Some of the most common questions may feel embarrassing to ask out loud. If you’re a coffee connoisseur newbie, you’re probably wondering what is the difference between coffee and espresso? Don’t be ashamed! There are plenty of coffee fanatics who don’t actually know the difference between espresso and coffee.
This article is going to delve into espresso versus coffee. From brewing methods to how to drink them to the most defining characteristics, it may seem confusing at first. But once you know the difference between espresso and coffee, you can order more confidently and even make your own coffee beverages at home.
To be exact, the pressure to make coffee is simply gravity. But the pressure for an espresso is generally nine bars (130 psi). This is a significant amount of pressure, which is what gives espresso such an intense flavor in such a short amount of time. That is why an espresso machine is so ideal when making espresso.
Another difference between espresso vs coffee is in the size of the grounds. The standard recommendation for brewing coffee in a drip filter is medium ground beans. For an espresso, the coffee cake relies on a smaller grind to better expose the beans’ surface area to the water. But be sure that the grounds aren’t too fine, as this could clog the brew. In other words, you want to use grounds that are somewhere in between small and medium for an espresso.
The chemistry of espresso versus coffee
The anatomy of an espresso differs from a cup of coffee. A good shot of espresso is a dark brew topped with a thick layer of crema. The crema component is a big difference between espresso and coffee, as it is only found in a perfectly extracted espresso shot.
The crema forms as a result of various reactions throughout the espresso-making process. The exposure to pressure mixed with bicarbonate ions in the water, as well as the quick change from high-pressure to low-pressure are some of the factors that help create this delicious top layer.
Coffee and espresso differ in caffeine content. Despite the intense taste of espresso, one shot only contains about 63mg of caffeine, compared to the roughly 95mg in an 8oz cup of coffee. Of course, we don’t recommend drinking 8oz of espresso, as espresso has more caffeine per volume compared to coffee. But if you prefer a shot of espresso over a cup of coffee in the mornings or as a midday boost, you don’t have to fear the amount of caffeine. All things in moderation!1
How to drink coffee and espresso
Any coffee aficionado knows that there is a certain way to drink espresso versus coffee. While there isn’t really a set protocol to drinking a cup of coffee, espresso is a bit different. If you go to any espresso bar or coffee shop, an espresso should be served in a ceramic cup. Once you order your espresso, stir the crema to create a more balanced shot.
Consider ordering a water alongside your espresso to cleanse your palette. Otherwise, sip your espresso slowly and enjoy the rich, aromatic taste that this popular beverage boasts.
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