Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee

A cup of hot coffee is a great way to start your morning. But having an espresso is more important, especially on the days you feel low. What exactly is espresso? If you’ve never had a chance to taste espresso, you may think it’s just a type of coffee.

It is, however, not a common type of coffee. So, what is it? It is one way of making coffee. There are several ways you can prepare your cup of coffee, the espresso method being among them. If you’ve never had either coffee or espresso, you need to know how strong espresso is. Is it stronger than coffee? Read on. This post will guide you.

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

Espresso may be stronger than coffee in some cases, and sometimes it’s not. It depends based on strength. The strength may come from the thickness of its taste, amount of caffeine in it, the total dissolved solids, acidity, and many others. For example, the amount of caffeine in the espresso is less than in coffee. So ideally, in terms of caffeine, espresso is less strong. When making espresso, one must use about one glass of water, and in coffee, making about a litre of water for each cup is used. Therefore, the concentration of espresso is high hence making it stronger than coffee.

What Makes Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

The taste of espresso is usually stronger than coffee. Let’s compare the best quality coffee (one that you brew) and espresso. The concentration of espresso is high, which in turn makes the taste stronger. Even though the taste is a bit bitter than the regular coffee, the exact taste doesn’t necessarily emanate from its making. Rather it comes from a roasting process. In this detailed section, I will take you through the factors that make espresso stronger than coffee.

Type of Roast

  • Light Roast– To get a light roast, the beans will roast at a temperature of 196 to 205 degrees Celsius.
  • Medium Roast– For this roast, coffee is roasted between 210 to 219 degrees Celsius.
  • Dark Roast– In this roast, coffee beans are roasted between 225 to 230 degrees Celsius.

As the roasting proceeds from light roast to dark roast, the beans get tastier hence strong. So, the dark roast beans are stronger than the rest. When brewing coffee, one uses a lighter roast than in espresso. It contributes to their difference in tastes.

Variations in the Grind

The difference in grind size also changes the strength of coffee and espresso. It also affects the extraction of both coffee and espresso.

Making Espresso – When making an espresso, the fine grind is used. This grind allows water with much pressure to make the grounds exhaustively. The extraction is usually 20 to 30 seconds. The grind size for espresso is finer relative to that of sugar. When using a rough grind, the espresso will be under-extracted. The crema you get will be weak. When you use a finer grind, it will over-extract your espresso. Its taste will be bitter, and you may also feel like it’s burnt.

Making Brewed Coffee – The size of the grind you use depends on the type of equipment or the brewing method. But all in all, its size is usually coarser than that you use for espresso.

  • When brewing coffee using a Chemex Coffeemaker, use the medium-coarse grind. The coffee grounds should be finer, similar to the size of table salt.
  • When brewing it using a French Press, the grind size needs to be coarse. It will ensure that water solubles from the coffee grounds that water extracts are correct.

Measuring the Strength of Espresso and Coffee in Terms of Caffeine

If your espresso is bitter, you are most likely to conclude that it has lots of caffeine. People also tend to believe that the amount of caffeine depends on the longevity of the roasting process. So, the caffeine in the light roast is less than in the dark roast. Is this true? And if it is, does it mean that coffee is stronger than espresso in terms of caffeine content?

When looking at the strength of coffee in terms of caffeine content, coffee remains much stronger than espresso. An ounce of espresso has a caffeine content of about 30 to 50 milligrams. In contrast, that of brewed coffee has 8 to 15 milligrams of caffeine. Therefore, if you brew 8 ounces of coffee, it will be having a caffeine content of about 64 to 120 milligrams. It’s higher than what you get from espresso. So, in terms of caffeine content, coffee becomes stronger than espresso.

In terms of the type of beans one uses in making either coffee or espresso, coffee still has more caffeine. Most times, light roast beans are used in brewing coffee, and their caffeine content is high. It makes coffee stronger than espresso.

Measuring the Strength of Coffee and Espresso Depending on the Total Dissolved Solids and Acidity

You can also measure your coffee and espressos strength by looking at the number of essential oils and organic acids in it. The acidity in each of them will also determine its strength. So, these factors matter while comparing the strong nature of coffee. In this section, I will inform you how it makes espresso stronger than coffee.

  • Total Dissolved Acids – The percentage of total dissolved acids (TDS) in espresso is an average of 9.5%.  For drip coffee, the average is about 1.5%. The amount of TDS in espresso is much higher than that of coffee. It comes from the pressure applied when brewing. It also emanates from the French Press and the temperature for brewing. The solute affects the taste and the richness of the coffee. It’s more in espresso, making espresso stronger than coffee.
  • The Acidity – The higher the acidity level on the pH scale, the stronger the drink is. From the pH scale, the range of acidity for coffee is usually between 4.7 to 5. That of dark roast can go beyond the 5.1 level. Remember, when making espresso, you use the dark roast. For coffee making, one mostly uses the light roast. Therefore, when determining the strength of coffee and espresso basing your search on the acidity, espresso stands stronger than coffee.

Should I Have Espresso or Coffee?

Now you know that, in most cases, espresso will always be stronger. So, should you continue consuming it or switch to coffee? Coffee has a bitter taste, and you may not like it if it’s your first time having it. But after two or three times of trying it, you will most definitely want to have it often. What about espresso? It is stronger than coffee so expect it to be bitter. And just like coffee, after a few times of having it, you will begin to like it. There is no big issue in having espresso even though it is strong. It is the best, especially during your hectic days.

How Does the Type of Coffee Affect the Strength of My Coffee or Espresso?

When looking at the amount of caffeine in either coffee or espresso, one doesn’t just look at the roasting. It all starts with the type of coffee beans. The main coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. However, robusta is grown in low altitude areas. It can withstand harsh weather conditions. The amount of caffeine in Robusta is way higher than that of Arabica. The growth of Arabica takes place in high altitude areas, and it is more popular than Robusta. You already know that the overall caffeine content in Arabica is low. So, if the type of bean used in making coffee or espresso is Arabica, its caffeine content is usually low. If you use Robusta, it will be high.

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