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Home » What is a Lazy Eye Coffee Drink?

What is a Lazy Eye Coffee Drink?

Lazy Eye coffee is a cup of decaf drip coffee topped with a shot of regular espresso. It’s based on the Red Eye coffee, an all-caffeinated version. If you like the idea of a Red Eye but still want to be able to sleep at night, a Lazy Eye will cut out around half of the caffeine content.

Where does Lazy Eye coffee come from?

Lazy Eye coffee is one of the many different coffee drinks known as “eye” drinks. The original coffee to initiate the label is the Red Eye, a cup of filter coffee topped with a shot of espresso. The Lazy Eye is a variation that uses decaf coffee for the drip coffee portion of the drink.

Unlike the other “eye” drinks, there’s no consensus on the number of espresso shots here, but it’s generally one or two. The thing that makes it a Lazy Eye is decaf drip coffee.

what is Lazy Eye Coffee drink

How do you prepare Lazy Eye Coffee?

To prepare a Lazy Eye coffee at home, you’ll need a home espresso machine and a filter coffee machine, along with two types of coffee beans.

  • Drip coffee maker
  • Paper filter (if required)
  • Espresso machine
  • Decaf coffee beans
  • Regular coffee beans
  • Coffee grinder
  • Serving glass



7-10 minutes


1 cup

A step-by-step guide:

1. Grind the decaf beans

You will use the decaf beans for the drip coffee maker, so they require a medium grind. Most drip coffee makers require you to brew at least two cups, so check that you have enough for the minimum brewing levels.

2. Make the drip coffee

Add the ground decaf coffee to the filter basket and switch on your machine. While the decaf is brewing, you can start on the espresso.

3. Grind the regular beans

Clean out your grinder to remove any decaf coffee, then grind the regular beans to a medium-fine grind.

4. Make the espresso

When the drip coffee is ready, fill your portafilter with the regular coffee and pull 1-2 shots.

5. Combine and serve

Pour the drip coffee into your serving glass, leaving 1-2 oz of space for the espresso. Pour the espresso shots over the decaf coffee. The drink is combined in this order to help retain the crema on the espresso.

What are the differences between Lazy Eye and Red Eye?

The key difference between a Lazy Eye and Red Eye coffee is decaf drip coffee. The caffeine content in a single-shot Lazy Eye is around 80-90 mg, compared to around 215 mg for a Red Eye. When comparing a Lazy Eye coffee to a Red Eye coffee, there will be minimal variation in taste.

What are the differences between Lazy Eye and Black Eye?

The differences between a Lazy Eye and Black Eye are taste and caffeine content. A Black Eye coffee is a cup of drip coffee with two espresso shots, giving it a stronger coffee taste. The extra espresso raises the caffeine content of a Black Eye to around 280 mg, compared to 80-90 mg for a Lazy Eye. If you make your Lazy Eye coffee with two espresso shots, the difference will only be in the caffeine levels and not the taste.

Related: What is Black Eye coffee?

What are the differences between Lazy Eye and Dead Eye (Dripped Eye)?

The differences between Lazy Eye and Dead Eye coffee are in the taste and the level of caffeine alike. A Dripped Eye coffee uses three espresso shots, making the coffee flavour much more concentrated. A single-shot Lazy Eye coffee contains around 80-90 mg of caffeine, whereas a Dead Eye coffee can contain 373 mg of caffeine.


To make a Lazy Eye at home without a machine, you’ll need a way to brew both espresso-style coffee and drip-style coffee. The best brewing method is with a Moka pot to make the espresso. In place of an electric drip coffeemaker, you could make the decaf coffee with a manual pour-over brewer, French press, or AeroPress.

The amount of Lazy Eye coffee you should drink depends on whether you use one or two espresso shots when preparing it. A Lazy Eye with one shot of espresso contains approximately 80-90 mg of caffeine, so you should drink a maximum of four cups to stay under the daily recommended intake of 400 mg of caffeine. A Lazy Eye with two espresso shots contains approximately 150-170 mg of caffeine, in which case you should drink a maximum of two cups.

The taste of Lazy Eye coffee combines the simple smooth taste of drip coffee with espresso’s strong and sometimes bitter flavor. The same flavour profile will depend on the types of coffee you use to make each part of the drink. Due to the mix of coffees, this is not a good choice for enjoying the individual flavour profiles of the beans.

Kashmir Brummel
Growing up in a coffee-free household, the discovery of the Moka pot as a teen was something of a revelation. I’ve now upgraded to the AeroPress for my daily brew, with a Hario V60 on hand for lazy weekend mornings.

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