There’s a common myth that espresso beans and coffee beans are different. But is it true? Let’s discover.
Basically, there are two types of coffee beans, Robusta and Arabica. Either of the two, or a combination of these beans are suitable to make espresso or brewed coffee. So this clears the fact that there is no separate cultivation of beans for espresso or brewed coffee. What sets them apart is the texture of the beans which is unique in both cases. Whether you enjoy espresso or brewed coffee, you are well aware of the distinct tastes they are composed of. With relation to this slight dissimilarity in their tastes, this article brings to you an elaborate comparison of Espresso Beans and Coffee Beans which make your cup of java the perfect beverage.
Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans: What sets them apart?
You might wonder, why we have to know the differences between espresso and coffee beans when we easily get separate bags of each in the stores. Well, the reason to understand this issue is to know the basic utilization of specific beans as regards the growing number of interchanges taking place in the use of coffee beans for creating espresso or any other brewed coffee. Let’s begin with the differences:
1) The coffee bean roast
As you all know, raw coffee beans are of no use in preparing coffee. The green coffee beans extracted from the cherries are roasted at high temperatures to be ready to be brewed. But the levels of roasting differ:
· Light Roast
Under light roast, coffee beans are roasted for a shorter period, due to which they are light brown in color and hence contain more caffeine and less natural oils. They usually have an earthy scent and a floral flavor. They are more befitting for “drip coffee” or “filter coffee.” Surprisingly, light roasts are also more acidic.
· Medium Roast
Medium roasted beans are slightly darker in color, with medium acidity and a more smooth flavor. They have a balanced proportion of caffeine and natural oils. You can characterize them as having a blend of floral and chocolaty scents and are suitable for preparing “house blend coffee.”
· Dark Roast
When you want a dark roast, you need to roast the coffee beans for a longer period, which in turn gives them a dark brown hue. Now you can guess where you use it. Yay, you got that right, it is best for making “espresso.” These beans have a shiny covering over them and are usually bigger in size than light roast coffee. They have a smoky aroma and a lovely nutty, chocolaty flavor, containing less caffeine and more natural oils.
In brief, any type of brewed coffee can make use of light, medium, or dark roast, whereas Espresso goes well specifically with dark roast coffee. It’s okay to try out light or medium-roasted coffee beans to make espresso, but it doesn’t give you that tang when you do so. Similarly, when dark roasted beans are used in brewed coffee, they leave a smoky flavor, rather than a chocolaty one. But in the end, it’s all about personal preference.
2) The Grind Type of the Coffee
“Drip Coffee” or the like require a coarse grind, since the water and coffee go through a slow extraction process, if used fine coffee, the result will be a bitter cup of joe, which will obviously leave you devastated. Contrary to this, fine ground coffee is necessary for espresso, as the water comes in contact with the coffee only for a very short span of time, otherwise, the extracted coffee wouldn’t be the ideal espresso shot.
3) The Extraction of the Beverage
As the names “Drip Coffee” or “Filter Coffee” themselves indicate that the process of obtaining the drink is quite slow, the brewed coffee moves directly into the cup drip by drip. Here, the extraction process takes almost 15 to 20 minutes.
Espresso, on the other hand, is an express method of brewing. In this method, Espresso machines play their role by applying high pressure on the water and fine coffee and the resulting dilution is into your cup within 30 seconds. That’s quick!
4) The Hue
Coffee beans normally are light brown to medium brown in color due to the short roast period they undergo. Whereas, espresso beans have a dark brown shade as the beans are roasted for a longer time.
5) The Size of the beans
What? How does the size difference when the same beans are used? Now here comes a scientific answer to this question. Coffee beans contain water, when roasted, the water gets evaporated and consequently leads to an increase in the fibers present inside the beans. Hence, espresso beans tend to be larger than coffee beans.
6) The Composition
What is the main constituent of coffee beans? Of course, it’s Caffeine. When coffee beans are roasted, the caffeine it contains, burns off, reducing its capacity and making it less acidic. As espresso beans receive more roast, they contain less caffeine and are less acidic, contrary to that coffee beans.
But wait, there’s a point to note here, 1 ounce of espresso generally has 60 mg of caffeine, and that an ounce of normal coffee has 11 mg of caffeine. This variation is because of the fact that espresso is highly concentrated.
Do you use specific beans for espresso or coffee?
The difference is only when it comes to the roast, the grind, and the brewing. Apart from that, you can use any coffee bean to make either of these, no matter their region of cultivation. The region between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn is known as the “BEAN BELT.” The countries in this region are some of the largest coffee-producing ones. Columbia, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica are a few to name. However, the coffee that one chooses to consume differs, since our taste buds differ too. Try out some of the famous coffees and select your favorite one.
Reaching the end of this article has probably got you into believing that Espresso Beans and Coffee Beans are definitely not the same. Yes, there are contradictions, but the final answer ultimately lies with you and your taste. The form of beans that you go for to make your coffee or espresso might be different than what the rest of the world prefers. Anyways, an ideal cuppa java is what matters to us. Cheers to the wholesome beverage!