Is Doppio Coffee Strong? (Is It Bitter?)

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A doppio is an Italian name for a double espresso. Many people hear “doppio” for the first time and have no idea what type of drink it is.

Remember the first time you heard someone ordering a latte at your local coffee shop? You probably had to ask what it meant. For whatever reason, we still attach foreign language names to a lot of things which makes it harder to understand.

Keeping Italian names is fun when it comes to coffee. If you ask people, a lot of them will likely say that the foreign language names elevate the experience. It makes people feel fancier. For some, though, it gets in the way of knowing what to order.

If you’re thinking about giving a doppio a try, one thing you may wonder is how strong the drink is. If espresso is a concentrated drink of coffee, will a doppio be too strong for you?

If a one-ounce espresso has 40 milligrams of caffeine in it, you can do the math and double it for a doppio. Some people complain that doppio is bitter. It’s not sweet, for sure, but bitter espresso usually only happens if it’s pulled too quickly.

A cup of doppio with a pinch of cacao on top

Let’s explore a bit about doppios and how strong they are. Understanding how they’re made and what’s in them will help you know whether this has the potential to be your new go-to drink.

A Doppio Is a Double Espresso

It may sound fancy, but the doppio isn’t that hard to make. If you’ve ever made or ordered an espresso before, then all you have to do is double the recipe!

You can ask for a double as well, though sometimes baristas will think you’re asking for four shots instead of two. Just make sure that you say, “double espresso” to get the right drink.

A Little Goes a Long Way

A lot of people order doppios because let’s face it, espressos go a bit too fast. They’re a small drink that can be gone in a few gulps. It’s not meant to last. Sure, you can savor it for a bit, but the bottom line is that there’s not much in the cup.

People in cafes across Europe and in other parts of the world drink shots of espresso in tiny cups meant to provide a jolt of caffeine to keep you going during the day.

If you feel like you love the taste of espresso but want something more before it’s all gone, then a doppio is a great choice. Just be careful to keep track of how many of these you have in a given day because, obviously, doubling up will mean more caffeine intake.

How Much Caffeine Are You Drinking with a Doppio?

On average, your typical shot of espresso will have around 40 milligrams of caffeine. A double has around 80. That’s not as much as a 12 oz normal cup of brewed coffee, though. Those come in at around 120 milligrams of caffeine.

The rub comes in when you start looking at how many espresso shots someone drinks in a day. The espresso shots are small, so it’s easier to drink more of them.

When you drink espresso, you’re getting more concentrated amounts of caffeine that can send you over a jittery edge if you’re not careful.

A glass of doppio with coffee beans on a wooden table

Why People Love the Doppio

People love espresso, and there’s an entire coffee culture built around the drink. In Italy, you’ll come across a bunch of espresso bars no matter where you go. It’s where people have business meetings or take a break from the workday.

When you order a doppio in Italy, your baristas will present two espressos in a larger, single cup. Some cafes, though, may bring you two different espresso drinks. There isn’t as much of a culture of drinking doppios when you can sit and enjoy one espresso after another.

If you find yourself in Italy or any sort of upscale coffee shop, try ordering an espresso and getting another one once you’re finished.

For people on the go, the doppio is a fantastic drink with the right amount of caffeine to get you going.

History of the Doppio

In 1884, Angelo Moriondo patented an idea that used steam to make what is now known as espresso. The force of the steam made pulling coffee out of the grounds much stronger, making it possible to increase the strength of coffee in what was one of the major milestones of coffee science. It wasn’t until over 20 years later when the first espresso machine was revealed in Italy.

Over the years, there have been many improvements in espresso machines that make drinks faster, stronger, and taste better. The rest, as they say, is history.

Making Doppio at Home

Yes, you can make espresso and doppio at home. You’ll find them in pretty much every cafe you go to, but it is possible to make them yourself.

Of course, making espresso is best done with an espresso machine. These can cost a lot of money the higher-end you go, but there are plenty of affordable options that you can find on Amazon or at your local home goods store.

If you’re new to making espresso, one thing that you’ll want to keep in mind is pulling a blank shot without the espresso to warm the machine up. This way you’ll know your espresso will come out just the way you want it. Then, grind the espresso beans and put the appropriate dose into the portafilter.

Making a doppio on a coffee machine

Make sure to fill it completely. Some people recommend overstuffing it slightly to make sure you have enough coffee in there to pull a decent shot. Tap the portafilter a few times to settle the grounds to make sure you can get the right amount in.

When it’s time to pull your shot or two shots for your doppio, lock the portafilter in place and press the button on your machine that starts the process. It will take around 20 seconds for the perfect shot of espresso, so you can plan on a bit longer for a doppio.

The ideal espresso shot has a golden-colored foam that sits on top of the liquid. Anything longer or shorter will affect the flavor and the consistency of the drink. Good luck!

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