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One of the increasingly popular names on the coffee scene today is short black coffee. But, what is it all about?

With the wide range of various types of coffees and brewing methods that exist, navigating the sea coffee-related terms can sometimes be confusing. However, the correct information can help you clear things up quickly.

In a few moments, you’ll discover why many coffee enthusiasts swear that short black espresso is the next best thing. 

We’ll help you understand what short black coffee is and what makes it unique. You’ll also discover our detailed guide on brewing this coffee and more.

So, let’s get into it.

What is Short Black Coffee?

Plain Black Coffee Strikes back
Plain Black Coffee

The simplest way to describe short black coffee is as a shot of espresso. In other words, it is a strong, highly concentrated coffee drink with an intense flavor that varies depending on the coffee beans you use. 

Short black coffees are typically made by brewing 7 grams of finely ground coffee and 30 milliliters of water with an espresso machine.

Now, you’re probably wondering where the ‘short’ comes from.

The ‘short’ means you don’t add extra water to the coffee. In other words, every short black coffee recipe requires you to add only water that goes into brewing the coffee itself and no more. But, of course, the ‘black’ is because you don’t have milk!

So, if you’re a coffee lover looking for intense coffee flavors in your morning drink, this can be your go-to coffee.

But, how can you make a cup of short black coffee from the comfort of your home?

The following paragraphs share an easy step-by-step guide to making a delightful cup of short black espresso. Not to worry, most of what you need are a few ingredients, an Aeropress machine, and your enthusiasm.

So, let’s get to brewing!

How to Make Short Black Coffee at Home: A Step-by-step Recipe

plain black coffee
Black Coffee

To make this short black coffee recipe, you will need the following ingredients: 

  • 15 to 18 grams of coffee
  • 200 grams of water
  • Coffee grinder
  • Aeropress paper filter
  • Aero press coffee maker
  • Scale
  • Timer

Making a Cup of Short Black Coffee

  • Start by boiling 200 grams of water. Next, measure 15 to18 grams of coffee and grind to a fine texture using your coffee grinder. 
  • Insert an Aeropress paper filter into the Aeropress detachable plastic cap. Then, rinse both using some of the hot water you boiled.

The goal here is to help the filter adhere firmly to the cap while also heating your cap. 

  • Dry your Aeropress machine and then place it on a scale with the flared end at the top
  • Next, carefully pour your fine ground coffee into the Aeropress machine. 

At this point, you want to be careful not to spill the beans on the mouth of the machine, or you’ll make a mess.

  • Start your timer. Then add water that has been boiled to 200 degrees F. The volume of water should be twice the coffee in the machine. 

For example, if you have 15 grams of coffee, you want to add 30 grams of water. 

  • Stir the mixture slightly with a paddle and leave to sit for 30 seconds. After this, fill the chamber with the remaining hot water.
  • Leave for 1 minute, and then stir the mixture ten times using the paddle. 

This next part requires some practice. So, if it is not perfect the first time, don’t beat yourself up.

  • Securely close the machine with the plastic cover. Once it’s tightly secured, flip it over and position it on a cup. 
  • Begin to apply downward pressure. But, pay attention to the resistance here. 

If it is too hard to push, your coffee beans are mostly too fine. On the other hand, if there is almost no resistance, then it is too coarse. 

  • Finally, you will hear a hissing time indicating that your short black coffee brewing process has ended!

What is the Difference Between Short Black and Long Black Coffee?

You’re not alone if you’re wondering what the difference between short black and long black coffee is. 

Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you clear the air in a bit.

Understandably, it can be a bit confusing to differentiate between the two as they are both made with espresso shots and have a strong taste and aroma with a thick crema on their top. 

But, there are significant differences between these two, and we’ll walk you through them.

By now, you already know Nescafé short black is a single shot of espresso with no water added. But, what is long black coffee?

Long black coffee is made by adding two espresso shots to more water. 

So, while short black coffee has more crema, a stronger flavor, and more caffeine because it does not have excess water, long black coffee has a more diluted taste. 

However, this is not to say long black coffee does not have an exciting flavor or aroma.

Now let’s talk about their water content.

Long black coffee typically contains 120 to 180 grams of water with an espresso shot poured on top of the water. On the other hand, short black coffee only holds the water that goes in during the brewing process.

Here are some more differences:

  • Short black coffee is usually served in small ceramic cups with handles, while long black coffee is served in a mug or tall glass because of its higher volume. Hence the ‘long’ in long black coffee.
  • Short black coffee is simply an espresso shot, while long black coffee is more similar to an Americano but with a stronger taste and aroma. 

How Does Short Black Coffee Taste?

Because there is no milk, cream, or additional water in short black coffee, its taste and aroma are quite powerful. Some might even say it’s bitter. 

But, most regular black coffee drinkers may not quite go that far.

However, even if you first find the taste of short black coffee overwhelming, you’ll most likely grow to like it over time. 

But, if you already love black coffee, the strong taste of the short black coffee may hold an even greater appeal for you.

Advantages of Short Black Coffee

Because there are no additives like milk or sugar in short black coffee, it contains zero fat, cholesterol, sugar, and sodium. In other words, it holds more health benefits than you think!

Here are some benefits of drinking short black coffee:

It improves cardiovascular health

Studies have shown that short black coffee can strengthen the heart and reduce blood pressure. In other words, taking one or two cups daily may help reduce your risk of developing certain cardiovascular diseases such as stroke. 

It is good for your liver

Experts believe that taking Nescafé short black regularly can help to reduce the number of harmful liver enzymes in the blood. This helps prevent liver cancer, fatty liver disease, hepatitis, etc.

Short black coffee helps in cleansing the stomach

You may have noticed that you urinate more when you consume black coffee. This is because it is a diuretic. Therefore, you’re helping your body eliminate more toxins and bacteria as you urinate.

It improves concentration and mood

This is arguably the most popular benefit of drinking short black coffee. Many adults who drink short black espresso report feeling more awake and energetic after just one cup!

It may help prevent cancer

Some studies suggest that drinking coffee every day can contribute to helping you prevent cancer. One survey even showed that people that drink Nescafé short black were less likely to develop liver cancer. 

However, more conclusive evidence is required to prove these theories fully.

And There You Have It

Hopefully, this article has given you valuable insight into short black coffee — a delightful beverage with great health benefits. 

Thankfully, a cup of short black espresso is relatively easy to make, and our short black coffee recipe will help you brew yours from the comfort of your home!

So, if you want a drink to kick off your mornings and more, give this one a shot and let us know how it goes! 


Is espresso the same as short black coffee?

The short answer is yes! A short black coffee is a simple espresso shot with no water added — except what was used in brewing the coffee. 

How much caffeine is in a short black?

An average 8-ounce cup of short black coffee can contain about 100mg caffeine. 

How many calories are in a short black coffee?

Short black coffee has no calories due to the absence of additives such as milk, cream, or sugar. 

Is short black coffee stronger than long black coffee?

Yes! Because no extra water is added when making short black coffee, it has a stronger taste than long black coffee. 

How to drink short black coffee?

As long as you brew it correctly, there is no right or wrong way to drink short black coffee. Remember, the key to brewing a cup of Nescafé short black is to ensure you add only the amount of water necessary to brew it.

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