What makes Espresso different from Drip Coffee?

espresso vs drip coffee

Espresso refers to black coffee that is often brewed strong using a unique method. Until a few years ago when drip coffee started gaining popularity, making the coffee filter appear cool again, espresso was considered the best way to take coffee by many coffee lovers. When it was first introduced in the US, a region where people were used to taking drip coffee, it presented a totally new way of taking coffee. It changed the coffee industry in the country and lead to the growth of espresso based drinks, effectively changing the way people take their favorite drink.

While there is no single way of making espresso that is better than the other, espresso is brewed by forcing steam to pass through coffee beans that have been ground into very fine particles. Just like the normal drip coffee, Espresso can be brewed from different coffee bean types despite the fact that a blend is generally used to develop optimal flavors. Ordinary drip coffee also referred to us pour over or filtered coffee is brewed by putting water over coarsely ground coffee beans that have been roasted inside a filter. Unlike coffee that is brewed using automatic drip and French Press, Espresso is not common in homes.


Difference between Espresso and Brewed Coffee

While espresso a word that is used to label coffee bean bags, espresso is not a type of roasted coffee or even a specific type of coffee bean. Rather, espresso is a method of brewing coffee. One of the major differences between espresso and ordinary brewed coffee is in the kind on coffee makers that make espresso.

The espresso machine is fitted with different contraption. Due to the method of extraction required to produce espresso, which involves pushing hot water at high pressure, coffee beans are ground to a fine ground. This method produces a more intense brew, which most coffee takers like. The extraction process takes a very short time compared to the process of extraction in other brewing methods due to the high temperatures and pressure in the water.

You can get more by viewing thing video on how Espresso and Drip Coffee Makers Work


Espresso Crema

Espresso CreamaWhat distinguishes espresso from other brewed coffee is its concentrated flavor known as crema. Crema is a layer of foam that appears on top when the espresso is shot, just like what we see in the pint of beer. The state of espresso crema can communicate several things to a coffee lover:

  1. The freshness of coffee beans –  From the espresso crema, you can be able to tell whether the beans used to brew the espresso are fresh or not. When hot water is placed under pressure similar to the one used on extraction, dissolves more carbon dioxide that is generated by coffee as it roasts. As the extracted coffee comes into contact with the cup, the liquid goes back to normal pressure and at that moment, the liquid cannot hold all that gas.
    This leads to formation of small bubbles on the surface that the chemical in coffee cling to. This is what creates the crema we see on the espresso. Where coffee beans have been freshly ground, the crema will be more as more foam is produced. So, if you do not see a good looking crema on your coffee, it is an indication that the coffee beans are not freshly ground.
  2. Strength of Coffee – Espresso crema can also tell you how strong the coffee is. Where the coffee is strong, the crema will appear to be darker in color. Even so, there are concerns over whether caffeine levels in espresso are higher compared to those in other forms of coffee brews. Generally, an average cup of coffee brewed from a drip coffee maker will often contain more caffeine than a single shot of espresso.
    However, it is important to note that this has to do with the size because espresso contains a higher caffeine concentration in a single ounce. However, many people take a shot or two of espresso at a time, which reduces the amount of caffeine in an average 8 ounce mug.


The most important thing to note is that taking espresso depends on one’s personal taste as well the kind of coffee that one is in the mood for. Taking a brewed cup of coffee is a totally different experience from taking an espresso shot and the two brewing methods are ideal for different occasions. Some people prefer a cup of pour-over coffee in the morning and a cup of espresso later in the day.

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