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Espresso Beans Vs. Coffee Beans – What is the Difference?

Posted: While Drinking Coffee!   |   Coffee Related Articles

Ground espresso pack

A question that can come up when learning about coffee beans is the different between ‘coffee beans’ and ‘espresso beans’.


What is the difference between a coffee bean and an espresso bean.

Espresso Beans vs. Coffee Beans Article Outline

The difference between a coffee bean and an espresso bean.

The Brewing Process of Espresso
Discuss the brewing process of espresso, including how it is made and the pressure used
Explain how the brewing process affects the type of beans used

Darker Roasts and Finer Grinds for Espresso
Explaining the reason dark roast and finer ground coffee is used for making espresso.

Is there Such a Thing as an Espresso Bean?
Answered by comparing the dark roasted and light roasted coffee beans.

Explaining How you can use Espresso Beans for an Auto-Drip or Percolator
The dark roasted beans can also be used for making coffee besides the espresso method.

The simple answer is that there is not a special bean that makes the coffee bean and espresso bean. The coffee beans are the same, just roasted differently. Espresso is a brewing method for ground coffee beans, not a type of bean used in the espresso. There are certain types of coffee beans that will be commonly used to make a cup of espresso. The coffee beans are usually darker roasted, think Charbucks burnt style, and have a more intense flavor than coffee beans that are used for auto-drip coffee at home.

The espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely ground dark roasted coffee bean using an espresso machine. The espresso brewing process is used to extract the coffee oils and flavors from the dark roasted beans and the coffee beans have a much darker smell and taste. Using the dark roasted coffee beans results in a more concentrated and intense flavor.

If you have an espresso machine you can try making espresso with a light roast – in doing this you will see, or taste, the difference between the dark roasted beans versus the light roast beans. Espresso made with the light roasted beans will taste awful, similar to an overcooked coffee. The lack of dark roast oils will make the espresso taste like a sour coffee.

This is because the longer the coffee beans are roasted, the more oils and acids are released, which results in a darker color and a stronger, more bitter flavor used for espresso coffee.

The coffee used to make espresso will also be in a finer grind quality, the opposite of the rough ground coffee that is ideal for making coffee with a French press. If you used the coarse ground coffee in an espresso machine the water forced through the coffee will pass right through, giving the espresso the sour and tart taste. Nobody wants that!

When a coffee, pre-ground, is sold as espresso it will have a finer grind and a much darker color than regular coffee. Dark and light roast coffee works well in an auto-drip, but it is not the same when it comes to espresso coffee.

Are coffee beans and espresso beans made with different beans?

No, the difference comes from how the bean is roasted and ground. The heavily roasted coffee beans are ideal for making espresso, where all other less heavily roasted beans are ideal for the traditional cup of coffee.


Key Takeaways
The difference between coffee beans and espresso beans:

There is no such thing as an espresso only bean.
Espresso is a brewing method for coffee, not a type of coffee bean. Coffee sold as espresso will mean that the coffee has been heavily roasted and heavily ground for use in an espresso machine.

Darker roasted beans are better for making espresso
This brewing process will require the coffee beans the ability to stand up to the intense pressure in the espresso making process. The darker roasted coffee beans will have more oils and acids, which results in an intense flavor suited for a cup of espresso. The espresso is heavily roasted coffee brewed in a fast and intense brewing process, resulting in the smaller, but more intense coffee flavor.

The quality of the coffee bean, as well as how the unroasted coffee bean is roasted and stored, can affect the flavor of coffee.

Dark roast coffee beans bag 365

Espresso coffee beans can be used for other brewing methods such as auto-drip, French press, and percolator. Coffee beans that are harvested are just that, coffee beans. No unique espresso-only beans.

Questions and Answers - Espresso Beans Vs. Coffee Beans – What is the Difference?

About Mr We Got Coffee

About Mr. WeGotCoffee
We Got Coffee is where I share all of my coffee obsessions, meal prep guides and recipes for things that pair well with coffee. I also throw in lots of humor and caffeinated wisdom. Read More...