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The Difference Between Espresso and Coffee

The Difference Between Espresso and Coffee

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Team

Some coffee addicts are themselves baristas or otherwise highly educated in all fields of coffee preparation and nomenclature. Others among us simply want something that tastes great and wakes us up as we speed to work. No matter where you fall in this spectrum you may not completely understand the difference between espresso and coffee. Well, great news: you’re on the internet, and can read this blog in about five minutes to finally impress that cute guy working at the counter of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® with your knowledge of espresso. 

What’s the Difference Between Coffee and Espresso?

First, let’s clear up the most mispronounced word in coffee preparation: it’s “espresso,” not “x-presso.” The tendency to throw in an x is understandable to an extent, as espresso was invented by Luigi Bezzera in Milan, Italy, in 1901 with the sole intention of making the fastest cup of coffee. So, to clarify, espresso is a type of coffee preparation. All espresso is coffee, but not all coffee is espresso. Just like French Press coffee or pour over coffee, it’s all about the method and the machinery.

How Is Espresso Made?

Professional Espresso machines contain a boiler that generates steam, forming the high pressure required to push the steam through compressed coffee grinds during operation. Flavorful espresso drinks are made with nine bars of pressure, which equals approximately 130 pounds of pressure per square inch. The extreme pressure is the secret behind such a strong coffee drink being brewed in mere seconds.

Does Espresso Have More Caffeine? 

This is a tricky question. First, more caffeine than what? For our purposes let’s compare an espresso to an eight-ounce cup of drip coffee. Espresso has a higher concentration of caffeine than a cup of drip coffee. Depending on several factors your espresso could contain three times as much caffeine (or more!) per ounce. However, due to the larger serving size drip coffee often has more overall caffeine. Espresso delivers a concentrated dose, but if you order a medium or large cup of drip coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® you’ll drink more caffeine than if you order an espresso.

How Do You Drink Espresso?

When you order an espresso drink simply say something like “an espresso to-go, please.” Your barista will follow up with any questions. Order a double shot unless you’re watching your caffeine intake. A thick layer of rich crema indicates a perfectly extracted espresso, but many drinkers find espresso crema lacking in flavor. Feel free to skim the crema out with a spoon before consuming your piping hot espresso. Stir gently before sipping, as the syrupy shot can settle at the bottom of the cup.

Roll out of bed and drink a steaming espresso drink in the comfort of your pajamas when you have a CBTL single-serve espresso maker nestled on your kitchen counter. Simply insert a CBTL Premium Espresso Capsule to enjoy a caramel aroma and deep, dark roasted flavor in minutes.