How Many Ounces In a Shot of Espresso?

A shot of espresso is considered to be one (fluid) ounce, while a double shot is two (fluid) ounces. A fluid ounce is 30 mL (as opposed to an ounce by weight being 28 g).

This volume refers to the espresso shot volume (water) that gets passed through the espresso.

The weight of the coffee required for a single shot is typically 7 grams for a single shot, and 14 grams for a double shot. This can be adjusted up to 9 grams for a single and 18 grams for a double, depending on your machine and how strong you like your coffee.

A double shot should take between 20-30 seconds to brew. Most machines are calibrated to apply a given amount of pressure (measured in “bars”) to a given volume of water, which is resisted by the espresso in the portafilter. An espresso that is ground too fine will resist the flow of water too much, while a grind that is too coarse will let the water pass through too quick and result in an underextracted brew.

A double shot is typically used in most espresso-based recipes, including Cafe Mochas and Dulce de Leches. This ensures that the flavor of the coffee comes through strong enough relative to the other ingredients. When making more complex drinks or larger portions like an Espresso Granita, you’ll want to make sure to use a double shot per 8-12 oz of finished drink.

For cold drinks, make sure to chill your shots in the fridge before combining with the other ingredients to make sure the warmth from the espresso doesn’t turn the drink a luke warm flavor.

Coffee Beans in Espresso

The flavor and intensity of the espresso shot will vary depending on which beans are used – a coffee known for a full body such as those from Kenyan, Sumatran or Guatemalan will typically contain more dissolved solids and taste more “intense”. Fuller bodied coffees will “feel” and “taste” different – so 1 fl.oz. of origin may feel like 1.25 fl.oz. of another.

While most premium coffees are Arabica, blending in Robusta beans is a surefire way of adding more caffeine and adding crema.

Ounces per Ristretto Shot

A ristretto is a half ounce (15 mL) of water passed through the same quantity of coffee beans (7 grams) – specifically, first 15 mL – the shot is cut short. Therefore a double ristretto gives you the same quantity of fluid of a single regular ounce (2 x 15 mL  = 30 mL), but takes more time, coffee and labour because the process has to be done twice.

Ristretto shots are popular among those that consider themselves “Aficionados” because the “best” part of the espresso comes out near the beginning. As the shot nears the 20 second mark and later, more bitter compounds are extracted from the coffee as compared to the beginning.

Additionally, more coffee solids are extracted near the beginning of the shot, which is why it typically looks dark, thick and syrupy at first and begins to look like golden water at the end. These solids – including caffeine but also caramelized sugars and chlorogenic acids – add to the flavor of the espresso. Overall, a double ristretto will contain the same number of ounces as a regular shot of espresso, but the higher amount of dissolved solids means it will be thicker and more flavorful.


How Much Ground Coffee per Cup?

What Are The Most Popular Espresso Drinks?

Best Espresso Drink Recipes and Coffee Drink Recipes

Do you enjoy a fine espresso coffee drink at the local coffeehouse but would like to make your own at home? It really isn’t that hard once you do a little preparation. Follow these steps and you will be brewing up fine espresso drinks indistinguishable from those made by highly trained Baristas.

Espresso Machines and Beans for Specialty Coffee Drinks

Of course you will need to have your own espresso machine and our guide will tell you some techniques specifically suited to your machine. We also give you tips on choosing the proper coffee beans which typically are dark-roasted and often labeled as Espresso Roast.

Arabica coffee beans are the coffee bean varietal of choice when it comes to fine espresso, though many espresso blends will also include a small amount of Robusta coffee beans as well to enhance the flavor.

Grinding Coffee for Espresso Coffee Drinks

Next we give you tips on coffee grinding ensuring that you use the proper coffee grinder and produce the right grind size for your espresso machine. In general the grind size should be very fine, and the best type of coffee grinder to use is called a conical burr grinder.

If you must you can use a standard blade coffee grinder but this is discouraged because blade grinders produce an inconsistent grind size and also tend to overheat the coffee beans during grinding, negatively affecting the fine flavors and aromas of the coffee.

