Espresso Beans VS. Coffee Beans – 6 Major Differences With Details

You love to drink at least 2 or 3 cups of coffee every day. You know there are many types of coffee out there in the coffee shop. However, you still don’t get why people never consider an espresso as a coffee. They just called it espresso.

Well, it is not an offense that you don’t know the reason for. People often overlook those things which are difficult to understand. They like to remember simple things. Today, we’re going to tell you about espresso beans vs. coffee beans. Because both drinks contain caffeine and the seed comes from the Coffee plant. You will know from the seed processing until the grinding of those beans. So, grab your favorite cup of coffee and start reading.

Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans
Picking Coffee Fruits From Plant

Espresso Beans VS. Coffee Beans: A Detailed Discussion

TopicEspresso BeansCoffee Beans
RoastDark or MediumLight, Medium, and Dark
Grind SizeMostly fine Coarse, Medium, and Fine
Caffeine/100g212 mg40 mg
Brewing Time30 seconds4 minutes or more
Thickness of BrewThicker than regular Not thicker
TasteBitter than regular Less bitter
Difference between coffee beans and espresso beans

The above table shows information about espresso beans vs. coffee beans. The difference between espresso beans vs. coffee beans can be simplified in one line. Espresso beans are roasted dark or medium-dark. Light, medium, and dark roasted beans can use for regular coffee.

The grind size of the coffee beans can vary in a wide range as coarse, medium-coarse, and fine. On the other hand, espresso beans are usually fine ground.

espresso beans vs coffee beans

A significant difference between coffee and espresso bean is caffeine content. Regular coffee beans contain 40mg of caffeine per 100g of ground coffee, but espresso coffee beans contain 212mg of caffeine per 100g of ground coffee. This means espresso has more caffeine content. A shot of espresso coffee contains 51.3 Mg/Fl.Oz. caffeine.

Even every day, we intake more regular coffee than espresso. Brewing espresso takes 30 seconds, but regular coffee takes 4 minutes to more times to brew. The espresso drink is thicker with a foam layer on top of the drink. Regular coffee is liquid as simple as drinking water. Espresso tastes bitterer than regular coffee.

Espresso Beans

Espresso beans are no other beans but the beans from the Coffee plant. It is the same bean as the coffee bean. You can use both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans for espresso. Remember one point, make the beans dark roasted, whatever beans you use for espresso.

espresso bean vs coffee bean

Dark roasted beans contain a high amount of coffee oil. This oil helps to create creamy foam on the espresso drink. This oil droplet also holds the aromatic compounds in the foam.

Espresso drinks contain more caffeine than other coffee drinks per unit volume. Since the serving size of the espresso drink is smaller than others, you consumed less caffeine. The amount of caffeine depends on a few parameters such as bean origin, roasting process, brewing method, and serving size.

What Beans Are Good For Espresso?

The beans of espresso are not limited, you can use any coffee beans. Similarly, the roasting of espresso beans also has wide ranges. Most people like to use Robusta coffee beans because of their high caffeine content. You can also use Arabica coffee beans if it has a darker roast.

Difference between coffee beans and espresso beans

Dark roasted beans have the least acidity and high natural oil. You need finely ground coffee for espresso drinks. Finely ground coffee helps to produce crema with high pressure. This foam preserves oil droplets inside them so that you can get the highest level of flavor.

Espresso Brewing Method

The espresso brewing process is easy because the espresso machines do the hard part. This method takes 30 seconds to brew. Over-extraction tastes bitter and under-extraction tastes sour. The beans to make espresso should be finely ground. This is the prerequisite.

are espresso beans and coffee beans the same
Making Espresso Based Drinks
  • First, put the ground coffee in the metal filter basket known as a portafilter
  • Then, tamp and clear the excess coffee ground from the portafilter before place in the group head
  • After that, let brew your coffee at 190°-194°F (88°-90°C) temperature with 9-15 bars pressure to get the foam emulsion as crema
  • Collect the brewed coffee into a preheated cup. Now, your shot of espresso is ready to drink. Add milk and sugar according to your taste

Coffee Beans

The seeds of coffee are known as coffee beans. Coffea plants are flowering small trees or shrubs. The plant produces red or purple fruits known as coffee. Every fruit has two beans inside that are known as coffee beans. Across the world, there are more than 120 species of coffee plants. Among all, only two kinds of coffee plants become popular in producing coffee beans. These are Arabica and Robusta.

difference between espresso beans and coffee beans
Coffee Beans on Coffea Plant

Arabica coffee beans are used in 60-80% of the world because of their sweet taste. Whereas, Robusta coffee beans use around 20-40% because of their higher caffeine content. The amount of caffeine in Robusta is 1.7-4% found. On the other hand, Arabica contains less amount of caffeine 0.8-1.4%. 

