What Is A Red Eye Coffee?

We all love our caffeine. A fine cup of coffee in the morning catapults us in the right direction. But for some reason, you do feel a bit of lag later in the day. Normal people would suggest drinking an extra cup. But as a coffee lover, we’ll suggest something crazy. Add a shot of espresso to your cup of coffee. Wait, it’s not that crazy!

What is a red eye coffee? A red eye coffee is nothing but a cup of regular dripped coffee that has a shot of espresso in it. You get more caffeine content in a red eye coffee when compared to a normal cup of coffee. This coffee is a great way to keep you going through the night or when you need that extra push.

Why Is It Called A Red Eye Coffee?

One can wonder why this coffee is given such a name.

The answer lies in the red eye flight.

A red eye flight travels all night to take you to your destination the next morning. The most common route people link to the red eye flight is from the West Coast to New York.

A red eye coffee is a coffee that gives to the strength to stay awake all night to reach your destination the next day on that flight. 

Another explanation for the red-eye is how the passengers will look when they come out of an overnight flight.

The good thing about the red eye coffee is that it can be either hot or cold. So regardless of how you like your coffee, you can caffeinate it by adding a shot of espresso to it.

What is a Black Eye Coffee?

If you’re familiar with red eye coffee, there is a good chance that you might have also heard about Black eye coffee.

When the former doesn’t satisfy your caffeine needs, you can go with this black option where you add two shots of espresso to a cup of normal drip coffee. 

Once you’re done adding the double shot, you can see a black ring in the cup giving this drink its name.

What is a Dead Eye Coffee?

If you’re crazy and want to load your coffee with more caffeine, you can try dead eye coffee. 

A dead eye coffee is made by adding three shots of espresso to a cup of regular dripped coffee. The name comes from the fact that this caffeine level when taken regularly can even lead to organ failure.

So do make this is a very leisure cup and nothing something that is on your daily planner. It could just be an extra shot when compared to the Black eye but the caffeine is overloaded in this one.

You can also get this dead eye coffee at Starbucks or any coffee shop. But they call it the green eye coffee. You can get both the hot and cold versions of this coffee at Starbucks so you can choose the right caffeine overload for you.

How Much Caffeine is in a Red Eye Coffee?

If you’re someone who drinks coffee for the caffeine content in it, a red eye coffee is just the right drink for you.

It is a great way to get more caffeine without having to drink more cups of the same coffee.

A normal cup of coffee (8oz) contains 95 mg of caffeine. An espresso shot (1oz) comes with 64 mg of caffeine. When you combine these two and make a red eye coffee, you get a total caffeine amount of 159 mg of caffeine. 

Wait, you said you can get more caffeine with this coffee without drinking more cups of regular coffee, but the caffeine amount here is still less than two cups of dripped coffee combined.

Well, you’re right and if you feel like this doesn’t do the trick for you. You can also go for the black eye or the dead eye coffee. They will give you the caffeine you need.

Here’s a simple table that explains the same.

NameCaffeine in Coffee (mg)Caffeine in Espresso (mg)Total Caffeine (mg)
Red Eye Coffee9564159
Black Eye Coffee95128223
Dead Eye Coffee95192287

All the data is from the assumptions that a cup of coffee is 8oz and a shot of Espresso is 1oz.

What Does a Red Eye Coffee Taste Like?

Every red eye coffee is different as its taste depends on the base coffee. The taste and flavor of your coffee depend on its coffee beans, the roasting, the brewing method (cold brew, pour-over, etc), and other factors.

If you prefer a dark roast, you are going to end up with a bitter-tasting coffee when you add a shot of espresso to your cup. 

If you want to strike the right balance, then you might want to go with a medium roast coffee, so that you get a bitter or sour taste. Adding a shot of espresso also won’t make the taste any worse.

You can always enrich the taste of your brewed coffee by adding some additives. If you find it hard to drink your coffee black, you can add some healthy sugar alternatives to your coffee so that you get the taste without adding empty calories to your cup of joe.

If you are feeling a little indulgent, you can even add a chocolate bar, cream, milk, or oat milk to give it some life.

How To Make a Red Eye Coffee At Home?

Making a cup of this caffeine goodness at home is pretty simple.

All you need is an espresso machine that can give you a shot of espresso and a cup of dripped coffee.

Once you have both dripped coffee and the espresso shot ready, you can pour the espresso shot into the cup of coffee, and voila, your red-eye coffee is ready.

Remember, you can add more punch to your coffee by making it a black eye coffee or a dead eye coffee.

All you need to do is to add two shots of espresso and three shots of espresso to your coffee cup to make it a black eye coffee and dead eye coffee respectively. 

Do note that this coffee drink doesn’t have to be black. You can also make a latte if you want.

Some Other Names For Red Eye Coffee

This caffeine-rich coffee bears other names as well.

Depending on the area you’re in, you will be calling the red eye coffee these names

  • Hammerhead – A common name for the red eye coffee
  • Mondo – In the US Northeastern coast
  • Train Wreck – Northern California
  • Shot in the Dark – Pacific Northwest
  • Sludge Cup – Alaska
  • Oil Spill – Kansas

If you call this coffee a different name in your area, please be sure to let us know and I’ll update the post with those local names.

Can You Get Red Eye Coffee At Starbucks?

Yes, you can get a red eye coffee at Starbucks. Just tell them you want one and you’ll get it.

Even if they don’t understand it, you can just ask the barista to add an espresso shot to your regular coffee. Add an extra shot to get the more caffeinated variant.

Red Eye Coffee – Wrap Up

If you’re looking for a cup of coffee that will keep you up all night, then the red eye coffee is a good contender. All you need is a cup of dripped coffee and a shot of espresso.

You can amp up your drink by adding more espresso shots to your coffee making it a black eye or even a dead eye coffee.

Keep in mind that this coffee is enriched with caffeine. The average caffeine your get in a red eye is around 159 mg. The black eye and the dead eye coffee come with 223 mg and 287 mg of caffeine respectively. 

The best part is that making this drink at home is super easy. But do keep in mind that you shouldn’t take more caffeine than recommended. 400 mg of caffeine is the upper limit and you shouldn’t cross it for any reason.

Other than that, there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy this caffeine feast every once in a while or even daily if that’s your jam.

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