Espresso is not a kind of coffee bean, nor is it a kind of roasted coffee, and it certainly is not a coffee blend. Companies claiming to have an espresso bean, or an espresso roast, or an espresso blend are spewing 100% marketing BS. This article will distinguish Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans.
What Is Real Espresso
Now that we know what espresso is not, let’s define what espresso is. Espresso is nothing more than another brewing method. It was invented by the Italians. The word literally means “fast” or “quick”. The espresso machine was not invented to make better coffee, but to make it more quickly.
Simply put, an espresso machine forces high pressure steam through finely ground coffee, creating a couple of ounces of thick, strong, pungent, bold, highly caffeinated, and often bitter tasting coffee.
Espresso brewed coffee is not for the faint of heart. If you like your coffee like you like your battery acid, then this is the ticket for you. I admire folks that can drink this stuff. Espresso is pure, unadulterated coffee. There is nothing hiding or masking the flavor that God put into those beans. In my humble opinion, espresso drinkers are “real” coffee drinkers.
Espresso Gone Wrong
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, someone decided that if you added a lot of steamed milk, you could sell espresso to us more gentile folk. Sure enough, it worked.
Then of course the American’s got hold of this espresso idea and decided they could sell even more of this elixir if they added chocolate, caramel, whip cream, sprinkles, and any combination from a huge variety of sweet options.
At what point is espresso no longer coffee, but instead just a liquid candy bar?
What Beans Are Best For Espresso?
Wall Street marketing experts will tell you that there are “special” beans that work best with an espresso machine. They call these beans “espresso” beans. Or even better yet, these marketing experts, (notice I didn’t say coffee experts) will tell you that certain “blends” of coffee work best for espresso. Which, once again, is 100% marketing BS.
Here’s a dirty little secret in the coffee industry. If you like say medium roasted Costa Rican coffee in your drip machine, or French Press, or AeroPress, or whatever brewing technique you use, then you’re likely to enjoy that same bean and same roast in your espresso machine.
What Beans Are Best For Coffee
Now that we’ve determined that espresso beans are just coffee beans, the question begs to be asked, “What coffee beans are best for just making coffee?” Again, I’ll tell you, it depends on what you like.
There are over 100 different molecules in a typical coffee bean. Each of those molecules produce a different flavor. Which molecule is most prominent, also determines which flavor is most prominent. Each coffee growing region has a general tendency to produce similar tasting coffee.
Additionally, each brewing method, grinding, heat, time, and freshness draws out different molecules and thus different flavor from the coffee beans
Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans
Here’s the bottom line. Any coffee bean, with any roast, can be used for brewing with an espresso machine. As for espresso beans and espresso roast, they don’t exist, never have and never will. Espresso beans, even the highly touted espresso bean blend, as stated earlier, are 100% marketing BS.
So what beans are best for espresso? Any bean that you like. What roasts are best for espresso? Likewise, whatever roasts that you like. Here at Lake City Coffee we have dozens if not hundreds of customers that use our medium, dark, or light roasted beans with their espresso machine. And they LOVE their espresso.
Therefore, “espresso beans vs coffee beans” is the wrong question. The right question is what beans and what roast do you like best?
What Roast Is Best For Espresso?
Nearly all industrial coffee roasting companies burnt the snot out of their espresso roast. These beans are so burnt that nearly zero oils are left in the bean, leaving very little caffeine, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and flavor. You might as well be drinking Kingsford Charcoal.
I answer this question by saying, “It all depends on what you like.” Use your espresso machine on whatever bean or whatever roast that you like. I’ll tell you this much. Most of our espresso loving customers use our dark roast bean. And they love it in their espresso machine.
Lake City Coffee’s Espresso Roast
“But Russell, you sell an ‘Espresso’ bean on your website.” Yes, that’s true. We do sell an Espresso Roast. But if you look carefully, you’ll notice that the product description says, “Our Espresso Roast is identical to our Delectable Dark roast. The only difference between our Espresso Roast and our Delectable Dark is the label on the bag. So, if you feel more comfortable buying a bag that says, ‘Espresso’, then this is for you.”
As I said earlier, nearly all industrial coffee roasters burn the snot out of their beans. For them, profit margins drive their Hot-n-Fast roasting method. I on the other hand focus on quality which necessitates a Low-n-Slow roasting method, thus saving as much of those oils which God put into those beautiful beans.
Best Tasting Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans
I prefer super smooth coffee, i.e. non-bitter. The smoothest coffee, generally comes from Central America. The smoothest Central American coffee comes from Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
I prefer the Costa Rican because, not only is it smooth, it has more variety of taste. That’s why we source 100% of our coffee from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica.
Why are these beans so consistently smooth (non-bitter). God only knows. With hundreds of variables, it’s amazing how consistent this region produces some of the best coffee in the world.
Making The Smoothest Coffee
For the 10th time, I’m going to say it again, (Wait for it…..) it all depends on what you like. I like smooth, therefore I find that the AeroPress brewing method produces the smoothest cup of coffee that you’re likely to find anywhere (IMHO).
On the other hand if you like bold and strong, then you can’t beat the espresso machine. A close, and much better second (IMHO) for bold is the French Press. But again, these are “my” biases. If you disagree, great! As I always say, drink what you like.
Freshest Whole Bean Coffee
Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans has never been an issue here at Lake City Coffee. Our focus is on creating the best home brew coffee experience that you’re likely to find anywhere.
Not only will Alisha and I (Russell) source the smoothest coffee beans that money can buy, and also roast them low-n-slow to perfection, get them from our roaster to your table in 24-72 hours, but we’ll also teach you how to create a coffee experience second to none.
If you have any questions, just comment below, or go to the top of any page and click our “Contact Us” page.