Coffee Beans vs Espresso Beans: What’s The Difference?

by Joe

coffee beans vs espresso beans

There are numerous brands and styles of coffee out there. They are all designed to appeal to different tastes, preferences and the equipment customers have in their homes. You are probably familiar, for instance, with the fact that there is instant coffee and ground coffee.

Furthermore, it is likely that, because why else would you be here, there different roasts and grinds that can impact the flavour of the resulting drink.

Even if you are just new to coffee, the above may on some level make common sense. One thing that may have perplexed you, however, if you have spent time strolling up and down the coffee and hot beverages aisle of your local supermarket – what exactly are espresso beans and how are they different from standard coffee beans?

After all, are all coffee beans not just from the same plant?

There is Actually No Difference

The short answer is that yes, you are absolutely right, all coffee is derived from the same beans. Most of which are either Arabica or Robusta. There are other confusion sources online that make the claim that although the coffee beans are the same for both forms of coffee, the difference is in how they are roasted.

It’s Not The Roast

The thought process behind this theory is that the beans destined for those shots of espresso that perk you up first thing in the morning or refuel you when you suffer your afternoon dip have a much darker roast.

However, it is important to understand that rather than being a determining factor as to whether beans are suitable for making into espresso or not, it is more of a recommendation.

The producers or suppliers have indicated that they are ‘espresso beans’ because what they mean is, they have a flavour that will suit the ultra-fine grind and method used to make espresso.

The Grind – The Real Difference Between Coffee Beans Ideal For Coffee and Espresso

Now that we have discussed the misconceptions and misunderstandings, let’s look at the real difference between coffee beans best for drip coffee and those best for espresso – the grind.

You are probably familiar with the fact that on the labels or coffee beans and grounded coffee that the grind is indicated. Generally, proper, authentic espresso can only be made using very finely ground coffee beans.

So, What Have We Learned?

Well, we have learned that while there may be coffee beans marked up as being either ‘coffee beans’ or ‘espresso beans’, this is not a proper distinction. The only difference between coffee beans and those best for use in making espresso is the grind. The roast and anything else all come down to personal preferences and taste.

Don’t let the clever advertising and marketing fool you. While those labelled as espresso beans may work well being used to make espresso and may produce that dark, earthy and very potent flavour you are looking for, you can use either/or for both drip coffees and espressos.

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