What’s The Difference Between Coffee And Espresso

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When you search the internet, I’m pretty sure you find that a huge number of people have asked questions regarding what exactly is the difference between the coffee and the espresso.

Many coffee snobs may think asking this question is odd but in fact asking this question is very natural as many new coffee comers have some false assumptions about these drinks and are not exactly sure the best way to drink it

The darkness of the roast level or even the origin of the beans is often considered by many to be the key distinction between these drinks but it is partially correct. But, in reality you can make drip coffee and espresso by using any kind of beans available in the market which means you do not need any special type of beans.

In fact, the main difference between coffee and espresso might surprise you that the difference is the brewing method. And, many other factors as well.

Since the brewing process of espresso is quite different from that of coffee, both beverages will require specific requirements.

So, stick with this article because here we will go through all the differences including brewing process, beans, grind size, caffeine, flavour and taste means all that can make the coffee bean better suited for one or the other.

Later, you will discover yourself, it all comes down to personal preference and you will have full understanding of their difference.

The Brewing Process

By seeing the brewed drinks, it is nearly impossible for anyone to guess what science behind applied the scene means how coffee and espresso were prepared.

Coffee brewing process

For brewing coffee, it requires grounded coffee beans and most commonly grounded coffee is brewed in a coffee maker where coffee is brewed as an immersion and allowing the coffee to mix with the water at about 200 degrees F extracts its essence through the filter before dripping through into the pot, no matter whether it is through an automatic drip machine.

But, there is also a popular coffee brewing method, French press, this does not use any sort of filtering and it allows the coffee to keep its natural oils and much of its natural body.

Espresso brewing process

Espresso brewing process is quite different from coffee brewing process because it requires higher temperature nearly boiling water temperature and uses higher pressure to force the water through the coffee in a matter of seconds instead of gravity mixing.

You will find cream on top of the espresso but coffee does not produce any crema.

This is why espresso , there are a few variables that make espresso different than brewed or drip coffee.

The Beans

There is another difference in beans that are used for producing coffee and espresso.

Sometimes you may easily confuse the types of coffee beans available in the market because there are a lot of variations in coffee with different flavors. But, in reality two types of coffee beans are available in the world, Arabica, and Robusta.


If you like more flavor coffee and want to reduce caffeine, the go for Arabica because this type

beans have more flavors of origin and less caffeine than Robusta beans. More than 60% of coffee is produced from Arabica in the world.


Those who love caffaines, should go for Robasta for brewing beverages because it is stronger but sometimes produces bitter tasting coffee. One competitive advantage of using Robusta is that it can produce crema, caramel colored foam stays at the top of freshly brewed espresso.

Sometimes a blend of Arabica and Robusta are used for brewing purposes and it can easily produce a good crema. When deciding to use a blend of coffee beans, keep in mind the ratio otherwise you may find Robusta beans overpower the flavors of the Arabica beans which can lead to a muddled taste.

Roast level makes the difference

Can roast level make the difference between these beverages? Yes can make the difference as well.

In coffee shops, you will see that most espreso uses darker roasted beans than most drip blends.

The truth is, any espresso blend can be used for brewed coffee, and any bean that is used in drip coffee can be used for espresso.

The Grind size

One of the most significant differences in the brewing process is the actual grind requirements of each method.

Drip coffee requires a medium coarse grind so that water can flow freely through the filter and the coffee grounds to not escape the filter and cause sediment to fall into the cup. Drip coffee relies on the amount of time in the infusion to extract the flavors of the coffee.

Espresso beans need to be ground extremely fine, almost to micro dust, so that when they are tightly packed into the filter of the espresso machine, the water can still come through the filter. The beans, when packed correctly actually form their own filter for the coffee, allowing a highly concentrated extract to be the end result.

Grind consistency is a crucial variable to understand even when dealing with various ways to brew coffee. Pour overs demand a finer grind than the French press, and automatic drip machines require a finer grind than pour overs. This article is an excellent resource for grinding your coffee.

The Caffeine Content

Depending on the brewing timing and type of beans used, caffeine content may vary because the longer the coffee has contact with the water, the more caffeine will make it to the cup.On the other hand, if Robusta beans are used it will generally produce higher caffeine.

As espresso brewing time is much shorter than coffee brewing time, it produces less caffeine than coffee.But, caffeine amount may increase if you double up your shot in your drinks.

In espresso, per shot 40 to 75 mg caffeine are produced.

In coffee, 8 oz brewed coffee has between 80 and 185 mg per cup.

Difference in Taste

As coffee and espresso brewing processes vary so the taste will be different as well.

Espresso is prepared with a highly concentrated extraction process, so it naturally has a fuller flavored taste with a thicker body. When the extraction is done the right way, it offers a well-balanced taste between sweet and bitter

The flavors of origin from the natural chemical makeup of the beans are more concentrated in a cup of espresso than in brewed coffee.

Espresso provides more natural flavor in a cup compared to a normal cup of coffee.

Brewed coffee is lighter and less concentrated than espresso because it contains more water than what espresso contains.

Serving Size

If you ordered coffee in a coffee shop, you will most probably receive a cup of coffee for 8 ounces.

On the other hand, espresso is served in one ounce cup because espresso is a concentrated drink which contains less water.

Warping up

So, you already understood the science and fact based details why coffee and espresso are similar and at the same time the major difference between coffee and espresso.

Now, you realize it all depends on your taste preference means how you like your coffee-strong, bold flavor in a little package or a hot cup of coffee to enjoy and savor.

Next time you go shopping in a store, you can buy the right coffee beans with confidence as you already know the brewing process and know which beans would serve you better tasting coffee or espresso.

More importantly, as you can determine which kind of coffee is better suited to your own taste and brew methods based on personal preference and experimentation. Thus, you no longer have to rely on what’s written on the bag.

I highly recommend that you should feel free to try different coffees; because it may lead you to a new favorite drip coffee with an espresso name on the bag.