Is there a difference between espresso beans and coffee beans and can you use either to make regular coffee? Read on to learn more.
You walk into your favorite local coffee shop to purchase some regular coffee beans and realize everything on the shelf is either sweet or fruity; some of the coffee flavors you do not approve of. The only thing that comes close to your regular beans is the espresso beans. You battle with the decision of either picking the espresso beans or surrendering your love for coffee until your regular coffee beans are restocked.
So can you use espresso beans to make regular coffee? Technically yes. You can use espresso beans to make regular coffee and regular coffee beans to make espresso. Why so? Well, the point is the difference between a cup of coffee and espresso does not thrive in the coffee and espresso beans but in how the beans are used to prepare the two different drinks.
Keep reading to find out more about the difference between Espresso and coffee beans. How to brew regular coffee using espresso beans, how to brew authentic espresso and other espresso related questions.
The Difference Between Espresso Beans And Regular Coffee Beans
To start, note that there is no difference between the espressos grounded beans and regular coffee beans.
For Instance, the bean preparation; espresso grounded beans are roasted and grounded for a longer time and into fine powder as compared to regular coffee beans. As such, if you ground coffee beans correctly and you use the right gear, you can use any coffee beans to make either a cup of espresso or drip coffee.
The right gear, in this case, means using an espresso machine or a regular coffee making machine depending on the drink you are brewing. Labeling the beans as espresso or regular coffee is simply a recommendation for the best flavors achieved by using the specific bean.
Their branding is basically to recommend them for the best flavor experience. However, depending on how the coffee beans are used you can end up with either espresso as a drink or regular coffee. Let us dive into the difference between these two drinks.
Ideally, there are two kinds of coffee beans: Robusta and Arabica. Unroasted Robusta beans are said to have a peanut scent and after roasting, they contain a nuttier flavor. The Arabica bean flavor, on the other hand, has a blueberry scent when unroasted and it gives off fruity and sugar flavors after roasting. It has flavors ranging from sweet to tangy.
So brewing regular coffee and espresso can use either Robusta or Arabica coffee. However, for espresso, whether it uses Robust or Arabica, it makes a dark and bold flavor. Regular coffee does not necessarily pay attention to the darkness or strength of flavor of the coffee.
Another difference between the two drinks is in the process in which they are made. Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water through tightly packed grounds. This process of extraction results in layers that include cream formed at the top and a shot of coffee at the bottom. This is the distinct look of a cup of espresso; to achieve it you will need the right espresso machine.
Regular coffee, on the other hand, can be made through the drip coffee or pour-over coffee process. Alternatively, you can use the immersion way like the French Press, whatever floats your boat. Whichever brewing process you settle for, the grounds used are usually coarser than those of espresso are and the coffee has a mild flavor as compared to espresso. It also does not have a cream or foam.
Still on the difference in terms of process, previously it was rear for one to brew espresso from the comfort of their home. This was fuelled by the high cost of the espresso machine. However, for regular coffee, it has always been possible to brew it at home with a coffee machine. That said though, brewing espresso at home is becoming less alien since the machine is becoming affordable.
Amount Of Caffeine
Espresso is assumed to contain more caffeine than regular coffee. It is true espresso has a higher concentration of caffeine per ounce as compared to a cup of regular coffee. However, a cup of coffee has more caffeine as compared to a shot of caffeine.
Typically, a cup of coffee refers to about 8Oz of coffee, which has between 85-185 mg of caffeine. On the other hand, a shot of espresso is about 10 Oz, containing between 40- 74 mg of caffeine.
As derived from above if you take a cup of coffee and your friend takes a shot of espresso, you who have had regular coffee have consumed more caffeine. That is unless your friend over drinks the recommended amount of shots of espresso which is 5 shots.
Related Article: Does Adding Milk To Coffee Reduce Caffeine?
Espresso has a bolder, well- rounded, roasted flavor as compared to regular coffee. Most coffee junkies believe that the paper filter used for brewing regular coffee traps most of the strong coffee flavor hence resulting in a mild flavor.
How To Make Regular Coffee From Espresso Beans
First, the procedure of brewing regular coffee from espresso beans is the same procedure used when using regular beans. As mentioned above, what varies is the machine you used and how you prepare and ground your coffee beans.
