Whether you're a sleepy college student pulling an all-nighter to study for an upcoming exam or a new parent making your way through midnight feedings, when it comes to staying awake, caffeine is king. Just one sip from a cup of coffee, and almost instantly, you can feel the powerful substance working its magic, flowing through your veins and stimulating your central nervous system to make you feel more alert.
But what if you need a bigger boost of energy than what can be provided from the coffee in your mug — should you swap to a shot of espresso?
While it's commonly thought that espresso is basically an alarm clock in a cup that will leave you bouncing off the walls, you might be surprised to know that the caffeine content in this popular drink is actually less than an average cup of joe.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about the caffeine in espresso and what other options are available. Let's dive in!
First Things First. What Exactly Is Espresso?
Ah, coffee — America's favorite beverage. Some like it black or with a splash of milk, others drink lattes and may add extra flavors with those sweet, sweet syrups. Low-carb warriors and keto-dieters enjoy Bulletproof coffee, which has MCT oil and butter in it, and some folks prefer their java blended with ice and topped with a little whipped cream.
And then, there are the hardcore coffee aficionados who order shots of espresso.
When made fresh from really good espresso beans, the addicting aroma that comes from a shot of espresso is absolutely divine. Luxuriously creamy with a kiss of foamy crema and a lingering bitter aftertaste, if you've ever had a taste of espresso, then you know it's a potent swallow of coffee, brewed hot and fast under pressure — but what exactly is it?
Simply put, espresso is a full-flavored, concentrated form of coffee served in "shots." It's made by forcing pressurized hot water through finely-ground beans using an espresso machine. The end result is a delicious liquid with a much bolder taste than coffee, and it is topped with a crema — a frothy brown foam which is a by-product of the high-pressure extraction process and sits on top of a properly pulled shot of espresso.
Where Did Espresso Come From?
Popular American coffee chains may have made it famous, but espresso got its start a long way from the United States.
In Italy around the early 1900s, a businessman named Luigi Bezzera was frustrated by how long it took to brew his own coffee at home. He began to tinker with his coffee pot and found that adding a little steam pressure not only cut down on the tedious brewing process but also produced a stronger, more robust cup.
Bezzera quickly named his discovery the "Fast Coffee Machine." However, since the word espresso translates to fast in Italian, the name of the drink that his invention produced was quickly shortened to what we know today.
So, How Much Caffeine Is in Espresso?
Did you know that espresso is made using the same beans as regular coffee? You see, the difference between the two drinks is nothing more than the preparation process, not the beans themselves.
With that being said, many people are under the impression that espresso is much more caffeinated than regular coffee, but the truth is that a shot of espresso is simply a super-concentrated, smaller serving of coffee. In other words, it doesn't have more caffeine than a standard cup of joe.
In a single 1.5-ounce shot of espresso, you'll find around 63 milligrams of caffeine. As for your basic cup of drip coffee at around 6 to 8 oz., you're looking at 120 milligrams, making it the superior wake-up call for especially rough mornings.
Unfortunately, unlike civilized Italians sitting in a cozy cafe, most sleep-deprived Americans hammer back espresso as if it were going out of style. And as a result, the jolt of caffeine comes on much faster than when leisurely sipping a mug full of java.
What’s Best For Energy?
If you're burning the midnight oil or are in desperate need of an afternoon pick-me-up, espresso is not necessarily the best choice. Compared to other beverages, its caffeine content is relatively low. In fact, a standard cup of java brewed from your handy-dandy coffee maker can provide you with more caffeine than a single shot of espresso.
The reason why espresso is so well-known as the ultimate adrenaline rush is because it's basically a small, concentrated cup of coffee. Compared to a regular 8-ounce cup of java, a 1.5-ounce shot of espresso can be consumed in a matter of seconds.
While it does have less caffeine, the stimulant is absorbed by the body quickly as you pound it back. When you enjoy a large cup of coffee, on the other hand, it can take time to consume the entire beverage meaning your body will slowly absorb the caffeine content as you leisurely sip on your favorite brew.
So, which beverage is best for quick energy?
If you were to drink an entire cup of coffee as quickly as a shot of espresso, you'd find that it will give you more energy due to the higher caffeine content. However, that's quite a bit of liquid to consume all at once, which is why a quick shot of espresso is usually best for immediate energy.
That being said, you might not feel as energized as you'd like after throwing back a single shot of espresso — are there other options available?
As a matter of fact, there are.
Proper Wild’s Clean All-Day Energy Shot
When you're in need of an energy boost ASAP, there's nothing quite like Proper Wild's Clean All-Day Energy Shots.
Clean and simple ingredients that are backed by science and designed to maximize your productivity, our 2.5-ounce plant-based energy shots contain 2x more organic caffeine than a cup of coffee for clean, long-lasting energy, and 15x more L-theanine than a cup of green tea for focus and productivity, without the jitters or crash.
Sweetened with natural fruit juices and absolutely nothing artificial, just one shot of Proper Wild is all you'll need to power through the day. And the best part? Since all of the clean plant-based ingredients are formulated in one tasty 2.5-ounce shot, you can drink Proper Wild just about as fast as you can drink a shot of espresso (only our energy shots have more caffeine!).
Here are some of the top benefits of taking Proper Wild:
Long-lasting energy — smooth sustainable energy without the crash
Clean ingredients — no preservative, nothing artificial, and gluten-free
Brain fuel — boost your focus and productivity
Reduced jitters — stay relaxed and focused for hours without the jitters
Perfect to take on the go, our energy shots will save you lots of time when you need long-lasting energy now.
Wrapping It Up
So, how much caffeine is in espresso?
In a single shot of espresso, the caffeine content generally sits somewhere around 63 milligrams — a lot lower than the 120 milligrams typically found in a standard cup of java.
That being said, espresso is consumed much faster than coffee in a mug, so the effects of caffeine are usually felt quicker.
If you're in need of an energy jolt, but want something with a little more power than espresso or a cup of joe, look no further and try our delicious Clean All-Day Energy Shots.
Here at Proper Wild, we use organic caffeine from green tea to provide long-lasting energy that's second to none. Sweetened with natural fruit juices and absolutely nothing artificial, you’ll always get a clean, smooth, and natural taste — without the junk.
Whether you're pulling an all-nighter to study for an exam or simply need an energy jolt to get you through the day, you can count on Proper Wild to put you into the ideal mental state to maximize your day!