What Is Short Black Coffee? Let’s Find Out!

The Best Answer:

Short black coffee is none other than your classic favorite espresso! The reason is called short is to differentiate it from long black and americano, two similar drinks but with essential differences.

Did you know that there are different types of coffee? Of course, I only drink the regular kind, but apparently, there are also many classic espresso types like the short black and the long black. I will break them all down in this blog post today because if you love your coffee black, this info is essential for you!

What is A Short Black?

What Is Short Black Coffee

Short black coffee is a term used to describe an espresso with very little hot water added. It’s either a single espresso shot (30ml) or a double espresso shot (60ml). So when you go up the counter and ask for a short black, they might ask if you want a single or double.

If they don’t, I suggest you specify it cause you might end up with more caffeine and flavor punch than you wished for.

Short black coffee is different than an americano because short black coffee uses just straight up brewed espresso. In contrast, an americano contains a lot of hot water added on top of an espresso shot. This is in contrast to a long black coffee, which is hot water with an espresso shot on top of it, thus forming a very nice layer of crema.

The characteristics of a short black coffee

A short black coffee is a drink that consists of espresso and hot water. It can be consumed either iced or warm. The crema, the foam on top of an espresso shot, will still exist when drinking this beverage cold or steaming it before adding ice cubes to make iced coffee.

This crema should not be confused with creamed coffee, where milk has been added after brewing, making for a much creamier texture than crema. Short blacks are known because they contain less liquid volume than other drinks like lattes due to their more concentrated nature (a little bit less than half as many ounces as opposed to regular brewed coffees). A traditional serving size ratio would consist of two shots in 15 to 20 ounces of water.

Another characteristic of a short black beyond the crema layer is its thick and syrupy body underneath the crema. To produce such a full and intense flavor, the espresso machine uses a lot of pressure to force water through the bed of coffee, and if done right, the syrupy consistency of the short black can certainly pack a punch!

A short black is definitely for those who love their coffee black and intense. It’s a great coffee beverage that allows the coffee’s natural flavors to develop fully, and sometimes you can even enhance them if you wish to add some sugar to it.

How to make a short black at home with an espresso machine

 Short Black Coffee

Today I’m going to show you how to make a short black at home. This recipe is pretty straightforward and can be used for espresso machines.

  • First, weigh out six grams of ground coffee using your kitchen scale.

  • Then pour the grounds into the portafilter basket and tare it again on the scale.

  • Next, tamp down those grounds, so they are evenly distributed within your portafilter basket before pulling your shot.

  • Tighten up that tamper! It should feel like there’s no play in any direction when applying pressure with both hands – about 30 lbs worth of pressure if you’re looking for an approximation (this will vary depending on machine type). You want to tamp down to just below the top of your basket.

  • Starting at around 30 seconds, begin pulling shots and watching as they fill up that cup. You’ll know you have pulled a good shot when there is a layer of dark brown crema on top, and after about 20-30 seconds, it starts turning white from the coffee oils separating from the rest of the liquid espresso.

  • When this happens, immediately remove your portafilter from under the brew head, dump those grounds into the trash bin, rinse out your filter basket with hot water and you’re done!

Enjoy your short black!

Can I use a Stovetop Espresso Maker to make a short black?

 Short Black

You definitely can; although it might not yield the same layer of crema, only the espresso machine can give you. Here are some tips on how to do it:

Stovetop Espresso Maker Brewing Tips

– Use a stove with the highest BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating possible and preheat it to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that your stove is hot enough for brewing espresso.

– Make sure you use fresh, cold water when filling up the stovetop espresso maker’s reservoir; never use warm, or room temperature water as this can negatively affect how well it extracts flavor from ground coffee beans.

– Brew in small batches of just one cup at a time – more than that might not give you an enjoyable experience! Also, be careful when removing the boiler pot after each brew cycle because it will be hot inside and out, so wait until no steam bubbles are left before removing.

– Brew with finely ground coffee beans that are of an espresso grind size – this will ensure your stovetop espresso maker can successfully extract flavor from the beans to create a great-tasting cup!

Short Black vs. Long Black vs. Americano

 Short Black

It’s easy for someone to confuse these three coffee beverages because they contain the same ingredients: hot water and coffee.

However, they do differ significantly in flavor, mouthfeel, texture, and appearance.

Short black has an intense flavor as it’s a highly concentrated espresso drink. Its texture is syrupy due to the espresso machine’s high pressure. It feels syrupy and heavy on the tongue and has a thick layer of espresso crema on the top.

Long black: not as intense as the short black as it’s watered down, it has a light texture and a pleasant mouthfeel, plus it’s a drink you can be sipping on for a while. The espresso shot is added on top of the hot water to ensure the layer of crema is not broken.

Americano: a black coffee for those in a hurry. Here, hot water is added to a short black, thus watering it down and breaking the crema. It’s not as visually pleasing as the other two, but it still tastes fantastic and gives you that necessary caffeine fix.

Which of the three has more caffeine?

You might be surprised to find out that all three drinks have the same amount of caffeine in them. If you think about it, they all contain a shot of espresso in them; the only difference is that some hot water is added to two.

So to change the caffeine intake, you would have to add another espresso shot. Now, whether you enjoy a single or a double shot of espresso, that’s entirely up to you!

Frequently Asked Questions

 Short Black

What is the difference between a long black and short black coffee?

A short black coffee is an espresso with a bit of hot water added to it, resulting in about 1 oz (single shot). On the other hand, a long black is a single shot of espresso with a lot of hot water added into it, thus watering it down, and it’s around 12 oz.

How do I make a short black coffee?

There are many ways to make a shot black depending on your equipment. However, the best way to do it is by using an espresso machine, as this will give you the perfect cup of a short black, with its intense flavor, syrupy texture, and crema.

Not everyone has an espresso machine at home, so there are other ways of making it, either by using capsules, an automatic espresso maker, a stovetop espresso maker, and even an Aeropress! Of course, all these options will yield a different result, so it just depends on how much you want to invest in the perfect cup of short black.

Other than that, make sure to purchase freshly-roasted beans, and I’d advise you to grind them yourself before use if you are not using capsules. That way, you will certainly extract the best flavors out of your coffee because, let’s face it, nobody wants their short black to taste stale!

Last Thoughts

So there you go! Now you know all there is to know about short blacks! Sometimes it can get confusing figuring out which coffee is best for you with all those different coffee types out there; that’s why we are here breaking it all down for you.

Helping you choose which coffee you prefer is one of the reasons why our blog exists. We hope that you learned something interesting about short black coffee in this blog post. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below!

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