Tamping the Coffee in the Espresso Machine

Okay now you are ready to place the roasted and ground coffee into the portafilter of the espresso machine and properly tamp the espresso. How you tamp the espresso has a significant effect on the quality of the subsequent espresso shot(s).

A Golden Crema Signals a Proper Shot of Espresso

If you follow all of the instructions including using the proper Technical Specifications for Pulling a Perfect Espresso Shot, the result should be a very intense and concentrated espresso shot topped off with a golden brown Crema.

Steaming Milk Properly Creates Velvety Espresso Drink

To attain the skill of a barista you also need to master the techniques of Steaming and Frothing Milk properly. The goal here is a very rich and velvety steamed milk that blends perfectly with the espresso to create a harmony of flavors.

Lastly your steaming and frothing technique using the steam wand of your espresso machine should create a foam composed of very tiny bubbles so small you can barely see them. The foam blends pleasantly with the espresso coffee drink, and does not just sit lifeless atop the coffee beverage.

Some Specialty Coffee Drink Variations

For those who prefer decaffeinated coffee you can purchase decaffeinated coffee beans and brew your espresso with them. This will create equally delicious espresso drinks without the caffeine.

Many people prefer to brew their Espresso Coffee Drinks with coffee beans of Organic Coffee or Fair Trade Coffee with the goal of preserving their own health as well as the health and prosperity of the coffee farming communities.

The Luxuries of Fine Espresso Cuisine

Finally you may want to enhance the espresso coffee drink experience by accompanying your serving with fine Espresso Cuisine.

We provide you with some great recipes so you can enjoy brioche, biscotti or other fine foods with your latte or cappuccino. If you would prefer more of a dessert dish then consider a tasty gelato or sorbetto.

Espresso Drink Options

So there you have it. Now choose what type of espresso drink you prefer and follow the recipe closely. Among your many dozens of options here are some of the favorites: Cafe Au Lait, Cafe Con Leche, Cafe Latte, Cafe Mocha, Cappuccino, Frappe, Espresso Granita, Turkish Coffee / Ibrik, Latte Macchiato, Mochaccino, Thai Iced Coffee, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Viennese Espresso and many more.

More great coffee information can be found in All About Coffee which covers all aspects of coffee from soil to sip.

This includes coffee plants and coffee cherry, and full descriptions of all of the world’s top gourmet coffee beans including Organic Coffee, Fair Trade Coffee, Bird Friendly Coffee and Shade-Grown Coffee.

Coffee Makers and Espresso Machines

Also included are full details about Coffee Makers (Automatic Drip Coffee Makers, Single Serve Coffee Makers, Pod Coffee Makers, Coffee Pods, Coffee K-Cups, T-Discs, and French Press, (also see Best Coffee Makers), and Espresso Machines (including Pod Espresso Machines and ones from Saeco) as well as Instant Coffee and Decaffeinated Coffee.

Coffee From Soil to Sip

You can also learn about coffee harvesting and processing, coffee grading and roasting, coffee grinding and packaging, coffee storing, brewing, and all about the coffee beverage itself including Espresso.

Gourmet Coffee Lovers

Learn how to discern all of the fine nuances of coffee flavors and qualities including body, aroma, acidity, bitterness, sweetness, and finish or aftertaste). Also provided is a full description of coffee cupping (professional coffee tasting), and as a bonus you get a compendium of coffee quotes and even a coffee quiz.

Barista Guide For Perfect Espresso Drinks

Perfect espresso brewing is described along with tips on Pulling A Perfect Espresso Shot and Steaming and Frothing Milk.

Also check out the How to make a Latte with comprehensive details and instructions for Espresso Drink Recipes. We even give you tips on how to write a Barista Resume.

Did you know?

Did you know that when the Boston Tea Party occurred it made coffee the patriotic beverage to drink. That’s why we think that the Tea Party should be advocating the drinking of coffee – it’s the true patriot’s drink!

How to Pull an Espresso Shot

Specialty Coffee Drinks Come Out Perfect with These Reminders

Preparing the Espresso Machine for Brewing

Use either cold filtered water or bottled spring water in the espresso machine.

Preparing the Coffee Beans

Only freshly brewed espresso coffee should be used. Do not use previously prepared espresso coffee which tends to lose its flSavor very quickly.

