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Coffee shop menus could use some clarity. If you aren’t used to terms like espresso and ristretto, your next order can be a serious disappointment. That’s why I’m tackling the most common coffee shop and home espresso questions one by one. Next up: How many ounces in a shot of espresso?
A standard espresso shot is 1 fluid ounce (30 mL). Double and triple shots are 2 and 3 ounces, respectively. Ristretto shots and lungo shots are made with the same amount of grounds as a single shot of espresso, but with less water (ristretto) or more water (lungo).
With that simple answer out of the way, let’s dig into the details about espresso, ristretto, lungo, and all the other espresso-style drinks. I’ll even show you the dirty little secret about Starbucks’ espresso shot size.
How Many Ounces Should an Espresso Shot Be?
A single shot of espresso should be made with 1 ounce (30 mL) of water passed through about 7 grams of finely-ground coffee grounds.
The final volume of the espresso shot will not be exactly 1 ounce, but it should be very close. A small amount of water will inevitably be left behind in the wet coffee grounds, and the oils and other components extracted from the grounds will add a small amount of volume to the final drink.
There are a few factors that can be adjusted to pull the perfect shot of espresso, and each of them will have a small impact on the volume. Some of these are decided by the equipment that you use while others can be altered for each shot:
- Water pressure
- Water temperature
- Pull time
- Coffee-to-water ratio
- Coffee grind size
Despite all of that, though, you can expect the final volume of your single espresso shot to be about 1 ounce. If you want more or less than that, you are probably looking for one of the espresso variants we’ll look at next.
How Many Ounces in a Double Shot of Espresso (Or a Triple)?
Double shots of espresso are 2 ounces (60 mL), literally double that of a single shot. This is because they are made in exactly the same way, using the same ratio of ingredients. The only difference is that each of the initial ingredients (coffee grounds and water) are doubled.
Similarly, a triple shot is 3 ounces (90 mL), made with triple the volume or weight of a single shot’s ingredients. And a quad shot is 4 ounces. I suppose you could go beyond that (would it be a quint shot?), but I’ve never seen larger than a quad espresso shot. If you need more caffeine, maybe just buy stronger coffee beans or make a red-eye coffee.
How Many Ounces Is a Ristretto?
Ristrettos are made with the same amount of grounds as espresso but with 0.4 ounces of water instead of the 1 ounce used in a standard shot. That changes the flavor, the caffeine concentration, and the volume of the final drink. A double ristretto has about the same volume as a single shot of espresso.
Ristretto is very common in Australia, but less so in other countries. It serves as the base for several Australian drinks like Piccolos and magic coffee.
How Many Ounces Is a Lungo?
Lungos, or long shots of espresso, are espresso shots made with 1.5 ounces of water instead of 1 ounce. The result is a drink that is about 50 percent larger than an espresso, with a more bitter, aromatic flavor.
Lungo and ristretto are common variants of espresso, but they are used very differently. Lungos are often used as standalone shots, and they have gained particular popularity because of lungo-sized Nespresso pods used in Nespresso Vertuo machines.
How Many Ounces Is a Starbucks Espresso Shot?
Starbucks’ standard espresso shot has a volume of 0.75 ounces, not the 1-ounce shot used in most coffee shops. They used to use 1-ounce shots, but it seems to have changed sometime around 2016.
It’s not clear why they decided to go with a shorter shot. As far as anyone can tell, it seems like they are brewing it like ristretto, so all they’ve done is add less water. My guess would be that the sweeter taste of ristretto matched better with Starbucks’ drink flavors, but please comment if you have more info on this change.
You’ve taken the first step in your espresso journey. I’d love to help you continue, so please let me know what other questions you have. And if you are ready to start making espresso at home, I’ve put together a list of my favorite budget espresso machines.
Or, if you just want a super-convenient solution for home espresso, maybe take a look at the current Nespresso machines. I particularly like the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe, especially for beginners.