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Is There a Difference Between Espresso Beans and Coffee Beans?

Are espresso beans and coffee beans the same? This is a question we hear a lot, especially from people who have just discovered their love of coffee.

There are four basic types of coffee beans: #Arabica, #Robusta, #Liberica and #Excelsa. For commercial consumption, Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are two common types of coffee beans you'll find on coffee shop shelves.

But in reality, it doesn't matter what type of coffee beans you use for espresso or regular coffee. The key differentiator is how the coffee is roasted.

That's where the difference in flavor will come in, and the type of roast will help you determine the best brewing method for your coffee beans.

For example, lighter roasts tend to work better when a slower extraction method is used, such as bulk or regular filter coffee. In contrast, darker roasted coffee beans are better suited to espresso.

Coffee beans can be the same - it's the roast profile that guides you and helps you determine how they should be brewed for best flavor. An espresso roast is a coffee bean that is typically roasted longer, ground finer, and brewed using an espresso machine.

Here's a closer look at both espresso and ordinary coffee beans.

Espresso Coffee Beans

We now understand that there is no real difference between the coffee beans used for brewing like espresso or a regular cup of coffee.

Let's take a closer look at roasting.

As I mentioned briefly, espresso coffee beans are usually in the darker roast category. Coffee beans at this stage of the roasting process tend to have the lowest acidity and offer a fuller body.

Darker roasts where you unlock more of the coffees' natural oils locked deep in the bean; When you open a pack of dark roast coffee, you can see the oily sheen on the surface of the coffee beans.

The emulsification of these flavored oils, combined with other elements in the coffee beans, helps create the espresso crema that graces the classic espresso shot; it's the only thing most baristas deal with when shooting espresso.

However, this does not mean that you can use regular coffee beans for your espresso. Remember, coffee is the same; only changing roasting profile.

However, if you use ordinary coffee beans, let's say lightly roasted, you won't get the same body, flavor, and you can forget about that rich, fluffy cream.

As with anything, coffee taste is subjective. When one coffee drinker likes a particular roast profile or how the coffee is brewed, the other person will have their noses up.

So go ahead and experiment. If you like to use a lighter roast in your #espresso machine, don't let anyone tell you you can't.

Regular Coffee Beans

When we talk about “regular coffee beans” we are talking about any bean that has been roasted, whether light or dark.

We've already determined that darker roasts are best suited for espresso because of their unique flavor profiles and characteristics, leaving other roast profiles for everything else.

Light roasting will accentuate the distinct flavor of your coffee beans, which, by the way, may vary depending on the origin of the coffee bean. Also, you won't find an overly oily sheen in lightly roasted coffee.

Lighter roasts are best prepared in non-pressurized coffee brewers like a regular drip coffee maker, pouring over containers like the #Hario #V60, or even cold brew coffee - the flavors really shine in cold brew coffee!

Typically medium roast coffee is the middle ground that all coffee shops stock—it's a crowd-pleasing, safe bet, and flavor everyone is used to.

Medium roast coffee can be used in almost any brewing style – and yes, you can use medium roast coffee in your espresso machine, too.


Coffee roasters love to mix different coffee origins from various parts of the world to produce unique tasting blends.

A blend can be a combination of Robusta, Arabica or any other type of coffee bean. These can be light, medium and dark roast mixes, depending on the flavor profile the particular coffee roasting is looking for.

Both espresso beans and regular coffee beans will be blended in a specific way by the vendor.

Blended coffee takes regular coffee beans and uses different brewing

So espresso beans and coffee beans are the same thing. There is no difference other than how they are roasted.

When you buy a bag of #coffee and read "espresso mix" or "drop mix", the coffee beans are the same. Roasting simply indicates the brewing method they believe will accentuate that particular roast profile.


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