In this article, I’ll cover how much caffeine is in 3 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 a triple shot.
Caffeine in 3 Shots of Espresso
Before we dive in, let's cover the basics. According to the USDA, one shot of espresso contains approximately 64mg of caffeine. Therefore, a drink made with three shots of espresso should contain around 192mg of caffeine. However, as I'll talk about below, the actual caffeine content can differ based on various factors.
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.
The FDA recommends a daily caffeine limit of 400mg.
Related: How Much Caffeine is in 4 Shots of Espresso
Why the Variance?
The caffeine content in 3 shots of espresso can vary due to factors such as the type of coffee beans used, brewing technique, grind size, water temperature, extraction time, and more.
For example 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 three shots of espresso at five of the most popular coffee shops: Starbucks, Peet's Coffee, Dunkin Donuts, Dutch Bros, and Tim Hortons.
Caffeine Content at Popular Coffee Shops
Now, let's cover how much caffeine you'd find in 3 shots of espresso at your favorite coffee shop.
How Much Caffeine is in 3 shots of Espresso at Starbucks
At Starbucks, one espresso shot contains 75mg of caffeine. Therefore, three shots is about 225mg of caffeine.
How Much Caffeine is in 3 shots of Espresso at Peet’s Coffee
A single espresso shot at Peet’s Coffee is around 70mg of caffeine. With three shots, you'll be at roughly 210mg of caffeine.
How Much Caffeine is in 3 shots of Espresso at Dunkin Donuts
Dunkin Donuts espresso has about 118mg of caffeine per shot. For three shots, you're in for 354mg of caffeine.
How Much Caffeine is in 3 shots of Espresso at Dutch Bros
Dutch Bros' espresso contains 46mg per shot, totaling around 138mg of caffeine for a triple shot.
How Much Caffeine is in 3 shots of Espresso at Tim Hortons
A shot of Tim Hortons espresso is a whopping 125mg of caffeine. Ordering three shots here means you're getting 375mg of caffeine.
The Best Drinks to Order with a Triple Shot
Lattes, cappuccinos, and other espresso drinks are usually a double shot at most coffee shops, so if you order them as a triple shot you're getting one extra. Which could be the move on days you feel a little extra caffeine would be nice.
If you have a simpler taste and like to keep your coffee drinking straight to the point you could just order a triple shots of espresso hot (triple espresso) or over ice (triple espresso over ice).
You can also add milk or a syrup like caramel, mocha, peppermint, or raspberry to a triple espresso for some flavor. Remember that if you’re drinking the triple 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 triple shot of espresso to non-espresso drinks like chai lattes or hot chocolate!
If a triple espresso isn't enough for you, you can order your drink with 4 shots by ordering a “quad espresso.” I wrote an article specifically on the quad espresso which you can read here.
This article was written by Josh. Learn more about Josh on our About the Team page.