Coffee Shops Add an Extra Shot of Espresso — Without Telling You

Two shots of espresso has become the new standard for coffee drinks

Can’t live without your morning coffee? If your caffeine fix comes from a large macchiato, you might be getting more than you think. National chains like Starbucks have begun to add an extra shot of espresso into drinks without asking the customers. Even though a traditional cappuccino used to be made with a single shot of espresso (that’s about 1.5 ounces brewed), most coffee chains now use a double shot to make their drinks.

The BBC recently featured a café in St. Albans, a small town near London, that continues to make their drinks with a single shot, arguing that it’s sufficient to pack the caffeine punch their customers crave. Yet, many patrons are noticing the difference in taste between these single shot drinks and the super-charged creations served at Starbucks and other coffee chains. 

While there are plenty of recent studies that state the benefits to drinking coffee, each individual has a unique tolerance for caffeine. As diettcian Amanda Ursell states, “We all metabolize caffeine differently at different rates, so it affects people differently.”  So that double-shot latte might be fine for you, but give your friend a serious case of the jitters. And we know that very high caffeine intake can have a serious impact on health. 

The next time you head to your favorite café, take care. Ask the barista if they use a double or single shot in your ordered drink — the answer may surprise you.