What is Red Eye Coffee?

What is Red Eye Coffee

Last Updated on January 31, 2022

“To dive into the enriched flavors of the coffee Narnia if one desires to taste the sheer boldness, rawness, and sturdiness of THE mesmerizing stimulant, there exists no such rivals for the apex coffee known as the “Red Eye Coffee.”

After an awful night of partying, you will usually feel quite agitated and hazy when you get up from sleep; that’s how hangovers work.

Therefore, to instantly release that discomfort and prepare for the current day’s work, people in this globe fancy a delicious coffee cup, not just in the US.

In this situation, individuals select a rich, strong, and robust beverage to get their engine starting rapidly and efficiently and look forward to adequately staying awake and aiming for superior productivity.

In this case, the majority of the people need and ultimately select is a “Red Eye Coffee. ”

Now, immediately your brain will ask a question, “What is Red Eye Coffee?”

“Red-eye coffee is a rigorously pungent yet bitter beverage consisting of a high dose of caffeine. A typical red-eye coffee is served with a concentrated brewed coffee or drip coffee filtered down smoothly to bring out the consistency and is topped with a delicious espresso(1-shot). The ratio for a standard red-eye coffee is (½ or 50%) drip coffee and (1⁄2 or 50%) espresso.”

However, one might say red-eye coffee might not have the necessary kick needed for the said hangover to go out.

If you are one of those prying individuals, then have no fret as there are countless variations to intensify the bitterness and richness of the coffee, such as black eye and dead eye coffee (Which are far stronger beverages than red-eye coffee).

What is Red Eye Coffee

Red-eye is an explosively strong and highly concentrated caffeinated drink.

Red-eye consists of a brew of black coffee or dripped coffee, either iced or hot, topped with a single shot of espresso.

The standard ratio of a classic red-eye coffee is (½ or 50%) drip coffee and (½ or 50%) espresso.

Compared to other espresso variants, red-eye coffee packs a severe punch than others in the caffeine department. Plus, it also significantly beats its other renowned counterparts in the ratio per cup servings of espresso(1/2 ), such as latte(1/3) and cappuccino(1/3).

“Red eye coffee” isn’t the only name this famous coffee is known for, as it is also called “Hammerhead” or “Canadiano(Reverse of the normal process; here, drip coffee is added in the espresso).”

Reason Behind It Being Called Red-Eye

After hearing about red-eye, we immediately recall the most faced symptom of a long restless night, long flights, and lack of sleep, that red-eye. This specific red-eye is also called bloodshot eyes.

We generally witness these symptoms when we feel an immense amount of fatigue and lack of sleep.
This symptom is clearly visible below your eye, where it appears like a red web-like structure.

Red-eye coffee was given from that exact basis from facing similar situations. Initially, this coffee was brought to be for the specific reason to cure these specific red-eye symptoms, and from there on, the legend of the red-eye coffee began.

As airplane flights are long, the passengers in the flight are the main target for red-eye. So, in the hope to counter that, the staff tried many variations of coffee as regular drip coffee will ultimately lack the energy boost that is needed and backfires as the passengers can get even nauseous or exhausted from that.

Hence, they tried a different creative variation which was much stronger than the drip coffee. They added an extra layer of espresso shot and matched the required caffeine content, and thus “Red Eye Coffee” came to be.

The invented red-eye coffee contained a strong caffeine content of close to 160 mg, which was more than enough for the passengers in the flight to go through their long 14-16 hour+ flights.

The Origins Of Red Eye Coffee

Red-eye coffee is much more consumed in America than in any other nation on the globe.

The red-eye coffee was invented in America, where the specific coffee was enjoyed for the first time by the people who traveled from the west coast into New York.

The distance from the west coast to New York was a long one is exaggerating at best, so it was apparent the passengers on the board were exhausted is an understatement.

Drip coffee wasn’t enough to relieve that exhaustion, and multiple cups of drip coffee can be harmful to the stomach in the long run.

So, the invention of red-eye coffee was a blessing from the heavens for the passengers as one-shot espresso had just enough caffeine and the missing element that drip coffee alone was lacking.

Hence, the mixture of both these separates entities brings a synchronized compression that has the drip coffee’s lightness and the richness of the espresso shot, resulting in a less acidic beverage with compact flavors.

As of 2021, you can find a cup of red-eye coffee anywhere in the world. The names can be various so ask your barista directly if you can’t find it in the menu. So, to get a sip of this marvelous drink, visit your nearest coffee shop or cafe.

Alternative Names For Red Eye Coffee


Altered Name 

Alaska (US)

Sludge Cup

Pacific Northwest (US)

Shot In The Dark (1-Shot), Double Shot In The Dark (2-Shot)

Whitemoor Mine (US)

Wellard Coffee

Oregon (US)

Stink Eye

Northern California (US)

Train Wreck

Northeast Coast (US)


Kansas (US)

Oil Spill

Mountain Southwest (US)

Shot in the Dark

Vancouver (Canada)

Double Drip

Who Is Red Eye Coffee For?

Red-eye coffee is preferred by ever-so-busy employees who have to put many long hours into their work, flight passengers traveling for long hours, or a student who needs to stay up all night for an assignment or examination.

Red-eye coffee is a breakfast beverage fancied by a large chunk of people in the US as it gives a high energy boost thanks to its highly concentrated caffeine.

However, many people do drink this strong coffee later in midday and sometimes into the early evenings.

Red-eye coffee is primarily chosen over other coffee in breakfast due to the espresso’s high caffeine in 1-shot/ 2-shot/ 3-shot and low calorie count. In addition, this coffee can re-energize you in a heartbeat and will remain in your system for a significant amount of time till you achieve your goals.

