Most human being have no idea what the real differences are between solitary and twin shots. It’s not nearly as straightforward together you might imagine (and coffee shops don’t carry out a an excellent job at help you figure it the end either).

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When I regulated a specialty coffee shop, gift able to define the distinction to mine coworkers was necessary to me - I wanted them to it is in skilled and also knowledgeable. For this reason I had actually to work through the distinctions in detail myself. And also I was, frankly, shocked in ~ how facility it was.

But ns don’t say this to scare you away - you’re going to find out much faster than most people because I’m going come explain single vs double shots in two ways:

The easy, over streamlined wayAnd the complicated, frustrating way

If you’d choose to check out the depth of this question, friend can. But if you just want a straightforward understanding, you can stop ~ the following section

Ready to jump in?

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Single VS twin Shots: The basic Explanation

What I’m about to to speak is a little of one oversimplification, however it’s an ideal for most coffee lover on a useful level.

Traditionally, a single shot (solo) of espresso uses 7g that espresso-fine grounds and yields about 30ml that espresso (about 1 liquid ounce). Weighing shots is a relatively brand-new practice, so many baristas in the critical 80 years or so have just provided eyesight to judge when the shot to be finished.

Starbucks popularized the dual shot (doppio) in America in the 1990’s, though they weren’t its inventors. A twin shot offers 14g that coffee and also produces roughly 60ml the espresso (about 2 fluid ounces).

Double shots are now the typical in America and many places approximately the world. If friend ask for a single, the barista will likely pull a dual but use a break-up portafilter to halve the shot for you.

In terms of flavor, no really lot changes. The development of twin shots to be really around increasing output and making it easier for busy baristas - yet there’s normally not much distinction in flavor.

According to, one liquid oz of espresso can have anywhere between 30 and also 50mg of caffeine. That way that a double shot will certainly likely have anywhere between 60 and also 100mg.

Well, that’s around it for the straightforward explanation. And also honestly, that going to be sufficient for most people. However if she extra caffeine perceptible or space curious around how this can get more complicated, you’ll desire to check out on.

Read: The Ultimate overview to Espresso

Because what happens when you usage 20g that coffee to traction a shot? Is it a triple shot?

Maybe. Perhaps not.


Single VS twin Shots: The complex Reality

Ah, where to start…

In the modern-day specialty coffee industry, espresso ratios acquire a small funny. Though it wasn’t possible before, much better equipment is allowing us to get more an imaginative with how we pull our shots.

For example, the traditional dual shot uses 14g that coffee and also produces around 60ml the espresso. Seems basic enough, however we don’t choose to usage volume no longer to measure our shots.

We use mass (weight).

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That 60ml of espresso contains a many crema, the golden-brown great of foam the tops a well-pulled shot. As soon as you permit the crema loss apart and look in ~ the fluid itself, it might actually simply be 40-50ml the espresso.

This inconsistency is why we use scales to measure up shots this days. We favor to be precise. And also that 60ml twin shot the espresso? It more than likely weighs between 30 and 40g (we’ll say 35 for simplicity).

Read: The golden Ratios in Coffee Brewing

Let’s lug it ago so we have the right to stay ~ above the exact same page:

14g that coffee returns 60ml the espresso (2 fluid ounces) - visual measurement14g that coffee yields 35g of espresso (1.2 massive ounces) - range measurement

See? Both statements are true, however it’s gaining hard to communicate what we really mean. There’s interaction tension between the classic measurement method and the an ext precise modern-day one.

And this is simply the beginning.


3 Shops, 3 Shots - one Experiment

Let me show you a real-life instance I came throughout when ns was maintain baristas.

Shop #1 offers 16g of coffee. They create 32g shots (around 50ml liquid ounces). This is a 1:2 ratio (16g in, 32 out)Shop #2 offers 20g the coffee. They pull 40g shots (about 70ml fluid ounces). A 1:2 proportion (20g in, 40g out)Shop #3 offers 20g that coffee. They pull 28g shots (about 30ml liquid ounces). A 1:1.4 ratio (20g in, 28g out)

So here’s the question: i beg your pardon shop pulls twin shots?

If you’re using the traditional definition, you’d recognize that Shop #1 is the closest, however it’s not specifically on the bullseye. The shop offers +2g of coffee however ends up with -10g that volume. Still, the closer than the other two shops.

Read: just how To review Coffee Packaging favor A Pro

So exactly how do you describe the shots native Shop #2 and also Shop #3?

It’s a cheat question. They’re all dual shots.

“But how,” friend say, “They other two shots are an extremely different indigenous the traditional double shot!”

Right girlfriend are. The thing is, very few shops use the traditional definitions.


Modern helpful Definitions

Frustrated yet? Yeah, it’s really confusing. Yet we’re nearly finished.

Specialty coffee shops these days have the ability to pull every sorts of wacky shots. Like I claimed earlier, brand-new technology in scales, grinding, and also espresso equipments is do us much more precise and also giving us more flexibility with how we pull our shots.

That 20g in, 28g the end shot native Shop #3 is actually very delicious. I’ve tried it myself. The Texas coffee shop called it a twin shot, even though it offered +6g that coffee and -30ml of yield compared to the classic definition.

But why?

Because there’s really no reputable standard for solitary and double shots anymore.

Some shops say that their shots are dual shots due to the fact that they use much more than 14g the coffee. Part say castle pull twin shots due to the fact that they produce enough productivity to separation the shoot in two v a split portafilter.

The definitions are almost everywhere the place.

And ns love it.

Read: want To be A Coffee Aficionado? here Are 5 points You should Know

I love the it’s feasible to have actually this much diversity in exactly how we pull shots without losing quality. I reap the intense, tiny shots. I reap the smoother, bigger ones together well. As long as the flavors room ripe, crisp, and also balanced, that cares what they call it?


But this go bring about a brand-new challenge.


So exactly how Do we Measure Caffeine?

Unfortunately, what we get in smell diversity, we lose in caffeine confidence.

At this point, there space zero research studies that recognize the impact that these varied shot recipes have on caffeine. So, while i wish I could give friend a clear answer here, i cannot.

Here’s what I can say.

Generally, caffeine comes out pretty early in the shot.

That means that the total yield only plays a small component in the total caffeine. What’s much more important is the quantity of coffee in the portafilter.

Read: The finest Time the The Day to Consume Caffeine

So if a traditional twin shot has anywhere in between 60 and 100mg of caffeine, it’s most likely that a modern double shot with more coffee grounds will have a little more, because most shops usage 16-20g that coffee in your doubles.


I told friend it obtained complicated, but it’s likewise fascinating. We’re living in an age where espresso recipes, techniques, and also flavors are very diverse and very flavorful.

And yeah, it’s a bummer that the classic definitions because that singles and also doubles has sort of lost their validity, but it’s a profession I’m willing to make.

If you a house espresso enthusiast, I highly suggest playing approximately with miscellaneous coffee:yield ratios and grind sizes. You will do it be amazed at how various a solitary coffee blend can taste once pulled different ways.

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But, that course, if you’re using lower-grade or old beans, you won’t have any type of fun exploring single and double shots due to the fact that there i will not ~ be any kind of flavor to explore.

Freshly roasted, specialty-grade beans space the only method to go when it comes to stellar, well balanced espresso. And for that, inspect this out.... -->

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