What’s The Difference Between Coffee And Espresso?

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Coffee and Espresso may have something in common but they are also different in some factors. It may be a common sense to determine the distinction between these two. However, not all the people, even those self-confessed caffeine dependent, know exactly the facts that set these two apart.

Many can also relate that due to the differences of coffee and espresso, there is an unspoken debate of which has the better taste? Those who love stronger bitter flavor tend to pick the espresso while those who have moderate taste buds will bet for the coffee.

Before you join the unending favoritism between espresso and coffee, it is better to know the background of these two and be informed of its respective differences.

What is an Espresso?

Espresso is a unique beverage that came from various types of coffee beans that are roasted. The production of espresso started when the first bar machine was invented in 1884. Espresso came from the root word expres which means expressing, pressing and taking actions quickly.

The main distinction of espresso from coffee is that it is thicker and creamier because it goes through several processes such as brewing. Espresso is also present as base in some popular drinks such as latte and café Americano.

What is Espresso

Usually, the espresso is also served in smaller content since it contains a stronger taste than an ordinary instant coffee. It is not surprising because of the higher amount of caffeine incorporated in it. An Espresso machine makes sure that it extracts the flavor and aroma of every coffee bean so it can achieve the best barista quality espresso.

The basic method to make an espresso is to put more pressure on the hot water and high quality coffee. The goal in this process is to let the natural oil from solid components to be extracted. Pulling or making an espresso shot is known to be the first way to make espresso but nowadays there are already programmable machines that can do it electronically.

What is a Coffee?

Coffee is a kind of drink that came from coffee beans. It is so famous across the globe because most of the people are caffeine lovers. Normally, it can be served at any temperature but is frequently preferred hot. For others, this simple beverage completes their breakfast every morning and uplifts their energy during the idle time of the day.

According to history, Coffee originated in the land of Ethiopia when people here discovered the taste and ability of coffee plants to boost energy. However, there is proof that it was in Yemen where drinking of coffee has started. The flavorful beans came from a species called Coffea. The fruits of this plant are harvested and dried as its color turns to red.

Coffee beans are known for containing caffeine which has stimulating effects that are believed to help humans stay awake for a longer time. Its beans can be easily recognized with its dark and brownish color, distinct aroma and bitter taste.

What is a Coffee

Nowadays, coffee has become part of the daily lives of many people. Not only does it give so much pleasure to the consumer, but it also has health benefits. Based on experts, coffee has good components that improve digestion, mental health and mortality.

Differences between Coffee and Espresso

Process or Brewing

The brewing method of Coffee and Espresso plays an important factor that sets the distinction between the two. Intensity, speed and machinery use in preparing these beverages are one of the top reasons why they differ from each other.

Many will agree that brewing a coffee is much easier than making an Espresso. Manner of brewing a coffee can be through the traditional automatic coffee drip, French Press or Percolator. This process can be done mostly in the comfort of our homes. All that has to be done is put coffee beans in the brewing machine and have a rich drink after a few minutes.

Meanwhile, brewing an Espresso takes a little more time, effort, skill and a special machine than making a cup of coffee. A reliable strong Espresso machine is needed to have a flavorful output. However, not all the people can afford this equipment as it is expensive unlike having an ordinary coffee maker at home.

what's the difference between coffee and espresso

Preparation of an Espresso shot needs greater pressure to reach the preferable temperature of the water. The higher the water temperature is, the more effective the extraction of flavor from coffee beans is.

Level of Caffeine

There is a little confusion when people ask which has more Caffeine content between an Espresso and Coffee? Many say that it is the Espresso that surely carries more Caffeine. But in reality, the amount of Caffeine highly depends on human consumption.

Technically, the Espresso shot possesses higher Caffeine content with an average of 40 to 80 mg per ounce. On the other hand, a cup of coffee is usually equivalent to 8 ounce which contains 80 to 185 mg. However, the caffeine level also depends on the kind of roasted coffee beans and brewing process.

Following the above mentioned regular consumption, definitely, the Espresso has a bigger amount of Caffeine. However, it changes when a person takes more than a cup of coffee which usually occurs especially to coffee lovers out there. Other consumers can consume at least 2 to 3 cups of coffee in a day so that will be equivalent to an average 555 mg of caffeine.

Taste and Aroma

A lot of people will give a thumbs-up as a sign of agreeing with the fact that a Coffee and an Espresso have different tastes. Although the base component of these beverages is coffee beans, the taste differs because of the brewing process.

Espresso are evidently said to have stronger taste because solid components, oil and acidity are extracted during the brewing process. All these variables blend together, hence, the flavor of the coffee beans are boldly reflected in the drink. However, over roasted coffee beans do not taste good because the drink will just taste burnt.

Taste and Aroma of Coffee

On the other hand, the coffee still has the taste of the coffee beans; however, it does not have the natural oils extracted from the beans. As a result, lighter flavor is what consumers taste when sipping newly brewed coffee.

Meanwhile, Coffee and Espresso also has a little distinction in smell. Both really produce enticing aroma when being brewed. It is just that an Espresso can have a stronger nostril-penetrating aroma.


Although Coffee and Espresso similarly came from roasted coffee beans, there is a difference in the cost. The factor that primarily affects the price of these two is the production method, machinery used to make it while secondary factors are the taste, aroma, harvest season as well as the brand.

Apparently, Espresso has a higher price than Coffee. It is not so surprising and can be just common sense for a lot of people. The simplest reason why the first cost more than the latter is because of the level of effort, skill and time being consumed in preparing it.

Normally, an espresso shot cost 1$ to 3$ higher than a drip of coffee. The explanation is easy. Preparation of a cup of coffee may only take in just a nick of time. All that has to be done is mix and blend all the ingredients such as hot water, ground coffee and a little bit of sugar and other flavor like creamer. The process instantly ends in just a swift stirring of the cup and serving it to the consumer.

On the other hand, producing an Espresso is not that difficult however, it is more complicated than the coffee. On top of the list of requirements in making an Espresso is an Espresso Machine that may also cost higher because it does most of the job. Moreover, it takes expert personnel who probably trained as a Barista to make an Espresso. It also adds-up in pricing the said beverage.

Health Benefits and Disadvantages

Serving cups of coffee and Espresso shots have health benefits. Research shows that the human average capacity of Caffeine in-take is only five cups per day. As long as the consumer follows this standard amount of Caffeine, then these beverages are healthy for the body.

Both these drinks carry important nutrients that can nourish the body such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Some of the health benefits of caffeine in the body are lowering the risk from indigestion, cardiovascular disease, mental health, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Diabetes and other illnesses.

The amount of Coffee and Espresso consumption plus the brewing process speaks which can be healthier for humans. Since the Caffeine content of Espresso is larger and more concentrated than a cup of coffee, experts considered it as more beneficial to health.

With all the above indicated information, it may now be easy to distinguish which is a Coffee or an Espresso. Picking preference among the two can now be easy also. But it is clearly stated that these beverages contain different but equally wonderful characteristics, so it won’t be bad also to love both of these drinks.

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