Espresso Beans vs. Coffee Beans: Are they different?

Do you know the difference between espresso and coffee beans? This question always pops up whenever coffee lovers gather…for what else? Nothing but coffee!

You can buy coffee beans but you have to tell if you want espresso beans. So, espresso beans vs. coffee beans, there’s a difference!

While others are confused about the difference between espressos and coffee, we figured out we need to explain what an espresso coffee is and what espresso beans are.

But we must reiterate that all espressos come from coffee beans and not vice-versa. Meaning, coffee beans might end up espresso, macchiato, or latte.

So, there’s a hint of some of their differences. Continue reading to find out more!

Coffee Beans as You Know it

Coffee beans come from the coffee plant that is grown in more than 50 countries of the world, mostly in Africa, Asia, South and Central America, the United States, the Caribbean, Oceania, and other coffee-growing nations. 

There are only two most commercially important species of coffee; the Arabica and Robusta. But the Arabica variety is the most preferred coffee around the world.

 Arabica coffee tastes better because it has 60% more lipids and twice the amount of sugar than Robusta. The increase in sugar gives Arabica a better taste, a decrease in bitterness, and a cleaner mouthfeel. 

But Robusta has more caffeine content.

Moreover, coffee beans are not always espresso but espressos always come from coffee beans. Arabica is now the predominant coffee species in the United States and most coffee brews here are made from this species.

However, Robusta is also used in some of the most admired espresso- the Italian espresso. 

What are espresso beans?

So, now we know that espressos can be Arabica or Robusta coffee beans, but what are espresso beans?

There are 3 different kinds of roast (talk about this later) whether the coffee beans are Robusta or Arabica.

The espresso coffee beans commonly belong to the dark roast type. Dark-roasted coffee beans have less acidity but with a full-bodied flavor.

You can also expect a lot of natural oils present in the roast which is one of the characteristics of espressos. The dark roast contains the richest natural oils in coffee.

The so-called emulsification of the natural oils, together with the other elements or compounds formed during the roasting, is seen in the espresso’s crema. Dark roasting proves that the presence of oils creates more espresso crema.

More coffee aficionados believe that using other roasts, other than the dark roast, may not produce the perfect shot for espresso. 

What is espresso coffee?

So what is an espresso then?

If you can’t distinguish the right coffee beans that are best for a mouthful of espresso, let us tell you these facts about the brew. 

An espresso is a strong black coffee that is made/brewed by forcing hot water (at 195F or 90.5C) through a tightly packed coffee ground. Not only that, along with the hot water, the coffee ground is also subjected to about 9 bar (130 psi) of force for about 20-25 seconds.

This process of brewing is what gives a shot of espresso its ‘notorious’ layer: a coffee shot at the bottom with heavenly foam or crema on top. 

What grind consistency is best for espresso?

Many coffee lovers believed that any coffee bean roast can be brewed as espresso. But the problem lies in the taste. 

The dark roast provides the best taste in espresso. How about the grind size?

There is no specific grind size that is required to make an espresso. But most coffee drinkers suggest that coffee grinds should be fine enough to let the high-pressure water get through the grounds and creates a good crema.

Watch this video on how to make espresso from coffee beans:

Different kinds of coffee bean roasts

  • Light Roast: Coffee beans roasted under this type are light brown. There is no oil on the surface of the beans and with a light body. The light toast has a pronounced acidity and has a toasted grain taste.

The light roast is perfect for white coffee, pour-overs, cold brews, and non-pressure coffee brews.

  • Medium Roast: This roast has a medium brown color with more body than lighter roasts. They have also no oil on the surfaces (5). Based on the bean origin, the medium roast can be used in several styles of brewing.
  • Dark Roast: Like chocolate, the dark roast has dark brown color but sometimes they are almost black, and they have shiny and oily surfaces. The dark roast is most of the time used for espresso.

2 Examples of the best Coffee Bean Brands Perfect for Espresso

1. Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bag

The Death Wish Organic Whole Bean comes in a 16-oz. bag and currently the best-selling whole coffee bean on Amazon. But why this organic coffee bean is becoming more popular with espresso lovers worldwide?

The beans are dark-roasted maintaining high caffeine content, unlike other espresso beans. Death Wish is also certified by the USDA as organic coffee beans.

The high-quality content of this best espresso coffee beans results from the fact that the beans are handpicked and dried naturally. The beans are then expertly roasted in small batches ensuring a bold but smoothly brewed for a great shot of espresso.

By the way, the Death Wish Organic Whole Bean Coffee is currently the strongest coffee in the world, if you didn’t know yet.
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

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2. Blue Horse Farm-Fresh 100% Kona Coffee Beans

These Kona Coffee Beans really kick! The Blue Horse 100% Kona Beans is your best brand for a heavenly espresso you’re always longing for. These coffee beans are sourced directly from family farms in Kona, Hawaii.

Here, the coffee plants are grown free from synthetic herbicides and pesticides, but these coffee beans are not certified organic.

The Blue Horse Kona Beans have notes of almond and vanilla with a sweet taste and just perfect for your espresso.  Kona is also flavorful and rich with crema.

 The pack comes in a 1-pound (454 grams) container that has a sealed-in aroma and a rich taste. 

The container is a re-sealable zip-lock bag that assures you of freshness.

espresso beans vs coffee beans

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So, we are clear on the so-called ‘difference between espresso beans and coffee beans’ that you will not be confused anymore. To make it clearer, espresso beans vs. coffee beans are two different things.

Furthermore, all espressos come from coffee beans but not all coffee beans can be made into espresso. The right coffee beans will give you the consistency, the flavor, and the body you want in a shot of espresso.

Also, the difference between espresso beans and coffee beans sum up the fact that it has everything to do with the way a brew is made. It’s like saying that ‘not all fingers are thumbs but all thumbs are fingers’.

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