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What is a Red Eye Coffee Explained and How to Make it

What is red eye coffee? Have you ever heard of red-eye coffee? It’s not as well-known as a latte or cappuccino, but it’s definitely worth trying out. Red eye coffee is a simple drink that’s perfect for those mornings when a regular cup of coffee just won’t cut it.

Are you a coffee lover looking for a strong cup of coffee? If so, consider trying out red eye coffee.

Read on to learn all about what red eye coffee is, how to prepare, and tips on making this delicious beverage at home.

It’s an intense and flavorful combination of espresso and drip coffee with the perfect kick.

How to Make Red Eye Coffee?

Red eye coffee is made differently than your typical cup of joe. Bring together two different methods of brewing to create a unique flavor profile. For feeling energized all day long.

It’s made by adding a shot of espresso to a regular cup of coffee. Resulting in a strong and flavorful beverage with extra caffeine. The name “red eye” comes from the reddish tint the espresso creates in the coffee. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up or just feeling adventurous, make sure to give red eye coffee a try. This is sure to please.

What is a red eye coffee explained and how to make it

Dead eye vs green eye vs red eye vs black eye coffee. What is the difference?

It is important for every coffee enthusiast to know the difference between red eye, black eye, dead eye, and green eye coffees.

Red eye is your basic coffee with one shot of espresso topping it off.

The next three have variations on the amount of espresso added to regular drip coffee. By adding an extra shot of espresso, you can create the next three versions of coffee.

Black eye coffee has two shots, or a double shot of espresso.

Dead eye coffee and green eye both have three shots of espresso, and green eye can also refer to some people adding matcha to the coffee as well.

making espresso

What is espresso?

If you’re like me, you may not know much about your favorite cup of joe. You may order your coffee at your favorite shop and not even stop to consider its ingredients. Or what even is espresso?

Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee that has always been enjoyed by coffee connoisseurs worldwide.

Make this drink by forcing nearly boiling water through finely ground coffee beans under high pressure. Resulting in a rich, bold flavor and characteristic crema on top. Use an espresso machine to accomplish this.

The taste and texture of espresso are quite different from regular coffee due to the process of extraction. The high-pressure brewing process pulls oils, sugars, and caffeine from the coffee. Producing a beverage that is both smooth and intense.

Enjoy espresso as a shot or mixed with steamed milk to create various popular drinks. Such as cappuccinos, lattes or mochas.

A perfect shot of espresso, with its distinctive aroma and flavor, can provide a powerful pick-me-up. Additionally, it is the cornerstone of many coffee shops and establishments the world over.

fresh brewed coffee

How much caffeine is in red eye and other types of coffee?

In order to understand how much caffeine you’re consuming in each type of coffee, you should first understand the basic ingredients. Including their levels of caffeine.

Beware that Black eye and Dead eye coffee have high caffeine content. Only a healthy adult should consume this. It is best to monitor your caffeine consumption.

Regular coffee, according to the USDA, has 95 m of caffeine per 8 ounce serving. However, we must also understand the caffeine levels of espresso.

How much caffeine is in one shot of espresso?

The amount of caffeine varies based on the coffee beans used. One single shot of espresso averages 64 (mg) milligrams of caffeine.

So, you can simply add the number of espresso shots together for each of the types of coffee. Let’s break it down.

  • Red eye coffee has 159 mg of caffeine per serving
  • Black eye coffee has 223 mg of caffeine per serving
  • Dead eye and Green eye coffee has 287 mg of caffeine. Green eye slightly more (about 10-20 mg) if there is matcha added

How to make red eye coffee?

It is a morning beverage with a bold and flavorful beverage that packs quite the punch. If you’re a fan of strong coffee, then this is the perfect beverage for you.

To make this delicious drink, you’ll need to start with some freshly brewed coffee.

There are many brewing methods for making standard coffee. Normal drip coffee is preferred by dripping hot water through fine grounds.

A bold or dark roast is also recommended. Once you’ve got your coffee prepared, it’s time to add in the magic ingredient: espresso.

You can make your own espresso if you have an espresso machine, but purchasing it is also an economical choice.

