In this article, I’ll cover how much caffeine is in 4 shots of espresso at all your favorite coffee shops, why the amount of caffeine in a shot of espresso can vary so much, and the best drinks to order with 4 shots of espresso.
For your reference, I’ve included below a graphic comparing the amount of caffeine in different caffeinated drinks. While it’s not perfectly accurate, it will help you organize in your mind how drinks are ordered when it comes to caffeine.
How Much Caffeine is in Four Shots of Espresso?
A drink made with four shots of espresso contains on average 250mg of caffeine in it. According to the USDA, one shot of espresso contains on average 64mg of caffeine. The caffeine content of an espresso shot will vary depending on the type of coffee beans used and the brewing technique.
A normal shot of espresso is one ounce, so a four-shot drink will be made with four ounces of espresso. An espresso drink like a latte, cappuccino, americano, or macchiato that is made with four espresso shots is called a “quad.” For example, you could order a “quad latte” or “quad americano.”
IMPORTANT: The FDA has set 400mg of caffeine per day as the upper limit of recommended caffeine consumption. So just keep that in mind when ordering these extra espresso drinks.
Some coffee beans contain significantly more caffeine in them than others, so an espresso made with one bean will differ in caffeine content from another.
The final caffeine content in a shot of espresso will also change depending on how ground the coffee beans are, how hot the water was during flavor extraction, how long the coffee was brewed for, how tightly packed the ground beans are, and other brewing techniques that will change from coffee shop to coffee shop and barista to barista.
Because the amount of caffeine in a shot of espresso can vary so much, from 45mg per ounce at some coffee shops to 125mg per ounce at others, I’ve created the guide below on how much caffeine is in four shots of espresso at five of the most popular coffee shops: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, Peet’s Coffee, and Dutch Bros.
How Much Caffeine is in 4 Shots of Espresso at Starbucks?
One shot of espresso at Starbucks is 75mg of caffeine, so four shots of espresso at Starbucks is about 300mg of caffeine. Starbucks decaf espresso has 3mg of caffeine per shot, so in four shots there is about 12mg.
Short (8oz) and Tall (12oz) espresso drinks are regularly made with one shot, while Grande (16oz) and Venti (20oz) are made with two.
I’ve actually already written an article on “Quad” espresso drinks at Starbucks that goes into much more detail on all their quad espresso drinks, including a chart detailing exactly how much caffeine is in every type of quad drink. You can read that article here.
How Much Caffeine is in 4 Shots of Espresso at Peet’s Coffee?
One shot of espresso at Peet’s Coffee has about 70mg of caffeine in it. This means that a Peet’s drink made with 4 shots of espresso has 280mg of caffeine. Four shots of Peet’s decaf espresso is 10mg of caffeine.
How Much Caffeine is in 4 Shots of Espresso at Dunkin Donuts?
One shot of Dunkin Donuts espresso is about 118mg of caffeine, which means that four shots of Dunkin espresso contains 472mg of caffeine.
If you’re a fan of Dunkin’s espresso, you need to check out this 10-pack of Dunkin Espresso Style Keurig Pods on Amazon
How Much Caffeine is in 4 Shots of Espresso at Dutch Bros?
One shot of Dutch Bros espresso contains 46mg of caffeine, so a Dutch Bros drink with four shots of espresso has about 184mg of caffeine in it.
You can check out Dutch Bros Private Reserve 3 Bean Blend on Amazon here
How Much Caffeine is in 4 Shots of Espresso at Tim Hortons?
One shot of espresso at Tim Hortons is 125mg of caffeine, which means that four shots of espresso at Tim Hortons is 500mg of caffeine.
The Best Coffee Drinks to Order with Four Shots of Espresso
If like me you’re a regular consumer of espresso drinks like cappuccinos or lattes, you can order these drinks “quad” to get more espresso for those days you need some extra energy.
Or, if you have a simpler taste and like to keep your coffee drinking straight to the point you could just order four shots of espresso hot (quad espresso) or over ice (quad espresso over ice).
You can also add milk or a syrup like caramel, mocha, peppermint, or raspberry to a quad espresso for some flavor. Remember that if you’re drinking the quad espresso hot and you want milk you should order it with steamed milk so that the milk is hot and doesn’t cool down the espresso.
You can even add a quad shot of espresso to non-espresso drinks like chai lattes or hot chocolate!
Whatever drink you decide to order, I hope you enjoy those 4 shots of espresso, try not to get too jittery…
This article was written by Josh, the founder of AngryEspresso.com. You can learn more about Josh on our About the Team page.