When you go to order an espresso, you may be faced with the choice between a regular espresso and a doppio.
It’s good to know that in Italian, doppio simply means “double.” Therefore, when you order a doppio, you’re typically getting a double shot of espresso.
The main difference between a doppio and an espresso is the amount of beverage you receive. The drink comes from the same beans, made in the same machine, but a shot of espresso will yield about 30 ml (1.01 oz), and a doppio will give about 60 ml (2.03 oz).
In the rest of this article, we’ll take a closer look at these two drinks. We’ll explore all the possible variations and some other common terms you might come across while ordering the perfect espresso drink.
Similarities between doppio and espresso
There are more similarities between espresso and doppio than there are differences.
These two drinks carry similar flavors as they come from the same bean that has been through the same unique roasting process.
Let’s take a closer look at how these two drinks are made and what kind of beans they come from.
Both espresso and doppio come from the same source ingredient. While regular coffee and espresso both come from the same bean, the roasting and brewing process is performed differently to make very different drinks.
Espresso and doppio utilize the same process and, in the end, are using the same darker beans.
A typical espresso bean is roasted longer than a bean used for filtered or drip coffee, and these beans will come out darker at the end of their roasting:
Typical filtered or pour over coffees will use beans that are light to medium-dark roasted. Espresso beans are typically roasted for the longest period out of all the available beans.
The elongated roasting process is performed in order to give the best possible flavor to your espresso drink.
When the beans are roasted in this way, it reduces the acidity, which changes the flavor from other styles of coffee you might be used to.
The roasting process also gives a chance for more of the oils to come out. This contributes to the heavy, delicious flavor that espresso fans love.
Tip: Check out the best coffee beans for espresso here!
Grinding and brewing process
Once the beans are roasted to perfection, they need to be finely ground in order to give the best shot of espresso. Coffee made using a French press, pour over, drip, or other method utilizes more coarsely ground beans.
These can be especially coarse when using a French press or another method that requires you to infuse your beans in the water.
For espresso or doppios, the beans should be so finely ground that they resemble grains of sand:
The water will make contact with these grounds for a shorter amount of time compared to a French press, for example.
Because of the short duration of their contact with water, it’s essential that they are finely ground to perfection.
If you’re grinding the beans yourself, make sure you’ve adjusted your settings to the espresso grind.
This will give you the finely ground beans that you need. If you’re planning on buying pre-ground coffee, make sure you select an espresso bean if you’re thinking of brewing shots of espresso or a doppio.
Once the beans are finely ground, it’s time to push the hot water through the grinds in order to give you a concentrated, delicious shot of espresso or a doppio. This is typically done with an espresso machine or an AeroPress.
However, when it comes to brewing these beans to make these two drinks, you’ll need to go about it differently to end up with a single shot or a double shot. Let’s take a look at how you would make each one of these tasty, full-flavored drinks.
Differences between doppio and espresso
The main difference between a doppio and an espresso is the volume of coffee. You may also hear a doppio be referred to as a double shot, a standard double, or a double espresso.
All of its names express the fact that this drink should be about double the volume of a single shot of espresso.
When you make doppios and espressos, you’ll need to measure out your beans and perform your brewing process slightly differently.
One will yield about 30 ml (1.01 oz) of deliciously brewed coffee, while the other should give you about 60 ml (2.03 oz) of the same tasty drink:
If you want to learn more about the doppio, you can check out this complete article. Let’s take a look at the different ways to brew up doppios and espressos.
Using an espresso machine
If you’re using a traditional espresso machine, you’ll need two different sized baskets to make your espresso versus your doppio.
While not every cafe will take the difference between the two so seriously, inside the world of baristas these two terms specify specific ways of brewing and pouring coffee.
A single shot of espresso, also known as a “solo” in Italy, is traditionally made using a small portafilter basket that pours only one single shot.
A doppio uses a slightly larger portafilter basket and pours two shots at the same time. However, in plenty of cafes, a doppio basket is used universally.
Since it pours two shots at once using only slightly more ground beans, it can be used to make two single-shot drinks at the same time or one double shot.
However, in the purest sense, a solo shot is made using only a solo basket which is smaller and features only one spout from which the espresso is pulled from.
This difference is maintained in many barista competitions around the world, where pulling doppios is a standard practice to judge the quality of a barista’s performance.
Pulling the perfect espresso or doppio
If you’re using a portafilter basket designed for a single shot of espresso or a doppio, the process is essentially the same.
Many cafes will freshly grind the beans moments before the drink is made. Once the coffee is ground, it can go stale when exposed to air for too long. For the tastiest drink, grinding the beans at the moment is ideal.
Next, the freshly ground beans are measured into the portafilter basket. You can tap the side of your basket to make sure the grounds are evenly distributed throughout.
Once they look good, tamp down the top, making sure the beans are gently pressed down to create the right pressurized environment for the water to pass through.
The wand is then inserted into the espresso machine, and the water is sent through. From the time you press the button, it should take about 25-30 seconds for the water to pass through the basket and finish pouring the perfect shot.
If it pours too fast, it means you need to tamp your beans down more effectively. If it pours too slow, it means the beans are packed in too tightly. Practice is the key to pouring the perfect shot of espresso.
Depending on the size of the espresso you pulled, the only thing left to do is enjoy your solo shot or your doppio.
Using an AeroPress
The AeroPress has become a popular way to make espresso at home without investing in an expensive, fancy machine.
They’re affordable and versatile coffee makers that can be easily packed up and brought with you wherever you want to make a delicious cup of coffee. You can find the standard AeroPress on Amazon.com.
If you’d first like to read more about the AeroPress, you can find the pros and cons of the AeroPress here. That way, you can see if this coffee brewer fits your needs.
While AeroPresses can be used to make standard coffee, they’re also effective at making espresso and doppios.
To get started, you’ll need to heat up some water to about 205 degrees Fahrenheit or just below boiling. This is approximately 96 degrees Celsius.
Your AeroPress comes in three pieces: a plunger, a brew chamber, and a basket. To get started, follow the steps below:
- Grab a paper coffee filter made especially for the basket of your AeroPress and insert it.
- You’ll want to pour a bit of hot water over it to pre-wet it before brewing.
- Next, load in your measured grounds and prepare to add the water.
- Hit the beans with all of the water within ten seconds.
- Once you’ve added the necessary amount of water, give it a stir and apply the plunger piece on top.
- For espresso or doppio, you’ll want to press the water through in less than 30 seconds. If you’re using normal beans for a typical cup of coffee, the brew time will be longer.
While this might not be a shot of espresso or a doppio that would make it in any barista competition, it’s a good at-home option to make a tasty and affordable espresso drink in just seconds.
Tip: If you’re interested, you can check out this complete guide to brewing coffee with the AeroPress.
Related coffee comparison articles
Are you wondering how the doppio and regular espresso compare to other coffees?
Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:
- Espresso vs. Americano
- Espresso vs. Blonde Espresso
- Espresso vs. Cappuccino
- Espresso vs. Coffee
- Espresso vs. Cold Brew
- Espresso vs. Ristretto
And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!
With the term doppio coming from the Italian for “double,” it’s no surprise how similar these two drinks are.
Doppios are simply double shots of espresso made from the same beans in the same method of grinding.
It’s only in the brewing that you’ll find differences between the two, from the size basket, the amount of coffee grounds, to the yield of the final beverage.