Since you use only a shot each time, buying a large container to store is a simply way to give you an espresso boost in your normal coffee. This will give your coffee that extra boost of caffeine and flavor that it needs.

Next, pour your espresso shot over your coffee, and you’re ready to enjoy.

Whether you’re starting your day or need a mid-day pick-me-up, this caffeinated drink is the perfect solution. So, try your hand at making this robust beverage and taste the difference for yourself.

How to make red eye coffee

What is the history of red eye coffee?

Red Eye coffee, also known as “shot in the dark” or “hammerhead,” has a rich history in the coffee culture.

This bold and eye-opening beverage originated in the early 20th century in the United States. During a time when coffee was becoming an integral part of daily life.

It is rumored that this caffeine drink was originally created by railroad workers on the west coast. They needed a quick and powerful pick-me-up to stay alert during long, overnight shifts.

However, another argument is that it was created by cowboys with “red eyes” from being over tired.

Today, this iconic drink can be found in coffee shops and coffee houses all around the world. It is beloved by coffee aficionados for its intense flavor and energizing buzz.

The history of this rich brew is a testament to the innovative spirit and adaptability of coffee culture. It continues to inspire new and exciting coffee creations to this day.

Coffee in other Recipes

Uses of Cowboy coffee, or Red eye coffee. It is a strong and bold brew, perfect for a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon energy boost. But did you know that it can also be used in cooking and baking?

Here are some recipe ideas for using coffee to impress the food lovers in your life.

Red Eye Chili: Use red eye coffee as a base for a flavorful chili. Add your favorite beans, diced tomatoes, ground beef or turkey, and spices like chili powder, cumin, and paprika. The coffee will add a depth of flavor and richness to the dish.

Red Eye BBQ Sauce: Mix coffee with ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. To create a tangy and smoky BBQ sauce. Brush it on grilled meats, use it as a marinade, or serve it as a dipping sauce.

Red Eye Marinade: Mix coffee with olive oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger. To create a delicious marinade for meats, tofu, or vegetables. Marinate the ingredients for a few hours before grilling or roasting for a flavorful and juicy dish.

Slow Cooker Coffee Roast Beef with Garlic. Roast beef with garlic is a must try. You will be surprised how well the flavors of coffee and garlic complement each other. This dish is truly magical.

Desserts Featuring Coffee

Red Eye Chocolate Cake: Add a shot of black regular coffee to your favorite chocolate cake recipe. The coffee will enhance the chocolate flavor and give the cake a rich and moist texture. Top it with a creamy frosting and enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Red Eye Ice Cream: Use to make a homemade coffee ice cream. Mix heavy cream, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and coffee in a blender. Then freeze the mixture for a few hours. The result will be a creamy and rich ice cream with a strong coffee flavor.

Coffee can add depth and flavor to many dishes. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try new recipes with this bold brew.

What is Sludge Coffee?

You can also add espresso to a sludge cup of coffee. Sludge coffee, or mud coffee, is popular in the Middle East. It is made by boiling coffee grounds on the stove in water and then pouring it into a cup. It is an unfiltered coffee and ends up being thick and syrupy. But, this beverage can also be just as good when it’s made as a red eye coffee drink.

How does this coffee taste?

It can have a bitter taste. You can make it less bitter by adding sweeteners or cream to your cup. You could also start with a lighter roast of coffee beans for a milder taste. Either way, it is sure to give you a bold wake up call.

What is a red eye coffee explained and how to make it
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Red eye coffee recipe

What is red eye coffee? Have you ever heard of red-eye coffee? It’s not as well-known as a latte or cappuccino, but it’s definitely worth trying out. Red eye coffee is a simple drink that’s perfect for those mornings when a regular cup of coffee just won’t cut it.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time12 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beverage recipe, coffee recipe, drink recipe
Servings: 1 Servings
Calories: 0.1kcal

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  • 10 Ounces Brewed Drip Coffee
  • 1 Shot Espresso about 2 ounces


  • Make regular drip coffee your desired appliance.
  • Make espresso using an espresso machine or instant espresso powder.
  • While still hot, pour the espresso into the prepared coffee and enjoy.

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 0.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.02g | Sodium: 0.1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Calcium: 0.02mg


You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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