How many Oz should a double shot of espresso be?

A double shot of espresso should be around 2 ounces (60 ml). This is considered the standard double shot size by most coffee experts and baristas.

What is a double shot of espresso?

A double shot of espresso is made by pulling two single shots of espresso back to back from the espresso machine. Each single shot is generally around 1 ounce. When combined together into a double shot, the total volume is around 2 ounces.

Here are some key things to know about a double shot of espresso:

  • It contains roughly double the amount of coffee as a single shot.
  • It delivers a more intense and concentrated espresso flavor.
  • It contains approximately 60-100 mg of caffeine, compared to 30-50 mg in a single shot.
  • It produces 2 ounces of espresso when made correctly.

What is the standard or ideal double shot volume?

The standard or ideal volume for a double shot of espresso is around 2 ounces (60 ml). Here are some more details on the typical double shot size:

  • The Specialty Coffee Association recommends a double shot volume of 1.5-2.0 ounces (45-60 ml).
  • Most commercial espresso machines are calibrated to pull double shots of around 2 ounces.
  • The majority of coffee shops and cafes will serve a double shot size of 2 ounces by default.
  • If a double shot is significantly less than 2 ounces, it may be “rapid” and weak. If much more than 2 ounces, it can be overextracted.

So in summary, the industry accepted standard is that a double shot of espresso should be around 2 ounces in volume when pulled correctly.

Why is 2 ounces considered the ideal amount?

There are a few reasons why 2 ounces is regarded as the ideal volume for a standard double shot:

  • Flavor balance – 2 ounces produces a balanced espresso with rich flavor and proper extraction.
  • Caffeine content – A 2 ounce double contains an optimal dose of caffeine for most people.
  • Serving size – A 2 ounce double shot fits nicely into the typical 6-8 ounce coffee cup sizes.
  • Extraction – The flow rate and pressure over 20-30 seconds usually yields 2 ounces of espresso.

Pulling a balanced double shot requires precision and experience. But when done right, 2 ounces is widely considered the “sweet spot” for a quality double espresso across many variables.

What can cause a double shot to be less than 2 ounces?

There are a few factors that can lead to a double shot pouring shorter than the standard 2 ounce volume:

  • Too fine of a grind size – Fine coffee particles restrict water flow.
  • Too much coffee in the portafilter – More coffee mass slows down extraction.
  • Weak/rapid extraction – Results in a “fast” double shot.
  • Machine issues – Low pressure, faulty thermostat, etc.
  • Tamping problems – Uneven compression can lead to channeling.
  • Dry or stale coffee beans – Lack of oils and crema production.

Fixing a short double shot often involves adjusting the grind size, coffee dose, or tamping method to achieve a slower, more controlled extraction.

What if a double shot is significantly more than 2 ounces?

If a double shot pours much longer than the 2 ounce target volume, it can be an indication of issues such as:

  • Grind size too coarse – Allowing fast water flow through the coffee.
  • Too little coffee in portafilter – Leading to fast extraction.
  • Weak tamp or uneven compression – Results in channeling.
  • Machine temperature too high – Causing overly hot water.
  • Fresh, oily beans – Can lead to increased extraction.

Overextracted shots often taste bitter or harsh. Fixes include adjusting the grind finer, increasing dose, improving tamping, or lowering machine temperature.

How can you achieve the perfect 2 ounce double shot?

Here are some tips for pulling reliably excellent double shots of espresso with a 2 ounce yield:

  • Use a precise coffee grinder – A quality burr grinder allows for very specific grind size adjustments.
  • Weigh doses carefully – Use a scale to measure 18-20 grams of coffee in the portafilter.
  • Distribute and tamp evenly – Level grounds and apply 30 lbs of tamping pressure.
  • Time the shot – Aim for a double shot pour of 20-30 seconds.
  • Tune in the grind – Adjust grind finer or courser to achieve 2 ounce volume.
  • Use freshly roasted beans – For optimal flavor and crema production.
  • Clean equipment routinely – prevents buildup and off-tastes.

With controlled, precise preparation and the right equipment, a professional barista can fine-tune shots to consistently hit the ideal 2 ounce double shot volume.

Does crema affect the volume of a double shot?

Crema, the tan frothy layer on top of espresso, does slightly increase the volume of a double shot. Here is how crema can impact shot volume:

  • Crema makes up about 10% of a shot’s volume on average.
  • A 2 ounce double shot will contain around 0.2 ounces of crema.
  • More crema production from fresh, quality beans can increase volume slightly.
  • Without crema, total liquid volume may be around 1.8 ounces.
  • Density of crema is lower than espresso so it increases the shot volume.
  • Crema tends to float on top rather than mix uniformly into the shot.

So while rich, moussey crema is desired for flavor, it does mildly inflate the total volume of an espresso shot. Some baristas actually remove crema when measuring shot volumes for greater precision.

Common double shot volumes served worldwide

While 2 ounces is considered the industry standard, some variance exists worldwide in terms of the common double shot sizes served in cafes:

Country Common Double Shot Volume
United States 2 ounces
Italy 1.5-2 ounces
Australia 2-2.5 ounces
New Zealand 2-3 ounces
UK 1.5-2.5 ounces

These ranges demonstrate the 2 ounce global baseline, with minor variation in certain regions. Italians tend to prefer smaller, sweeter shots, while Australasian coffees run larger.

Should shot volume determine when to stop extraction?

Many baristas use shot volume as the primary indicator of when to stop an extraction. However, some argue taste should be the deciding factor on ideal extraction time.

Arguments for using volume as the endpoint:

  • Simple, consistent, easily measurable.
  • Limits over/under-extraction.
  • Volumes correlate to dissolution yields.

Reasons for favoring taste over volume:

  • Volume varies with many factors unrelated to taste.
  • Flavors and balance evolve during the course of an extraction.
  • Longer extractions can taste best, even at greater volumes.

So while shot volume of 2 ounces is a convenient guide, taste is the ultimate indicator of extraction quality. The optimal moment to stop a shot may not align precisely with a 2 ounce pour.


A double shot of espresso made properly should have a total liquid volume of around 2 ounces (60 ml). This reflects the industry standard based on flavor, extraction dynamics, and serving sizes. With the right preparation and equipment, a skilled barista can fine-tune shots to consistently hit 2 ounces. However, taste trumps volume when determining the ideal moment to stop an extraction. While deviations occur due to regional preferences and styles, 2 ounces remains the accepted target worldwide for an optimal double espresso.

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