How Many Shots Of Espresso Is Too Much?  

The smell of coffee is enough to stimulate the mind, getting you ready for the day. Though it’s tempting to chug a ton, each person has limits, and there’s a point where it’s best to throw in the towel. Can you overdose from espresso and, if so, how many does it take to walk the line? We’ll answer both below.

The short answer…

Ireland have never got to a semi-final lol. Different people respond differently to caffeine, making it difficult to come up with one quantity that could lead to toxicity. Studies show that 47 shots of espresso are means for lethal dosage that can cause drastic effects in consumers. According to the FDA, it’s recommended to have no more than 6 shots of espresso per day.

Table Of Contents

  • Healthy limits
  • How much caffeine is too much?
  • Symptoms of overconsumption of caffeine
  • How many shots of espresso will kill you?
  • Is caffeine okay for children?
  • Breaking caffeine habits How to do it without withdrawals
  • Factors that increase caffeine sensitivity

Healthy limits

This information is by no means meant to scare anyone away from enjoying coffee. Coffee boasts many benefits when enjoyed in moderation, including alertness and smoother digestion. Just like with any other food or beverage, espresso is best enjoyed in moderation, ensuring not to exceed healthy limits.

According to the FDA, it’s recommended to have no more than 6 shots of espresso per day. As far as cups of coffee, 5 to 6 is considered in the healthy range. Going over these amounts could lead to caffeine toxicity or a wide range of other side effects like nausea, headaches, and quickened heart rate.

When considering healthy limits, the key thing to remember is that all individuals respond differently to espresso. You may need to talk to your doctor to determine your response and make sure that you’re not drinking too much.

How much caffeine is too much?

When speaking about caffeine, experts tend to measure in milligrams. To put that into perspective, each 8oz. cup of coffee has about 70 to 140mg. When consuming espresso rapidly, there have been reports of toxic effects when consuming over 1200mg.

In a day, 400 milligrams of caffeine are considered a safe amount. That equivalates to about 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day. This is not just espresso but also pressed coffee and other items that contain caffeine like soda, tea, and medications.

Though this is a standard estimate, everyone responds to caffeine differently. Some are hypersensitive, getting anxiety and jitters when drinking only a cup. It’s best to observe your sensations after a cup and stop drinking if you start to feel common symptoms of overconsumption.

Symptoms of overconsumption of caffeine

When you drink large amounts of coffee, especially over a short period of time, you may start to feel anxious or nervous. If you suspect that you’ve drunk or consumed too much, here are some symptoms to look for.

  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Anxiousness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Jitters
  • Strange dysphoric sensation
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

How many shots of espresso will kill you?

Rapid consumption of 12 to 14 shots of espresso has led to seizures and death in some individuals. For the day, toxic amounts of espresso are considered anything over 156 shots. 156 shots of espresso is a large amount of coffee, causing the body to react.

Your body is a smart piece of machinery and will likely not allow you to digest more than you need without some warning signs. You may feel nauseous and start to vomit if you’re getting close to your limits, so be sure to watch for these kinds of symptoms.

Is caffeine okay for children?

Adults can be sensitive to caffeine and so can children. It’s recommended not to give children too much caffeine, especially staying away from beverages and foods with high concentration. As far as espresso, most experts say to avoid giving it to children, especially those who are under the age of 15.

Just like with any kind of food or drink, moderation is key. There is nothing wrong with a sip here and there, especially if children enjoy the taste. For the most part, they tend to not like it, only later developing a taste for it.

Breaking caffeine habits How to do it without withdrawals

Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause those who are prone to addiction to develop a need. When cutting off consumption, those who have formed an addiction can feel anxious and start to get a headache without consumption.

These feelings can have an effect on the mood, as the body and the mind feel like they are missing something. To reduce caffeine consumption without the negative side effects, it’s recommended to reduce consumption gradually.

For instance, if typical consumption is 5 shots of espresso a day, it’s recommended to reduce to 4, then to 3, until stopping at the desired amount. Symptoms of withdrawal are unpleasant but do not pose any risks to the health and will not cause toxicity in those who have been drinking coffee heavily for years.

Factors that increase caffeine sensitivity

If you suspect that you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to talk to your doctor. There is no one definition of how your body will react, though there are some factors that can contribute to an increased sensitivity, a few of which are listed below.

Your sex

Women have a particular set of enzymes and microbes that allow them to digest caffeine quickly. It’s for this reason that they are typically less sensitive to caffeine than men. Men take a long time to digest caffeine and can therefore feel more sensitive to it.

