All coffee lovers know what espresso is. Regular coffee and other, “fancier” coffees, such as lattes and cappuccinos, taste significantly different from each other, as those who know and love coffee will attest. But do you know what the distinction is between them? Let’s take a look.

It’s All in The Beans

While many believe that espresso and coffee use different beans, this isn’t the case. Espresso can be made from either Arabica or Robusta and are equally as tasty when brewed properly. The difference lies in the process. Technically there are no “espresso beans” just a coffee bean that is roasted longer, ground finer and brewed in an espresso machine.

There are certain characteristics you should look for in a bean if you are on a journey to make the perfect espresso:

  1. Choose a darker roast as they don’t change as much with age as lighter roasts
  2. Stay away from lighter roasts and delicate flavors if you’re just starting out
  3. Stick with deep flavor profiles (chocolate, caramel, maple for example)
  4. Try and find the freshest bean possible – we recommend 7-21 days from roasting to make the perfect espresso with crema.

Process Matters

Making homemade espresso used to be a different story—only the elite made it because the fancy machines were too expensive—but these days, at-home espresso machines are becoming more and more accessible along with other brewing alternatives.

Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water through coffee beans at a high pressure and speed – everything must be correctly set up to get that perfect cup, which is why making espresso necessitates the use of a particular machine. This differs vastly from drip coffee which is a no-fuss way to stay caffeinated. 

Caffeinated The Right Way

If you take an equal amount of espresso and coffee, the espresso will undoubtedly contain more caffeine. However, that shouldn’t come as a surprise, should it? Especially when everyone knows that a single espresso shot is completely LOADED with all kinds of flavors and ingredients in a manner that coffee isn’t.

However, if you break things down by serving size, you’ll immediately notice that an average cup of coffee has more caffeine than a one to two oz shot of espresso. Which means while espresso has a higher caffeine content per ounce than coffee, you still get less caffeine from one shot of espresso than from one cup of coffee. Obviously, if you’re an espresso addict who consumes more than the suggested number of shots per day, this changes (which is 5, by the way).

Ready To Try?

This should assist you in deciding which type of bean and roast to go with. Choose espresso if you prefer a stronger, darker brew. Coffee is a good choice if you want a wider range of flavors (you can choose mild or dark) and a more informal sipping experience. We love our Original beans roasted dark and ground fine for our morning espresso.

Overall, it is entirely up to you based on your personal preferences. Why not have both? Here’s a tip: make your coffee with a shot of espresso (Americano style) to up your black coffee game. Now go out there and enjoy mother nature’s energy booster!