Get a Punchy AM Java Buzz With The Black Eye Coffee Drink

What is a Black Eye Coffee?

A black eye coffee drink is a simple beverage—a cup of regular drip coffee, iced or hot, with a double shot of espresso. The name comes from the appearance of the coffee after adding the shots. 

Additionally, if you are caffeine sensitive, avoid this drink. We’ll tell you more about this strong coffee, its variants, and how to make some for yourself.

Black coffee

How Much Caffeine Is In a Black Eye Coffee?

The caffeine content of black eye coffee varies according to its size. A 12 oz (340.2g ) cup, for example, contains approximately 240 to 250 mg (0.24 to 0.25g) of caffeine. To remind you, the daily limit for adults is 400 mg (0.4g). Considering other caffeine-containing beverages you may consume, you should limit yourself to one per day.

Red Eye vs. Black Eye Drink – The Differences

There is no big difference between black eye and red eye drinks. They’re all made the same way, but the proportions of brewed coffee and espresso shots vary. The black eye has a double shot of espresso. 

On the other hand, red eye is an introduction to strong coffees, whereas dead eye is only for the experienced coffee lovers. Red eye was the drink of choice for those flying from the West Coast to New York on the red-eye flight.

It has one espresso shot added to a cup of brewed coffee to give it a boost and get the consumer up and running in the morning after a restless night. You can also serve it iced or hot; the flavor resembles a strong Americano coffee.

How to Make Black Eye Coffee at Home

Black Eye Coffee Recipe

Time: 10 minutes

Serving size: 1 serving

Prep time: 10 minutes

Equipment Needed

  1. Coffee maker


  • Ground espresso: 0.6 to 0.8 oz (18 to 22g)
  • Ground coffee: 1.13 oz (32.03g)
  • Enough water for the espresso machine and coffee maker


  1. We’ll begin with the brewed coffee. You can use any coffee maker here, including a French press, a drip coffee machine, or the pour-over method.
  2. Combine two cups of water with the four tablespoons of ground coffee in your coffee machine.
  3. Make yourself two cups of coffee. After that, take 10 oz (283.5g) of the brewed coffee and set it aside.
  4. You can make the espresso with a machine, a portable espresso maker, or a Moka pot. Use 0.6 to 0.8 oz (18 to 22g) ground beans to make two espresso shots using your preferred method.
  5. Get your brewed coffee after you pull the two shots. Pour the brewed coffee into a 12 oz (340.2g) cup and gently add the shots.
  6. That’s it for your black eye coffee! You can serve the original in black but experiment with your favorite sweetener.
Coffee in a black cup

Black Eye vs. Dead Eye Coffee – The Differences

Both black eye coffee and dead eye coffee have espresso shots; however, the quantity of shots added varies. A typical black eye coffee consists of a regular cup of brewed coffee mixed with one shot of espresso. The espresso shot gives the coffee a more robust flavor and an additional caffeine boost.

On the other hand, dead eye coffee typically consists of a regular cup of brewed coffee mixed with two espresso shots. The term dead eye alludes to the beverage’s high caffeine content, which gives you a powerful energy boost.

Therefore, the number of espresso shots added to regular brewed coffee is the primary distinction between black eye coffee and dead eye coffee. Dead eye coffee has two espresso shots, while black eye has only one shot.

What Does the Black Eye Coffee Drink Look and Taste Like?

You may be curious how the combination of the two brewing techniques and the staggering amount of caffeine tastes. The black eye coffee with espresso shot is robust, opulent, and enlightening. The flavor is greatly affected by the type of coffee you choose.


Black eye coffee contains only two ingredients: espresso and brewed coffee. It requires two types of coffee in specific proportions: two espresso shots to one cup of regular brewed coffee. It contains no condiments, cream, milk, or sweetener. The potency varies based on the coffee grounds used.


The coffee got its name from its appearance. When you pour espresso shots into freshly brewed coffee, the crema forms an “eye” on top. Due to the method of pouring, the crema is visible. However, the crema will be very thin if the barista reverses the process and pours the coffee over the espresso.


Black eye coffee is not well-known for its flavor. In some instances, the taste is quite robust and bitter. The flavor depends on the beans used and the method of brewing.


Without additives, it contains almost no calories. Some may not be able to tolerate the potent flavor, but you can add sugar or milk to do away with it. Depending on the additives used, the caloric content will vary. Caffeine content exceeds half the recommended daily amount, so be careful not to exceed 400 mg (0.4g).

The Names and History of the Black Eye Coffee Beverage

Black eye coffee goes by the names: 

  • Sling blade
  • Hammerhead
  • Autobahn 
  • Shot in the dark
  • Café tobio
  • Golden nugget
  • Shot put
  • Depth charge
  • Double shot in the dark 

This version has been in existence since the red eye’s invention sometime after 1978. It derives its name from the circular black ring that forms when you pour the espresso into coffee containing cream.

Typically, a standard black eye contains at least 221 mg (0.221g) of caffeine, making it a full cup of coffee. However, this does not preclude the presence of caffeine in some double black eye coffee varieties. According to reports, the depth charge red eye served by Caribou Coffee   contains 445 mg (0.445g) of caffeine. 

Some regional coffee shops use the term “depth charge” to describe black eye coffee. This name was unavailable until 2003, when Caribou Coffee finally trademarked it. Even though it has been on their menu since 1998, they had sufficient financial resources to make it their brand name. It was so popular that a smaller coffee shop decided to add it to its menu.

Caribou Coffee issued a cease-and-desist order as a result! This did not occur once, as it occurred at two different coffee shops. This demonstrates how seriously Caribou Coffee takes the protection of its trademarked name.

In 2006, Dunkin’ Donuts capitalized on the popularity of the red eye by introducing the version called Turbo. It is available in hot and cold forms and is essentially a red eye with one or more espresso shots. 

Don’t even consider using the Turbo moniker for your coffee, as Dunkin’ Donuts will likely issue a cease-and-desist order too! They did this to a coffee shop that had a Dunkin’ slogan registered. And the funny part is that their red eye (or black eye, depending on how many shots you put in it) recipe is identical to everyone else’s! 

The Dalmatian, also known as Michael Jackson or the JFK, contains three espresso shots. If you order a Starbucks black eye drink, you should be specific about the number of extra shots. They don’t call it a black eye because it sounds too similar to a ‘black guy’ when spoken out loud.

Is Black Eye Coffee Good for You?

This coffee beverage is extremely popular among university students and those cramming for tests. It is common knowledge that this coffee benefits those who need to concentrate. However, there is a possibility that consuming too much caffeine will be detrimental to your nervous system.

Also, it depends on your overall health and weight, which are typical considerations when drinking coffee. If you like ordering a Doppio, you will find the caffeine in two shots of espresso is relatively little. 

Therefore, adding that to a cup of coffee intensifies the caffeine jolt as you consume this concoction. If you tolerate this stimulation level, chances are high that your body has naturally adjusted to caffeine.

Cup of black coffee

The Bottom Line

Black eye coffee is a beverage for sleep-deprived individuals and coffee lovers seeking to test their palate and caffeine tolerance. It is a product of brewed coffee and two espresso shots with a distinctively robust and bitter flavor. Try it today!