Coffee Vs. Espresso: What’s The Difference?

Have you ever wondered, upon entering a coffee shop, about the distinction between coffee and espresso? We are here to assist.

The fundamentals are relatively simple to grasp. According to Bri Jones, a coffee educator at Partners Coffee Roasters in New York, espresso and coffee are identical.

The primary distinction is the method of brewing the beans. “Espresso, pour over, drip, and French press are simply different methods of brewing coffee,” said Jones. In addition, the flavor and texture of the beverage will depend on the brewing method and coffee beans used. With the help of our coffee-expert friends, we’ll dissect all of that in this narrative.

What Is Espresso?
Black coffee brewed and ready to drink as drip coffee.

When we think of coffee, we often envision a drip coffee maker, French press, or pour over. According to Kaleena Teoh, co-founder of the New York Coffee Project, drip coffee is brewed with a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:15 to 1:20. This makes coffee more productive than espresso. “Drip coffee is noticeably lighter in body and more diluted than espresso,” Teoh explained.

What is coffee?

Espresso is all about velocity and force. Jones explained, “Espresso is a specific brewing method that employs highly pressurized water and finely ground beans to produce a concentrated shot of coffee.” Espresso requires a coffee-to-water ratio between 1:1.5 and 1:2.5. According to Teoh, espresso is prepared more quickly than coffee and brews in a matter of seconds.

She added, “Espresso is typically more syrupy in texture but has a very intense flavor.” This concentrated flavor blends well with milk when used to make cappuccinos and lattes. This is also the reason why espresso works so well in espresso martinis and affogatos. We also enjoy adding espresso to cookies.

Distinctions Between Coffee And Espresso
In addition to the obvious differences in intensity and volume, there are additional subtle distinctions between them.

According to Jones, the use of paper filters in drip and pour over brewing methods removes oils from roasted coffee, resulting in a more delicate body and distinct flavor. She explained, “whereas the stainless steel filters in an espresso machine allow more of these oils to pass through, resulting in a more viscous body and frothy crema on top.”

“Because drip coffee is more diluted than espresso, people are typically better able to discern profile differences,” explains Teoh, who compares it to tasting whiskey. “When water or ice is added to a neat glass of whiskey, the flavors become more pronounced.”

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