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As newbies in the coffee world, you wanna know what is a red eye coffee? You are not alone!
Likewise, I was also new in the coffee world. However, I was blessed with some friends who are coffee aficionados.
I learned many things from them, including what is a red eye coffee – also known as a red eye brew or red-eye.
Now let’s take a look at what’s in a red eye coffee exactly.
What Is A Red Eye Coffee?
The red eye coffee is simply a coffee drink with drip coffee as the main ingredient topped with a shot of espresso.
Some coffee shops will let you customize your red eye with either one or two shots of espresso or milk.
It really depends on your preference and need for caffeine!
However, you can put any flavor or milk or cream or even sugar in it and it will still be considered a red eye coffee.
The simplest red eye which you can make up at home consists of adding a shot of espresso into your cup of drip coffee.
What Is A Red Eye Coffee – Origin Of The Name
Now that you know what is a red eye coffee, you may be wondering: What’s the deal with coffee being called “red eye“?
The red eye might be named after a red-eye flight, which is a flight that takes place during the middle of the night from the west coast to New York City.
The red-eye flight is about staying awake for the long haul from one coast to another.
Therefore, the “Red eye coffee ” is named for the extra zip needed to stay awake through an overnight “red eye” flight from the West Coast to New York.
If you order a red eye brew at your local diner or Starbucks, they will most likely serve it to you with a darker roasted bean for maximum caffeine kick.
What Does Red Eye Coffee Taste Like
Some say it is the best of both worlds.
With the red eye coffee, you get to taste sweetness in drip coffee and the bold, smoky side in an espresso.
There is a certain depth to the coffee that would usually take hours of mixing.
So, can you have it with both sugar and no-sugar? The answer is both.
If you buy hot water at the store then it will be just as good without sugar.
Alternatively, if you want to have it sweet, then use sugar.
If you’re not used to having it, it’s understandable that you may not like the strong taste at first. But it is important to realize that this is an acquired taste.
Red Eye Coffee Dosage
The potency of the red eye coffee can vary depending on what you put in it.
If you put sugar in it, your coffee will usually taste sweeter than usual.
But if you use syrups like hazelnut, caramel or cinnamon or different types of flavored creamers, they will usually give your beverage an interesting flavor.
The dosing of the shot of espresso is also important.
Too weak and you won’t get much caffeine buzz, too strong and it might be overkill making your drink bitter and unpleasant to drink.
Red Eye Coffee With Milk
You may have noticed the word “Red” in “Red Eye Coffee”.
Well, you can choose to have your red eye coffee with milk or without.
Of course, the reason why you might want to have it with milk is because it will taste just as good as for those who are used to drinking espresso.
So, what should you be doing?
If you want to have a red eye with milk, then all you need to do is put together the amount of coffee that has been specified in the recipe, pour over it splash of milk and stir well.
How To Make A Red Eye Coffee At Home?
So how do you make a red eye coffee at home? Fortunately for us, we can make it with our own hands!
However, if you want to make more than one cup at a time, you’ll need to use an espresso machine.
It’s not that hard to use though. In this section I’ll give some instructions on how to make a red eye coffee at home with just a few simple supplies from the grocery store.
Red Eye Coffee Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup Drip Coffee
- 1 Espresso Shot
- Cream or Milk to your taste
The Red Eye Coffee Recipe – Instructions
Step 1: Grind The Coffee Beans
First you need to grind the coffee.
An espresso machine will be used to make it easier, but you can also use a pour over kettle to make one cup at a time.
Use about 12-15 grams of coffee to 350ml of water.
Step 2: Boil the water in a kettle or French press or pour over kettle
Step 3 – 4: Prepare everything for your red eye cup
Start by taking your freshly boiled water, put it into your french press, then put all the things needed for your red eye in there.
A serving dish with some coffee mugs or cups for you to drink out of, spoon, knife and coffee mugs.
Then get your spoons ready to put the shot of espresso in your cup of drip coffee.
Step 5: Put the espresso shots in your cup of drip coffee
Get your espresso shot glass and put it in the cup you have prepared for it.
