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I stumbled across an answer on Quora that describes the many different espresso-based coffee drinks.

In the author's answer, he defines a doppio as:

Double Espresso or twice the amount of coffee and twice the amount of water. Basically it describes two shots of espresso in one demitasse container.

He then goes on to define a short black:

A pure intense Italian favourite with a biting crème head. Contains 75ml of pure double shot (2) coffee essence made from 24gm of fresh ground coffee beans. Traditionally served in glass and is referred to as Espresso by European customers.

Is there any difference between the two if they're both double shots of espresso served in a glass container? Or is a short black a technical term referring to a specific ratio of coffee to water?

  • Welcome to Coffee SE, please feel free to take the tour. – MTSan Apr 24 '16 at 20:28
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As far as I know, a short black is a single espresso, as in it's literally just another word for a single espresso. A short black is a single 30ml shot, and a doppio is two, 60ml. Nothing added to either, and the vessel you're serving it in varies by where you are, and doesn't change the name in any case :-)

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According to the author's description in the question, short black is defined as two and half times water and three times coffee.

A regular espresso is prepared with 7–9 grams of coffee and 25–30 ml of water.

Note: In Wikipedia, short black redirects to regular espresso as seen here.

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A doppio is a double espresso (two servings of coffee at 60ml), whilst the name short black is interpreted differently. It seems in the commercial world the name "short black" has been used to sell stronger coffee. The article you referenced from Quora is a good example (two servings of coffee in a concentrated serving). For me, that would be a stretched out double ristretto..

I remember Gloria Jeans in Australia in the past would sell a short black as a double shot of coffee (I'm not sure if it has changed now..), and most hipster cafés in Australia would try to pass a 18-20ml shot of coffee as a short black. Although for me, a short black should be a single serve of espresso coffee.

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