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What is the Difference Between Coffee and Espresso

Difference Between Coffee and Espresso

Espresso and coffee are not too different. To start with, espresso is a type of a coffee. In a better way, espresso refers to a method of brewing coffee. In this method, high water pressure and finely ground coffee beans are used to make a small concentrated shot.

Espresso was invented in Italy where dark roast beans were popularly used to make it. However today, any type of coffee can be used in making espresso. One of the characteristics that define espresso is its concentrated flavour and body that has more syrup. It also comes with a top layer foam called crema which is formed as a by-product of the high-pressure extraction.

You can combine espresso with milk or extra water to create other espresso-based drinks. Examples of these espresso-based drinks include macchiato, cappuccino, cortado, marocchino, latte, flat white, americano, and many more. But then, there are many other difference asides from these ones. This article highlights 4 major differences between coffee and espresso which are the world's most popular beverages.


What is espresso

1. Origin of the Coffee Beans

Funnily, the difference between espresso and coffee starts with their similarities. Most people feel that coffee and espresso differ in terms of the beans. However, this is not incorrect. Most people, feel coffee beans differ due to the difference in taste, texture and level of caffeine in the beverage.

However, the difference between coffee and espresso lies in the process by which you make the espresso. We will talk about that later on in the article.

Coffee and espresso are all from coffee beans. There are two varieties of coffee that are grown commercially, Arabica and Robusta. Robusta coffee beans give a nutty flavour when roasted and their taste is like oatmeal. When they are not roasted, the Robusta Beans give off a peanut scent.

Arabica beans on the other hand are hard to identify. Depending on the variety, Arabica beans come in different flavours. While some can be sweet, some of them stay in between sweet and tangy.

When Arabica beans are not roasted, Arabica gives a sweet blueberry scent. However, when they are roasted, they have a sweeter and more floral flavour than Robusta. They give off a more sugar and fruit tone.

Therefore, espresso does not refer to the type of coffee beans used in making the drink. It simply refers to the name of the drink itself. Espresso can be made from either Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.

2. Process

Almost everyone knows how to make coffee. There are many ways, that includes French Press, Percolated, Drip coffee method and many more. Interestingly, you can do all of these in the comfort of your home with simple contraptions.

To make homemade espresso, you don't need actually need a costly espresso machine. If you want to go the easy way, the machine can also help you make espresso easily. But then, true espresso is not made with a French press or coffee pot.

That is because you need high pressure and temperature to make espresso. Besides, these espresso machines have their in-built grinders tha t help them achieve the fine grind need to make espresso. Unfortunately, regular coffee grinders can not get you that level of finess.

method of brewing coffee

3. Caffeine Amount

One of the reasons people prefer Espresso is because they feel it has more caffeiene than regular coffee. While that is true, the level of caffeiene you get will largely depend on the quantity of coffee you take.

Normally, espresso is taken in shots while most other coffee are taken in coffee cups. An average cup containing drip coffee has more caffeine than what you have in a shot of espresso because of the difference in size. An average cup of coffee has a capacity of 80z and will contain between 85 to 185 mg of caffeine whereas a shot of espresso almost contains about 1 oz of coffee with between 40 and 75 mg per shot.

So, the idea is, per ounce, espresso has more caffeine than coffee. However, you get less caffeine in a shot of espresso vs. one cup of coffee. But then, you can increase your consumpton so you can get the maximum benefit from espresso. Only ensure that you do not exceed the recommended number of shots daily which os 5 shots.

4. Taste

For most people, the difference between espresso and coffee can be gotten from tasting the two beverages.

Espresso is generally thought to have a roast, well rounded, full body flavour. This is regarded by many people as the much bolder taste of coffee. According to some espresso lovers, the paper filter used for brewing regular drip coffeee holds back some of its flavours from the coffee grounds. This explains the obvious difference in taste.


By now, we believe you have a better knowledge of your coffees and which to go for. If you prefer the dark, bold tasting brew, then you know that espresso is your type. However, if you prefer varieties in your coffee. Maybe you want is light sometimes or dark, that is a more casual drinking experince then you should go for coffee

In the end, its all about what you want. For us, we think you should have both, because, why not? To make things interesting, you can add espresso to your coffee to improve its taste.