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How Many Shots Of Espresso Is Too Much

Charl Joost
Last Updated: February 15th, 2023

The question of how many shots of espresso is too much can be answered quite easily. No more than 400 milligrams (MG) of caffeine a day should be consumed, which is equivalent to 6 shots of espresso.

This question raises several other interesting questions which we are going to look at in this article.

How Many Shots of Espresso is Too Much?

shots of espresso

As previously stated, the amount of espresso that is too much to tolerate is 6 shots of espresso in a day. However, this is dependent on the person drinking the caffeine as some people have a higher tolerance than others.

How Much Caffeine Is in a Shot of Espresso?

There is a greater amount of caffeine in a shot of espresso than in an ordinary cup of drip coffee, with this amount being 50 MG per shot. With most espresso-based drinks containing 2 shots of espresso, this equates to 100 MG of caffeine per drink.

Does the Type of Bean Affect the Caffeine Content?

Different bean types, once the espresso shot has been brewed, can contain different levels of caffeine. Arabica beans, for instance, contain less caffeine than Robusta beans however the espresso brewed from these beans tastes better than the others.

Light roasts contain more caffeine than dark roasts which is surprising for many people as the darker roasts have a deeper flavor profile. However, this still differs between bean types and is not a definite answer.

Are There Benefits to Drinking Espresso-Based Drinks?

espresso based drinks

German researchers, led by Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altchmied, found that caffeine can cause cells in a human heart to act ‘younger’ improving how the cells work and perform their job.

This led to the team finding that 4 to 5 espresso shots can have positive effects on the cells in the body, making this an ideal amount to drink.

How Much Coffee Is in an Average Cup?

Serving sizes affect how much caffeine you are consuming as, even though espresso contains more caffeine than a cup of drip coffee, the serving size of espresso versus a cup of coffee differs. This may result in you consuming more caffeine by drinking a large cup of coffee than if you drank a single espresso.

The average cup of coffee in the 1950s contained 4 to 6 US fluid ounces of coffee which is much smaller than today’s average.

These days, coffee is more likely to be served in 8-ounce cups with some coffee chains selling cup sizes as large as 24 ounces. This is 8 times the amount of coffee that used to be consumed.

What Is a Lethal Amount of Caffeine?

lethal amount of caffeine

Overdoses from caffeine can occur when someone drinks more than their normal amount or more than the recommended daily amount.

For some people, this is more than their regular intake while those with a lower caffeine tolerance could overdose on more than 6 espresso shots. Among the common symptoms of caffeine overdose is heart palpitations.

When Is the Best Time To Drink Coffee?

Nutritionist Lisa Lisiewski recommends that we should drink coffee between the windows when our cortisol levels naturally peak. This is usually between 8 am to 9 am, 12 pm to 1 pm, and 5:30 m and 6:30 pm.

You should therefore have your coffee between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning or the early afternoon.

What Is the Most Popular Espresso-Based Drink Available?

popular espresso based drink

Espresso-based drinks are usually made with a shot or two of espresso and steamed milk, with the ratio differing depending on the drink. Lattes are the most popular drink and are made with a shot of espresso, a thin layer of milk on top, and steamed milk.

In comparison, cappuccinos are made with espresso and steamed milk, although there is less milk in a cappuccino than in a latte. There is a thick layer of foam on top compared to the thin layer of a latte, making this drink taste stronger espresso than a latte.

If you are someone who does not like milk in their drinks, an americano is made with espresso and hot water which makes it a strong drink that is not affected by the taste of milk. Finally, the drink with the most amount of milk is flat white which is made with espresso, a great deal of steamed milk, and no foam.


The answer to the question of how many shots of espresso is too much, is any amount of more than 400 milligrams of caffeine, i.e., 6 shots of espresso.

Although espresso contains more caffeine than some coffee drinks and tea, the amount of caffeine that you can manage without negative side effects is dependent on your tolerance.

Also, if you are interested in making your own espresso at home check out our guide on the best espresso machines with a grinder or the best super-automatic espresso machines.

About The Author

Charl Joost

Charl is a trainer, public speaker, and professional writer. While he has been coached to niche down, he has many passions. These include golf, gardening, technology, and a decent cup of coffee or two. Charl loves to learn about new products and tries everything he writes about.

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