How Many mL Is a Shot of Espresso?

Making the perfect shot of espresso can be quite technical. You have to learn terms like crema, dosage, portafilter, and doppio and how they apply. In learning the basics, you also need to know some other essentials like how many ml is a shot of espresso?

How Many mL Is a Shot of Espresso? 

The standard serving of a single shot of espresso is 30 mL or 1 fluid ounce in most coffee shops. However, the traditional shot of espresso made by the Italians contains 22.5-27.5 mL. This volume refers to the volume of water that is passed through the espresso shot when it is being made.

A cup of black coffee in a white mug placed on a blue plate beside a silver laptop on a brown wooden table

Espresso is a concentrated version of coffee. It is made by combining hot water and finely ground coffee powder under high pressure. The typical ratio for a single shot is 1 fluid ounce to 0.25 ounces of coffee. Although, you can choose to increase it to about 0.32 ounces if you want your espresso stronger.

How Big Is an Espresso Cup?

Espresso is served in shots of about 30 mL or 1 ounce. A drink this small is definitely not served in a 16-ounce mug. Using a cup that is too big will allow the crema to spread out too thin and disappear too quickly. This will only ruin the experience that comes with drinking espresso.

The ideal size of an espresso cup is around 50 ml and around 90 ml for a double espresso. You need a cup that is slightly bigger than the serving of espresso so that it is easy to serve and drink.

Another reason you need a slightly bigger cup is for the crema. The crema is the foam that forms on top of the espresso after it is made. It tends to occupy more space than the espresso itself. So, using a slightly bigger cup will allow the crema to sit on the espresso without spilling over.

How Many Ounces Are in Other Types of Espresso?

There are other drinks derived from espresso and while they are made following the same process as the regular espresso, they have a twist to them.

Double Espresso Shot

The double espresso shot is getting more popular and is even the standard espresso shot in some coffee shops. The double espresso is made using the same ratio as the single shot, only double. This means that it is made with 2 ounces of water and 0.49 – 0.63 ounces of finely ground coffee.

Ristretto Shot

The ristretto shot is an even more concentrated version of the regular espresso shot. A ristretto shot is made using the same quantity of coffee and half the quantity of water, 0.25 ounces of coffee, and ½ ounce of water. This gives you a shot with double the strength.

To make a double ristretto, you will use 0.5 ounces of coffee and 1 ounce of water. The ristretto espresso contains rich and tasty flavors that are extracted at the early stage of the shot while avoiding the bitterness that comes out later.

A white small cup with an espresso shot was placed on a granite floor

Other Espresso Based Drinks

Asides from the double espresso and the ristretto, there are a number of other popular drinks that have the espresso as their base ingredient. You may not even realize that some of these drinks are based on espresso. Here are some of the most popular drinks that start with a perfect shot of espresso:

  • Latte: Latte is made from one part espresso, two parts hot milk, and a layer of foam as a topping
  • Cappuccino: Cappuccino is made from equal parts espresso and steamed milk. It is then topped with foam
  • Frappe: Frappe is simply espresso mixed with milk and ice
  • Macchiato: Macchiato is made from espresso and topped with foam
  • Americano: Americano is simply an espresso shot added to hot water

Related Questions 

When Should You Pull a Shot of Espresso?

You should pull a shot of espresso about 20 to 30 seconds after the pump starts. If your brewing takes too long or too short, you should check your dose, grind, and tamp and then make necessary adjustments. You do not want to serve over-extracted shots or under-extracted espresso shots.

Can You Use a French Press to Make Espresso?

Yes, you can use a French press to make a good shot of rich and flavorful espresso. The French press has become a very popular option for making espresso in the United States. In fact, espresso made using a French press is perfect for espresso-based drinks like latte, cappuccino, frappe, and macchiato.


Now, you know that a single shot of espresso is 30 mL or 1 fluid ounce. If you choose to go for a double shot, all you have to do is double the ratio. For a ristretto, you half the quantity of water and use the same quantity of coffee. It is time to start making those tasty espresso shots.