Is a shot of espresso 1 oz?

Quick Answer

The amount of espresso in a standard single shot is generally around 0.9-1.0 ounces or 25-30 mL. However, the exact amount can vary slightly depending on the coffee beans, grind size, and barista. So while 1 ounce or 30 mL is a good guideline, shots are often measured by their extraction time and weight rather than precise volume. The ideal range for an espresso shot is typically 25-35 seconds for 1-2 ounces of liquid espresso.

What is a Shot of Espresso?

An espresso shot refers to the small amount of concentrated coffee that is produced from an espresso machine. Espresso is made by forcing hot water at high pressure through finely ground coffee beans. This extraction method produces a thick, concentrated coffee with a characteristic rich flavor and crema foam on top.

The key factors that differentiate espresso from regular drip coffee are:

– Finer grind size – Espresso uses a very fine, powder-like grind to allow for proper extraction.

– High pressure – Espresso machines use at least 9 bars of pressure to extract the coffee.

– Short extraction time – A shot of espresso flows through the grounds for about 25-35 seconds.

– Small serving size – A single espresso shot is generally 1-2 ounces.

– Higher concentration – Espresso has a higher concentration of dissolved coffee solids than regular coffee.

Espresso Grind Size

Espresso grind size is much finer than the grind used for drip coffee. It should have a fine, powder-like texture almost like powdered sugar. This extra fine grind allows the hot water to properly extract the oils and soluble compounds from the ground coffee in the short time it comes in contact with the grounds.

Espresso Extraction Pressure

Espresso machines use electric pumps to generate at least 9 bars of pressure (130 psi) for extracting the coffee. Some machines may use pressures as high as 19 bars (280 psi). This high pressure allows the hot water to thoroughly permeate the fine espresso grind and pull out more dissolved solids.

Espresso Extraction Time

The brewing time for pulling an espresso shot is only about 20-30 seconds. This short extraction time, often measured from when the pump is activated until the drips slow to a stop, is important for producing a properly concentrated espresso. Longer times lead to overextraction.

Espresso Shot Volume

The volume of an espresso shot depends on a few factors:

– The size of the filter basket – Standard commercial espresso machines hold either a single (14 grams) or double shot (18 grams).

– The fineness of the grind – Finer grinds may produce a smaller volume.

– The degree of tamping – Firmer tamping compresses the grinds to a smaller size.

– The coffee variety and roast date – Freshness and oil content impact extraction.

– The pressure and temperature – Higher pressure extracts more liquid volume.

– The extraction time – Longer times extract more volume.

– The machine used – Commercial vs home espresso machines behave differently.

For a single shot of espresso, the most typical volume is around 0.9-1.5 ounces or 25-45 mL. The norm is around an ounce or 30 mL.

Double shots are of course twice the volume, so around 2 ounces or 60 mL.

Standard Single Espresso Shot Volume

The standard or norm for a single espresso shot is about:

– 1 ounce (30 mL)

This amount is used as a guideline or reference point by most coffee shops and represents what many people consider a regular single shot volume.

Of course the actual amount may be slightly more or less depending on the factors mentioned above, but 1 ounce or 30 mL is a good ballpark for a single.

Common Single Shot Size Range

While 1 ounce/30 mL is standard, the actual size can vary a bit depending on various elements:

– 0.9 – 1.0 ounce / 25 – 30 mL (Under-extracted, low pressure)

– 1.0 – 1.2 ounces / 30 – 35 mL (Ideal range for most espresso)

– 1.2 – 1.5 ounces / 35 – 45 mL (Can be over-extracted)

So most quality espresso shots will fall somewhere within the range of 0.9 – 1.5 ounces or 25 – 45 mL in volume. Shots outside of this range may represent improper extraction.

What Impacts Espresso Shot Volume?

Many variables influence the volume that is extracted when pulling an espresso shot, including:

Coffee Bean Variety

The type of coffee beans used affects shot volume because oil content, acidity, origin, and other factors impact the extraction yield. Light roasted beans tend to produce smaller shot volumes.

Coffee Roast Date

Freshness of the roast has a major influence. As coffee beans stale with age, the shot volumes tend to increase. Stale beans extract more liquid volume.

Coarseness of Grind

Finer grinds lead to slower flow rates and smaller volumes, while coarser grinds extract quicker and produce larger shot volumes. Proper espresso grind is very fine.

Degree of Tamping

Harder tamping compresses the grinds into a smaller space, resulting in reduced flow rate and volume. Lighter tamping allows more flow and larger volumes.

Water Temperature

Higher water temperature facilitates more thorough extraction and higher volumes. Lower temperatures lead to lower dissolved solids and reduced volumes.

Water Pressure

Higher pressures allow more water to be forced through the puck resulting in larger shot volumes. Standard is 9 bars, but some machines may use pressures up to 11-19 bars.

Extraction Time

The longer the pull time, the more liquid is extracted up until a point. Optimal is 25-35 seconds. Short shots under-extract, long shots over-extract.

Filter Basket Size

Single shot baskets hold about 14 grams of coffee. Double shot baskets hold around 18 grams. More dry coffee mass results in larger volumes.

Espresso Machine Used

Different espresso machines produce differing results. Commercial machines tend to produce more consistent volumes than home machines.

Weighing Shots by Mass

While volume is one way to measure shot size, it is variable and imprecise. The preferred method is to weigh the mass of the liquid espresso.

The ideal mass is 2 ounces or 60 grams for a double shot, and 1 ounce or 30 grams for a single shot.

Weighing shots accounts for variability better than volume and helps baristas dial in the proper recipe.

Benefits of Weighing Shots

– More accurate and consistent results

– Accounts for differences in beans, grind, etc.

