​Drinking coffee does not mean you know everything about it. Knowing what is the difference between coffee and espresso will definitely put you ahead of everyone else who drinks coffee. The difference is there and noticeable, but having them pointed out for you will make things easier. Today, we will be going over the differences and whether one is better than the other or not. 

​Difference Between Coffee & Espresso

​Why Are These Two Always Confused?

Confusing coffee and espresso seems to be a very common occurrence among the coffee community. So, why is that? What similarities does coffee and espresso have to confuse so many people?

Well firstly, the same plant and ingredients are used in both coffee and espresso. Both use the exact same bean or ‘coffee bean’ to make them. When it comes to roasting the beans, the process is also similar.

This is one of the main reasons people never see a difference between coffee and espresso. If they are made from the same bean, how could they be different right? Well, the difference appears once you start looking at how each are prepared. Let’s discuss that now.

Differences in Preparing Coffee

Let’s start with coffee since it is the most commonly made. There are several different types of coffee that you can make, but preparing them all is done in a similar fashion. Firstly you figure out how much coffee you want to make, then you proceed to measure coffee beans based off that amount.

Placing these coffee beans in a paper filter and pouring hot water over them will extract the delicious coffee from the beans and into the water. This is a very simple process and the result 

​Differences in Preparing Espresso

The first difference that you will notice when preparing espresso is the texture of grind that you much achieve with your coffee beans. Typically, you will want your beans to be much finer than normal coffee. Afterwards, you have to tamp the powder with 30 pounds of force.

Preparation is a bit more delicate. Pulling water through the ground beans should take no more than 20 seconds, otherwise the flavor and quality of the espresso will be affected. This process is referred to as a shot. When discussing shots of espresso, there are three things to focus on: the heart, body, and crema .

The heart is the bottom part of your espresso while the body is the center. Lastly, the crema is the top layer of your espresso that is said to be the most important part of the espresso. It is helpful in determining how good the espresso will be. After about 10 seconds, each of these three parts of the espresso will vanish and the taste of the espresso will change. The longer you wait to drink it, the worse the espresso will taste. 

Coffee vs Espresso Machines

Now that you have seen some of the differences in preparing each drink, let’s try to look at some other differences.


When it comes to drinking or eating, taste truly does make or break something. So, what's the difference in taste between coffee and espresso?

Well, espresso balances both bitter and sweetness and offers a full flavor. You will hear this often. If you want your own espresso machine, check out this article Best Home Espresso Machines and Makers Reviews of 2018. The filters used when making espressos do a better job of getting rid of some of that bitter flavor that you find in coffee.

Amount of Caffeine:

The best way to look at the amount of caffeine in each is to look at their serving sizes. When discussing espressos, you will find that the serving size is deemed in shots per ounces. So 1 shot of an espresso is equal to about 1 ounce. This one ounce can contain anywhere from 40 to 80 mg of caffeine.

When discussing a standard size of coffee (which is about 8 ounces), the amount of caffeine in it can range from 80 to 185 mg of caffeine. So, that means one shot of espresso can contain the same amount of caffeine as an 8 ounce cup of coffee.

So, if you do not want to drink that much caffeine, you may want to stay away from espresso. The more espresso you drink, the more caffeine you get. However, sticking with one shot of espresso vs an entire cup of coffee will have you consuming less caffeine. 

References And Recommended Reading

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