What is a Doppio? Doppio Coffee Drink Explained!

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Two cups of coffee on a wooden table in front of a window, illustrating Doppio.
Table of Contents
Two cups of coffee on a wooden table in front of a window, illustrating Doppio.

Key Takeaways:

  • Doppio espresso is a term that originates from Italy and refers to a double shot of espresso, made with 19-21 grams of ground coffee and served in approximately 60 ml volume.
  • The key differences between doppio and regular espresso include the serving size, caffeine contentbrewing techniques, and flavor complexity.
  • To brew the perfect doppio espresso, use freshly roasted coffee beans, grind them just before brewing, maintain consistent water temperature, follow the correct coffee-to-water ratio (1:2), ensure proper extraction time (25-30 seconds), tamp evenly and consistently, clean and maintain your equipment regularly.
  • Understanding the cultural significance of doppio espresso reveals its historical evolution as part of Italian coffee culture. It represents tradition and expertise while holding a significant place in socializing over coffee in Italy’s vibrant café scene.

What is a Doppio Espresso?

A doppio espresso is a double shot of espresso, made with 19-21 grams of ground coffee and typically served in a volume of approximately 60 ml.

Diving into the world of coffee can seem quite intricate, with all its varied brews and terminologies. One such term that often puzzles people is “doppio”, an Italian word simply meaning double.

This blog post will demystify everything about this robust espresso version – the doppio, helping you to understand it’s origin, how it differs from a regular espresso shot, and even some cultural considerations.

Keep reading for your ultimate guide to mastering the art of drinking and brewing a perfect doppio!

Meaning and origin of “doppio”

Doppio, hailing from the picturesque country of Italy, is a term synonymous with ‘double’ in English. This name stems from its coffee culture context, referring specifically to a double shot or two servings of espresso.

Rooted in Italian coffee tradition, the word “doppio” implies more than just an increased serving size; it also signifies the artistry and precision that goes into making this robust brew. Serving a doppio means doubling up on everything—the amount of finely ground beans (generally between 19-21 grams), water, and importantly—flavor.

So next time you’re surrounded by the hum of an espresso machine and hear someone order a “DOH-pee-oh”, know they’re asking for nothing less than a concentrated dose of authentic Italian culture served in an elegant demitasse.

Differences between doppio and espresso

A doppio and an espresso may seem similar on the surface, but there are several key differences that distinguish these two coffee drinks. Understanding these differences will help you appreciate the unique charm and flavor profile of your cup of doppio.

The term “doppio” originates from Italy and translates to “double” in English, signifying a double shot of espresso.An espresso is a single shot of espresso, often referred to as “un caffe” in Italy.
A doppio is typically made with 19-21 grams of ground coffee, resulting in approximately 60 ml of coffee.An espresso shot uses about half the amount of ground coffee as a doppio, resulting in a smaller, more concentrated coffee beverage.
The caffeine content of a doppio ranges from 100 to 135 grams, a significant increase from the espresso due to the larger serving size.Espresso shots typically have a lower caffeine content, due to the smaller volume and less ground coffee used.
A doppio requires specific brewing techniques and often a special espresso machine that can accommodate the larger volume.An espresso can be brewed with a traditional espresso machine, and the brewing process is often quicker due to the smaller volume.
Doppio is often compared to other coffee drinks like espresso cortado and espresso macchiato, due to the volume and complexity of flavor.Espresso is considered the base for many coffee drinks, but is also enjoyed on its own for its potent and concentrated flavor.

Ratio and serving volume of a doppio

doppio espresso, or double shot espresso, is made with a specific ratio of coffee grounds to water. Typically, 19-21 grams of ground coffee are used to make a doppio. This balanced ratio ensures that the flavors are extracted properly and that the drink has enough intensity without being overpowering.

In terms of serving volume, a doppio espresso is relatively small compared to other coffee drinks, with an approximate volume of 60 ml. It’s important to note that these measurements may vary slightly depending on personal preferences and the equipment used for brewing.

Nonetheless, understanding the proper ratio and serving volume will help you appreciate the rich flavor profile and strength of a doppio espresso.

