How Many Ounces In A Shot of Espresso?

The Coffee Folk is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Espresso is a cornerstone in the world of coffee, forming the foundation for most coffee drinks. And understanding the humble espresso shot, and how to dial in a shot is fundamental to achieving the perfect brew. 

A common query that arises amidst this pursuit is: how many ounces in a shot of espresso? So let’s delve into this topic to unravel the mysteries behind the iconic espresso shot.

How Many Ounces In A Shot Of Espresso- The Simple Answer

A single shot of espresso typically contains 1 ounce (oz) of liquid, while a double shot contains 2 ounces of liquid. In the context of espresso shots, the measure of 1 ounce (oz) refers to volume, not weight. It represents the amount of liquid coffee produced during the brewing process. While this measurement is widely accepted across the coffee industry, it’s important to note that this measure of volume doesn’t account for variations due to factors like bean freshness and crema density, prompting a shift toward the more precise measurement of weighing. 

  • Single Shot Of Espresso 1 fl oz (30 ml)
  • Double Shot Of Espresso 2 fl oz (60 ml)

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans under high pressure. It’s characterized by its intense flavor, rich aroma, and velvety crema layer on top. Typically served in small, demitasse-sized cups, espresso is known for its strong and robust taste, which can vary depending on the type of espresso beans used. Espresso serves as the base for a variety of coffee beverages, including cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, and Americanos.

How Is An Espresso Brewed?

According to the Specialty Coffee Association, 
“Espresso is a 25–35ml (.85–1.2 ounce [×2 for double]) beverage prepared from 7–9 grams (14–18 grams for a double) of coffee through which clean water of 195°–205°F (90.5°–96.1°C) has been forced at 9–10 atmospheres of pressure, and where the grind of the coffee is such that the brew time is 20–30 seconds.”

This definition is a good base to start from, and as you grow in your barista skills you can play around with different variables to find the perfect recipe for you. 

  1. Grind and Dose. Grind coffee with an espresso grinder to a fine grind and weigh out your dose. For a single shot of espresso aim for 7-9 grams, for double shots; 14-18 grams. Fill the portafilter with the coffee grounds.
  2. Distribute and Tamp– use a wdt tool to distribute the grinds in the portafilter, evenly tamp down on the coffee grounds using an espresso tamper.
  3. Lock Portafilter into Group Head- Purge some water through the group head and lock the portafilter into place.
  4. Start the Espresso Shot- If you have an espresso scale, tare it with the cup on and then stop the shot around 2 grams before you reach your target weight. As the final drops of espresso run through you should make your target weight. If you don’t have a scale; start the shot and stop it around 28-30 seconds. Weigh the espresso yield and see how close you are to the target weight; adjust the grind size if needed. 

Measuring Espresso Yield: Volume vs Weight?

In the past, espresso was measured in terms of volume, with a single shot being 1 fl oz (30ml) and double shots 2 fl oz (60ml). But this method of measuring espresso has fallen out of favor as the volume of a shot changes depending on the freshness of the coffee beans and the time the shot has sat in the glass. Fresh coffee has thicker crema as there is still a lot of carbon dioxide in the beans and weighs less than a shot pulled with older beans which has less crema. 

Because espresso shot volume is an inaccurate measurement we recommend measuring in terms of weight. Invest in a coffee scale and using an espresso ratio, weigh the amount of coffee beans in and espresso out.

Weighman Espresso Scale

Weightman Espresso Scale

Investing in an espresso scale does not have to involve a big expense. The Weighman Espresso Scale is a prime example. This little scale is small enough to fit onto the drip tray of most espresso machines, is accurate to 0.1 grams, and has a remarkably affordable price. 

Espresso Ratio

An espresso recipe is often written as a ratio showing the ground coffee in to the liquid espresso out. Most espresso ratios range from 1:1.5 to 1:3 with 1:2 being the most common. As a general rule, a smaller ratio would be used for darker roasts and larger ratios for lighter roasts. 

Using a 1:2 ratio, you should be aiming for the following yields in 25-30 seconds:

  • Single Shot: 9 grams coffee in; 18 grams espresso out
  • Double Shots: 18 grams coffee in; 36 grams espresso out
weighing an espresso shot

Types Of Espresso Shots

To further complicate matters, there are different types of espresso shots. 

Single Espresso

  • 1:1.5 to 1:3 ratio of coffee to water
  • 1 fl oz

A single shot of espresso is the classic and most basic form. It typically contains about 1 ounce of liquid and showcases the intense flavors and aromas of the coffee beans.

Double Espresso (Doppio)

  • 1:1.5 to 1:3 ratio of coffee to water
  • 2 fl oz

A double shot of espresso, also known as a doppio, contains approximately 2 ounces of liquid. It offers a stronger and more robust flavor than a single espresso and is the foundation of most coffee shop drinks. 

Ristretto Shot

  • 1:1 to 1:1.5 ratio of coffee to water
  • 0.5-0.85 fl oz

A ristretto, translating to “restricted” from Italian, is a highly concentrated espresso shot made with the same amount of coffee grounds as a regular espresso but with less water, typically around 0.5 to 0.85 fluid ounces (15-25ml). This results in a sweeter, less bitter shot with a richer, syrupy consistency compared to traditional espresso. Ristretto shots are known for their unique flavor profile, which emphasizes fruity and acidic notes followed by sweetness while minimizing bitterness by stopping the extraction process before bitter compounds are fully extracted. 

Lungo

  • 1:3-1:6 ratio of coffee to water
  • 2-3 fl oz

In contrast, a lungo, translating to “long” in Italian, is an espresso shot made with a larger volume of water than usual, typically around 2 to 3 ounces in volume. In contrast to the concentrated flavors of a standard espresso shot, a lungo yields a milder flavor profile with a slightly diluted taste due to the increased water volume. Lungo shots lack the intensity and richness of a ristretto or espresso, often resulting in a watery texture and diminished mouthfeel. While some may find lungo shots lacking in depth and complexity compared to their concentrated counterparts, they offer a different coffee experience for those who prefer a milder brew.

How Many Ounces In A Shot Of Espresso- In Summary

So in summary, how many ounces are in a shot of espresso? A single shot be around 1 fl oz, a double shot around 2 fl oz. However, with the shift towards precision brewing, it’s increasingly common to weigh espresso shots rather than rely solely on volume measurements. Using a 1:2 ratio, where 9 grams of coffee yields 18 grams of espresso for a single shot and 18 grams of coffee yields 36 grams of espresso for a double shot, ensures consistency and accuracy in brewing. Do not be too concerned if these yields aren’t exactly 1 or 2 fl oz as the volume of an espresso shot changes depending on how fresh the beans are and how long the shot has been left standing. Thus, while these volume estimates offer a ballpark figure, weighing an espresso shot provides a more precise measurement for achieving the perfect brew.