What is Red Eye Coffee? (Your 2022 Guide)

You may not be aware of it, but there’s a drink that has been around for over 100 years and impacts the lives of millions every year.

It’s called red-eye coffee (or “shot in the dark“) and it was created by accident. Each day countless people enjoy this caffeinated beverage before they start their morning routine or workday without even knowing its history.

There are many different ways to prepare red-eyes: some people like them with cream and sugar, others prefer them black, while still others take theirs extra strong with triple espresso shots. But no matter how you like your red-eye prepared, one thing is certain: if you’ve never tried one before then you’re missing out! And now we’ll tell you why…

Why it’s called Red eye coffee?

Woman's hand holding a cup that is full of red eye coffee. There's a glass of water visible too, water is used o clean coffee buds before tasting the coffee

Red-eye is a mixture of coffee and espresso that is typically served in a mug. It is typically made with dark roasted coffee beans. The name comes from the look of the coffee – it has a reddish color and looks like the red we see at the back of our eyes when we wake up.

A red eye is usually made with a single serving of regular strength coffee and a single serving of espresso. The ratio will vary depending on the preference of the person making it. Sometimes, cream or milk is added to cut down on the acidity and bitterness.

Red-eye was consumed in the American South before anyone had heard of espresso, to have an extra boost in the morning. The term “red-eye” doesn’t come from the redness of the eyes caused by drinking coffee, but rather because it looks like a person who has been up all night partying with bloodshot eyes.

History of Red eye coffee

The origins of “Red Eye” coffee are a bit murky, but one popular theory is it originated in the 1920s when America’s railroad workers started ordering their morning coffee with a shot of whisky added. The caffeine and alcohol combo helped them stay awake for their long shifts

Other theories suggest that it originated during prohibition when people would modify their wives’ Dr. Pepper (which didn’t contain alcohol) by adding raspberry or cherry juice to make it sweeter and more like the original drink; passers-by seeing this would request “a red-eye.” 

Another, much less popular belief is that red-eye gravy was named for its resemblance to blood. Red-eye gravy is a food sauce made from the drippings of fried ham combined with black coffee.

The exact origins are unknown, but it’s clear that America has been ordering the “Red Eye” since at least the 1920s.

How Red Eye Coffee Taste Like?

a shot of hot,  red eye coffee in a cup

It’s not uncommon for people to complain about the taste of red-eye coffee. This is because, for many, it simply tastes too much like coffee.

The taste of the coffee also depends on the roast type. If the coffee is made from dark roast beans it will have a more bitter and less acidic taste if it was done from light roast coffee beans.

If you don’t like the taste the solution is to add milk, though some people find that milk makes it just as bad. For others, they find that adding cream or half and half works much better.

To make your own Red Eye coffee at home:

A table full of ingredients and grounded coffee that shows what's required to prepare a red eye coffee

Your very own “Red Eye” Coffee is very simple to make. Just Brew some strong black coffee, preferably from roasted dark beans (you can use Chemex or French Press).

Use about 3 tablespoons for every 8 ounces of boiling water.

A regular pot holds 12 ounces per cup so figure out how many cups you want and divide the amount by 3 to get the correct amount of ground coffee per pot.

Make an espresso (click here for a great and easy espresso recipe)

Add sugar or sweetener to taste.

Pour over ice cubes if desired.

What is Dead Eye Coffee?

This coffee is made from the best beans you can find. It has a dark, rich taste that can’t be beaten. People who want a cup of coffee in the morning should know about dead eye coffee with triple espresso shots.

The taste of the dead eye is unlike anything else in the world. It’s not bitter or acidic like some people might expect. The caffeine content of three shots of espresso in one cup might be too much for some people, but it beats the feeling of not having coffee at all.

What is Black Eye Coffee?

Black Eye Coffee is a coffee made by adding two shots of espresso to the mix. Some people who like this drink will put it in the old fashion way. This drink will be mixed into a cup that has whipped cream and sprinkled chocolate powder.

Black Eye Coffee was first seen on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” show. The drink was made popular after being featured on the show by Adam Richman. The drink is also known as a “Fist Full o’ Joe” and it has been around since at least 1990.


Is a Red Eye coffee Strong?

Normal drip coffee has approximately 100 milligrams of caffeine. A standard shot of espresso has 64 milligrams and if you mix them together in one drink, that will give an impressive 164 mg per cup! While it may not seem like much at first glance I can ensure you that the Red Eye coffee is extremely powerful.

Is Red Eye coffee bad for you?

Some people have difficulty sleeping or experiencing anxiety after drinking too much red-eye because of this high amount of caffeine content which makes them feel uncomfortable for hours afterward.

It’s not bad for you, you can have it once in a while, but remember that having too much caffeine is not healthy for you. Mayo Clinic recommends sticking to 400 mg per day as a maximum.

What is a Red Eye coffee in Starbucks?

A “Red Eye” coffee from Starbucks Secret Menu is created by adding brewed espresso to a cup of coffee. It’s not the same as a latte, which has milk and foam.

What is a Green Eye at Starbucks?

Have you ever wondered what is coffee with three shots of espresso called? Then you don’t longer need to! It’s called “Green Eye”, contains almost 290 milligrams of caffeine, and is available in Starbucks Secret Menu.

Conclusion (Is Extra Shot of Espresso Worth It?)

In the end, Red Eye coffee is not for everyone. It can be bad for you if consumed too often and in large quantities- but it’s also a great way to get that extra boost of energy when you need it most!

This isn’t something I would recommend drinking every day or even weekly, but on those days where your tiredness kicks in early, this might just do the trick.

The next time you’re looking for a cup o’ joe with an added kick, consider adding some espresso shots to your order at Starbucks or elsewhere because one thing is certain: if you’ve never tried one before then you’re missing out!

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Hi! My name is Luke. I’m a huge espresso fan, a dad, and a caffeine junkie (which helps a lot in being a dad to an early bird ;) ). Welcome to my blog, I hope you will enjoy every single second of being here

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