Espresso vs Drip coffee. It is the ultimate battle. People all around the world have been comparing them for years now with the rise of Third Wave Coffee and there is some controversy going on. Now let’s look at the age-old comparison and try to find out which is better and why.
What is Drip Coffee?
If we want to make a healthy comparison, we have to define and explain the terms first. So let’s start with drip coffee. Drip coffee is simply a preparation way where water is added and allowed to pass through the coffee. Basically, it is a mixture of water and coffee.
To be more specific, proper drip coffee has to extract better and more delicious parts from the coffee and it should be strong and rich. In order to maintain these conditions, you have to brew the drip coffee with a proper recipe.
What is Espresso?
Actually we explained what an espresso is in detail before, but for the sake of the article here is a brief explanation of it.
Although espresso is widely known as a different coffee bean or a variety of coffee, it is not. It is a preparation method just like dripping or French pressing. An espresso is tiny in size and served with little shot glasses, however, it is rich and strong flavor that you wouldn’t expect from a tiny coffee. It can be simplified to a shot of concentrated coffee which, in my opinion, is the best definition of it.
You need an espresso machine to make espresso because it is brewed by pushing hot water through coffee grounds with really high pressure.
Thanks to the “coffee waves”, we have a variety of coffee drinkers nowadays, however, there are two groups that stand out most, drip coffee lovers and espresso lovers. Now, let’s try to find out which is better.
Are Espresso Beans Different Than Coffee Beans?
I think you already know the answer. There is no difference between them. Both espresso and drip coffee is made from mostly Arabica and Robusta beans. However, you can see while shopping in your supermarket that there are some coffees labeled as espresso beans. No, it isn’t a different type of coffee. It is just regular coffee beans but ground finer and roasted more. Most roasters use them to make espresso, hence the name.
What Are The Differences Between Espresso and Drip Coffee
Now that we gave some brief information about both espresso and drip coffee, we can start comparing them. In this article, we will emphasize the 4 key differences between the two of the most famous coffee drinks in the whole world.
The age-old question: “Does espresso have more caffeine than drip coffee?”
It might be a little bit of a stretch if I say that this is the most frequently-asked-coffee-related question but it certainly is one of the most asked questions of all time. It is time to answer it.
While answering this question, we must consider the fact that espresso and drip coffee is served with different glasses and therefore different amounts. Because of that, an average cup of drip coffee is certainly going to have more caffeine than an average shot of espresso. An average cup of drip coffee typically is 8oz and it can contain 90-190 mg of caffeine and a shot of espresso which is 2oz contains between 50-80.
To sum up, if we compare them equally, per ounce espresso contains 25-40 mg caffeine whereas drip coffee contains 8-15 mg and therefore, espresso has more caffeine. However, if we compare them based on the single serving of each coffee, then drip coffee contains more. To conclude, our first comparison, which is espresso vs coffee’s caffeine, has no winner.
As you probably remember, we have mentioned that both espresso and drip coffee is most likely made from the same coffee beans and there is no such thing as espresso beans. Therefore, the difference between espresso and drip coffee comes from their brewing method rather than bean origin.
You’re probably familiar with the process of making drip-coffee, but there is no harm in remembering one more time. Drip coffee is made by pouring hot water over coffee grounds. Usually, there is a paper-filter used in the process in order to separate the coffee ground from the liquid that is brewed. You can use both pour-over and machine while making drip coffee. It is a relatively easier process.
Espresso, on the other hand, is more demanding to make. You certainly need either an espresso machine or Aeropress. Unlike drip coffee, you can’t make espresso in a regular coffee pot because it requires high pressure. To put it simply, you force hot water under pressure through ground coffee for 30 seconds, and voila, you have a drink that is thicker than regular coffee and has some crema on top of it. Remember, an espresso’s signature is its crema.
Although it can depend on which beans are used in the process, commonly espresso has a roasty, well-rounded, full-bodied, and earthy flavor with balancing sweet notes. Drip coffee, on the other hand, lacks different flavors and oils which are provided by beans because of the paper-filter usage and the longer brewed time compared to espresso.
You may have heard from your friend that a well-made espresso should be strongly bitter but the truth is different. The unnecessary strong bitterness is caused by over-roasted beans used in the process and it is unwanted. Instead of the strong bitterness, a well-made espresso has a mixture of nutty, earthy flavors and fruity, sweet flavors and the right amount of bitterness.
Typical size of a cup of coffee is 8 ounces, while an average shot of espresso is 1-2 ounces. Espresso’s serving size may come tiny to you, but considering espresso is mostly added to other coffee drinks such as Americano, latte, or cappuccino, it is adequate. Of course, you can drink your espresso alone without adding or mixing it with other drinks, but it is commonly used as a base for coffee beverages.
|SERVING SIZE||8 ounces cup of coffee||1 or 2 ounces espresso shot glasses.|
|FLAVOR||lacks different flavors and oils which are provided by beans||roasty, well-rounded, full-bodied, and earthy flavor with balancing sweet notes|
|BREWING METHOD||made by pouring hot water over coffee grounds||force hot water under pressure through ground coffee for 30 seconds by using an espresso machine or Aeropress|
|contains 8-15 mg||contains 25-40 mg caffeine|
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