What's The Difference Between Coffee And Espresso?

coffee vs espresso whats the difference

I sometimes get these questions so this – quick and hopefully easy to understand – article about the difference between the two coffee products;)

What is Espresso?

In general, espresso is a blend of coffee roasted darker than coffee roasted for filter coffee or french press and the like. Espresso is roasted darker because the brewing method – an espresso machine – handles the contact of water for espresso differently than brewing in a coffee maker, an AeroPress or a piston jug. Pressure is brewed, requiring a darker roasting.

Espresso is also often a blend of different coffee beans – typically 2-6 different coffee beans are used to compose an espresso. Coffee beans taste different and have different strengths and weaknesses. By making a blend of different coffee beans, you can achieve an overall taste in the espresso. In other words, you can make it taste “perfect”.

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Try to imagine an espresso composed of 3 different coffee beans:

Bean A has a really good, fresh and fruity acidity, but is a little thin in taste.

Bean B has a really good and delicious sweetness. You can taste chocolate and velvety caramel. However, it lacks some acidity.

Bean C has a really good traditional coffee flavor. It has heaviness and just tastes good. However, it lacks both acidity and sweetness.

The difficult art is now – for a coffee roaster – to mix the 3 coffee beans in the right ratio, then roast the coffee in the right way and thus make an espresso, that taste really good;)

It should be mentioned that there is an espresso composed on only a single coffee bean – SOE (single origin espresso) – and that the  espresso can be roasted lighter or darker depending on your personal preference. It is also not uncommon for the various coffee beans included in an espresso composition to be separately roasted – in different roast profiles – and then mixed together afterwards.

What is the difference between coffee and espresso?

Something that you already got the answer if you read the text above. 

Today, “ordinary” coffee is brewed on a filter coffee machine, a plunger or an AeroPress, often a Single Origin coffee. Ie that it comes from a certain country, a certain farm and sometimes a certain field – this especially if you buy a really good fresh-cut quality coffee. Coffee from e.g. Ethiopia, Guatemala and Bolivia are really popular in Denmark – each of these coffees each has its own distinctive character and according to preference most coffee buyers find out of their way what they like best.

But coffee you buy in stores can also be a blend of different coffees. Here, as with espresso, you try to compose a “perfect” coffee in good harmony. You try to exploit the differences in the coffee beans you have used to create a balance that can only be achieved by blending different coffee beans.

Coffee for brewing on filters, piston jugs and the like. can be both light, medium and dark toasted. Here it is your taste buds that decide what you think tastes best, but generally you can say that a light roasting is usually optimal for most quality coffees and a medium roasting may work better for some individual coffees – most often the slightly heavier ones. Dark roasting is a rarity to find in stores, as not many people prefer this anymore.

I hope this helped you a little on the road to further your knowledge – if you want more knowledge about coffee you can learn a vast amount of information right here on our website.


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