What Is Doppio Espresso? Brewing & Comparisons

Post by: Tim Lee
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Doppio espresso is 2 shots of espresso. It’s not a specific coffee drink, but many drinks call for double espresso shots. Keep reading to learn more about doppio, the types of drinks it goes with, and how to prepare doppio.

What Is Doppio Espresso

As a coffee enthusiast, I need to know everything about coffee making. That led me to create this guide on doppio coffee.

Once done reading, you’ll understand the following:

Let’s get brewing.

Key Takeaways

  • A doppio is 2 shots of espresso
  • Preparation requires more coffee beans & water
  • Takes longer to brew than ristretto & single shots
  • Use finely ground coffee beans

What is Doppio Coffee?

TasteBold, intense, & slightly bitter
AromaRich & fragrant
Mouth feelFull-bodied and velvety
Caffeine level *126 mg per serving (on average)
Calories5–10 per serving
Other names for doppioDouble espresso
PronunciationDOH-pee-oh

Doppio espresso has 2 shots of espresso—2 oz or 60 ml. This includes crema. Starbucks doppio shots are around 1.5 oz (44 ml). It’s not a different drink entirely from espresso, just more robust.

To make “doppio”, you’d use double the coffee grounds as used for a solo shot. Solo shot is a single shot of espresso. That’s around 14 g of finely ground coffee you’d need.

And you’ll need 2–3 oz (59–88 ml) of water. Double or triple the amount of water required for a single shot.

A quick warning:

Don’t exceed 3 doppio espresso drinks a day. The United States Food Drug Administration (FDA) says 400 mg of caffeine daily is safe for most healthy adults [1].

Where Does Doppio Come From?

The word doppio (DOH-pee-oh) is Italian for “double.” Despite many throughout the English-speaking world calling double shots by its Italian translation, many Italians prefer single shots of espresso.

Who popularized the term outside Italy?

Starbucks.

As Seattle’s massive coffee conglomerate introduced double shots to the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and other locations with their stores, more folks began using the term “doppio.”

How to Prepare Doppio

You’ll need the following to make doppio espresso:

  • 2–3 oz (59–88 ml) of water
  • 14–20 g of coffee
  • High-quality coffee grinder (fine grind)
  • Espresso machine

Yield:

  • 2 oz or 60 ml

Brew time

  • 3 min

Notes:

  • Aim for a high-quality coffee grinder
    • It’ll make a world of difference regarding coffee taste, since it’ll result in more uniform grinds
  • Ideal brewing temperature:
    • Medium roast: 195–199 °F (91–93 °C)
    • Dark roast: 190–195 °F (88–91 °C)
      • Don’t brew too hot, or you may scorch your beans
  • Don’t use reverse osmosis or distilled water with your espresso machine; use softened water to prevent espresso machine oxidation due to mineral buildup [2]
  • Store coffee beans in an airtight container & keep it in a dark place [3]
    • This helps ensure your beans stay fresh

Steps to Make a Doppio

Follow these steps, and you’ll have a pick-me-up in no time:

  1. Grind your beans to a fine grind
  2. Fill & tamp the beans into a double portafilter
    1. Ensure the grounds are flat & compact
    2. The weight applied isn’t as important; but don’t strain yourself
    3. Many recommend using 30 lbs (13 kg) of force to tamper beans
  3. Place the portafilter in your espresso maker
  4. Place cups under spouts & begin extraction
  5. Stop extraction once your cup fills with 2 oz or 60 ml of espresso
    1. Filling should take you up to 40 seconds

You’re likely wondering, “how do I figure out what 30 pounds of force is?”

Pull out a scale and mash the tamper into it. With enough practice, you’ll know by feeling how much force you’re exerting into tampering.

Drinks That Have Doppio

Here are a bunch of drinks that could call for a couple espresso shots:

Espresso DrinksIngredients
AmericanoDoppio & hot water
CappuccinoDoppio, steamed milk, & milk foam
LatteDoppio & steamed milk
Flat WhiteDoppio & microfoam
CortadoDoppio & equal part steamed milk
MacchiatoDoppio & a dollop of milk foam

Various espresso drinks made with doppio espresso and their ingredients.

Not using doppio for these won’t make or break them. Meaning, you will still have an Americano if you use a single shot.

Speaking of different ways to prepare drinks—

Doppio vs. Other Ways to Prepare Espresso

Let’s compare doppio to other ways of preparing espresso:

MethodCoffee Req.Water Req.Brewing TimeCaffeine Content *
Doppio14–20 g60 ml40 sec126 mg
Solo8–12 g30 ml25–30 sec50–70 mg
Long Shot8–12 g50–70 ml35–60 sec70–100 mg
Ristretto8–12 g15–20 ml15–17 sec25–30 mg

Different types of espresso preparation compared.

