Espresso vs coffee: what’s the real difference between these popular coffee brews? We all have our preferences, and we all have our favorite brews and beans, but what sets espresso apart from a regular black coffee, and is one really better than the other?
While espresso and coffee can both be prepared from the same coffee beans, the method of brewing for both varieties of coffee is very different (and the results are very different, too!). Each has different flavors, aromas, caffeine content, and different coffee to water ratio.
Let’s explore the differences between an espresso and a regular pour-over coffee to see which style of coffee is best suited to your tastes!
Let’s start with the basics. What is espresso? Is espresso coffee the same as regular coffee? And what do we mean when we talk about ‘regular coffee’?
Both are types of coffee prepared using roasted, then ground coffee beans, which are then subjected to heat and water. Different brewing methods are the primary reason for different results, but everything from the type of bean to the grind can also affect a brew too.
The big difference between espresso and coffee is the preparation method. This gives us our different brews, as the beans are subjected to varying levels of heat and pressure over varying lengths of time.
Regular coffee is much less concentrated than an espresso shot, and that’s because of the way it’s prepared.
While the pour-over or drip method is the most common way to prepare coffee, there are many more methods that result in slightly different brews.
Both espresso and regular coffee can be prepared using the same types of beans or the same blends of beans.
For instance, an enduring combination is the typical arabica/robusta mix that you find as standard around the world.
However, it’s the way the beans have been roasted and then ground that are important for both types of brew.
Espressos are best prepared with beans that have been roasted for a much longer time than you’d use for drip coffee.
These darker beans are:
Espresso baristas also favor a finer ground bean when it comes to brewing.
However, if the grind is too fine, then the espresso can be extremely bitter. If it’s not fine enough - then you sacrifice much of the flavor.
It’s a science, getting the grind exactly right for the perfect espresso taste.
For coffee, the beans don’t need to have been roasted for as long. They can be lighter in finish, which provides that distinctive mellow taste and aroma to a cup of pour-over coffee.
The beans can also be much coarser than espresso beans. The grind doesn’t need to be as fine for a good cup of coffee.
In fact, pour-over or drip coffee is a method that can be achieved well using all sorts of coffee beans. You could even use espresso beans.
There’s much less room for error, as the process is much longer.
If you prefer a smokier, darker coffee - then use beans that have been roasted for longer. If you prefer your coffee to be bitter rather than mellow - go for a much finer grind.
Coffee and espresso have different tastes and aromas, but they also have differing caffeine contents.
For many coffee lovers, the caffeine content plays a big role in their choice of brew.
Espressos are seen as being the most potent type of coffee. After all, they are highly concentrated shots of coffee. But is there actually more caffeine in an espresso shot, compared to a regular cup of black coffee?
The answer will surprise you because a regular 8-ounce brew has more caffeine than a 1-ounce espresso shot. Despite the weaker taste, the longer brewing process actually allows for a surprising quantity of caffeine to be extracted from the bean.
However, it’s all relative because an espresso shot is so much smaller in volume, there’s less caffeine in comparison. It is highly concentrated, though, and if you were to drink 8 ounces worth of espresso, there would, of course, be a lot more caffeine than in an 8-ounce cup of pour-over coffee.
We doubt, however, that you’re going to try putting back 8 ounces of espresso before you start work. That might just be a caffeine overload!
When it really comes down to espresso vs coffee, there’s never going to be a winner.
While both are different types of coffee, prepared from coffee beans that are brewed with water, that’s really where the similarities end.
Ultimately, it’s down to your personal preferences - you might enjoy a quick shot of espresso to get you started in the morning, or perhaps you prefer to sit down and take your time with regular coffee.
Why not bookmark our guide to espresso and coffee to help you decide which brew is your favorite?
Comments will be approved before showing up.