The Best Answer:
Espresso beans differ from other coffee beans because they are specifically roasted to brew an espresso coffee drink. This is why when you buy coffee for your espresso machine you need to make sure you are choosing the espresso roast.
This blog post is for all the coffee lovers out there! We will explore how espresso beans are different than regular coffee beans, and why they taste so delicious
What is the difference between espresso beans and coffee beans? If you are a coffee lover, does this make a difference to how you enjoy your cup of joe? In this blog post, I will answer all these questions for you.
Both espresso and coffee beans are roasted before being ground to make a cup of coffee. The roasting process caramelizes sugars in the bean, which creates that deep rich flavor we love in our morning brews.
However, espresso beans are roasted more intensely than regular coffee beans, this means that it has less sugar content and more oil on its outer layer – making it smooth and oily with an earthy aroma.
When you drink espresso coffee, instead of getting the caffeine jolt from your standard cup of joe, you get a smoother burst of energy over about 30 minutes.
The Origins of The Coffee Bean
A lot of people think that coffee beans come from the store, but in reality, much like every other agricultural product, they are grown on farms. The coffee bean is actually the seed of Coffea fruit, often called a “coffee cherry.” These fruits grow on trees that can be anywhere between 3 and 20 feet tall.
These trees need to be planted about 50 feet away from other varieties of coffee plants because if they cross-pollinate, the taste will change significantly.
That’s why most plantations only have one type of plant growing at any given time–to ensure that their product tastes just as good as it did before!
The process of turning those coffee bean seeds into your morning cup is long and complicated, but it all starts with a small cherry that grows in hot climates around the world, the so-called coffee belt.
The coffee belt is a term for the countries of the world that are home to extensive coffee production.
The regions in question are located around the equator – thus, they are referred to as “coffee belts.” These nations include Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and more.
Now you must be wondering, what does this have to do with your espresso! Well, it’s important to understand that no matter which country the coffee beans come from, they are all pretty much the same when they are raw, that is before they have been roasted.
What makes them differ so much from one another is the roasting process, which brings out the aromas and flavors we all know and love!
What Is An Espresso Coffee Drink?
There are so many different coffee drinks to choose from, but do you truly know what an espresso coffee drink is? This is an important question to answer if you wish to understand the difference between espresso beans and other coffee beans.
Espresso is a coffee drink brewed under pressure and extracted by means of an espresso machine. It can be served as a shot or as a long drink with milk or hot water.
The extraction time for the espresso is usually between eighteen to twenty seconds, ensuring that all of the flavors from the ground beans are released during brewing.
It was invented by the Italians and in fact, the word “espresso” comes from the Italian word for “pressed out”! Espresso can be strong and bitter, but it’s often sweetened with milk or sugar to balance its flavor profile.
If you go to the store to buy espresso beans you should be able to recognize them from the label, it will say either “espresso” or “espresso roast”.
Basically, “espresso roast” refers to the type of roast that is used in the drink. It’s usually a strong, dark roast that can be served hot or cold.
An espresso drink has less water than other coffee drinks and usually, only one shot of it will fill up your cup with rich flavor and aroma! The most popular espresso-based beverages are lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas!
Read Also: Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive?
How Espresso Beans Differ to Coffee Beans
The most important distinguishing criterion between espresso beans and other coffee beans is the length of the roast. The roasting of the espresso bean takes significantly longer. This creates the dark brown color and the oily shimmering surface of the espresso bean.
Thus, it can already be visually differentiated from other coffee beans that are meant for brewing filter coffee. These are usually matt in texture and have a light brown color. Due to the longer roasting, the espresso beans release all their oils, which influence the taste and aroma that ends up in your cup!
Espresso beans also contain less chlorogenic acid, making them more digestible than normal coffee beans.
However, aside from the roast factor, there are many ways in which an espresso differs from other coffees. Let’s find out how!
Other Ways Espresso Beans Are Different From Coffee Beans
Espresso Has a Crema
Due to the high water pressure during preparation, a thick, golden-brown layer, the so-called crema, is formed on the surface of a well-prepared espresso. Crema consists of emulsified oils, suspended matter from the bean wall, and carbon dioxide (CO2). When brewing with coffee beans, on the other hand, there is no crema.
Read Also: AeroPress Crema: The Quick and Easy Way
Differences in Taste
Espresso tastes much stronger and more intense than coffee because less water is used to prepare it. This extracts the coffee powder in a more concentrated manner and the taste more intense.
Espresso Requires a Finer Grind
Espresso can only be prepared if the grind of the beans is very fine. When preparing regular coffee, the grind should be medium to coarse – depending on the infusion and preparation method (French Press, AeroPress, Chemex, Hario V60, etc.)
Espresso is Less Acidic
Due to the longer roasting process, the acid (chlorogenic acid) contained in the green coffee beans is increasingly broken down with espresso. Espresso contains less acid than coffee and is, therefore, more digestible than coffee.
Differences in The Preparation Method
To prepare espresso, an espresso machine is required that presses water through the ground coffee at a pressure of 9 bars. No pressure is required to make regular coffee. The brewing process for espresso preparation usually takes between 25 and 30 seconds, while coffee can take up to five minutes.
Espresso consists of 88 – 91% water and 9 – 12% coffee aroma. Filter coffee consists of 98 – 99% water and only 1 – 2% coffee aroma. Espresso is basically like an aroma concentrate.
Therefore tastes full-bodied, syrupy, and highly concentrated, while coffee tastes more watery, although watery does not do justice to coffee due to its negative connotation. Correctly prepared coffee, e.g. with the Hario V60 hand filter, is something very tasty!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which One Has More Caffeine?
It is a misconception that espresso contains more caffeine than coffee. It is true that the concentration of the stimulant in espresso beans is actually higher.
However, because the cups are significantly smaller and the contact time with the water is shorter, they absorb less caffeine than coffee beans, for example, with a filter coffee or coffee from a fully automatic machine.
As a rule, there should be nothing wrong with a small espresso after dinner. After all, it is also available decaffeinated!
Should Espresso Beans Always Look Shiny?
Not necessarily. In the case of espresso beans, due to the longer roasting time, some of the coffee oils from the inside of the beans can come to the surface – this gives them a slight shine that distinguishes them from the lighter filter coffee beans with their matt look. That’s okay as long as it’s not too extreme!
Because extremely shiny, almost oily-looking espresso beans are by no means a mark of quality! It actually means that the roast was too long or the roast machine too hot. Such beans will probably taste burnt.
Espresso beans need to be roasted gently so that enough coffee oils and fats remain inside. You need it for a nice crema, as well as for the full taste in the cup.
Can I Use Espresso Beans to Brew Filter Coffee?
There is nothing stopping you from using espresso beans to brew filter coffee but you should be aware the result might not be what you would expect. Since espresso beans are characterized by their deep, intense roast, using them for filter coffee would not do them justice.
Plus, it’s very likely that your coffee will end up tasting bitter and ashy. So I would definitely recommend that you use espresso beans only for espresso!
So there you have it! After reading this blog post, you should have a better understanding of the difference between espresso beans and coffee beans. You now know that espresso is not just black coffee with more caffeine.
And don’t forget, buying espresso beans is actually quite easy, just look for the “espresso” and “espresso roast” labels. Choosing the right type of coffee to brew your favorite drink can truly make all the difference!