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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  • Robert Scalchi

    Well it turns out I have a new bad habit besides smoking…lol….Wife got me delonghi for christmas. Shortly put…2 doubles in the morning 2 doubles when I come home 2 doubles before dinner 3 doubles after dinner and 2 doubles before I go to bed. No problems sleeping here…..wheeeeeeeee :*)

  • Robert Scalchi

    I’m obcessed with getting the perfect crema out of this little machine. 1 extraction is good. Immediately after that not so much..

  • Lubin Arora

    shows how ineffective the starbucks coffee is

  • Sam

    Come on. All natural? You know what else is all natural? Nightshade and poison ivy. I’m not planning to ingest either of those any time soon.

  • Sam

    Russian dictators are tougher than I thought.

  • Sam

    A near-toxic quantity of caffeine was required to type so much with so little punctuation.

  • Marie Stephanie-Sms

    Lol. Agreed

  • Linda

    I drink Blended Lattes on a regular basis. If you continue to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between while maintaining a consistent amount of water in your daily routine an 24 Ounce 8 shot Carmel blended latte is just a start. I’ll still go home after a 12 hour hard labor shift and drink a cup of coffee at home with dinner before bed. My tolerance must be through the roof or metabolism. Not sure yet still healthy as ever.

  • edward

    ehh, depending upon the person, probably not much. for some, even up to fourteen espressos will have little to no effect.

Last Modified: September 11, 2014