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Many people seem to think that a 0.85oz shot of espresso has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Is there any validity to this?

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According to caffeineinformer, there is 77 mg of caffeine in 1½ shots of espresso.

Comparatively, an 8 oz. cup of brewed coffee comes in at 163 mg of caffeine.

There is roughly 1/2 as much caffeine in 1.5 shots as there is in 8 oz. of brewed coffee.

6

It varies by size, bean origin, roast method and other factors, the caffeine content of "typical" servings of espresso vs. drip brew are 53 mg vs. 95 to 200 mg. Source: Wikipedia.

In example, in Starbucks Expresso it's around 150mg.

Here is full table according to Wikipedia:

Caffeine Content in Select Food and Drugs

And here is a full list according to Center for Science in the Public Interest:

caffeine content by Center for Science in the Public Interest

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