What’s the Difference Between Coffee and Espresso?

If you walk into a coffee shop and order an espresso but instead receive a cup of coffee, you’d be disappointed, right? 

That’s because you know there is a huge difference between coffee and espresso, but did you ever stop to think about what the difference actually is?

A cup of coffee and espresso are both made from the same coffee beans, but there are differences between them that make it such a different experience to drink.

Continue reading to learn the differences between coffee and espresso such as how they’re roasted and the difference in caffeine levels.

Brewing Difference Between Coffee and Espresso

Another popular belief is that coffee beans and espresso beans are different.

When it comes down to the difference between espresso beans and coffee beans, the truth is, there is no real difference. Both beans come from the coffee plant.

What does determine the difference between coffee and espresso, however, is how the beans are brewed.

You’re probably familiar with the process of brewing a cup of coffee — using a french press, a percolator, or a coffee pot.

In order to enjoy a true espresso, you cannot brew it in these machines. This is because espresso requires high pressure in order to heat the water. Plus, the coffee beans need to be ground much finer to make espresso than to make coffee. Because of this, you need an espresso machine to properly brew espresso.

Taste Difference

When it comes to a difference in the taste of coffee vs. espresso, the espresso taste is considered to be much bolder. This is because the taste of espresso is more of a roasted, full-bodied flavor.

The idea behind this has to do with the paper filter used to brew coffee. When brewing a cup of coffee some people believe the filter almost absorbs the full flavor of the grounds, therefore causing an obvious difference in taste between coffee and espresso.

Strength Difference

It’s a popular belief that the strength of espresso is greater than that of coffee, however, the truth is it really depends on how much you’re drinking.

Your average cup of coffee contains more caffeine than one shot of espresso. On average, an 8 oz. cup of coffee can contain from 85-185 mg of caffeine, while a shot of espresso, which is 1 oz., contains 40-75 mg of caffeine.

As you can see, the concentration of caffeine per ounce of espresso is higher than that of coffee, therefore giving off the belief that espresso contains more caffeine. But if you’re comparing one shot of espresso to one cup of coffee, you’re consuming more caffeine in your cup of coffee.

Roast Difference

Coffee beans must be roasted after they’re harvested otherwise you won’t be able to brew them, and the roasting process is yet another difference between coffee and espresso.

Coffee beans intended for espresso are roasted until they’re super dark. This makes it possible to withstand the high pressure that’s required when it comes to brewing them.

Lighter roasted beans, on the other hand, are better for pour-overs, and this tends to bring out brighter and fruitier flavors of the coffee, thus going back to the difference in taste between coffee and espresso.

Drink What You Prefer

Now that you know the difference between coffee and espresso you can call yourself a coffee connoisseur.

Choose which sounds better to you — if you’re into the darker, bolder brew go with espresso, but if you’re looking for a smoother taste you can go light or dark with, coffee is your answer.

If you’re looking for a cup of coffee or a shot of espresso that blows all other coffees you’ve had out of the water, you’ll want to buy our coffee.