How to Make and Drink a Doppio Espresso

To make a doppio espresso, start by grinding 19-21 grams of coffee beans to a fine consistency. Then, distribute the grounds evenly in the portafilter basket and tamp it down firmly. Next, insert the portafilter into your espresso machine and extract two shots of espresso using a double shot button or by manually stopping the extraction at around 60 ml.

Pour your freshly brewed doppio into an appropriate-sized cup and enjoy!

Steps for preparing a doppio

To prepare a doppio espresso, follow these simple steps:

  1. Grind 19-21 grams of coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency.
  2. Preheat your espresso machine and portafilter basket.
  3. Distribute the coffee grounds evenly in the portafilter basket.
  4. Tamp the coffee grounds firmly, using consistent pressure.
  5. Lock the portafilter into the espresso machine.
  6. Place your espresso cup(s) under the group head of the machine.
  7. Start the extraction process and monitor the shot time.
  8. A doppio espresso should ideally be extracted for around 25 – 30 seconds.
  9. Watch for a steady stream of rich, dark liquid flowing into your cup(s).
  10. The final volume of your doppio should be approximately 60 ml.
  11. Once you have poured the desired amount, stop the extraction by turning off the machine or releasing pressure from the portafilter handle.
  12. Enjoy your doppio as is or use it as a base for other specialty coffee drinks.

Tips for brewing the perfect doppio

To brew the perfect doppio espresso, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Use freshly roasted coffee beans: Opt for high-quality, freshly roasted beans to ensure maximum flavor and aroma in your doppio.
  2. Grind the beans right before brewing: Grinding your coffee beans just before making the doppio will preserve the freshness and enhance the taste.
  3. Keep the water temperature consistent: The ideal water temperature for brewing a doppio is around 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). Use a thermometer or a machine with precise temperature control for accuracy.
  4. Maintain the correct coffee-to-water ratio: A standard doppio requires around 19-21 grams of ground coffee for every 60 ml of water. Adjust the ratios according to your taste preferences.
  5. Ensure proper extraction time: Aim for a total extraction time of around 25-30 seconds. This will help achieve balanced flavors without over-extracting or under-extracting the coffee.
  6. Tamp evenly and consistently: When tamping, exert even pressure on the coffee grounds using a tamper, ensuring an even surface. This promotes uniform extraction during brewing.
  7. Clean and maintain your equipment: Regularly clean your espresso machine, including the portafilter basket, to avoid any residue or build-up that could affect the taste of your doppio.
  8. Practice frothing milk correctly (optional): If you choose to add milk to your doppio, properly froth it so that it enhances but doesn’t overpower the overall flavor profile of your espresso.
  9. Experiment with different brewing techniques: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variables such as grind size, brew time, and extraction methods to find your preferred balance of flavors in a doppio.
  10. Taste and adjust as needed: After brewing your first doppio, taste it and make adjustments if necessary. Keep refining your technique and experimenting until you achieve the perfect doppio to suit your preferences.

Recommended milk and coffee proportions

To achieve the perfect balance of flavors in a doppio espresso, consider the right proportions of milk and coffee. Unlike other coffee drinks that may have more milk, the doppio espresso is traditionally enjoyed without any added milk.

This allows the rich and concentrated flavor of the double shot to shine through. The recommended ratio for brewing a doppio espresso is 1:2, which means using twice as much water as ground coffee.

By following this guideline, you can ensure that your doppio has a bold and intense taste profile that true coffee enthusiasts appreciate.

Understanding the Cultural Significance of the Doppio Espresso

Doppio espresso holds a significant place in Italian coffee culture, representing both tradition and expertise. Delve into its historical evolution and common misconceptions to truly appreciate this beloved double shot of flavor.

Keep reading for a deeper understanding of the cultural significance behind doppio espresso.

Historical context and evolution of the espresso

The espresso has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the late 19th century. It originated in Italy, where coffee culture was thriving. Espresso machines were invented as a way to quickly brew individual servings of coffee with intense flavor and aroma.