I’ll cover the differences among these preparation methods throughout the following sections.

1. Doppio vs. Solo Espresso

  • A solo espresso has one shot, while a doppio espresso has 2 shots
  • Doppio espresso contains double the caffeine
  • A double shot offers a stronger, bolder taste
  • Solo espresso is typically 1 oz, while a doppio espresso is 2 oz

With its single shot, a solo espresso serves as a quick pick-me-up when I need a slight caffeine boost. It usually measures 1 oz, providing a concentrated yet manageable taste.

A doppio espresso doubles the shot volume, delivering twice the caffeine and a more intense flavor. I choose this option when I require a caffeine kick or a bolder taste. 

A solo and a doppio espresso differ in their shot volume, caffeine content, intensity, and serving size. Opt for a solo espresso for a smaller, concentrated boost, or a doppio espresso for a more powerful jolt.

2. Doppio vs. Long Espresso

  • A doppio espresso has two shots, while a long espresso has one extended shot
  • The former has a standard extraction time, while long espresso takes longer
  • Doppio espresso has a more concentrated taste, while long espresso is milder.
  • A double shot has a richer crema

A long espresso is an extended single shot, offering a milder flavor perfect for sipping slowly. The longer extraction time creates a thinner crema, giving the drink a lighter texture.

Doppio espresso and long espresso differ in their shot volume, extraction time, flavor, and crema. Choose a doppio espresso for a concentrated, bold taste or a long espresso for a milder, more leisurely experience.

3. Doppio vs. Ristretto

  • Doppio espresso has two shots, while ristretto espresso has one restricted shot
  • The former uses a standard extraction time, while ristretto espresso is shorter
  • Double shots uses more water
  • The former has a bolder, more concentrated taste
  • Ristretto espresso is sweeter and less bitter

A ristretto espresso is a single, restricted shot, offering a sweeter, less bitter flavor that I appreciate when I’m in the mood for a different taste experience. The shorter extraction time and reduced water amount result in a unique flavor profile.

Opt for a doppio espresso for a bolder, more concentrated taste or a ristretto espresso for a sweeter, less bitter flavor.

Places that Serve Doppio

Places that serve double shots include:

BusinessCoffee Beans Used
StarbucksEspresso Blend
Dunkin’ DonutsEspresso-Style
Dutch BrosPrivate Reserve
McDonald’sArabica

* Availability will vary by restaurant. Not all countries serve the same drinks.

FAQs

Keep reading to find a bunch of frequently asked questions about doppio espresso.

Can You Make Doppio Without an Espresso Machine?

Yes, you can make doppio without an espresso machine by using a Moka pot, AeroPress, or French press to brew strong, concentrated coffee.

However, this gives you an “espresso-like” taste. Not espresso.

How is Doppio Coffee Different from a Regular Espresso?

Doppio coffee is different from a regular espresso as it is a double shot, containing twice the amount of coffee and water compared to a single espresso shot.

What is the Origin of the Term “Doppio” in Coffee?

The origin of the term “doppio” in coffee comes from the Italian word for “double,” reflecting its composition as a double shot of espresso, which contains twice the amount of coffee and water as a single espresso shot.

How Do You Make Doppio Coffee at Home?

To make a doppio coffee at home with an espresso machine, first grind approximately 18–20 grams of coffee beans to a fine consistency.

Next, place the ground coffee in the portafilter, tamp evenly, and pull a double shot (60 ml) of espresso using your machine.

What Are the Ideal Brewing Parameters for a Doppio Coffee?

The ideal brewing parameters for a doppio coffee include using 18–20 grams of finely ground coffee beans and extracting a 60 ml double shot of espresso.

Do this within 25–30 seconds, under 9 bars of pressure.

How Much Caffeine Does a Doppio Coffee Contain?

A doppio coffee contains approximately 120–160 mg of caffeine, depending on factors such as bean type and extraction process.

What Type of Coffee Beans Should I Use for a Doppio Coffee?

For a doppio coffee, use freshly roasted, high-quality Arabica beans for optimal flavor and aroma.

Choose a blend or single-origin bean that suits your taste preferences, such as a dark roast for bold flavors or a lighter roast for fruity notes.

Conclusion

Doppio means a couple of shots. You’ll have a stronger drink with more shots due to the increased caffeine content.

You’ll need an excellent espresso machine and grinder to make great-tasting doppio shots. First off, explore what to look for when considering an espresso machine.

Footnotes:

* Caffeine content varies depending on factors such as bean type, roast level, and preparation method.

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Author

Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of TimsCoffee.com. He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create TimsCoffee.com.
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