The Difference Between Coffee and Espresso

The Difference Between Coffee and Espresso

Isn’t espresso coffee? A lot of people may be stunned when they see this headline because it appears to be common knowledge, especially among coffee lovers. But things aren’t as simple as they may seem at a first glimpse.

Moreover, a lot of people are embarrassed to ask these simple questions about coffee and espresso which later may result in spreading all kinds of myths and stories. We assure you that there is no embarrassing question you can ask, so in the following paragraphs, we’ll outline some of the biggest ways espresso differentiates from coffee and vice versa. Make yourself a cuppa and read carefully!

Espresso = Coffee or Not?

For starters, coffee represents the liquid that is taken from the coffee beans. And you can make a perfectly good shot of espresso with beans of coffee.

The conclusion from this is that every shot of espresso is considered coffee. But not every cup of coffee is espresso. You can imagine one big circle and a smaller one inside. The big one is coffee whereas the small one represents espresso.

How Espresso Is Different from Coffee: 6 Main Dissimilarities

Preparation Procedure

When it comes to making coffee, the first things that come to mind are usually French press, drip coffee, as well as stovetop percolator one, and so on. Thanks to all of these ways, coffee can be prepared at home or the office without much effort.

The situation is quite different when it comes to making a shot of espresso. Although there are some ways to make espresso without an espresso maker, users need an espresso machine for a quality shot.

A few years back, these machines were very expensive if you wanted to use them only at home. But things are shaking up and now users can find some pretty affordable and quality machines at the same time without a problem.

These machines often have their grinder, too, that’s integrated into the machine. That way fine grind is easily achieved. Another thing that the machines deliver is much greater pressure which a shot of espresso needs, but more on that in just a bit.


The espresso machine’s lever plays a big role in the better quality of the espresso. Users should understand that pressure is one of the defining aspects while making espresso because it helps with the crema as well as diffusing the poignant coffee oils into the liquid.

Other machines for making regular coffee (like a filtered one) often use gravity or the pressure is pretty minimal. To illustrate, some of the most common espresso machines on the market utilize around a hundred and thirty pounds per square inch. And that’s a lot.


A common misconception is that espresso is made from entirely different beans that those required for a regular cup of coffee. That statement is fundamentally untrue. Perhaps the distinctive taste of the espresso leads people to think this way.

Users can make great espresso by using Arabica or Robusta coffee beans which are used for other coffee beverages, too. While we’re at it, it’s worth noting that Arabica beans can vary in taste from sour to sweet. They’re regarded as sweeter when they’re roasted when you compare them with the Robusta beans. On the other hand, Robusta beans are said to have a nut-like taste when they’re roasted.

Having said that, espresso is the name of the drink and not the beans that are used for its preparation.


According to many, one of the key differences between espresso and coffee is in the taste of each beverage.

Moreover, the flavor of the former is much more potent, mature and strong. That’s one of the reasons people like to drink it in the morning for waking up and shooing away the sleep.

Other coffee-based beverages usually don’t have that strength in flavor. For instance, some users say that when they use paper filters for preparing coffee, it neutralizes the flavor of the coffee and that’s why it tastes dissimilar.


Being aware that the term ‘coffee’ is pretty broad and encompasses numerous styles of beverages, the time it takes to prepare a cup of it varies. Some of the fast-brewing makers can make a coffee in less than two minutes. Further, the French press technique or similar ones will produce a cup of coffee in around five minutes.

The situation is quite different when it comes to espresso. A shot with a quality taste of espresso can be in the user’s hands in approximately half a minute.


It’s known that the espresso has more caffeine in it, right? Well, not so fast because that isn’t always the case.There is more caffeine in espresso per ounce. Not overall. This is why many people get it wrong.

To illustrate, we’ll demonstrate with numbers. Often, around an ounce of espresso, which is the usual amount found in a shot, has from forty to seventy-five milligrams of caffeine. Contrary to that, a cup of coffee that’s around eight ounces has a range of around eighty-five to a hundred and eighty-five milligrams of caffeine, which is way higher than the amount of caffeine in the single shot of espresso. An issue may arise for the people who drink more espresso than it’s recommended because that way they’ll insert a lot of caffeine in their organisms.

A Few Final Words

Now that we’ve covered the basic aspects that separate espresso from coffee, we feel that you’ll be able to make the difference the next time you’d like to make such a beverage or think of ordering it a café.

The stronger and bolder flavors belong to the shots of espresso whereas drinking coffee allows a more laid-back drinking experience. Often if someone is having doubts regarding what to choose, getting both is always an option. Some of the most popular coffee drinks have a shot of espresso in them.

So what’s your opinion regarding espresso and coffee? Which do you prefer?