Coffee fruits are always hand-picked when ripen. Then, there are two ways of processing the fruits to get the seeds. One process is called the washed process where the flesh of the fruit removes from the bean. Then, soak the seeds in the water for two days to ferment. After that, clean those seeds with water. Another process is called dry processing. It is a cheap and easy process. At first, separate twigs and other objects from the fruits. Then, let fruits dry in the sun for 2-3 weeks. These processed seeds of coffee are known as green coffee.

difference between espresso vs coffee beans

The next step is roasting the beans of coffee. The green beans send to the roaster. In the roaster, the first state is absorbing the heat. Then, it goes to the state of giving off the heat at 347°F (175°C). During this process, the weight of coffee beans decreased by around 15-18%. The bean gets bigger size because of the expansion of the cellulose structure. There are more roasting processes in other countries.

There are four kinds of roasting – light roast, medium roast, medium-dark roast, and dark roast. You can roast your best coffee beans on your own with ordinary kitchen equipment such as a frying pan, oven, and popcorn popper. All you need is, to buy green coffee beans from the sellers. After roasting, you need to grind the beans. You can grind coffee beans into coarse or finely ground with the best grinder for coffee beans. There are four grinding methods, burr-grinding, chopping, pounding, and roller grinding. 

difference between espresso and coffee beans

Burr-grinding uses two wheels or conical grinding elements. Roasted beans get crushed in between these two wheels. A frictional heat produces due to crushing that helps beans to release the oil of coffee. Burr-grinder has a wide range of settings so that it could give a various range of coffee grinds.

The chopping method uses a blade grinder to chop coffee beans. It usually rotates at a high speed of 20,000-30,000 rpm. It is cheaper than a burr grinder and usually a home blender. This method makes coffee dust, which causes clog up the French presses and espresso machines. So, this grinding coffee is used for drip coffee makers.

The pounding method using a mortar and pestle is the main procedure. It pulverizes the coffee beans into fine ground.

In the roller grinding method, beans crushing between two corrugated rollers, and keeping the grind size even. It produces less heat during the grinding than other methods. This grinding using for commercial purposes such as Espresso and Turkish coffee. This is the journey from coffee beans to coffee cups.

Different Brewing Methods

Our espresso beans vs. coffee beans discussion has brought us to another stage. Different beans are used for different brewing methods. As various coffee brewing methods use different types of ground. Some methods are easy, and some are taking a long period to brew. A few examples are stated below for your understanding.

French Press

French Press is a simple coffee brewing process, that takes only 4 minutes to brew. You need medium-coarse ground coffee for this method. Also, this is your alternative to an espresso machine. You can make espresso drinks cheaply instead of a pricey espresso machine.

We have covered the ways of making espresso without an espresso machine, especially with a French press.

  • First, preheat your French press coffee maker and your cup
  • Then, put the coarse ground into the jar of the coffee press
  • Pour some boiling water into it and give a gentle stir with a spoon
  • Let it soak for 30 seconds so that it can begin extracting
  • Add more water (as you need) into the French press and stir it again. This time wait for three and a half minutes more to bloom your coffee
  • Now, push down the plunger to hold the coffee grounds at the bottom
  • Finally, pour the coffee from the French press into a preheated cup. Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee

Drip Brew

The drip brew method is one of the old coffee brewing methods. For the drip coffee brewing method, you need paper filters to collect the coffee extract. You can use any ground coffee for drip coffee brewing. Drip coffee doesn’t contain coffee bean oil. The paper filter absorbs the oil of the coffee beans. So, you may miss the fragrance of coffee a little bit but can have a strong coffee flavor. Drip coffee is also known as filter coffee.

  • First, place the paper filter into the metal cone. You can place a filter over your coffee cup or a coffee pot
  • Then, put ground beans of coffee into the filter
  • Add hot water to the ground coffee. Let the water seeps through the filter. So, the filter can hold the used coffee ground
  • After seeping thoroughly, remove the filter paper from the container. Here is your black coffee. You can add milk, sugar, or other ingredients as you like

Sometimes people get confused between pour-over and drip coffee. Drip coffee and pour-over are kind of similar but have their differences. For example, drip coffee brewing is automatic whereas pour-over brewing is manual.

