Espresso or coffee: what’s the difference?

Espresso or coffee: what’s the difference?

Cappuccino, espresso, slow coffee, cold brewed coffee, filter coffee … Today, the fingers of our two hands are not enough to count all the variants of coffee. Coffee is trendy and everyone has a say on the subject. But what is the difference between one and the other kind of coffee? Let’s start with the basics: what is the difference between an espresso and an ordinary coffee (filter)?

Method of preparation

Like “ordinary” coffee, espresso is made from coffee beans and water. However, they differ from each other even before being prepared. The “espresso beans” are thus ground much more finely.
To make an espresso, you also use warmer water than the one used to make a regular coffee.
And while the water is simply poured over the coffee for a filter coffee, hot water is passed under high pressure through the coffee for espresso.


It is precise because your espresso is prepared under high pressure that its taste is much more intense. Espresso is, therefore, the ideal base for all kinds of coffee and milk drinks such as cappuccino, latte macchiato, and Viennese coffee.

Check our guide for espresso machines under $300.

Coffee: Effects end Reasons to drink it

Quantity and caffeine content

An espresso contains proportionally more caffeine than a filter coffee. Almost double.
But since you drink your espresso in smaller amounts, a single cup of espresso does not give you as much caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.
So do the math: an espresso contains 130 mg of caffeine per 100 ml, while the filter coffee contains 70 mg. And you drink on average 30 ml of espresso and 125 ml of filter coffee … per cup of course.

What is a good espresso?

A perfect espresso can be recognized by its layer of golden or crema mousse. The latter must be firm enough to support a few seconds the weight of a spoonful of sugar.


The difference between an espresso coffee and a filter coffee, therefore, lies in the method of preparation, which of course causes different tastes.

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Espresso Expert