One of the stars of the coffee world is Espresso. This very strong, very short coffee is the basis of various coffee drinks and is the benchmark of good coffee for many people. However, Espresso is also very confusing and leaves many with unanswered questions, such as, what is a Double Espresso, and how do you drink it?
A Double Espresso is two shots of Espresso. A Double Espresso is typically made with 18 – 22 grams of coffee, and yields 32 – 44 of liquid espresso, and is served straight with no milk or extra water. To drink a Doppio, stir it lightly, and consume while hot, soon after brewing.
Double Espresso has become the standard in most coffee shops, having replaced the traditional Single Espresso, but there is still confusion surrounding this drink, as Double Espresso recipes vary widely depending on location and the barista that prepares the drink. Let’s clear up the confusion around this enigmatic and iconic drink.
What Is A Double Espresso?
Double Espresso, also called a Doppio or a Double Shot, is one of the most popular drinks in the coffee community, but many remain confused about the Double Espresso.
This confusion is usually because the Double Espresso, like most coffee drinks, is not prepared using a set-in-stone recipe and varies depending on who prepares the drink.
The definition of a Double Espresso is a double shot of a Single Espresso. A Double Espresso is twice the size and uses twice the coffee of a Single Espresso.
An Espresso is a very short, very strong coffee drink that is brewed by placing 18 – 22 grams of ground coffee beans into an espresso machine and forcing hot water through the ground coffee at roughly 9 bars of pressure.
This brewing method extracts all of the coffee flavor and intensity from the ground coffee in 25 – 40 seconds and uses the least liquid of all coffee brewing methods.
The fact that Espresso is brewed with such a small volume of water makes the drink incredibly strong, rich, and textured.
The Double Espresso is the same drink but prepared with a double portion of coffee and double the volume amount of water. This drink is, therefore, larger, more intense, much more flavorful, and more textured due to the larger amount of coffee, which allows for more of the coffee flavor notes to shine.
This intense coffee drink is not for everyone, but if you have the right Double Espresso brewed by the right barista with beans that you enjoy, the Double Espresso becomes a very drinkable, highly enjoyable coffee drink.
How To Drink A Double Espresso
Drinking a Double Espresso is different for everyone, but the process of how to drink this drink, what to do before drinking it, and how to make this drink as delicious as possible is very important.
When espresso is brewed, most espresso machines will perform what is called a “pre-infusion cycle.” This process invloves a small amount of water is pumped into the coffee grinds and allowed to sit with the coffee for a few seconds before the rest of the water is pumped through the coffee, pulling the shot of espresso.
This pre-infusion phase means that the very first few milliliters of liquid that come through the machine are incredibly dense, rich, thick, textured, and very, very strong. As more water is pulled through the coffee, the strength and texture of the liquid will become weaker, as there is less to extract from the coffee as the shot progresses.
The fact that the strength and viscosity of the espresso shot diminish as the shot is pulled means that the consistency and strength of the espresso in the cup are not uniform.
The first few milliliters of espresso in the cup are very strong and thick, and the shot gets progressively weaker toward the top.
This information is very important because it dictates the way a Double Espresso should be drunk for maximum enjoyment.
The layered nature of espresso means that it is always best to stir the shot before drinking it, to combine the layers of espresso, and ensure that every single sip of coffee is well balanced and great tasting.
Without stirring, the first sip of espresso will feel weak and disappointing, and the coffee will get stronger with each sip, ultimately being too strong for most people’s liking at the last sip of the espresso.
Another important aspect of drinking espresso is to be sure to drink it as soon after brewing as possible and drink the coffee quickly. Do not let espresso sit around and get cold. This will allow the espresso to separate into weaker and stronger sips, and it will allow much of the aromas of the espresso to dissipate before you get a chance to enjoy them.
For these reasons, the best way to drink a Double Espresso is to mix it well before drinking, and to drink it relatively quickly, as soon after brewing as possible.
Is Double Espresso Good?
Double Espresso is almost the strongest coffee drink possible. The only stronger drink is the Double Ristretto, which is ultimately not that much stronger than Double Espresso. This means that many people struggle to enjoy a Double Espresso and perceive this drink to be unenjoyable.
The truth is, it takes time and practice to properly appreciate and enjoy a Double Espresso. This drink is very strong, and very few baristas prepare this drink very well.
To enjoy a Double Espresso, take the time to find a reputable café with a well-practiced barista that can pull good shots of espresso.
Next, ask the barista what flavor notes to look out for in the espresso that they brewed. Take the time to sip the Double Espresso and search for the flavors that are said to be present in the coffee.
Learn to appreciate the subtleties of drinking espresso, and what was once a bitter, strong drink becomes a well-balanced, complex, textured, sweet, highly enjoyable drink.
Double Espresso is good, but it must be prepared well and drunk with the intention of finding all of the subtle flavors within the drink.
Double Espresso is a very intense, very complex drink, but it is one of the best and most loved coffee drinks among coffee enthusiasts.
The world of good coffee is full of espresso, and the journey to appreciating good Double Espresso is fun, interesting, and highly enjoyable.
Take the time to learn what good espresso is, and you will be enjoying double shots of espresso in no time at all!