For most people who are lovers of caffeine, the line between coffee and espresso can be a bit fuzzy. Both are tasty, both have caffeine and both come from beans that smell delicious. But what makes them different? Let Port City Java help clarify this burning question!
The main difference between espresso and drip coffee is the preparation method used. There is no plant that grows espresso beans or roasting style that makes espresso beans. The beans that are used to make espresso can be a blend of different coffees or one specific type of coffee bean.
In general, espresso is prepared using a much finer grind than what would be used to prepare drip coffee. These grinds are then tamped with 30-40 pounds of pressure into a portafilter basket so they are very compact. This prevents the water from blowing a hole into the grinds and making a poorly pulled shot. The time it takes for the hot water (nearly 200 degrees!) to run through the grinds should take around 15-20 seconds every time a single or double shot is pulled. Any longer or shorter amount of time will affect the way the shot looks and tastes.
There are three main parts to the espresso shot: The heart, which is the dark part at the bottom, the body, which is the middle part and the crema, which is the frothy top layer. After about 10 seconds, the shot will die and lose the distinct three parts. Not to mention it will taste so bad you’ll forget you need the caffeine in the first place.