Black Eye Coffee: Everything You Need To Know Here

Pulling all-nighters is fun when you’re out for a night in town but not as much when you’re over the books. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that’s exactly how black eye coffee was introduced.

This coffee is a mighty pick me up that almost feels like a punch in the face. Feeling intrigued?

Let’s find out how to enjoy it in those times of need.

Topics Explored

  1. What Is The Black Eye?
  2. How Much Caffeine Is In It?
  3. Red Eye vs. Dead Eye Coffee
  4. How Do You Make A Black Eye Coffee
  5. What Does It Taste & Look Like?
  6. Precautionary Note
  7. FAQs

What Is Black Eye Coffee?

Black eye coffee is a simple, caffeine-rich drink. It’s made with a cup of regularly brewed coffee, whether iced or hot, and two espresso shots.

The result is an intense and robust cup of coffee with a powerful caffeine kick.

Shot Into Coffee

The coffee got the name after the appearance it gets when you pour the espresso shots over the brewed coffee. Some might say it’s because drinking it feels like a blow in the face.

We couldn’t trace back the origin, but it’s clearly created for the sleep-deprived. It’s still in demand by those pulling all-nighters, long-haul flights, and night shifts.

How Much Caffeine Is In It?

The Black Eye

The caffeine content depends on the size of the coffee. For example, a 12 oz cup has around 240 to 250 mg of caffeine(1 & 2).

As a reminder, the daily limit for adults is no more than 400 mg(3). Taking into account other beverages you consume that may contain caffeine, you shouldn’t drink more than one per day.

Black Eye vs. Red Eye vs. Dead Eye Coffee

The Black Eye is the middle child that comes after the Red Eye and before Dead Eye.

They’re all crafted the same way but differ in ratios between brewed coffee and espresso shots. Red Eye is the introduction to these strong coffees, while Dead Eye is only for the experienced.

Red Eye Coffee

Red Eye Coffee Composition

Red Eye was introduced as a drink of choice for those catching the Red Eye flight from the West Coast to New York.

It has one espresso shot added to the cup of brewed coffee to give it an extra kick and get the consumer up and running the morning after a sleepless night. It can also be iced or hot, and the taste is like a stronger Americano.

Dead Eye Coffee

Dead Eye Coffee

Dead Eye Coffee or Green Eye, as Starbucks refers to it, is triple the threat! It’s a cup of brewed coffee with three espresso shots.

It’s not for the faint of heart or caffeine-sensitive. A dead eye coffee made with 8 oz of brewed coffee plus the three shots comes with 284 mg of caffeine!

How Do You Make A Black Eye Coffee

If the introduction to the world of “eye” coffees have you intrigued, we have a treat for you. We’ve got the recipe on how to make black eye coffee at home when you feel like you could use a boost.

How to Make Black Eye Coffee

How Do You Make A Black Eye Coffee

Yield: 1 serving (12 oz)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

If the introduction to the world of "eye" coffees have you intrigued, we have a treat for you. We've got the recipe on how to make black eye coffee at home when you feel like you could use a boost.


  • Ground espresso: 18 to 22 grams (or enough for 2 shots)
  • Ground coffee: 4 tablespoons
  • Enough water for espresso machine and coffee maker


  1. We're starting with the brewed coffee. Here you can use any coffee making machine: a French press, a drip coffee machine, or the pour-over method.French Press
  2. Measure out enough water for two cups of coffee and add it in your coffee machine along with the 4 tablespoons of coffee.Coffee into French Press
  3. Brew two cups of coffee. Afterward, measure out 10 oz from the brewed coffee, which we'll be using, and leave the rest aside.Brewed Coffee
  4. For the espresso, you can go for an espresso machine, portable espresso maker, or a Moka pot. Use enough ground beans for two shots of espresso using the method of choice.Pull Espresso Shots
  5. After pulling the two shots, get your brewed coffee. In a 12 oz cup, pour the brewed coffee and gently add the shots.Shot Into Coffee
  6. And there you have your black eye coffee! The original is served plain black, but you're free to experiment with a sweetener of choice.Black Eye Coffee Top

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What Does It Taste & Look Like?

You probably wonder how the combination of the two brewing methods and the staggering amount of caffeine tastes.

Black eye is strong, rich, and eye-opening. Think of it as a really strong cup of coffee. The taste is highly influenced by the type of coffee you pick.

From the top


It’s made from two simple ingredients: espresso, and brewed coffee. It requires coffee in two forms and specific ratios: 2 shots of espresso to 1 cup of regular brewed coffee.

It doesn’t include any add-ons, cream, milk, or sweetener. The strength varies depending on the coffee grounds used.


The coffee got the name after the appearance. The crema forms a “eye” at the top when the espresso shots are poured into the brewed coffee.

Because of the pouring method, the crema is visible. However, the crema will be very thin if the barista inverts the process and pours the coffee over the espresso.


The black eye is not famous because of its flavor. It tastes very strong and pretty bitter in some cases. The flavor depends on the beans you use and the type of brewed coffee.

A lighter roast produces slightly floral notes but might get overpowered by the brewed coffee. With a darker roast, the taste of the espresso will override the brewed coffee.


With no additives, it amounts to nearly zero calories. Some might not tolerate the strong taste and can add sugar or milk to tone it down. The calorie content will change depending on the additives used.

The caffeine content is over half the recommended daily amount, so pay attention not to go over the 400 mg mark.

Precautionary Note


The black eye has a high amount of caffeine which can be a problem for some. The daily caffeine limit for the average adult is 400 mg.

But those with caffeine sensitivity should be cautious or avoid this coffee drink altogether. Also, don’t pair it with other beverages that contain caffeine, as you could easily go overboard.

Final Words

The Black Eye

Black eye coffee is a drink of choice for the sleep-deprived and coffee enthusiasts willing to challenge their palate and caffeine tolerance. It’s made with brewed coffee and two espresso shots, with a characteristic strong and even bitter taste.

A 12 oz cup of this coffee has over 224 mg of caffeine, so it’s not recommended for those with caffeine sensitivity.


What is a Black Eye Coffee at Starbucks?

The Black Eye is not part of the regular offer at Starbucks, but it’s part of their secret menu.

It’s a cup of regular coffee with two shots of espresso and can be hot or iced. As part of the secret menu, you’ll find the less potent red eye coffee and the supercharged green eye.

Can you add milk to a Black Eye Coffee?

You can use any additive for your black eye coffee like milk, cream, or sugar. You can even add an extra shot of espresso to make it stronger.

Just be careful not to add anything that increases the caffeine amount past the acceptable daily dose.

What’s the difference between an Americano and a Black Eye Coffee?

Americano and Black Eye might seem similar, but Americano is just espresso shots diluted with boiling water.

Black Eye is two espresso shots added to brewed coffee. This makes it much more robust; the taste is more intense and has a higher caffeine content than Americano.

Verified Sources

Wondering where your info comes from? We totally understand. Hey Joe only obtains our information from reputable sources. Contents from this article are sourced from the following publications:

  1. USDA:
  2. USDA:
  3. Mayo Clinic:
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