Furthermore, a delicious cup of red-eye coffee is drunk mainly by individuals looking to enhance their energy, awakening skills, and elevated testosterone.

Pros and Cons Of Red Eye Coffee


Many studies have shown that having red-eye coffee in your system can improve your digestion cycle exponentially.

Due to high caffeine in red-eye coffee, an individual’s mental alertness gets enhanced for a specific period of time.

Because of the presence of the high antioxidants and boosted alertness, people get less nauseous or dizzy.


Due to the high caffeine content available in red-eye coffee, people find themselves unable to sleep and face severe sleep deprivation or, worst, insomnia.

As a red-eye coffee forcefully enhances one’s energy significantly, it causes massive restlessness in the body as the body itself is in a hyperactive mode.

More than one cup of red-eye per day can lead to increased stomach inflammation. So, it’s advised not to drink over one cup per day.

Increased consumption of red-eye can severely damage your lungs and stomach, which can ultimately trigger the chances of cancer.

Red-eye coffee can be fatal for a woman who is in her early pregnancy stage. As contaminated caffeine and antioxidants together can damage the womb of the female.

Nothing too much is good for anything. The same can be said for red-eye coffee as high drink consumption means the increased acid into our stomach, resulting in an ulcer.

Making Process of Red Eye Coffee

The red-eye coffee is straightforward and effortless to make in a coffee shop environment. Although, tough to make it at home as you would need an espresso machine to do so.

An espresso machine is costly for regular people. So, if you can’t afford one, it’s unlikely you can conduct it in your home.

So, the process of red-eye coffee is; first, we brew coffee using half an amount of water and select finely ground coffee beans, then we put it in the machine and wait till it finishes.

Next step, we pour the mixture into a cup and top it off with a freshly blended espresso shot.

And voila, our “Red eye coffee” is done and ready to serve.

Different Kinds Of Red Eye Coffee Drinks

There are various variations to the classic red-eye coffee drink. Depending on where you reside in the US, then there is a variety of various red-eye coffee, and here are some much-known coffees:

Black Eye Coffee

Black Eye Coffee

Black eye coffee is made with identical ingredients as red-eye coffee with a slight alteration with 2-shot of espresso added into it.

A standard black eye coffee consists of drip coffee (1/2 or 50%) and 2-shot espresso (1/2 or 50%).

One might wonder where the name originated from?

Suppose you think that a random bar fight results in a person ending up with a black eye. Maybe somewhere, that may be the case; however, the main reason the coffee is called “black eye coffee” is because of that specific black ring that comes up in the coffee after pouring in the two espresso shots.

Dead Eye Coffee

Dead Eye Coffee

Deadeye coffee is made with the same ingredients as red-eye coffee with a hint of alteration with 3-shot of espresso added.

A standard dead eye coffee consists of drip coffee (1/2 or 50%) and 3-shot espresso (1/2 or 50%).

The sheer amount of caffeine content is astronomical if you consider the per cup serving of caffeine.

One regular cup of dead eye coffee per servings is 24 ounces, 3x more than a standard cup of coffee.

Dead Eye Coffee is also termed “Green Eye Coffee.” in Starbucks.

Caffeine Content in Red Eye Coffee

Red-eye coffee consists of a high density of caffeine served in a small cup.

As we have stated before, one cup of regular brewed coffee/ drip coffee contains 8 ounces or 95 mg caffeine on average.

Furthermore, in a single small cup of espresso of 8 ounces, we find 63 mg caffeine on average.

Resulting in, 

Red Eye Coffee = Drip Coffee + Espresso

                            = 95 mg + 63 mg

                            = 158 mg Caffeine Content 

Caffeine Content in Black Eye Coffee

Black Eye Coffee = Drip Coffee + (2 x Espresso)

                               =  95 mg + (2 x 63) mg

                               =  221 mg Caffine Content

Caffeine Content in Dead Eye Coffee

Dead Eye Coffee = Drip Coffee + (3 x Espresso)

                              =  95 mg + (2 x 63) mg

                              =  284 mg Caffine Content

If you think that’s the highest coffee available per serving, then you are wrong. There are various stronger caffeine versions available if you mix it with espresso.

It’s important that one doesn’t consume 400 mg of caffeine per day.

Researchers have proved that 400 mg is a safe amount of caffeine for a healthy adult to consume daily.

It’s good to note that an excessive amount of caffeine is severe for anyone. So, if you feel discomfort of any sort, then reduce your caffeine consumption as soon as possible.

Red Eye Coffee At Starbucks

The red-eye from Starbucks is a secret menu where a drip coffee (iced or hot) is poured in a cup with the added 1-shot espresso on top.

This drink gives an explosive outburst of flavors jammed packed in a small cup of joe.

However, there are various drinks that have more caffeine than the classic red-eye coffee in Starbucks. For example,

Black Eye Coffee = Drip Coffee + 2-Shot Espresso

Green Eye Coffee = Drip Coffee + 3-Shot Espresso

Yes, what you’re seeing is precisely correct as in Starbucks, “Dead Eye Coffee” is known as “Green Eye Coffee.”

Starbuck red-eye variations are miles ahead of the herd as for quality-wise and the secret bitterly sensational flavors.

Additional Facts About The Red Eye Coffee


John Reeves

Kevin Pietersen

Hello, Kevin here, Wispy Pick’s Co-Writer. We go through and guide you through various Coffee Machines and Accessories for a great morning.

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