– Allows tuning shot parameters like grind size

– Easy to track with scales

– Used at high-end coffee shops

By weighing shots and tracking the results, espresso quality and consistency is improved.

Common Espresso Shot Glass Sizes

Espresso shots are often served in small glasses or cups. Common sizes include:

– 1 oz shot glass – Holds a single espresso shot

– 2 oz shot glass – Holds a double espresso shot

– 3 oz espresso cup – Can hold a double shot with room for crema

– 4 oz cappuccino cup – Good for a double shot with milk added

– 5-6 oz latte mug – Larger cup for holding a double shot latte

The serving cup should normally be larger than the shot volume to accommodate the crema foam on top. The crema can account for 0.25-0.5 ounces of the volume.

Mini and Demi Espresso Cups

Smaller mini and demi cups in the 1.5-2 ounce range are also popular for serving single or short double shots.

Some Italian coffee bars use tiny 1-1.5 oz espresso cups for serving short, concentrated shots.

Espresso Machines and Shot Volume

The type of espresso machine used has some bearing on the expected shot volume:

Home Espresso Machines

Home espresso machines typically produce lower volumes on the order of 0.5-1.5 ounces per shot. The less expensive machines struggle to extract standard volumes.

Prosumer Espresso Machines

Mid-range “prosumer” models like those from Breville and Rancilio allow users to pull real 1-2 ounce single and double shots. They offer solid pressure and temperature.

Commercial Espresso Machines

Top-end commercial machines at coffee shops generate very consistent shot volumes around 1-1.5 ounces for singles and 2 ounces for doubles. Café-grade machines are the gold standard.

So while any espresso device can make concentrated coffee, only professional-grade equipment can truly replicate the proper liquid volumes expected from an espresso shot.

Single Shot vs Double Shot

The two standard sizes are the single and double shot:

Single Shot

– Contains about 7 grams of ground coffee
– Yields around 0.9-1.5 ounces of espresso
– Can be served as a short black coffee

Double Shot

– Uses around 14 grams of ground coffee
– Yields approximately 1.5-2.0 ounces
– Normally serves as the base for milk drinks

Double shots are more common than single shots in many coffee shops today. However, the single shot, or ristretto at 0.75-1 oz, has a deeper, more intense flavor that some prefer.

Espresso Shot Volume and Flavor

The volume extracted has a direct impact on the flavor and concentration of the espresso:

– Smaller shot volumes around 0.75-1 oz produce thick, concentrated, and intense espresso with rich, bold flavor. These are known as ristrettos.

– Larger volumes from 1-1.5 oz give espresso a more balanced, sweeter flavor with slight dilution. This is the normale range.

– Excess volumes over 1.5-2 oz lead to weaker, more watery and bitter-tasting espresso due to overextraction.

So while having some natural variability in volumes is okay, too small or large of an espresso shot will not have the ideal flavor profile.

Measuring Espresso Shot Volume

There are a few easy ways to measure out the volume of an espresso shot:

Espresso Shot Glasses

Serving the shot directly into a graduated shot glass makes it easy to read the volume extracted. Glass allows you to see the crema too.

Measuring Cups or Beakers

A small liquid measuring cup can precisely show the shot volume down to fractions of an ounce or mL.


The most accurate way is to use a digital coffee scale to weigh the mass of the shot during and after extraction. Scales do not lie.

Volumetric Espresso Machines

Some commercial machines directly measure the shot volume electronically and can be programmed for the desired amount.

Using one of these volume measurement methods is recommended for dialing in proper espresso shots.

Typical Caffeine Content in Espresso

In addition to volume, espresso shots can be measured by their caffeine content:

– A single espresso shot contains approximately 30-50mg of caffeine.

– A double shot contains roughly 60-100mg of caffeine.

However, the caffeine content depends on many factors:

– Bean variety – Arabica beans are lower in caffeine than Robusta.

– Roast level – Light roasts are higher in caffeine than dark roasts.

– Shot volume – Concentrated ristretto shots have more caffeine.

– Brew method – Espresso has more per volume than drip coffee.

So while a single or double espresso shot represents a typical serving size, the actual caffeine amount can range widely from 30-150mg per serving depending on the specific variables.

Specialty Espresso Shot Types

While single and double are standard, some specialty cafes offer unique shot types:


– Very short 0.75-1 oz shot
– Thick, concentrated, and strong


– Longer 1.5-2 oz shot
– Milder and more bitter


– 1-2 oz espresso with a dash of steamed milk


– Espresso marked with just a dollop of foamed milk

The ristretto and lungo represent opposing ends of the spectrum, while cortado and macchiato add a light milk enhancement.

Ideal Espresso To Water Ratio

A good espresso blend when brewed properly should have an extraction ratio of approximately:

– 1:1.5 to 1:2.5 coffee to water ratio

This means for every 1 gram of ground coffee, you can expect around 1.5-2.5 grams of liquid espresso extracted.

This ideal range is for shots extracted at proper pressure and time. Too slow or fast may result in weaker or stronger ratios.

Weighing the coffee dose and shot is the best way to optimize the extraction ratio.


So is an espresso shot exactly 1 ounce? The answer is it can be but does not have to be in all cases. The typical single espresso shot is around 0.9-1.5 ounces, with 1 oz or 30 mL being the standard reference volume. But due to natural variability in grind size, coffee density, pressure, extraction time, and equipment differences, the volume of an espresso shot ultimately can range anywhere from 0.5-2 ounces while still being considered normal. The key is achieving the optimal 1:1.5-1:2.5 brew ratio for proper concentration and flavor. For the most control and consistency, weighing shots by mass is recommended over relying strictly on volume. So in most coffee shops and with commercial espresso machines, a single shot will be pretty close to 1 ounce or 30 mL in volume. But some variability around this target is to be expected.

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