The first patent for an espresso machine was filed in 1884 by Angelo Moriondo, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that commercial espresso machines started appearing in cafes across Italy.

Over the years, the design and functionality of espresso machines improved, leading to more consistent and flavorful extractions. This innovation allowed for greater control over water pressure and temperature during brewing, resulting in the perfect cup of concentrated coffee with crema on top.

Espresso became particularly popular among Italians who wanted a quick pick-me-up without sacrificing quality. It also became synonymous with Italian cafe culture, where people gathered to socialize while enjoying their beloved caffeine fix.

Today, espresso remains an integral part of global coffee culture. Its popularity continues to grow worldwide as more people appreciate its strong flavor profile and versatility in creating various specialty coffee beverages like cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, and doppio espressos.

Significance of the doppio in Italian coffee culture

The doppio espresso holds a significant place in Italian coffee culture, where coffee is considered an art form. It is a popular choice among Italians who prefer a stronger and bolder flavor profile.

In Italy, the doppio is often enjoyed as a morning pick-me-up or after meals to aid digestion. The double shot of espresso provides an intense caffeine boost that keeps locals energized throughout the day.

This traditional Italian drink also captures the essence of socializing over coffee in Italy’s vibrant café scene. Italians love savoring their doppio while engaging in lively conversations with friends or colleagues.

The ritual of enjoying this strong and robust beverage reflects the rich cultural heritage and deep-rooted appreciation for quality craftsmanship that can be found throughout Italy’s history.

Common misconceptions about doppio espresso

Many people have misconceptions about doppio espresso. Here are some common misunderstandings to clear up:

  • Doppio espresso is not the same as a regular coffee with two shots of espresso. It is specifically a double shot of espresso, meaning it is made with twice the amount of coffee grounds and extracted in the same volume as a single shot.
  • Some people believe that doppio espresso is stronger in caffeine content than a regular single shot espresso. However, both contain similar amounts of caffeine, with a doppio having around 100 to 135 milligrams.
  • Another misconception is that doppio espresso will taste twice as intense or bitter compared to a single shot. While it does have a stronger flavor profile, it’s all about personal preference and how the coffee beans are roasted.
  • Doppio espresso is not exclusive to Italy or Italian coffee culture. It has become popular worldwide and can be found in specialty coffee shops around the globe.
  • Some mistakenly think that doppio espresso should always be served straight without any milk or other additives. However, it can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for various coffee drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations for Doppio Espresso

To enhance your doppio espresso experience, try experimenting with different types of coffee beans, such as a medium or dark roast for bolder flavors. Invest in a high-quality espresso machine and precise measuring tools to ensure consistency and accuracy in every shot.

Get creative with your doppio by exploring unique recipes and variations that showcase its rich flavor profile.

Best coffee beans for doppio espresso

When it comes to brewing the perfect doppio espresso, choosing the right coffee beans is crucial. To achieve a rich and flavorful double shot, opt for high-quality beans that have been specifically roasted for espresso.

Look for beans with a medium to dark roast profile, as this brings out the desired boldness and intensity in your doppio. Arabica beans are often preferred due to their complex flavors and low acidity levels, resulting in a smooth and well-balanced cup of coffee.

Consider selecting single-origin beans for unique flavor profiles or blends that combine different bean varieties for added complexity. Remember, experimenting with different coffee beans is part of the fun of enjoying doppio espressos at home!

Equipment recommendations for brewing doppio at home

To brew a delicious doppio espresso at home, you’ll need the right equipment. Here are some recommendations to help you achieve the perfect double shot:

