What is The Difference Between Coffee and Espresso?

What is The Difference Between Coffee and Espresso?

A cup of warm coffee in the morning is the first thing millions of people see when they wake up, preparing themselves for the day. Some drink coffee for an energy jolt while others enjoy coffee for its wonderful flavors.  As familiar as coffee drinking is to us, there are different ways that the beverage is made, lending itself to a classic favorite.

There are two main types of drinks that come from coffee beans: espresso and drip coffee.  Coffee beans come from the plant Coffea robusta or  Coffea arabica.  Espresso is usually made from the Coffea robusta plant. The way these beans are ground and brewed are what creates the differences between espresso and drip coffee.

Drip Coffee: The beans are coarsely ground, water is added in a proper ratio, and is strained through a filter. The result is a hot cup of brewed coffee.  A cup of drip coffee can be stronger than a shot of espresso.

  • Brewing time is long
  • Coffee beans are coarsely ground
  • Coffee grinds are stored in a filter
  • Mixed with hot water
  • Less intense flavor

Espresso: Beans are roasted in varying degrees for espressos (you can tell from the color).  Hot water, used at a specific temperature, is forced through the finely ground up and tightly packed coffee under high pressure (15 Atmospheres).  The higher the pressure is, the thicker and stronger the espresso will be. The more tightly the grinds are packed, the slower the espresso comes out.  There will also be a thick layer of foam, or crema, at the top of the espresso which is made of proteins and sugar.

  • Brewing time is short
  • Coffee beans are finely ground
  • Coffee grinds are tightly packed
  • Hot water is forced through, not mixed
  • Intense flavor

The brewing techniques of the espresso and drip coffee are what make each coffee beverage distinct in flavors and textures.  Espressos can also be mixed with milk and sugar to create lattes and cappuccinos.  With such flavor and aroma, coffee is a unique drink enjoyed and appreciated all over the world.

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