Use only freshly-roasted whole bean coffee. Make sure and purchase gourmet coffee beans that have just been roasted.

Store your coffee properly to preserve its fine flavors. The coffee should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Grinding the Coffee Beans

Grind the coffee just before you brew it.

Grind the coffee extremely fine if you have a steam-driven espresso machine because they don’t have as much pressure to push the water through the coffee grinds as a pump-driven espresso machine which accepts a slightly coarser grind.

Use a Conical Burr Grinder rather than a Blade Coffee Grinder. This will assure better consistency of coffee grind size. This also avoids overheating (e.g., re-roasting) the coffee beans as may occur with a blade grinder. A burr coffee grinder controls the grind size by the position of the burr.

Espresso Tamping Techniques

Use about eight grams or two tablespoons of roasted, ground coffee for a single shot of espresso, and about twice that much for a double shot, or doppio.

Use an even, downward twisting motion when you tamp, or compact the coffee grounds into the basket of the portafilter.

Begin with just a medium amount of force when you tamp the coffee grounds. Then you can use more tamping force if the espresso streams out too fast, and you can use less force if the espresso brews too slowly.

The surface of the coffee grounds within the portafilter should be very even to avoid weak spots where the espresso machine’s high pressure could blast through. When this happens most of the coffee grounds are under-extracted while the area around the weak spot is over-extracted.

Attaching the Espresso Machine Portafilter

Once the coffee grounds are finely compacted, brush the rim to make sure the portafilter has a snug fit when you secure it and lock it into the group of the espresso machine.

Preheating the Espresso Machine Portafilter and Demitasse

Preheat the portafilter of the espresso machine by running hot water through it to make sure the cold metal doesn’t lower the espresso brewing temperature.

Pre-warm a demitasse and place it so that the espresso will flow directly into it during the brewing process.

Espresso Extraction

When brewing a concentrated and full-flavored espresso shot the goal is to extract all of the fine tastes of the ground coffee beans including the essential aromatic oils, but without extracting too much bitterness from the beans.

An ideal extraction time is about 22 seconds from the moment you push the brew button until the last drop of espresso streams out of the spout of the espresso machine.

The overall extraction time will vary slightly based upon several variables involved in the process including the grind size, tamping pressure, brew temperature, and other factors.

Troubleshooting to Achieve the Perfect Espresso Shot

If the espresso streams out of the espresso machine too slow even when you haven’t tamped the ground coffee very hard, then the coffee grind size is probably too fine. This will cause the shot to be over-extracted and too dark.

If the espresso streams out of the espresso machine too fast even when you have tamped (compacted) the ground coffee very hard, then it is likely that the coffee grind size is too large or coarse. This will cause the espresso shot to be under-extracted and weak.

Observing the Espresso Stream to Determine Quality

Watch the espresso stream out of the espresso machine. Within a few seconds it should have an appearance similar to maple syrup.

Observe the espresso as it fills the demitasse during brewing to determine the quality of the espresso shot.

Analyzing the Crema of the Espresso Shot

After about six to nine seconds you should see the crema begin to form on top in a thin layer of fine-celled foam. The crema should be light brown to golden brown in color.

As the stream of espresso pours from the espresso machine into the demitasse watch for a white ring that may begin to form on top of the crema.

As soon as you see any hint of this white ring forming, halt the espresso brewing. At this point all of the good oils have been extracted from the roasted, ground coffee and so continuing to brew the espresso will result in an overly acidic espresso shot with excess bitterness.

Troubleshooting for a Better Crema on your Espresso Shot

If your espresso shot has an inferior crema try to determine the cause. Some potential problems include using stale, old, or improperly stored coffee. Are the grind size and tamping pressure wrong, causing over-extraction or under-extraction?

Did you preheat the portafilter as well as the demitasse? Was the coffee ground too long before brewing? One of these is likely the cause of the poor crema.

Analyzing the Body of the Espresso Shot During Brewing

If you are using a shot glass, about fifteen seconds into the espresso brewing process, after about one ounce of espresso has poured, you should be able to notice the espresso beginning to separate within the glass.

