How Much Water Is in a Shot of Espresso?

You’re standing at the local coffee shop and watching them pull a shot. Maybe it’s your first time trying this, or it’s just your turn to buy coffee for everyone. Either way, you have some questions: How much water is in a shot of espresso? What is the best ratio of espresso to water?

How Much Water Is in a Shot of Espresso?

The amount of water in an espresso shot depends on how long it takes to pull the shot. If you’re using a machine with a traditional group head, the average shot time is 25 seconds. So, if your machine uses 0.24 ounces of coffee per shot, then there are roughly 1.48 ounces of water in each shot.

An espresso shot has a more concentrated flavor than a brewed coffee shot because it uses only about 1/2 of the volume of water required for a regular cup of joe (around 7-8 ounces). The espresso machine pulls the grinds through a very small hole at high pressure, which forces out all the flavors from the beans quickly and efficiently. This results in an intense shot with very little bitterness or acidity.

A silver espresso machine brewing into two small white cups placed on a silver surface

The Golden Ratio

The magic number is 0.25 ounces of ground coffee per 1.5 ounces of water. This is a good starting place for most home espresso machines, although it’s not a hard rule. If your machine has less than 20 bars of pressure, it’s best to stick with this ratio and adjust as needed. A higher pressure machine can use more grounds and still produce a good shot.

Espresso brewing ratios are not set in stone:

  • Espresso brewing ratios depend on the size you prefer to drink
  • Espresso brewing ratios depend on your equipment
  • Espresso brewing ratios depend on your coffee’s origin and roasting profile
  • Change your ratio to make your coffee work for you.

Importance of Brew Ratio

Brew ratio is important because it affects how strong or weak your coffee will be. If you use too much ground coffee, your brew will be too strong, and your brew will be too weak if you use too little ground coffee.

You also have to consider whether or not you want an espresso shot or a regular cup of joe since they require different amounts of ground coffee per ounce of hot water.

Espresso Water Volume Depends on the Size You Prefer to Drink

The espresso brewing ratio is the amount of ground coffee you use for every 1 cup of water. You can either drink your espresso as a single shot (1 fluid ounce) or a doppio (2 fluid ounces). The ratio depends on how strong and concentrated your coffee is. For example, if you prefer a strong, rich espresso, your ratio will be more concentrated. If you prefer a milder, less rich espresso, your ratio will be less concentrated.

The Espresso Water Ratio Depends on Your Equipment

The size of your equipment will determine how much ground coffee you need for each brew cycle. The larger the machine, the more ground coffee it can hold at one time and, therefore, the less often it needs refilling. Smaller machines require more frequent refills although they are usually easier to clean and maintain than larger machines.

The Espresso Water Ratio Depends on Your Coffee’s Origin

The ratio of coffee to water is one important aspect of brewing espresso. This ratio depends on the coffee’s origin and roasting profile. For example, Robusta beans require more water than Arabica beans because of their high caffeine content.

The Espresso Water Ratio Depends on Grind Size

The finer the grind, the less water you’ll need to use. Espresso machines come with a chart that gives you the proper ratio for each type of bean. If your machine doesn’t have one, several online calculators can help you get it right.

A silver espresso machine brewing an espresso shot in a small clear glass

Change Your Ratio to Make Your Coffee Work for You

If you’re a fan of full-bodied, rich coffee, try using a higher ratio like 3:1 or 4:1 when brewing espresso shots. A higher ratio will result in a stronger, more flavorful shot that can stand up to milk or sugar (if that’s how you take yours). If you prefer lighter, brighter cups of coffee, try using lower ratios like 1:1 or even 1:2.

Related Questions

Why Is My Espresso Watery?

Your espresso tastes watery or a bit sour, most likely because the grind is too fine. It’s not just about how many grounds are in the portafilter — it’s also about how much pressure they can withstand. If the grind is too fine, there won’t be enough room for the water to flow through them without spilling over and making your espresso taste watered down or bitter.

How Much Liquid Does a Shot Glass Hold?

The standard shot glass holds 1.5 ounces of liquid. The size varies depending on the country, with some countries using larger glasses than others. In the United States, a shot glass is generally defined as a small glass that holds 1 ounce of liquid.


How much water is in a shot of espresso? The average shot of espresso contains about 1.5 ounces of water or 1/3 cup. The amount of water used depends on how much espresso you’re making. You can make your own espresso shot with a few simple tools at home — all you need is some coffee beans and hot water.