  1. Espresso Machine: Invest in a high-quality espresso machine that allows for precise temperature control and extraction. Look for models with a dual boiler system to ensure optimal brewing conditions.
  2. Grinder: For the freshest and most flavorful coffee, grind your beans just before brewing. A burr grinder is recommended, as it provides consistent particle size and ensures even extraction.
  3. Portafilter Basket: Choose a double-shot portafilter basket specifically designed to hold the appropriate amount of coffee grounds (19-21 grams) for a doppio espresso. This will help you achieve consistent results.
  4. Tamper: A sturdy and well-fitted tamper is key for evenly compressing the coffee grounds in the portafilter basket. Look for one with a comfortable grip and a flat bottom to ensure proper distribution of pressure.
  5. Scale: Accurate measurements are crucial when brewing espresso. Use a digital scale to measure both the coffee grounds and water accurately. This will help you maintain consistency in taste and strength.
  6. Shot Glasses or Cups: Opt for heat-resistant shot glasses or demitasse cups designed specifically for espresso consumption. These vessels promote efficient heat retention while enhancing the visual appeal of your doppio.
  7. Milk Frother (Optional): If you enjoy milk-based variations of doppio espresso such as cappuccinos or lattes, consider investing in a milk frother or steam wand attachment for your espresso machine. This will allow you to create creamy frothed milk to complement your double shot.

Creative doppio recipes and variations

If you’re looking to experiment with your doppio espresso, here are some creative recipes and variations to try:

  1. Doppio Affogato: Pour a hot doppio espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato for a deliciously creamy and indulgent treat.
  2. Doppio Macchiato: Add a small amount of foamed milk or a dollop of whipped cream on top of your doppio espresso for a touch of sweetness.
  3. Doppio Americano: If you prefer a milder flavor, simply add hot water to your doppio espresso to create an Americano-style coffee.
  4. Doppio MochMix in some chocolate syrup or cocoa powder with your doppio espresso, then top it off with steamed milk and whipped cream for a rich and decadent mocha beverage.
  5. Spiced Doppio: Sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg into your ground coffee before brewing your doppio espresso to add warmth and depth to the flavor.
  6. Iced Doppio: Allow your freshly brewed doppio espresso to cool, then pour it over ice cubes for a refreshing cold coffee experience on hot summer days.


Understanding doppio espresso is key to unlocking a world of bold and rich coffee flavors. By mastering the art of brewing this double shot espresso, you can indulge in the true essence of Italian coffee culture.

Whether you prefer it straight or with a twist, let your taste buds explore the depths of doppio for an unparalleled coffee experience. Cheers to embracing the double espresso journey!


How do I make a Doppio?

To make a Doppio, you will need an espresso maker or a coffee maker capable of brewing espresso. Simply load the machine with finely ground espresso beans and extract two ounces of water through the grounds.

What is the difference between a Doppio and a solo espresso?

The main difference between a Doppio and a solo espresso is the amount of coffee used. A Doppio contains a double shot of espresso, while a solo espresso contains only a single shot.

Can I make a Doppio at home?

Yes, you can make a Doppio at home if you have an espresso maker or a coffee maker capable of brewing espresso. Simply follow the same process as making a regular espresso shot but extract double the amount of water.

What are some variations of the Doppio?

Some variations of the Doppio include adding milk or cream to make a Doppio Macchiato, or adding hot water to make an Americano.

Is the Doppio the same as a Lungo?

No, the Doppio and Lungo are not the same. While both drinks use double the amount of coffee grounds, a Doppio uses a standard amount of water, while a Lungo uses more water to create a longer espresso shot.

How does a Doppio taste?

A Doppio has a strong and bold flavor profile. It is richer and more intense compared to a solo espresso shot due to the double amount of coffee used.

Is the Doppio considered a type of coffee?

Yes, the Doppio is considered a type of coffee. It is a popular espresso drink enjoyed by coffee lovers around the world.

Can I order a Doppio at Starbucks?

Yes, you can order a Doppio at Starbucks. Simply ask for a “Doppio espresso” or a “Double shot espresso,” and the barista will prepare it for you.

How is the Doppio served?

The Doppio is typically served in a small espresso cup or shot glass. It is meant to be enjoyed as a concentrated coffee drink.

About the Author:
Oliver Bennett, a seasoned barista, focuses on the technical aspects of coffee-making. His journey from local cafes to specialty coffee shops has equipped him with skills in the science of coffee, from grind size to latte art. Oliver's articles and how-to videos delve into brewing techniques and coffee science, fostering a community of home baristas and elevating the home coffee experience.