Coffee vs Espresso: What Are the Differences?


The coffee vs espresso discussion is an age-old one that’s often misunderstood. Although both coffee and espresso are made from the same beans, people have been drinking espressos at a 50% higher rate than they ever have.

More people are opting for espresso because they need the energy boost that only it can provide. Still, there are few drinks that can match coffee’s ability to keep you going through a 16-hour shift or an all-night study session.

In this article, we’ll talk about what makes espresso different from coffee so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to order your next drink. Keep reading so you can decide which one best suits your taste buds:

What Is Coffee?

Coffee is a brewed drink that’s made from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. The beans are ground and placed in water, which is then heated until the liquid extracts all of their oils. This process creates an aromatic coffee drink that you can enjoy hot or cold.

What Is Espresso?

Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely ground dark-roast coffee beans. The result is a potent drink with a rich flavor and thick consistency. It’s served in small cups that are traditionally topped off with frothed milk—which creates the famous “espresso foam.”

Coffee vs Espresso

You brew espresso using a high-pressure machine. It comes in many forms, from the classic espresso to cappuccinos and lattes. Coffee, on the other hand, can be brewed using different methods, including cold brew, percolators, French presses, or even electric drip machines.

Their brewing methods aren’t the only thing that makes these drinks different. Here are some other ways you can tell coffee and espresso apart.

Caffeine Levels

Espresso has about 63mg of caffeine in 1 ounce, while regular coffee can have between 12 to 16 mg of caffeine.

Espresso has more caffeine than coffee on average, but it depends on the bean origin and roast. For example, Robusta beans have about twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. So, coffee made from Robusta beans may be stronger than an Arabica espresso shot.


The taste of espresso is bolder than that of a cup of coffee. The flavors are more concentrated and intense.

Coffee has a milder flavor. However, the seasonal coffees linked here deliver more zest than the usual cup of Joe.

Drink Coffee Like a True Aficionado

So, who wins in the match of coffee vs espresso? The answer is all up to you.

If you prefer a more intense flavor and more caffeine, espresso is the way to go. If you’re looking for a smoother taste, then try your hand at making coffee.

If you choose to drink coffee at all, it should be the highest quality available. Explore our blog for tips on how to make your coffee drinking experience the best it can be.

Sheri Gill

The author Sheri Gill