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Choosing the best coffee for espresso can be daunting.

In this article, you will get the answers such as what actually is espresso and which kind of coffee beans are used for espresso.

Let’s get started.

What is Espresso?

The word espresso refers to the brewing method. 

The first step is to grind 7-10 gm beans finely. Then you should add your grounds into the espresso machine’s portafilter after which lightly stamp it to a solid mass. 

If you have an automatic or fully automatic espresso machine, the machine does all this itself.

After stamping, you must attach the portafilter into the machine and start brewing. 

Now the machine will push a mixture of hot water and steam through the solid mass of coffee. Soon, espresso runs down into the cup. 

Due to the high pressure during brewing, you will see a layer of dense “foam” on the surface. This is crema, which is the result of the essential oils of coffee, making it incredibly creamy to drink. 

The quality of crema depends a lot on which coffee beans you use and whether the brewing has taken place correctly. 

If you have ground the coffee too coarsely or have not stamped it enough, you will get less crema.

There are many suggestions on how many coffee beans to use to make espresso, but between 7-10 grams per cup is the standard.

With some fully automatic espresso machines, it is possible to choose a higher dose and get a stronger coffee.

The Golden Rules of Making an Espresso

Brewing an espresso on a semi-automatic espresso machine requires some practice and understanding of the factors that come into play. Therefore, you should have some idea of the standard rules.

Single shot: 30-45ml water is run through approximately 7 grams of ground coffee in 20-25 seconds
Double shot: 60-75ml water is run through approximately 14 grams of ground coffee in 20-25 seconds

Beans You should Use for Espresso?

There are countless coffee brands and blends in the market, and truthfully, you can use any for brewing espresso. 

A common factor in all blends is that they consist of arabica, robusta or a mixture of the two. 

These are the two main types of coffee in coffee production worldwide. Arabica and Robusta are grown in the coffee-growing belt along the equator, and their characteristics change depending on the country of origin. 

espresso layers 1

What is Espresso Coffee?

Espresso coffee or espresso beans is a slightly misunderstood term because, in fact, coffee beans used for espresso are no different than regular coffee beans. 

As I said, espresso can be brewed from all types of coffee beans, regardless of the relationship between arabica and robusta or the roasting. 

Espresso is a brewing method and not a bean type – as long as the coffee is ground finely enough, it can be used for espresso.

Whichever coffee bean or coffee blend you use for espresso is clearly a matter of taste. Some people prefer dark roasted coffee with a blend of arabica and robusta because it usually gives a stronger and more intense espresso, but a 100% arabica can also taste heavenly!

Which Drinks can You Make from an Espresso?

Espresso is in itself a fantastic cup of coffee, which can be varied in countless ways.

Most famous are of course the milk drinks, among others are cappuccino, latte and cortado.

Espresso Roast

Roasting Profile

Espresso grate for espresso brewing – filter grate for filter brewing

Always choose coffee beans according to the brewing method you want to use. 

An espresso-roasted bean has evolved further in the toasting process and the caramelization. 

The beans appear dark brown and shiny with more body and bitter taste and almost no acid. 

Espresso coffee bean roasts suit brewing under pressure in an espresso machine. 

When making the traditional café drinks such as latte, cappuccino and macchiato, the espresso must also have a certain strength to not disappear in the hot milk in terms of taste. 

Coffee beans for slow brew – including french press, pour-over and filter – roast shorter and lighter, thereby retaining more acidity and sweetness.

There are a few subcategories.

Light roast:

Mild taste and often many aromas, maybe even a little whiff of wheat or grain. The surface is light and completely oil-free.

Medium roast:

This is the most common type of roast which is slight stronger. The beans are medium brown and have no visible oil on the surface.

Medium to dark roast:

A more powerful and full-bodied taste, still sweet but also bitter. Here, the oil will begin to appear on the surface of the beans.

In the vast majority of cases, it will appear from the packaging, whether it is a bean has been roasted for espresso use. 

If not listed, assume it is for filter brew.


I hope you enjoyed this article, and if you did, why not check out some more on the blog right here.

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