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Red eye coffee is drip coffee with one or two shots of espresso: the ideal way to get an extra caffeine fix when you need it!

Red Eye Coffee
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Need a pick me up? Try Red Eye Coffee! When you just can’t pick between drip coffee and espresso, why not combine them? This drink is extra-caffeinated for those days where you need a little more to power through the day. If you’re going for flavor, you might want to opt for multiple espresso drinks (in fact, we prefer the flavor of an Americano or espresso shot). But if you need a quick fix: the Red Eye Coffee is where it’s at!

What is red eye coffee?

Red eye coffee is a coffee drink that combines drip coffee with one or two shots of espresso. The name refers to taking a “red eye flight,” an airline flight that’s overnight, causing the passengers to have tired red eyes.

There are a few variations on the name of this drink that refer to the amount of espresso shots: red eye is 1 shot, black eye is 2 shots, and dead eye or green eye is 3 shots. But if you’re ordering at a coffeeshop, you should be able to simply order a “red eye coffee” and specify the number of espresso shots you’d like. Here’s what’s in this drink:

  • 10 ounces (1 ¼ cup) drip coffee
  • 1, 2 or 3 espresso shots
Red Eye Coffee

What does red eye coffee taste like?

Red eye coffee tastes exactly how you’d expect: like drip coffee with a hint of dark, bitter espresso flavor. In fact, the flavor of the espresso tends to get lost, so we recommend making this drink with at least a doubleshot of espresso.

Flavor-wise we prefer drinking an Americano and drip coffee separately to really enjoy the flavors of each. So we recommend the red eye for a quick fix!

How to make red eye coffee

A red eye coffee is very easy to make at home. All you have to do is pick your drip coffee method and espresso method, then combine the two. Here’s how to make red eye coffee:

  • Make 1 cup drip coffee (10 ounces or 1 ¼ cups).
  • Make 1 doubleshot espresso (2 ounces or ¼ cup).
  • Pour the espresso into the drip coffee.

Step 1: Making the drip coffee

The first step of red eye coffee is choosing the drip coffee method. You already may have a favorite method for drip coffee. Here are top ways to make coffee, in order of preference:

  • Pour over: Our favorite drip coffee is a medium or light roast coffee bean using this Pour Over Coffee method.
  • French press: This French press coffee also makes a great pot of coffee.
  • Aeropress: The Aeropress is simple and great for making a single serving of coffee.
Red Eye Coffee

Step 2: Make the espresso

Espresso is a bit trickier to make at home, but there are lots of great homemade methods for how to make espresso. Make sure to use a dark roast or espresso roast coffee bean for that dark signature flavor. Here are the top ways to make espresso:

How much caffeine is in red eye coffee?

Wondering how much caffeine you’ll be ingesting when you drink a red eye coffee? Here’s a breakdown:

  • 1 cup of coffee has 95 mg caffeine.
  • 1 shot espresso has 64 mg of caffeine.
  • 1 red eye coffee with 1 ¼ cups coffee and 2 shots espresso has 247 mg caffeine.

And that’s it! Let us know what you think about red eye coffee in the comments below.

Red Eye Coffee

More coffee drinks

In all honesty, we prefer other coffee drinks to this one because they have a better flavor! Try these homemade coffee drinks:

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Red Eye Coffee

Red Eye Coffee

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
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Red eye coffee is drip coffee with a double shot of espresso: the ideal way to get an extra caffeine fix when you need it!


  • 10 ounces brewed drip coffee (1 ¼ cup)
  • 1 doubleshot espresso (2 ounces or ¼ cup)


  1. Make the brewed coffee using your method of choice: Pour Over Coffee, French Press Coffee, or Aeropress Coffee.
  2. Make the doubleshot of espresso using your method of choice: go to How to Make Espresso.
  3. Pour the espresso into the coffee and enjoy immediately.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Coffee
  • Cuisine: Coffee
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Aaron James says:

    The red eye is one of the most forgotten drinks you can order simply because most coffee shops forget to put it on the menu. The red eye is my go-to drink at any local coffee shop.

  2. Mutyaba Jonathan says:

    Red is good.

  3. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!