Do Espresso Shots Die? What Is a Dead Espresso Shot?

Anyone who enjoys rich, creamy Espresso is probably familiar with the term “dead espresso.” Frankly, the idea of ​​dead Espresso is very controversial. Some coffee lovers say it will happen, while others say it won’t.

To enjoy, ideally, Espresso should be drunk immediately after steeping. If it stays there for more than a few minutes, the footage will start to disintegrate – the crema will dissolve and be considered dead. Or is it?

In this article, I’ll look closely at Do Espresso Shots Die? What is dead Espresso? And whether the logic behind it makes sense.

What Is A Dead Shot Of Espresso?

A dead cup is a freshly poured espresso that sits for more than 60 seconds before drinking. Everyone should be able to tell the difference between a fresh shot and a 2-minute old shot – you can taste the difference in taste.

But to say Espresso is dead.

Well, this is where the debate begins. Bullets don’t die. They have evolved. All types of brewed coffee experience flavor changes after they start to cool; it’s not just Espresso.

I won’t name names, but a well-known high street coffee chain says in their training that the footage should die after 10 seconds and not be served and discarded.

Considering it takes about 24 seconds to brew Espresso, the idea of ​​him dying in just 10 seconds makes no sense.

Not only does this cost the coffee chain a fortune on wasted footage, but it’s not feasible when back-to-back orders are piling up on your coffee counter. Let’s face it, and most clients can’t tell the difference.

Most of the “coffee people” I’ve spoken to believe the 10-second rule is folklore, and telling new barista interns helps them work faster.

Why Do Espresso Shots Die?

So espresso lenses will degrade and crack once they’ve been pulled out and left for a while, but I wouldn’t say they die.

A textbook fresh espresso should be hot, syrupy, and bittersweet.

Espresso that sits for more than 2 to 3 minutes loses most of these properties and the flavor changes.

Is it still drinkable? Hell yes.

Espresso Crema

“Death” has to do with the loss of crema, purists will say crema will be gone in 10 seconds (right?), so drinks should be served and consumed within this time frame to be at their best. It might make sense under laboratory conditions. But it’s a bit impractical for a barista to make an espresso in 10 seconds, serve the coffee, and then the consumer return to the table for a cup. The drink is still hot and may burn your mouth during this time.

Espresso comprises three parts, heart, body, and crema. The only part that matters in this discussion is crema. Crema is more aromatic and consists of the aromatic oils and fats of the coffee beans and is the result of high pressure and turbulence when brewing in an espresso machine. It is a fact that an espresso machine is expensive, and you should know the reason why.  Essentially, crema forms an insulating barrier that prevents oxygen from reaching the Espresso below.

When coffee is exposed to air, it begins to oxidize. We wrap most foods to keep them from oxidizing and spoiling, and crema does the same.

Crema is created when water, the oil in the coffee, and carbon dioxide mix. Crema has no taste, and it’s just that it’s important to us as an oxidative barrier.


Espresso is very difficult to oxidize like other types of coffee. Because the crema is made up of bubbles and foam, it will begin to expand and pa as quickly as the coffee shot has been served. There is no getting around it, so it’s going to happen.

As the crema starts evolving to interrupt down, oxygen begins offevolved blending with the coffee, inflicting oxidation, and unfavorable taste modifications will begin.


It takes around three mins for the crema to disperse and oxidation to start. So it will take time for the oxidation to profoundly impact the flavor of the coffee. So if the “dying” approach, the taste of the shot, is getting worse the longer it sits, then for a trial to die, it will take around five to 7 mins. A good barista’s goal is to make 10% coffee fat. A good grease should last an average of two minutes. (This is the case for the 10-second rule).

Remember, coffee is supposed to be organized speedy and fed on fast.


Now let’s look at the temperature. Think of two cans of Coca-Cola. One of the cans is at room temperature, and the other is very cold. Do they taste the same? Because both are protected from oxidation until the can is opened. They are the same product, and the only difference is the temperature. I know more people will enjoy the taste of Coca-Cola when it’s cold than when it’s warm. Therefore, temperature is a factor in how we taste things. The same goes for coffee. The temperature affects the taste of Espresso. If we drink our Espresso while it’s brewing, are we getting the best flavor within 10 seconds of brewing? When baristas compete at a high level, you may have noticed that after the coffee is brewed, the jury is asked to pause to let the coffee cool down a bit. Alternatively, they can ask the judge to give the coffee a good stir—, which lowers the temperature. High-end baristas certainly don’t believe in the “10 second rule”. Great baristas understand that when coffee is served extremely hot, the drinker is aware of the temperature and body, much more than just subtle flavors.

Those subtle flavors make a “great cup of coffee.” “The closer the coffee gets to body temperature, the more flavors emerge. The reality shatters the myth of the 10-second rule.

What Does A Dead Espresso Shot Taste Like?

Well, this is where it’s subjective. Everyone has their taste preferences, but here’s how we describe the so-called “dead espresso shot” and what it tastes like. It’s a good idea to let the coffee cool slightly before drinking, as this allows for the aroma and clarity of the coffee that would otherwise be lost in the heat. This is true based on my experience with Chemex and other spills Methods. And I think when it comes to Espresso, that’s true too. I don’t consider letting your Espresso sit longer than the “recommended 10 seconds” will make much of a difference – more than 3 minutes, yes. Would you throw away the Espresso that was brewed for 3 minutes? Probably not. Is it still tasty? I doubt it. I prefer my espressos a little colder, especially when I drink light single-origin coffees. A shot of Espresso made from high-quality coffee beans almost always tastes best when drunk slightly chilled; regular medium-quality espresso blends, not so much. In addition, you should know how many calories are in a double shot of espresso before drinking.

Related Post: Why Does My Espresso Taste Burnt? – What Can I Do


I know there’s a lot to process, especially for someone just starting in the world of coffee. Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you’ll better understand Do Espresso Shots Die and why you don’t need to throw it out. You can still enjoy the Espresso, maybe not after 3 or 4 minutes, but it’s not that bad. When you’re just starting, I’d be more worried about the quality of your beans. Setting the perfect grind and ensuring all the other brew variables match so you don’t get stuck with dead Espresso.

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