The espresso shot’s body is the middle layer and is typically caramelly-brown in color. Examine the body of the espresso before the shot has finished brewing.

Look for any signs of very dark or even black colors which will signify a burned taste being imparted to the espresso shot. To remedy this either use a coarser coffee grind size or use less pressure during the tamping of the coffee grounds.

Examining the Heart of the Espresso Shot

The heart of the espresso shot is at the very bottom and should be a rich and deep brown color. The heart contains most of the shot’s bitterness which serves to balance out the shot’s overall sweetness.

When observing the heart make sure it is not too light in color, even blending with the body, which signifies that the espresso shot is too weak. This can be remedied by tamping the coffee with more pressure or by using a finer grind size.

Enjoy Your Perfect Espresso Shot!

Once you have fine tuned your espresso shot you will be amazed at the sweet, intense flavor that is possible by following all of the proper steps.

Using top quality premium gourmet coffee, roasting and grinding it properly, and then tamping and brewing the espresso properly produces the perfect espresso shot.

Now that you know how to pull the perfect espresso shot, find out what the most popular espresso-based drinks are! Enjoy!



Bourbon Coffee Beans

No, we’re not talking the alcoholic beverage here. The Bourbon Coffee Varietal is a sub-species of Arabica, reported to be originally planted in Reunion (then known as Bourbon).

The bourbon family of coffees can be further broken down into the following:

  • Acaia
  • Caturra
  • Jackson
  • Moka / Mocha / Mokka
  • Mibirizi
  • N39
  • Pacas (El Salvador)
  • Pointu Bourbon / Laurina
  • SL 28
  • SL 34
  • Tekisik (or Tekisic)
  • Villa Sarchi (Costa Rica)

Bourbon produces the best coffee at elevations that qualify as High-Grown and Strictly High Grown – generally between 1,100 meters and 2,000 meters above sea level. The trees are able to produce 20%-30% more coffee than the sibling Typica varietal, making them an attractive crop for farmers looking to maximize yields. It also means they’re great for cross-breeding, which is frequently done – when bred like this, they’re known as cultivars.

Visually, they’re most often identified by a single larger trunk, rather than many larger trunks.

Bourbon coffee beans can be found all over the world, from Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Guatema, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Seem like a lot of South American countries? Bourbon coffees spread from Bourbon (Reunion) throughout the region. El Salvador for example, is a large, well known producer of Bourbon coffees. They’re not exclusive to South American though, with the ease of trade they can be found almost anywhere in the world.

Is there a reason to specifically seek our Bourbon coffees? Not especially. While knowing what varietal of coffee you’re drinking can be useful in finding it from multiple sources, variations between elevations, farms, crop years and processing methods will vary the end taste significantly. Knowing you like a Bourbon coffee from Guatemala may be a good guide, but doesn’t guarantee that another Bourbon coffee from Guatemala will give you the same experience.

How to Make Espresso

The espresso shot includes a heart, body and crema. The crema sits atop the shot in a thin, foamy layer that should be golden brown in color. The crema preserves the intensity of the espresso shot and contains its finest aromas and flavors.

At the bottom of the espresso shot is the heart which should be a deep, rich brown color. This part of the espresso shot contains its bitterness which provides a fine balance to the shot’s sweetness which is manifested in the aroma.

In the middle of the espresso shot is the body which should be caramelly-brown in color.

Okay, now let’s get to the business at hand, creating the perfect espresso shot, and then you can use it to make perfect espresso drinks.

Determining Espresso Grind Size for Particular Espresso Machines

The grind size for a steam-driven espresso machine should be finer than for a pump-driven espresso machine because the steam-driven machine doesn’t have as much pressure to push the water through the grinds.

How To Make Espresso – Troubleshooting the Espresso Shot

If there are any tainted tastes or an insufficient quality to your espresso begin the troubleshooting process. Check the brewing temperature, re-checking your coffee grinding strategy and make sure there was no old coffee in the burr coffee grinder.

Make sure the coffee was stored and roasted properly. Hopefully it was sent to you in a valve-sealed bag about one day after roasting so it had time to emit its residual gases after roasting before being packaged. Also did you remember to pre-heat the portafilter and demitasse?

