Mugs filled by espresso from espresso machine

Espresso VS Brewed Coffee: Is One Better?

Coffee

For coffee drinkers, getting a latte or a cup of brewed coffee with cream and sugar in the morning is probably second nature. But what’s the difference in those two beverages? What makes espresso different from brewed coffee? Our Frisco and San Marcos coffee experts will be discussing the differences in how they are made, what they taste like, and which has more caffeine.

How They’re Made

The greatest difference between brewed coffee and espresso is actually how the coffee is made. Many people are aware of how brewed coffee is made. Coffee beans are ground to a medium fineness and have hot water poured over them. In contrast, espresso is made by grinding coffee beans very finely, and forcing very hot water through them at a high pressure. The result is a smaller, more potent drink.

A Note About Crema

One unique aspect of espresso is the presence of crema. Crema is a layer of foam that forms on the top of freshly pressed espresso. This layer of foam can be an indication of the type and quality of coffee beans used for the espresso. The darker the crema, the later the espresso was extracted. A lighter colored crema indicates that the espresso was extracted earlier. In addition, the amount of crema can be an indicator of the type of beans used. Dry processed beans will result in a thicker layer of crema than wet processed beans.

How They’re Mixed

Brewed coffee is often drunk with additions to the drinker’s taste. Some coffee aficionados enjoy their coffee black, others prefer a dash of sweetener, cream, or both. Espresso can be drunk straight, however the strong taste and small quantity often defer people from doing so. Instead, espresso is often mixed with a generous amount of milk or water to create such popular drinks as lattes, cappuccinos, and americanos.

How Much Caffeine is in These?

It’s often asked which form of coffee, brewed or espresso, has more caffeine in it? The answer depends on how much you’re drinking. A shot of espresso has more caffeine in it than the same amount of brewed coffee would. However, espresso is usually consumed in smaller amounts. A 16 oz. latte might have one or two shots of espresso, while the rest of the beverage is made of milk. However, a 16 oz. cup of brewed coffee is usually mostly coffee with a little creamer or sweetener. Because of this, a cup of coffee will most likely have more caffeine in it than a latte of the same size that contains some espresso.

How Do They Taste?

Brewed coffee and espresso do have different tastes, though which is better depends on the drinker. While espresso is a more concentrated form of coffee, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is of higher quality. Espresso can be made with any type of coffee bean and any variety of roast, just as brewed coffee can. However, espresso and brewed coffee made from exactly the same batch of coffee beans will still taste different, because of the difference in their preparation. Which is better? You’ll have to try both and decide for yourself!

If you would like to try a taste of freshly brewed coffee, or espresso, drop by and see us at one of our many coffee shops located in Frisco, TX, or San Marcos, TX.

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