Your medication

Some medications, especially birth control, can cause the body to become more sensitive to caffeine. It’s best to talk to your doctor about caffeine consumption and your current set of medications to make sure that there are no negative reactions and interactions.

Your genetics

Genetics plays a major role in a lot of things. One of them is how your body digests and interacts with foods. Those with close relatives that have a sensitivity could also be prone to developing a sensitivity, lacking some of the genes necessary for digestion.

One such gene is ADORA2A, which synthesizes caffeine and plays a role in the effect of caffeine on sleep.

Your usual consumption

Many people have coffee every day, developing a reduced sensitivity over time. However, there are some that have an occasional cup of coffee. Those that do not typically drink coffee can be more sensitive to caffeine, feeling jittery and anxious quickly after consuming.

Your disorders

Some disorders, like anxiety and depression, tend to worsen when exposed to high levels of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and may make the mind and heart race, leading to more intense symptoms. Those with disorders that affect the mood should carefully monitor their body’s response to caffeine.

Final thoughts

Espresso is a great start to anyone’s day, boosting the mood and stimulating the mind. Though it can be beneficial in some ways, drinking too much can come with dangerous and unpleasant side effects. If you feel like you have a sensitivity, talk to your doctor to find the cause and take steps to gradually reduce consumption.

Drinking more than 156 shots of espresso can kill you, though that’s not an easy number to reach. The key is enjoying in moderation and keeping the body from a sudden reaction.

What Is An Upside Down Espresso At Starbucks?

Starbucks has a massive menu, and their online “secret menu” has even more drinks than are offered in store. Do you want to order your Starbucks like a pro? Do you want to try out new drinks?

An upside down drink at Starbucks is when the milk, syrup, and/or foam of a drink is layered in a different position than usual. An upside down espresso will have the foam at the bottom of the drink, below the expresso, instead of at the top. 

Caffeine content levels differ from drink to drink, and there is special lingo that every Starbucks goer must know. From ristretto to flat whites to macchiatos and lattes, this article will help you find the right specialty Starbucks drink for you.

What does upside down shot mean?

An upside down shot means that the espresso in a latte is added last, instead of first. Typically, the espresso is poured first into the cup, making it sit at the bottom. In an upside down shot, the milk is poured first and then the coffee and foam are layered on top.

In an Espresso Macchiato, traditionally, there are two shots of espresso and then a dollop of foam on top. If you were to order an Upside Down Espresso Macchiato, the foam would be beneath the espresso, rather than on top.

One of the more popular drinks, Iced Caramel Macchiatos, are usually made by first layering the syrup, then milk, then ice, and finally two shots of espresso. An Upside Down Caramel Macchiato is made in reverse, with the expresso at the bottom of the cup.

What are two shots of espresso called at Starbucks?

If you want to order your Starbucks like a pro, you can call your two shots of espresso a “Doppio”, which means “double” in Italian. Some baristas may not be familiar with this term, so you may be better off just using the phrase “double shot”.

In most coffee shops, two shots of espresso are the regular amount included in standard drinks. If you want three shots you can say “triple” and for four shots you’ll want to use the word “quad”.

What does ristretto mean at Starbucks?

The word “Ristretto” at Starbucks means that the espresso short is short, also known as restricted. To make a ristretto shot, the barista will use less hot water than in a regular espresso shot. The same grounds are used, but the amount of time that the barista spends pouring the hot water over the espresso will be shorter.

Ristretto shots at Starbucks are smaller, more concentrated espresso shots. They are about 15-20 mL of espresso, rather than the 25-35 mL found in traditional espresso. For this reason, they are more concentrated.

What’s a ristretto Starbucks?

Different flavor profiles of espresso develop depending on how much hot water is used. At the beginning of the pour, the espresso is more sweet, acidic, and rich. At the end of the pour, the espresso can develop a more bitter and diluted taste.

Since the ristretto shot only contains the beginning of the espresso pour, the flavor profile is sweeter and richer than a typical espresso shot. Due to this, the ristretto has a distinct lack of bitterness. This does not mean, however, that it has more caffeine, since the drink portion size is smaller.

However, if you were to drink the same amount of ristretto and espresso, the ristretto would have a higher amount of caffeine. Ristretto shots are included in Flat Whites, but they can be added as a substitute instead of espresso in many drinks.

Starbucks recommends that you try adding ristretto shots in any of your espresso based beverages for a fully customized experience. Ristretto shots can be substituted, for an extra fee, into drinks like Caramel Macchiatos, Eggnog Lattes, Starbucks Doubleshots on ice, or Americanos.

What is an upside down Starbucks drink?