How To Make Espresso – Checking the Body and Heart of the Shot

Notice how the layers of the espresso shot begin to separate after about two-thirds of the shot has poured. The body of the espresso shot should not be getting too dark or this is a sign of potential over-extraction leading to bitterness and unpleasant tainted quality to the espresso shot.

Too dark of a body may also be caused by to much pressure during the tamping of the coffee in the portafilter. A third potential cause is grinding the coffee too fine.

Check the color of the heart of the espresso. It should not be so light that it blends in with the body or this is a hint that it is too weak and water. Too fix this you may need to tamp the coffee more firmly. You may also try adjusting the coffee grind size to a finer grind.

Making Espresso – In Quest of the Perfect Shot

The goal of optimal espresso brewing is to gain all of the coffee’s intense flavors that are enhanced by a perfect amount of sweetness. The crema should be caramel in color and exude the delicious aromatic qualities of the shot.

Once you have mastered the proper espresso grind size and have ensured that you are following all of the proper Technical Specifications taking into consideration the type of espresso machine you have, you will be able to fine tune your espresso so as to appreciate all of the coffee’s finest qualities.

You will also be able to more properly assess the quality and distinction of particular gourmet coffees of the world and you will gain a new appreciation for the freshness of the coffee beans. This of course will also motivate you to make sure the beans are properly roasted before you apply the ideal grind.

Enjoying the Crema – The Essence of the Espresso Shot

The thin layer of emulsified oils atop the shot, the crema, contains proteins and sugars as well as emulsified oils. The crema is caused by a dispersion of gases (e.g., air and carbon dioxide) at very high pressure into liquid. The sweetness of the shot is in the crema.

The concentration of flavors in a fine shot of espresso is what allows it to be so perfect for use in specialty coffee drinks (espresso drinks) such as the Cappuccino, Latte (Caffe Latte), and Mocha (Caffe Mocha) without a loss or dilution of taste as steamed milk and foam are mixed with the espresso.

How To Make Espresso – Fine Tuning Your Grinding for Various Espresso Machines

A pump-driven espresso machine will typically use a less coarse grind size than a steam-driven espresso machine since the steam-driven machine does not have as much pressure to sufficiently push the hot water through the coffee grinds. Consistency of grind size will best be achieved by choosing a coffee grinder that is a conical burr grinder rather than a wheel burr grinder or a blade coffee grinder.

Temperature and humidity can also play a factor when you fine tune your grind size and a true barista will understand the subtleties affecting the coffee at any given time and then determine the optimal grind size.

How To Make Espresso – Proper Technical Specifications

The Espresso Brewing temperature should be 190 to 197 degrees Fahrenheit (88-89 degrees Celsius).

The fineness or coarseness of the coffee grind can vary based upon the espresso machine used. The espresso grind is typically very fine, sometimes almost powdery. See Grinding Coffee for Espresso.

The force supplied by the espresso machine should be 8 to 10 Atmospheres, or Bars, which is equal to about 135 pounds per square inch.

The amount of coffee used should be about six to nine grams of coffee for one shot of espresso.

The espresso brewing time should be about 22 seconds and this can vary a bit depending upon the coffee tamping, the coarseness/fineness of the coffee grind and the espresso brewing temperature.

Rarely will extraction time go below 18 seconds or longer than 25 seconds for a one to two ounce espresso shot (30 to 60 ml).

Drinking the Espresso “Solo” and with Ceremony

It Italy the tradition is to consume your espresso at the very peak of its freshness right after it was brewed, preferably within the first thirty seconds. Then when you drink it, make sure to appreciate a sense of ceremony and drink it “solo” which means all in one delicious and energizing gulp.

This is the best way to appreciate the fine nuanced flavors and aromas and the subtle tastes. of the espresso. After about one-half minute the brewed espresso shot will begin to lose its fine flavors as they degrade due to oxidation along with a decrease in the temperature of the espresso shot.

So there you have all the information you need on how to make espresso, and in particular how to brew the Perfect Espresso Shot. Going a step further, you can make all sorts of espresso recipes that will entertain and please your guests. Just master the extraction process and you will be able to brew a smooth and full-bodied, aromatic espresso with a very fine and long-lasting crema.