Coffee Overdose: 14 Shots of Espresso


Yes, it is possible to overdose on coffee and/or espresso.

We hear so much about teens overdosing on energy drinks, but coffee overdose does indeed happen.

From the UK comes the slightly hysterical but scary story of a girl who ended up in hospital after overdosing on coffee.

After a night with only 5 hours sleep she decided to down a double espresso. Then it was no-holds-barred as she foolishly downed a further 6 double shots.

Apparently the girl thought she was drinking single shots. Astonishing because she actually works in the cafe – and was making the coffee for herself.

“My nerves were all over the place.

“I was drenched. I was burning up and hyperventilating.

“I was having palpitations, my heart was beating so fast and I thought I was going into shock.

“I did not realise this could happen to you and I only hope other people learn from my mistake.”

How Much Caffeine Did She Overdose With?

Coffee is, of course, variable in caffeine content due to blend, roasting time, and extraction time, but for our caffeine database, we use an average from six different extractions (published in a toxicology journal).

Therefore, we list a value of 77mg caffeine per 1.5 ounce shot.

7 double (14 single) shots of espresso @ 154mg each

So Miss Wells downed around 1015mg of caffeine – presumably in a short period of time. If she had not eaten much this would further account for the overdose side effects she experienced.

Espresso Can Be Dangerous

Espresso coffee is a very concentrated form of caffeine – and can be consumed very rapidly opposed to a 16 floz energy drink (containing typically 160mg of caffeine).

So in many ways, espresso is even more dangerous than energy drinks. However, its bitter taste isn’t quite as appealing to teens and children who may not know better.

The moral of the story: Know your own tolerance to caffeine, your level of caffeine sensitivity, and if you are a not a regular drinker – don’t suddenly hit your system with a toxic-dose.

Espresso is one of the best caffeinated drinks around since it’s full of antioxidants and is all natural but someone who doesn’t know the difference between a straight espresso or a double needs to be careful.

Have you ever had too many shots of espresso at one time?

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  • jarvis

    We would always try and top each other in espresso consumption at the coffee shop I worked at. About 20 shots fit in a large cup, and we drank that a few times. DELICIOUS! I wouldn’t suggest someone who doesn’t normally consume large amounts of caffeine try it though.

  • Coloradoespresso

    So I was on vacation in Colorado. I decided to have ten shots of espresso. Didn’t go down well… I had trouble breathing and I’m from Dallas so the elevation change had already affected that, and my heart was beating insanely fast. I drank the ten shots in
    One sitting around 8pm and didn’t
    Sleep until about 11 am the next day. Well like I said
    I got pretty sick from all that espresso so I decided to wash it put
    With water. Well 9 water bottles and I ended up with water poising. I wad passing out vomiting and peeing all night. That just shows you how you CAN have too much of anything. I am fine now but to this day I get an uneasy stomach when I think
    Of that night…

  • Barista James

    A fellow barista promised me she could drink more shots. I told her she was foolish and had a vagina. 27 shots were pulled for both of us as we gulped them shot for shot. She got woozy at 24 so I downed her last 3 making my count an even 30. They rushed her to the ER and I bolted to the bathroom. After shooting nasty acid out my mouth and meatloaf milkshake out my ass, I flew home on my Rockhopper, took a warm bath, and serviced my girlfriend like a pornstar. My coworker was sick for at least 2 days and I got the blame.

  • Tizzy Angela

    espresso can be found in any place that sells coffee, usually the ones in bakeries are the best too.

  • Ted

    Unfortunately, not in the USA Tizzy. Our coffee culture is still lagging.

  • Tizzy Angela

    I’m from the USA lol. Maybe it’s just available in certain areas…

  • jennifer

    No way what a sad way to die especially for the record form abuse of espresso

  • mediabrainwash

    You can’t be too bright to drink 14 shots of espresso.

  • kam hagh

    2 or 3 shots per day is ok? im 15 and im well, kinda fat ! my heart rate is 96~BPM

  • Ted

    That’s about 225mg per day. I would advise you to cut back and your heart rate is on the high side. Do you exercise? Exercise can help lower resting heart rate. Teens should ideally have no more than 200mg of caffeine per day to be safe.

  • kam hagh

    Hmm.. I sit in a chair 12h a day and sleep 6-7 hours a day… So no, i don’t even move… Sadly…

    Ok i will reduce it too 2 shots perday! Or even 1 if i most, im not addicted to caffeine but i just love espresso !!! I mostly drink lattes !!!

    Its few days i can’t sleep , so i dont even get right sleep now ! I don’t know why i just can’t sleep!!! Lol

  • Mustangman6799

    I’m in Washington… Ted & Tizzy, are you saying there are places in the US that don’t have a coffee shop or espresso stand on every corner? I don’t understand what your comments mean. Not joking, I live in a town of about 150k and there are probably 50 places to get an espresso drink. Hell, even the library has an espresso bar here.

  • Ted

    Yes, for sure. Remember that Washington State probably has the most advance coffee culture in the USA because of Seattle’s influence.

  • Irene

    Even though the effects weren’t as bad for you, you were equally as foolish and had a penis.

  • No Limit Espresso jester

    I drink 14 shots everyday and I’m fine… Lol 7 shots at twelve work my shit till five go on break take seven more got back to work till close I work at a restraraunt and I’m 28 I move non stop I’ve never even been out of breath or felt weird.. I just get a four hour blast of energy each time I drink my seven.. I get seven shots in ice no cream no sugar n put it smallest cup to drink it as fast as possible like three seconds fast.. … N I’m like weeee it’s like hooking nitrous into ur brain

  • Me

    So I don’t think he really meant coffee shops, like real ones. He means, like in Holland, “coffee shops.” To make it even more clear, they sell pot at such “coffee shops,” and maybe even, indeed, coffee.

  • Dude… Learn to type. “Hystory,” “stomache,” “expreso” are not words. Neither is “ammount.” There are things called spaces and you need to use them after punctuation. There are also things called capital letters. They go at the beginning of sentences and at the beginning of proper nouns (like “The Suntree”). Contractions need apostrophes. Commas should not be substituted for all types of punctuation; learn to use periods, semicolons, em dashes, etc. properly. Also, ellipses contain three dots, not seven or eight. Finally, if the number is under 20, it should be spelled out though I can forgive that one at least in a comment. Sheesh… I would never have guessed you were above eight if you hadn’t said “when I was 13.”

    I can only hope in the intervening seven years that you’ve learned grammar and spelling.

    A final word, if you say things like “this story is 100 percent factual” it makes you sound like you are lying. People who are telling the truth rarely feel the need to convey that their story is true.

  • Eric

    You are the worst kind of person.

  • I would agree. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and all the other dictators ended millions or tens of millions of lives. Boko Haram kidnaps, rapes, and murders thousands of their countrymen, including children. ISIS beheads based on ideology and incubates some of the most intense and baseless hatred in recent decades. But someone pointing out errors in the hopes of improving communication and non-distracting dialogue definitely takes the cake. Glad to see both of us have our priorities in order.

  • Drew M-R

    I really don’t see why; caffiene acts as a nootropic and a stimulant. One must, however, find an amount that suits him or her. I am great at 550 mg but will start to feel negative effects at ~600. Also, caffiene can significantly reduce perceived work when exercising, leading to more favorable results.

Last Modified: September 11, 2014