The following is the procedure of brewing a regular cup of coffee using the pour-over method.
- Pour-over coffee maker
- a coffee grinder
- kitchen scale
- a kettle (electric or stove)
- a cup
- Pick the coffee beans you will use. In this case, it is the espresso beans. For brewing regular coffee, use 18 grams of water for every gram of coffee. Use a scale to weigh the amount of coffee beans you intend to use. Note that the more the coffee the stronger the flavor.
- Grind the coffee. Since you are brewing regular pour-over coffee, medium coffee grounds will work well. If you are looking for mild coffee, flavors make your grounds coarser. For stronger flavors use finer grounds.
- Rinse your filter paper. This is especially if you feel the taste of the paper in your coffee. To rinse the paper, fit it into the brewer and pour water over it rinsing well. When you are satisfied to discard the water collected in the brewer.
- Pour your freshly espresso grounded coffee into the filter.
- Heat your water to temperatures of around 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to check the temperature or you can allow the water to boil. You can opt to use an electric kettle to boil the water.
- Once the water boils allow it to sit for 30 seconds before using it.
- While the water is boiling, set up your cup on the scale. Set the scale to zero to monitor the amount of water pouring.
- Bloom the grounds by wetting the coffee grounds evenly with just enough water to saturate.
- When blooming be patient and allow the gas to bubble out for about one minute. Blooming is a vital step since it helps to prepare the final pour of water to maneuver the grounds evenly.
- Around 30 seconds after blooming, pour controlled amounts of water in a circular motion over the grounds and. This specific step makes the method known as the pour-over method.
- Once your coffee is ready, it is time to taste it. You must taste your coffee immediately after brewing, to tell the flavor and taste and determine what to add the next time you brew coffee.
- Add any extras to your liking and enjoy a cup of regular coffee made from espresso beans.
How To Brew Espresso With An Espresso Machine
If you are looking to enjoy the authentic flavors of a shot of espresso, then you will have to use an espresso machine to brew your shot. The following is a step-to-step procedure for brewing espresso.
- Preheat your Espresso Machine
To brew a strong ounce of espresso, you have to preheat your espresso maker for about 25 minutes.
- Measure your Coffee Beans and Grind them
Set your grinder o the fine grind size. Place your port filter on your scale and tare the scale. Fill your filter with 20 grams of the finely grounded espresso. It is recommended you note down the amounts you use for consistency. Also, note that you are not restricted to 20 grams of grounds.
Depending on the instruction indicated on the port filter, fill it with the recommended amount of grounds. Some filters are larger than others. If your espresso maker has an inbuilt grinder, simply grind your coffee into the port filter
- Tamp Your Grounds
When tamping, do so by pressing down straight. The importance of tamping is to ensure your grounds are even and extraction is consistent
- Pull the first Shot
When pulling the first shot, time yourself to determine how long it takes to extract 2 ounces of espresso. If you are within the range of 30-20 seconds, congratulations you have brewed your first shot of espresso. If your shot takes longer then you will have to use more fine grounds next time
Related Article: Can You Make Pour Over Coffee With Espresso Beans?
Can I use a coffee maker to brew Espresso?
Sadly, your regular coffee maker cannot brew real espresso because espresso is made by forcing water through tightly packed grounds of coffee under pressure of about 9 atmospheres. If you are using a drip coffee maker, it operates under I atmosphere and is also not built for a pressure of 9 atmospheres. This simply means it will not result in the ideal shot of espresso.
However, if purchasing an espresso maker is out of your budget you can modify your regular coffee pot to produce an espresso-like drink. For instance, for a drip coffee maker, you can use it with a concentrate brew setting.
Also, you can use the following method. Pour just enough water to moisten the coffee grounds. Let them rest for about 30 seconds then pour in more water. Remove the filter as soon as two ounces are collected
You will brew a drink with intense flavors and heavier than espresso, but it will not be an authentic espresso. This is because the drinks will not distinct qualities of espresso like the cream.
Can I use any Coffee to brew espresso?
Yes, as mentioned while starting, any coffee bean, grounded correctly and used in an espresso machine can be used to brew espresso. However, those coffee grounds recommended for espresso, have the best and strongest espresso flavors.