso or an espresso doppio in coffee-shop speak, but you need to be a bit careful with that. If you’re used to it, fine, but a double espresso will give you a really strong kick and an instant surge in energy could be a bit of a shock for your body. 

Too much caffeine in the system can generate stress, making it much harder for you to concentrate, not something you should be looking for when you need to study for a test or meet a deadline for a particularly tiresome project.

Keep in mind, the idea that espresso has more caffeine than drip coffee is a myth. Espresso gives you a quick boost of energy if that’s what you need, but on the whole, a regular cup of regular coffee will keep you going for longer thanks to its superior caffeine content.

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Does Espresso Have More Caffeine Than Coffee?