Starbucks Espresso Shots: Sizes, Caffeine & Options

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Here's a quick look at Starbucks espresso shots. See all the shot sizes and caffeine content. Plus, learn about prep options like ristretto, long shots and upside down.
Starbucks espresso shots.

Starbucks Espresso: Quick Facts

  • Starbucks espresso shot sizes are solo, doppio, triple and quad.
  • Most Starbucks locations offer three kinds of espresso: dark, blonde and decaf.
  • The standard roast used for espresso drinks is Starbucks signature roast, unless the recipe calls for blonde or customer requests otherwise.
  • Shot options include regular, ristretto or long shots.
  • Ristretto and long shots taste different than a standard shot and the amount of caffeine differs, too.

Starbucks Espresso Shot Sizes

There are four sizes of Starbucks espresso shots: solo, doppio, triple and quad.

As you can see, Starbucks shot size names differ from other coffee shops—a solo is like a single shot elsewhere. And a doppio is just a fancier way of saying double shot or two shots.

Generally speaking, in the coffee world a single shot of espresso is one fluid ounce and a double is two fluid ounces.

However, at Starbucks this isn’t the case. In fact, a standard solo shot at Starbucks comes in at .75 oz. Here’s a look at how many ounces of espresso are in each shot size.

Starbucks Espresso Shot SizeOunces in Regular Shot
Solo.75 oz
Doppio1.5 oz
Triple2.25 oz
Quad3 oz
How many ounces of espresso in each Starbucks standard espresso shot size

Now, most of us aren’t ordering straight shots of espresso or espresso con panna at Starbucks. Therefore, you might be wondering exactly how much espresso goes into delicious drinks like an Iced Caramel Macchiato or White Chocolate Mocha.

In fact, the number of espresso shots that goes into each drink depends on two things: cup size and recipe.

To see exactly what I mean, take a look at my Ultimate Guide to Starbucks Cup Sizes. The guide shows how many shots go into each size and for all the types of Starbucks espresso drinks.

Caffeine in Starbucks Espresso Shots

Standard Starbucks espresso drinks are made with their Signature espresso roast. Additionally, a standard pull clocks in around 18-23 seconds.

Unless you customize your drink, this is how it’s made. And both the kind of roast (dark, blonde or decaf) and type of shot (regular, ristretto or long shot) impact the amount of caffeine in each shot.

As a guideline, a standard shot of Starbucks signature espresso contains 75mg caffeine. Blonde roast has 85mg and decaf has about 10mg more or less.

Starbucks Espresso Shot Options

Types of Shots

Starbucks baristas can pull espresso shots three ways: regular, ristretto and long shots.

Note that the espresso is automatically dispensed from the machine for consistent drink quality from barista-to-barista and store-to-store.

Here’s a quick overview of each shot option:

Regular or Standard Shot: A regular solo shot of espresso at Starbucks takes about 17-21 seconds to pull. It produces .75oz espresso and contains about 75mg of caffeine.

Ristretto Shot: A ristretto shot, or short shot, is made with a shorter extraction time and less water.

My Starbucks barista-insider timed her ristretto shots at about 14 seconds. Ristretto shots produce less volume and have a more concentrated flavor. Additionally, they have less caffeine than regular shots.

Of note, Starbucks flat white drinks are always made with ristretto shots.

Long Shot: As you may have guessed, a long shot has a longer extraction time and uses more water.

My Starbucks-insider timed her long shots at 46 seconds. Now, you may think a long shot is quite bitter due to the extraction time. But since there’s more water, in reality it tastes a little weaker than a regular shot.

Espresso Roast

Most Starbucks stores have three types of espresso beans in the hoppers: dark (Signature roast), blonde and decaf.

Each roast has a different flavor and caffeine-content profile. Here’s a quick look at each roast.

Dark, Signature Roast: Most Starbucks espresso drinks are automatically made with their dark, signature roast.

Unless decaf is ordered, or the drink recipe calls for blonde roast, like an Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, dark roast is the standard.

Blonde Roast: Starbucks describes their lightly roasted blonde coffee as “soft, mellow, and flavorful.” It pairs perfectly with honey and plant-based milks like almondmilk and oatmilk.

Since blonde roast contains more caffeine than the signature roast, a few drinks on this list of 19 Most Caffeinated Starbucks Drinks are blonde roast-based.

Decaf Roast: A lot of decaf coffee drinkers don’t realize Starbucks has decaf. But the fact is there are at least 6 Ways to Order Starbucks Decaf Coffee Drinks. You can even see how to get Starbucks Decaf Iced Coffee Drinks.

Just so you know, some licensed Starbucks stores (the ones inside other stores), still have old espresso machines. This means they don’t offer decaf.

Shot Prep

Have you ever noticed the shot prep option when ordering an espresso drink on the Starbucks app? There you see one option: upside down.

At Starbucks, selecting the upside down drink prep method means the drink is made in reverse order than normal.

So, for most espresso drinks this means the espresso shot will get poured over top instead of before milk.

However, the most common drink ordered upside down is one of Starbucks caramel drinks—caramel macchiatos.

Normally a caramel macchiato begins with vanilla syrup and ends with espresso and caramel sauce. The upside version is reversed, beginning with caramel sauce and ending with vanilla.

More Starbucks Ordering Tips