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee brewing method is popular in Yemen, Turkey, and a few other countries. The ground beans used for Turkish coffee are finely ground. And they don’t use any filter in this method. 

  • First, put the coffee powder into a pot with water and sugar. The pot is called Cezve in Turkey. Then place the pot in an oven 
  • When the mixture is near the boiling point and begins to forth, remove the pot from the heat. Then, one-third of the coffee pour into the cup and serves immediately
  • The remaining amount of mixture is again sent back to the oven and does the same as the second step. This can repeat 2 or 3 times

Moka Pot

Moka pot is a coffee brewer device that uses steam pressure to brew coffee. This device has three parts. The bottom portion has water which is heating up with the help of a stove. For this reason, it is also called stovetop coffee. The middle portion contains ground coffee. You can use fine ground coffee for the Moka pot brewing method. The upper portion is a coffee container with a funnel and a metal filter underneath this portion.

  • Prepare a Moka pot with water and coffee grounds. Place the pot on a stove or a gas oven
  • Let it go to the boiling point temperature and create pressure with the steam. Then, hot water goes through the ground with 1.5 bars of steam pressure. With this pressure, the coffee goes through the metal filter and the funnel to store in the upper portion
  • Lastly, pour the brewed coffee into a cup and drink. Some people called it espresso coffee instead of the Moka pot


Can you use coffee beans for espresso?

Of course, you can use regular coffee beans for espresso. Espresso drinks are made from coffee beans that come from the coffee plant. You can use both Arabica and Robusta beans for espresso. You need to dark roasted the coffee beans if you want to make an espresso shot. You can buy roasted beans or grounds from the market but pick the dark roast one.

How are coffee beans roasted?

Green beans are sent into a hopper for screening and removing debris. Then, carried to a storage hopper, from where beans send to the roaster. After that, beans are beginning roasting at the temperature of 347°F (175°C). At the end of the roasting process, roasted coffee beans bring out from the roasting chamber. Then let the roasted beans air-cooled with a draft inducer. You can roast coffee beans at home using kitchen equipment such as a frying pan, oven, and popcorn popper.

How to make regular coffee from espresso beans?

You can make regular coffee from espresso beans, but it may taste more sour and tart than usual. If you are okay with the taste, then have a drink. You may use your regular brewing method as always. We recommend, trying to use espresso beans to make espresso drinks.

What about espresso made with decaf beans?

Decaf beans are coffee beans from which about 97% of caffeine cuts off. This means nothing is changing about the coffee beans, but the amount of caffeine is reduced. So, you can make espresso with decaf beans. You need to dark roast the decaf beans and follow all the steps of espresso brewing. The taste of espresso doesn’t change because of the decaf beans. You are luckily consumed less caffeine because of the decaf beans.

What affects the taste profile of an espresso?

The taste of espresso may vary for the origin though it is not the crucial one. It depends on extracting methods. While brewing, you need to be more focused and knowledgeable about the dose, yield, and time. A fixed amount of finely coffee ground dose (22g) with the perfect amount of water (30 ml) passed through in a limited time (30 seconds) makes a perfect espresso. So, you need to focus closely on the roasting and extraction method.

Final Words

All these explanations and examples make things crystal clear. As a coffee aficionado, you understand the differences between espresso and coffee beans. Though regular coffee and espresso need different beans, both come from the same plant.

No matter which one are you making, espresso or coffee, the most important part of coffee is the coffee bean. Single-origin beans come from a large single field. The purity and freshness are beyond question for single-origin coffee.

The green beans got different names after the roasting process. Dark roasted coffee beans are familiar as espresso beans. On the other hand, coffee uses a wide range of roasting. You should be careful when you go to buy beans for your home use.

We like to recommend that pick dark roasted beans for espresso. Darker roasted beans give the natural shiny oil component while brewing under high pressure. It also changes the taste of espresso drinks to the other coffee drinks. Hope our espresso beans vs. coffee beans discussion has helped you to clarify your confusion for good!

Enjoy Your Coffee!

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1 thought on “Espresso Beans VS. Coffee Beans – 6 Major Differences With Details”

  1. I think you’re spot on with your conclusions. I don’t like burnt coffee beans, but I love the intense flavor of the espresso machine. So, I have been using a medium roast in the espresso machine. The result is as you’d expect much more intense, but also smoother than with dark beans. Now I’m wondering what white coffee would be like in an espresso. I may give that a shot (pun intended).

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