Finish off by putting some cream or milk if you want as well as a little sugar if necessary.
Step 6: Prepare the coffee mugs
Get some teaspoons ready to pour the coffee in your mug.
Then, scurry over to the microwave or boil some water on the stove for your pour-over kettle or French press.
Step 7: Make sure everything is ready for you to enjoy
Put all your things out finally and sit them down.
Then, heat your water for ten minutes on the stove or microwave it in your microwave.
When the temperature of the water is right, put it in your machine for one minute to pass through the machine.
Put it back on heat for about ten minutes if you have a pour-over kettle.
Put it back on heat for about 20 minutes if you have a French press.
Then, finally come back to your cup to serve your red eye coffee!
Is A Red Eye Coffee Strong?
A red eye coffee is definitely a strong caffeinated drink.
Let’s look at the caffeine content in both the brewed coffee and espresso.
Of course, the caffeine content in a red eye will ultimately depend on your serving size, coffee beans and the way the drink is prepared.
The espresso shot that I describe in this article contains about 60 milligrams of caffeine per serving. A typical brewed cup of coffee (8 fl oz) has about 80-135mg of caffeine.
If we do the math, a red eye coffee can contain around 160mg of caffeine.
That’s what you are ingesting in one go. I’d say it packs quite a punch!
This is only an estimate, though. Therefore, you should always check the label of your beans and the serving size to get a specific number for yourself.
The other controversial issue is whether or not adding cream and/or sugar diminishes the caffeine content.
This may be true to a certain extent due to the fact that it covers up some of the strong flavor as well as dilutes it.
Health Benefits Of Red Eye Coffee
If you enjoy drinking espresso shots often, there are several possible health benefits.
These include an increased alertness due to being more caffeinated with the potential for improving cognitive function.
Caffeine reduces tiredness which is ideal for people who suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia due to its ability to keep people awake for longer.
Another potential benefit is the antioxidant effect of this coffee drink. The caffeine in it can help to reduce inflammation and oxidative measures.
Dangers Of Too Much Caffeine
While caffeine has a lot of potential health benefits, it can also come with some risks.
Some of these risks include death, which is rare but it can happen.
In fact, a study done by the Mayo Clinic revealed that a person has to take in over 1,200mg of caffeine in order to die from it.
Some other common side effects include insomnia and restlessness as well as increased heart rate and blood pressure as well as gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.
So would I recommend this coffee?
To be honest, this coffee drink can be taken once in a while. as the name suggests, the purpose of the red eye coffee is to make you look like you’ve had a few cups.
However, I wouldn’t recommend drinking this coffee more than once in a week or even less if you are suffering from any health problems.
But, if you are generally healthy and don’t suffer from any health problems but still want to have the caffeine boost then go ahead and try making your own red eye coffee at home.
What’s The Difference Between A Red Eye And A Black Eye Coffee?
You already by now what is a red eye coffee. Now what is a “black eye coffee”?
It can’t get any simpler than this: both drinks contain espresso and coffee, but the only difference here is that there’s more of something in one than another.
A red eye has one shot of espresso and a black eye has two shots of espresso.
Since it contains twice as much caffeine than a red eye coffee, it is not recommended that you drink one regularly during the day.
Red Eye Coffee vs Americano
Well, you might be wondering why we have not compared a red eye with an Americano.
Although they may seem similar, the difference lies in the quantity of beans used as well as the brewing or preparation method.
In a red eye, you have one shot of espresso combined with brewed coffee whereas in an Americano, you have about 60-100 ml of water and 1 shot of espresso.
Therefore, a red eye has more caffeine than an americano for sure.
If you would like to drink less caffeine, then go for an americano instead.
Final Thoughts About What Is A Red Eye Coffee
The red eye coffee is a beverage that you will either love or hate.
It has been around for a long time now and it’s popular in the US most especially with truck drivers.
However, most people don’t know how to make this drink properly and hence they end up not liking the taste of it.
Any time you are dealing with an espresso shot, you have to be very careful since this drink is strong enough to give you the results that you need without making your body respond like it’s powered by rocket fuel.
If you try the red eye coffee at home, please let me know in the comments!