red eye coffee recipe red eye coffee recipe

Red Eye Coffee Recipe

By the Lavazza Team 2–3 minutes

Sometimes known as a ‘shot in the dark’, a Red Eye coffee is a highly caffeinated concoction which combines the richness of drip coffee with a boost of espresso. It may have gained a reputation among college students doing all-nighters, hence the name, however, this beverage may pleasantly surprise you with its perfectly-balanced flavors and its ability to provide you with an extra jolt of energy in the mornings. If you’re wondering how to make a red eye coffee at home, keep on reading to find out.


To make a proper red eye coffee from home, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Coffee maker of your choice: this could be your favorite drip coffee machine, Chemex, French Press, etc.
  • Espresso machine
  • Coffee grinder - optional, but using whole coffee beans will ensure a more flavourful brew
  • Mug


You will need only a few simple ingredients:

  • 250ml freshly-brewed filter coffee: choose your favourite coffee beans and brew a strong cup of coffee using your preferred method.
  • Espresso shot - we recommend that you use the same coffee beans for both your brewed coffee and the espresso shot for a smoother profile with distinct, expressive notes.


  • Step 1. Start by brewing a fresh cup of filter coffee using your preferred method. If using a coffee maker, use a dark roast coffee and make a strong brew for maximum flavor.
  • Step 2. While the coffee is brewing, prepare a shot of espresso using your espresso machine. Make sure the espresso is hot and freshly brewed for the best results.
  • Step 3. Once both the coffee and espresso are ready, pour the shot of espresso directly into your mug of brewed coffee. The espresso will sink to the bottom, creating a layered effect.
  • Step 4. Give your coffee a quick stir to blend, then taste and adjust the sweetness or creaminess as desired.
  • Step 5. Serve and enjoy!

Tips and Variations

Like any coffee drink, a Red Eye can be customised and adjusted based on your preferences. Find some of our recommendations and tips below.

Optional extras

If black coffee is too strong or bitter for you, you can always add a splash of milk or cream to dilute the strength and make the drink more palatable. Or, add some extra sweetness by adding a flavored syrup of choice!

Red Eye Coffee vs. Black Eye Coffee

A “Black Eye” coffee is a slight variation of the Red Eye, containing two shots of espresso, rather than the one shot included in the original recipe. The name supposedly comes from the dark and rich color created by adding the extra espresso shot to the beverage.

Triple Red Eye Coffee

Not for the faint-hearted, a “Triple Red Eye” is a much more extreme variation of the traditional Red Eye - this time containing three shots of espresso, resulting in a significantly higher caffeine content and a much more intense flavour profile. The Triple Red Eye packs a potent punch that can keep even the most experienced caffeine lovers buzzing for hours on end. 


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