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

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 Americano). 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 likely 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:

  • Drip coffee
  • 1, 2 or 3 espresso shots
Red Eye Coffee

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. Here’s the basic outline of the steps, then some details below on the coffee making methods:

  • 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.

What does red eye coffee taste like? 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’d only recommend the red eye for a quick fix!

Step 1: Make 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 ours in order of preference:

Red Eye Coffee

Step 2: Make the espresso

Espresso is a bit trickier, 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 here. Here are the top ways to make espresso:

  • Espresso machine: An espresso machine is the best option: it makes incredible espresso! There are various machines in different price ranges.
  • Portable espresso maker: manual espresso maker is a more affordable option, and it makes great espresso.
  • French press: French press espresso is a great way to use this coffee-making tool.
  • Moka Pot: You can also make strong espresso-like coffee in a Moka Pot (Bialetti).

How much caffeine is in red eye coffee?

Wondering how much caffeine you’ll be ingesting in this 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, well…they taste better! Here are some we prefer:

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Red Eye Coffee

Red Eye Coffee

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


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

Keywords: Red eye coffee, what is red eye coffee

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. 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.