Espresso vs Coffee What’s the Difference?
For a lot of coffee lovers, the distinction between espresso beans and coffee beans can be a bit of a struggle. If you ask ten coffee drinkers the difference between espresso and coffee, you would probably get ten different answers. Some might think that espresso beans are a specific strain while others think it’s all about the roasting.
Difference Between Espresso and Coffee
It all sounds confusing but in reality it’s not; the truth is that there is no difference in the type of coffee bean used for espresso. Yes you heard me right, the coffee beans used to make espresso shots are the same beans that you would use to make any other types of coffee albeit drip coffee, French Press brewed coffee, the list goes on. You won’t find any special plant growing espresso beans. Espresso can be a mix of one specific type of coffee bean or a blend of different types such as Robusta and Arabica beans.
The key difference between espresso vs coffee is the preparation method used. Almost all espresso shots are prepared with a much finer grind and not a coarse grind that you would use say in a French Press or a drip coffee maker (stovetop espresso makers also use a fine grind). The coffee bean roasting also doesn’t really play a role in whether an espresso bean is an espresso bean per se, that simply is a preference on taste and dark to medium roasts are preferred. There is no such thing as an “espresso bean” it’s all about the grind and roast!
Espresso vs Coffee the Preparation
Another key difference with espresso is how it is brewed, unlike other methods that rely on water saturation such as drip brewing methods using a drip coffee maker, espresso making uses pressure and a combination of water using an espresso machine to make that perfect espresso shot. Let’s take a closer look.
As I mentioned above, the espresso is all about the grind and the roast nothing else. The fine ground coffee is tamped with roughly 30-40 pounds of pressure into a portafilter basket (that circular thingy with a handle that fits to the underside of an espresso machine) so that its tightly packed, this is another reason why a fine grind is used. A combination of pressure and water is then sent through the finely ground coffee which takes around 15-20 seconds every time a single or double shot is pulled.
How Much Caffeine in Espresso?
Caffeine in an espresso shot? That’s bit trickier. What determines the amount of caffeine in your coffee is the bean itself (in this case) and the brewing method, time, grind etc. As I mentioned the beginning of this article there are two basic types of coffee beans, the Robusta beans and the Arabica beans. the Robusta coffee beans contain the most amount of caffeine, in fact about 50% more caffeine than the Arabica beans. You can read my article Does Dark Roast Have More Caffeine for more info.
So as you can imagine there are a few variables that will determine the amount of caffeine in your espresso shot. However, that being said, even though caffeine in espresso shots can be varied a typical espresso would have about 64 mg of caffeine in a 30 g espresso shot.
Summing up: Espresso Vs Coffee What’s the Difference? It’s Basically it’s all about the grind and roast!