What is Espresso?

what is espresso
Did you know that an espresso is the basis for almost all types of coffee that you can order at a coffee bar? One cannot do without it and for the other it may be too concentrated.

But oh what a beautiful Italian invention the espresso is. In this blog you will learn how to turn your fresh coffee beans into the perfect espresso. The difference between an espresso and a 'regular' coffee.

What do you choose the right coffee for your espresso and how much caffeine is actually in this caffeine bomb?

What is Espresso

Espresso, you know it, that little bit of coffee in a small cup that is quite 'strong'. But what is it actually?

Espresso is actually a brewing method originating from Italy. Espresso is made by forcing water, under pressure of about 9 bar, through fine coffee grinding in an espresso machine.

This results in a very concentrated coffee in a very short time (20-30 sec.). The high pressure creates a hazelnut brown foam layer, called crema , on top of the coffee.

Espresso has a thick body due to the concentration of the coffee/water ratio. That's why an espresso brewed coffee feels and looks thicker and more viscous than a regular coffee. A bit similar to a delicious honey.

Read also: What is the history and origin of espresso ?

What is the difference between espresso and 'regular coffee'?

Espresso, like regular coffee, is made from coffee beans from a coffee plant. The coffee is roasted in the same way. You can use a darker roasted coffee bean for espresso, but this is absolutely not necessary.

Espresso actually refers purely to the brewing method and not to the type of bean, which is more often thought. You can make espresso from any coffee bean. Another big difference is the grind of the bean .

For espresso you need a finer grind that you tamp down firmly in your portafilter/piston.

By making coffee under high pressure, the taste of an espresso is very concentrated.

Although it contains the same flavors as your pot of 'regular' coffee, an espresso has a much-loved crema layer that gives a nice full espresso flavor to your shot.

Read also: What is the difference between espresso and filter coffee?

How do you drink espresso?

Espresso is served in 'shots' because the caffeine content is higher and more concentrated than a normal cup of coffee. You drink espresso slowly to fully and properly taste all flavors.

We always recommend stirring your espresso with a small spoon just before drinking, so that it is well mixed in terms of different flavors (sweet, sour and bitter).

In addition, espresso is used as the basis for almost all coffees that you can order at your favorite coffee bar. Below is a list of popular drinks based on a shot of espresso:

How much caffeine is in a shot of espresso?

Although an espresso has the reputation of… 'it wakes you up right away', so a lot of caffeine, it all depends on how much coffee you drink.

Okay, the ratio of caffeine in a shot of espresso is a bit higher than a cup of coffee, but since it's also a much smaller drink, it's about the same in absolute terms.

In addition, the caffeine content depends on the type of bean you use, the size of the coffee bean and the roast level.

Read also: What does caffeine do in your body?

How do you choose the right coffee for espresso?

Because espresso really brings out all the flavors from the beans, it's important to choose high quality coffee, with no artificial additives, freshly roasted and ethically sourced.

It is always super useful to look at the flavor profile with the coffee. So this is what you can expect when you brew the perfect espresso. Do you want more help to find the right coffee.

Take the coffee quiz and you will know within 2 minutes which coffee fits your taste profile perfectly.

How to choose espresso

How do you make an espresso?

You make a perfect espresso with an espresso machine that makes a shot of espresso under high pressure (9 bar). You also have an ideal espresso recipe for every type of coffee. Usually it is a ratio of 1:2 to 1:3 .

So if you take 19 grams of espresso then an ideal output, your espresso shot, is about 40 grams. Read here how to make the ultimate espresso at home within 6 simple steps .

Frequently Asked Questions About Espresso

Does espresso have more caffeine than regular coffee?
Because an espresso is very concentrated, the small amount of coffee contains a lot of caffeine. But that is no more than an 'ordinary' coffee. Only the concentration is different with a 'regular' coffee.
What are suitable coffee beans for an espresso?
You could make an espresso with every coffee bean. However, each degree of fire requires a slightly different approach to achieve the best result.
Take our coffee quiz and find out which coffee beans are perfect for you.
What is the ratio of coffee : water in an espresso?
You make the perfect espresso with a ratio of 1:2 or 1:3. Most coffee beans from our roasting plant are best served with a 1:2 ratio. For example, 19 grams in and 38 grams out. We provide suitable brewing advice for all the coffees we roast. For example, view the brewing advice for the perfect espresso with our Blend No1 here.