I have visited Starbucks lots of times for their delicious coffee. As I stand in line, I hear people order coffee with like extra shots. I tried searching up what it means but to no avail. Here's an example of what I hear people say:

I would like some coffee with two extra shots please!

What does the word "shot" mean in the coffee language? Yes, I have looked in the dictionary but no help was given.

3 Answers 3


They are referring to a "shot" of espresso. The Italian standards are that it is a volume of 25 mL plus or minus ten percent. Additional shots in a drink indicate more espresso flavor and a higher caffeine content.

  • +1 I should have guessed this was based on a metric measure.
    – apaul
    Jan 27, 2015 at 22:55

A "shot" in this context usually means one ounce, or so, of espresso. So a cup of coffee with two extra shots would be a cup of coffee with approximately two ounces of espresso added.


In Italian a "shot" is called a "little cup" (tazzina; tazza = 50 mL cup). Espresso means fast, because it's made quickly.

According to p. 4 of the Certified Italian Espresso and Cappuccino guide by the National Italian Espresso Institute (Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano), a Certified Italian Espresso shot has these parameters:

Necessary portion of ground coffee              7 g ± 0,5
Exit temperature of water from the unit         88°C ± 2°C
Temperature of the drink in the cup             67°C ± 3°C
Entry water pressure                            9 bar ± 1
Percolation time                                25 seconds ± 5 seconds
Viscosity at 45°C                               > 1,5 mPa s
Total fat                                       > 2 mg/ml
Caffeine                                        < 100 mg/cup
Millilitres in the cup (including froth)        25 ml ± 2,5

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