Coffee Vs Espresso – What’s The Difference

So, What’s The Difference Between Coffee And Espresso

Well NO! There is quite a difference. Coffee is actually a name given to all it’s related drinks like regular coffee, espresso, macchiato, latte and many more. So basically, an espresso is one of the types of coffee drinks. To correct you more, you are trying to compare actually the regular coffee and espresso.

First, we will address the individual parts, coffee, and espresso, just to point out the main differences from the start.

What is Coffee?

This beloved beverage has quite a history, these coffee beans have traveled all the way around the world and that’s why we have so many alternatives now. The fruit from the coffee plant is actually similar to a cherry, but what makes the greatness is inside the seed.


Once the fruit is harvested, the seed or bean is extracted and then roasted, and once you grind it, that’s what we need for a cup of coffee. There are dozens of species of coffee plants, and each of these plants will make a different coffee bean, but also the way it is processed will change the flavor of the final product, giving us hundreds if not thousands of different possibilities.


So, What is Espresso?

Espresso is coffee brewed in a unique way, and this is what, which makes it different. Espresso tends to have a more intense flavor, even though it’s brewed in a shorter time. The espresso machines are different than the regular drip machines.

An espresso can be described as intense coffee, brewed with pressure at a high temperature in a short time, but also the ground coffee has to be fine. What makes espresso brewing unique and different from all the methods is the amount of time it takes to be ready.

With all the previous methods you would have to wait a few minutes to get that cup of coffee. With the pressure method which makes espresso, once the water is hot and ready, you will have the finished product merely a few seconds.

What makes this method special is – the hot water at a really high pressure goes through fine coffee grounds tightly packed, and the infusion takes seconds. The process becomes quite powerful, that’s why espresso has that distinctive flavor and crema at top. This brings us to the next question.


What is Crema

Another big characteristic of espresso is the crema, and the crema really talks about the coffee you are about to drink, erm sorry, espresso. The crema is the foam that forms on top of the liquid when you prepare an espresso, and the information it gives is about the age of the coffee used and the strength of the coffee.

For the age, the amount is to be observed, If the crema is abundant it means the coffee is fresh, while with less crema it means it’s a bit older. For the strength, the color is to be noticed, usually, the rule of thumb is, the darker the crema, the stronger the espresso.

Types of Espresso Shots

Espresso is often served in shots, and in this little section, we are mentioning few common drinks that are popular.

Espresso Shot: The classic shot is usually 30 ml, this is a generic measure and what you should expect from a shot.

Doppio Shot: Also called a double, is just double the amount of the original shot, so two shots in a cup, 60 ml.

Ristretto: This would be the grown-up measure, although the quantity is less, 22ml, the liquid is a concentrated mix of coffee, so expect a lot of strength in this kind of shots.

Lungo: This is the relaxed measure and it is the one that gets closer to being brewed coffee, this is 60ml of less concentrated espresso, so expect a softer drink in these ones.

Macchiato: This is a doppio shot with a dot of foamed milk to soften it up and make it more creamy.

Café Noisette: This is similar to the Macchiato but contains more milk, again a Doppio shot but this time instead of just a dot of foamed milk, we will add 30ml of steamed milk, making it even more creamy and nicer.


Espresso Drinks

You may not like espresso by itself or with a little milk. Here I will show you some of the popular espresso-based drinks you can find at cafes, some of which you will probably have heard of already. These drinks are made by added ingredients and steamed milk in different levels depending on the beverage.

Cappuccino: Classic drink, that great triple layered presentation just makes everyone fall in love, and it packs quite a punch with some creamy flavor as well, a doppio shot plus 60 ml of steamed milk with 60 ml of foamed milk on top.

Latte: Another classic, in my opinion, this is just a perfect presentation with a great flavor and texture and a milky taste, a doppio shot, 300 ml of steamed milk, and the real skill comes here, 2 ml of foamed milk, just to make that top perfect.

Mocha: Chocolate is just amazing with coffee, some blends even remind you of the flavor, this is a mix that was meant to be, doppio shot, 50ml of chocolate, 30ml of steamed milk.

Americano: Another classic among coffee aficionados, the Americano is a doppio shot with 90ml of hot water to soften it up, it still packs the double shot punch.

A Few More Espressos

Dry Cappuccino: Maybe you dislike the amount of milk in a regular cappuccino, so here you get a doppio plus 60ml of foamed milk, easy.

Affogato: Just a delight that, surprisingly, not a lot of people have tried but I highly recommend, here you get a doppio with 90ml of vanilla ice cream, double rush on this one, more like a dessert in my opinion.

Breve: Creamy delight, with a doppio shot and 90ml of half and half, you will get an amazing creamy mix of greatness.

Café con Hielo: Now with this, I can relate, if you live in a really hot place and having a hot coffee sometimes feels like a torture to your body, this is just amazing, who would have thought that coffee could be so refreshing, get enough ice in a cup, pour 50 ml of espresso on top, voila.

Con Panna: Another delightful treat, more of a dessert, this contains a doppio shot and 90 ml of whipped cream.

Flat White: This is great if you love the milky goodness of a coffee drink, a doppio shot and 120 ml of steamed milk, it will have a soft taste and amazing texture.

So to wrap this up, the difference between coffee and espresso is how you make it, or the brewing method. Espresso is, as the name suggests, a pressure-made coffee, while brewed coffee is usually an infusion made over more time.

How Much Caffeine In An Espresso Shot

There is a question with a rather simple answer, always going around the coffee world, especially on people starting to discover this drink’s amazing benefits: “Which contains more caffeine, brewed coffee or espresso?”.

The answer depends on where you approach the question from; if you take a shot of espresso and a cup of coffee the amount of liquid on each is quite different, so you could say, in this case, that the cup of coffee contains more caffeine since an average cup has around 240 ml of coffee, while an espresso shot has 30 ml.

If you approach it the other way tho, in volume, you will find that the espresso contains way more caffeine per milliliter. In the end, it all depends on the amount you drink, think of it as the espresso being a form a concentrated coffee in caffeine terms.

Wrapping Up

So it’s been a long road now, right? but some may still be asking themselves “Okay, so, espresso is the same as coffee,correct?” well, espresso is coffee yes, but it is unique to the different brewing methods. So we can say that it is just a different outcome from the same source. But don’t worry, you don’t have to like one better than the other, both brewed coffee and espresso are great. And they, in my personal opinion, will give you what’s needed depending on the situation.

Maybe you just want a quick shot to boost your energy and feel alive, or maybe you want to have that cup of coffee for 30 mins just to enjoy it. Coffee is like wine, the best coffee for each person is different so the one you like, is the best.