An upside down Starbucks drink is a drink that is made in the opposite order than originally intended. Some Starbucks baristas may be unhappy when you order this type of drink because they can be difficult to prepare and you may end up just ordering another style of drink.

Upside down drinks may cost extra depending on the location. Typically, however, since the same ingredients are used, the price will remain the same. If you request your Starbucks drink upside down, you should be sure to tip your barista for their extra work.

Starbucks drinks may be layered, or they may be stirred. Stirred means that the ingredients of the drink would be prepared as usual, but then blended together. If you were to order an iced macchiato, this would mean that the distinct layers of milk would be mixed together.

What is an upside down flat white?

An upside down flat white is a flat white made in reverse. Typically a flat white starts with two ristretto espresso shots and then steamed milk and microfoam are layered on top. For an upside down flat white, the ristretto shots are pulled over the steamed whole milk and foam.

The process of creating an upside down flat white is about the same as creating a latte macchiato. However, flat whites contain ristretto shots and a bit less foam. Since latte macchiatos at Starbucks are seasonal and only available for a limited time, an upside down Flat White can be a good alternative.

Is a macchiato just an upside down latte?

In general, yes, a macchiato is just an upside down latte. The word “macchiato” means marked or stained. This relates to the fact that the espresso is poured over the frothed milk, creating a “mark” where the coffee goes through the white milk.

Depending on your store location, it may be cheaper to order an upside down Caramel Macchiato than a Vanilla Latte with added caramel drizzle, even though they are essentially the same thing.

What is the strongest caffeinated drink at Starbucks?

If you want the strongest caffeinated drink at Starbucks, you should order a Venti True North Blonde Roast filter coffee, which comes in at a whopping 475 mg of caffeine.

What is an extra shot of espresso at Starbucks?

An extra shot of espresso costs 60 cents and is an additional shot in your coffee. If you were ordering a tall drink, it traditionally will come with one shot. For a grande, it will come with two. For a venti, your drink will come with three shorts.

Ordering an extra shot of espresso will add additional caffeine to your drink and it can make your drink taste more bitter and stronger than usual. To combat this change of taste, you can add additional milk or sweetener. If you are looking to get extra energy for the day, an extra shot of espresso is the way to go.

What Starbucks drink has 5 shots of espresso?

A venti Double Shot on ice has 5 shots of espresso. Five shots of espresso begins to approach the 400 mg daily limit that the EFSA recommends people stay below, so definitely do not have any other additional caffeine that day.

What drink gives you the most energy at Starbucks?

The drink at Starbucks that will give you the most energy is the venti Double Shot on ice, coming in at 375 mg of caffeine.

What is the strongest shot of espresso at Starbucks?

The Blonde Roast Starbucks espresso shot has 10 more mg of caffeine than the traditional blend espresso shot, making it the strongest shot of espresso at Starbucks.


Upside down Starbucks drinks are drinks that are made in reverse order.  You can customize your Starbucks drinks’ taste and caffeine content by altering the type of espresso, choosing ristretto rather than espresso, and adding extra shots of espresso.

The History and Origins of Yerba Mate

The yerba mate, or ka'a as it was initially known, is strongly associated with the Guarani tribe and South American culture, particularly in Argentina. The rite of the communal yerba mate brew is a gesture of connection, hospitality, and togetherness. The yerba mate has been an object of worship, barter, trade, and ritual and continues to find new devotees across the world.

The history and origins stretch back to at least 500 years before the Europeans arrived in what became Paraguay. The Guarani used the leaves of the yerba mate as a brew and the practice of drinking these leaf infusions. The Spanish and the Jesuits adopted this brew in the 1600s. 

The yerba mate ritual has been embraced as far afield as Syria, where early South American immigrants brought the sacred leaves back to their homeland. Once considered a gift from the gods, yerba mate has a fascinating history, most probably long before any records existed to name the plant. Read on to explore the history and origins of this unique and revered brew.

History of the Yerba Mate

The Guarani Tribe

The early Guaranis were established in Eastern Paraguay and nearby areas of Brazil and Argentina. They derive from the Tupian-speaking tribe's migration inland to the Rio de la Plata in the 14th and 15th centuries.

They lived a life based on communal semi-nomadic agricultural communities of 10 to 15 families. They lived on corn, cassava, and sweet potatoes cultivated by the women while the men hunted and fished. The first Europeans to arrive in the Guarani lands were the Spaniards who founded  Asunción, the later capital of Paraguay.

