What’s Stronger? Espresso vs Coffee


I sometimes visit my local coffee shop in the morning to get some work done, and I tend to see “THAT” someone who comes in and says that can’t function without their coffee and I am as an upsell I hear the barista asking if they want to add a shot of espresso to it.

As a marketer, my brain loves the upsell and it got me thinking, this drink is going to have that person wired and also by itself, is espresso stronger than coffee?

Espresso is stronger than coffee per every ounce. Espresso has 63 mg of caffeine in 1 ounce and Regular coffee, contains 12 to 16 mg of caffeine in every ounce, on average.

Espresso Shot Servings

First you should know the difference on how to measure beans and grounds versus brewed coffee and espresso shots.

Beans and grounds are dry ingredients measured in weight as ounces, grams, tablespoons, and scoops.

Brewed coffee and espresso shots, which are liquids, measure by volume in cups and fluid ounces.

Espresso ShotAppropriate Volume
Single1 ounce
Double2 ounces
Triple3 ounces
Single Ristretto1/2 ounce

Ristretto: Can be described as a variation of espresso which is more concentrated and sweeter, giving it a bolder flavor. Ristretto is stronger than espresso in terms of flavor profile but not on caffeine content, due to the way it was prepared.

Espresso Vs Coffee

I want to go over some quick differences.

Espresso usually in shots is a bold flavored, slightly thicker than coffee beverage that comes from finely ground beans brewed with a high grounds to water ratio. (This ratio is why it is thicker than regular coffee)

A shot of espresso consists of about 1-3 oz of a concentrated coffee with an intense flavor.

Coffee on the other hand is a thinner, less concentrated liquid that generally has a milder flavor and the grounds used are coarser.

The ratio of coffee grounds to water is subjective and depends on personal taste but is usually much less than espresso.

To make espresso, which is usually served in shot size would be done via some sort of coffee machine that can produce high pressurized water.

To pull shots of espresso, the machine forces hot, pressurized water through tamped grounds. This extracts the bold flavors that make espresso so distinctive. The extraction takes between 20-30 seconds depending on the settings and calibrations of the machine used.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t always have to be one versus the other. If you are wanting something potent with caffeine then get yourself a regular coffee and ask for a shot of espresso. Bam, best of both worlds!


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