Espresso and Coffee: What’s the Difference?


What makes coffee and espresso different? This is a question I had for the longest.

I recall in the mornings at my old place of business before our meetings began someone would bring in those small cups of espresso and man were those things strong. Sometimes i would pass because I want to enjoy my own brew at my desk but the aroma of anything fresh always tempted me.

Let’s just say the day of meetings I was always amped because I had my cup plus those shots of espresso.

So now the question is what makes it different? Is it the beans? The brewing method?

What’s The Difference

The difference between espresso and coffee has to do with the way it’s prepared and the roast and coarseness of the beans. Espresso is made from fine dark roasted beans which prepared from an espresso machine that forces hot water at a high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans to create a shot or two of concentrated coffee.

The major differences between espresso and coffee is the brewing process and the grind.

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee

According to Department of Agriculture nutrition data, espresso has 63 mg of caffeine in 1 ounce (the amount in one shot) and coffee is said to have 12 to 16 mg of caffeine in every ounce, on average.

If you compare the two then espresso has 4 times the amount of caffeine per ounce over regular coffee.

Can You Make Espresso With Regular Coffee Beans

Espresso coffee beans usually belong to the dark roast category, while light roasts works best with a slower extraction method, such as a filter coffee.

The taste will probably be a big turn off if you choose to use a lighter roast. Regular coffee beans used in an espresso machine may taste sour, funky, and tart.

An “espresso bean” of medium-dark to dark roasts are more soluble and extract more quickly. They are rich in oils, which help produce a richer crema and better overall taste when brewed from an espresso machine.

Final Thoughts

Now you know you shouldn’t use light roasted beans in an espresso machine if you don’t want funk tasting coffee and you also know how much caffeine is in a shot and cup.

Depending on how you want to enjoy your brew, sometimes having a shot for a quick pick me up will do and other times you may want to slowly drink a hot cup of coffee over time. It’s up to you and the time frame you have, either way you still get to enjoy the wonderful taste of coffee.


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