Their designation of the name yerba mate is still under some measure of debate, but most historians attribute the name to the early Spanish Jesuit missionaries who arrived in the area in 1537. The Gurarnis had merely referred to themselves as the Abá, which means men or people until the European's arrival.

The designation guarani referred to the indigenous people that embraced Christianity against the Cayuga or Caingua (ka'aguygua) or 'people of the jungle' that rejected the Christian faith. Little is known of the early Guarani people. Still, according to the Austrian missionary Martin Dobrizhoffer they practiced cannibalism as a funerary rite before opting to bury their dead in inverted funerary jars.

The tribe practiced a form of animistic pantheism, which believes that objects and places, creatures, and plants all carry a distinct spiritual essence. The Guarani had a close affinity with nature and forest and were well versed in the healing qualities of plants.

Yerba mate was long part of the early Guarani tribe's culture, and remnants of yerba mate were found in the Quechua tomb near Lima, suggesting it was an object of status. The indigenous use of yerba mate extended some 500 years before the arrival of Europeans in the 1600s.

Much of the guarani folklore and myths have survived. The Universidad Nacional de Misiones recorded many of the surviving myths in an anthology of myths and legends of the Gurani published in 1870.

A guarani myth tells of Ka'a Jarýi was a woman who came to represent the sacred herb Yerba. legend tells that After choosing to stay with her ill father over life with the moving tribe, the Guarani gods decided to reward her sacrifice.

An old shaman arrived at their hut and offered to grant her wish. The shaman gifted the young woman with yerba mate, which healed her father and allowed them to move with their tribe again.

The Early Spanish and Jesuits

When the Spanish arrived in the Guarani territory in 1537, they formed close contact with the native tribes due to their relative isolation. In communication and trade, they discovered the Guarania tradition of communal yerba mate and became instantly devoted to its use.

In fact, the Spanish colonists took so readily to the heady brew that by 1596 the thirst for the sacred herb became out of control. A local council member wrote to the governor of Rio de la Plata. He told of the Spanish greed for the yerba mate as a vice and that the Spanish would even sell their only possessions to drink the brew.

The Spanish enforced a labor system in 1538 called the Encomiendas to use the indigenous population for labor. Part of this harsh regime involved sending the Guarani deep into the forests to harvest the wild growing yerba mate, often resulting in the collector's death.

The Jesuit reductions aimed to create an environment to impart Christianity and culture to the Guarani people without interference from the Spanish colonialist rule. From the 1650s, the Jesuits achieved what no European before perfected: the yerba mate's domestication.

These Jesuits found themselves in direct competition with those who harvested their yerba mate from the wild and were often accused of glutting the market with an inferior product. This competition led to authorities imposing limits for the Jesuit exports, which they ignored.

However, there is no evidence that the Jesuits sought to make great profits over and above sustaining their order and followers in their reductions. Yerba became such a commodity that yerba mate replaced coins in currency in the Jesuit missions.

The Jesuit's closely guarded secret domestication of the yerba mate tree is thought to have been imparted by the Guarani people. Historians speculate that the involved feeding seeds to birds or mimicking the passage of the seed through the bird's digestive tract.

The priests also took to the mate brew themselves as a pastime and social beverage. The priests enjoyed the brew so much that the yerba mate, became known as "Jesuit tea"( té de Los jesuitas.) The Jesuits believed that the yerba mate was a far more healthy alternative than alcohol.

However, despite their successful trade and export of yerba mate, Spanish King Charles expelled the Jesuits, were expelled from the Guarani missions in 1767, and the plantations once again grew wild.

Yerba Mate Trade Expansion 1767-1870

After the Jesuit expulsion, excessive labor exploitation and mismanagement led to a decay in the industry. Paraguay gained a monopoly as the reducer of yerba mate, and when Concepción was founded in 1773, it became the main export port.

With the progression of reforms in free trade in 1778, yerba mate spread rapidly through South America, reaching present-day Ecuador. During further European colonization, yerba mate failed to take on as a rival caffeinated beverage to tea or coffee.

However, it came to the attention of Aimé Bonpland and Augustin Saint-Hilaire, who gave the plant its scientific name   Ilex paraguariensis 1n1819. After Paraguay's independence, Paraguay ceded yerba mate production to Brazil and Argentina.

Further History 1870-1950

By the late 19th century, Brazil became the leading producer of yerba mate. But in the early 20th century, Argentina, the largest consumer of yerba mate, began to recover in production. They allowed foreign settlers land in the Misiones Province to cultivate the mate industry.

Economic benefits Brazil prompted the country to turn to coffee production over yerba mate, once again establishing Argentina as the leading yerba mate producer. The ritual of yerba mate drinking spread via Syrian and Lebanese immigrants to their homelands and became associated with the Druze people.

