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Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans: These Are the Key Differences

Most coffee drinkers have figured out by now how they take their coffee, whether it's black, full of cream and sugar, or somewhere in the middle. Most of us also know the difference between an americano, latte and shot of espresso. To delve deeper into the world of coffee drinks, here's the difference between espresso beans vs coffee beans.

You've probably seen "espresso" on bags of coffee beans, so you know when you're buying espresso beans. But what does it really mean for a coffee bean to be made for espresso? It mostly comes down to how the beans were prepared, which then affects how they taste.

Preparation of Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans

Beans of coffee and jute bag

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Light roast, medium roast and dark roast coffee beans are all roasted for different amounts of time, which is why they taste different. When it comes to espresso beans, these are roasted for a much longer time and at a higher temperature than typical coffee beans made for drip coffee. So essentially, espresso beans are dark roasted coffee beans.

This is why espresso has a bolder, richer, more bitter coffee flavor than a regular cup of Joe. The longer roasting time also removes a lot of the acidity in the coffee beans and releases more oil, creating a fuller mouth feel. This extra oil is why espresso beans have an oily sheen and produce a crema when brewed.

Since espresso beans are roasted longer than regular coffee beans, they also have less caffeine content. This is because the longer that beans are roasted, the more they lose caffeine. If you see a bag of coffee beans with "espresso" on it, this signifies that the roaster roasted the beans to the espresso roast point.

Along with having a longer roasting process, espresso beans are ground much more finely than coffee beans, to the point of being almost as fine as sand. Espresso beans are finely ground so that the extraction process can happen during the short amount of time that espresso is brewed.

Brewing Process of Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans

Coffee Making (espresso)

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Along with their preparation, the most obvious difference between espresso beans and coffee beans is the brewing method. Espresso is made into a shot of concentrated coffee by putting very hot water through the espresso beans at a high pressure.

To make espresso, you either need an espresso machine or an aeropress. Coffee beans, on the other hand, are most often made into drip coffee. You can do this using a French press, drip, coffee maker, percolator, or other methods.

Overall, espresso beans are roasted longer and at a higher temperature, ground finer, and brewed differently than the coffee beans made for a regular cup of coffee. Here are some espresso beans to experience the difference for yourself!

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READ MORE: The Difference Between Coffee and Espresso Is Surprisingly Simple