Yerba Mate Origin

Yerba mate  Ilex paraguariensis is a species of the Holly family native to South America. Originally called ka'a by the indigenous Guarani tribes, the name ''yerba mate is a Spanish and  Quechua word translated as "herbs from the calabash." This name was in reference to how the indigenous peoples used dried gourds to brew the leaves of the  Ilex paraguariensis.

The yerba mate tree is subtropical, deciduous, and evergreen and grows from 8-15 meters high. The much-coveted leaves are about 8cm long and olive green which darkens on top. The leaves are wedged-shaped bases with a crenulated edge and a blunt tip.

The Yerba mate is native to South America, specifically in the regions of:

  • northern Argentina (Corrientes and Misiones)
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay
  • Southern Brazil.

Each region has a different way of preparing the brew. Sugar, fruit and ice are just a few ways to make yerba maté taste great.

Closing Thoughts

Yerba mate is enjoyed worldwide and drunk from iconic gourds through a filtered straw called a bombilla, often made from silver. Recent studies show that the yerba mate has curative properties that the indigenous Guarani knew long before microscopes and clinical studies.

The history of the yerba mate is closely interwoven with the South American people and spans over long centuries fraught with slavery, danger, and political upheavals. However, the sharing of the traditional brew still spells togetherness and community even today.

How to Make Yerba Mate Taste Great

Yerba mate is a famous brewed drink originating in South America. Currently enjoyed around the world, yerba mate has an earthy flavor packed with antioxidants, caffeine and other energy-boosting molecules. For those who may not love natural tea flavors, you can add flavor to your yerba mate by adding ingredients or purchasing a pre-flavored mate package.

Preparing Your Yerba Mate

To enjoy a true mate beverage, you’ll need to prepare your yerba mate the right way.

First, fill your original mate cup (typically made of gourd) two-thirds of the way with yerba. Tilt the gourd so that the yerba covers one side. Pour lukewarm water halfway into the cup and wait a minute until it’s absorbed by the yerba.

Repeat this step with hot water between 140-176 degrees Fahrenheit or 60-80 degrees Celsius.

Put the filtered end of the bombilla, or straw, into the tea at an angle. Pour more hot water into the yerba mate and enjoy.

Adding Flavor to Yerba Mate

Some individuals may want to add more flavor to the earthy taste of yerba mate. For those who prefer sweeter or more familiar flavors, there are plenty of ways to add this to your yerba mate while still enjoying its many healthy properties.


As with any tea, coffee, or caffeinated beverage, sugar can be added to yerba mate to add a bit of sweetness. This addition is common in northern Argentina and parts of central Chile.

You can add a teaspoon or two to your gourd and cover it with the yerba, or you can add less to the top to start and add more sugar as needed while drinking.

If you’re sharing with others who don’t want sugar in their mate, you can also pop a sugar cube into your mouth every so often while sipping the mate.


Mate with honey is also called mate misqui, a term that comes from a native language in the north of Argentina.

You can add some honey to the hot water before pouring it into the gourd or enjoy a teaspoon in your mouth in between sips.


Molasses is a thick liquid that’s produced as a byproduct of turning sugarcane into sugar. It can add a warm, sweet, and smoky flavor to your mate when added to the hot water before pouring.


Add some ground cinnamon to your yerba mix or toss a cinnamon stick into the hot water. Cinnamon has been used for centuries as a remedy for various ailments, including as a treatment for viral infections.


A sprig of mint will add a refreshing taste to your yerba mate’s water. Mint promotes a healthy digestive tract and has been used to treat nausea.


Dicing some ginger and adding it to your mate’s water packs a punch of flavor. This peppery, sweet taste helps fight off chronic diseases and promotes healthy aging.

Citrus Peel

If you have an orange, lemon, or grapefruit around, you can add some citrus zest to your mate between each pour.

Another method is peeling a large spiral of the fruit’s skin and drying it out. You can then add pieces of the dried peel to the yerba during future use.


Grate fresh coconut or purchase shredded coconut and add a teaspoon of it to the mate before drinking. You can add another teaspoon after every liter of water used.

Buying Flavored Yerba Mate

You may also purchase pre-flavored yerba mate. These mates are usually blended with other herbs, spices, or fruit to provide a unique taste.

This type of mate comes in the following flavors, among others:

  • Mint
  • Lemon
  • Roasted mate
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Spearmint
  • Orange
  • Passion fruit
  • Mint with lemon
  • Guarana