What's the difference between espresso and drip coffee?

By Shannon Sweeney — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

What is espresso and how is it different than drip coffee? 

Walk into any specialty coffee shop, or any coffee shop in Italy, and you'll find tons of espresso-based drinks — including caffe latte, cappuccino, caffe macchiato, and caffe americano. But why is espresso used in these drinks as opposed to regular drip coffee, and what makes espresso different? 

The main difference in espresso and drip coffee are the fineness of the grind and the brewing time. Espresso is brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans, whereas coffee in an auto-drip maker is made by dripping boiling water over medium ground coffee beans. 

Espresso machines generate up to 15 atmospheres of pressure to force the water through coffee. This creates a dark brown, slightly thick liquid with a small amount of crema (sort of like a foam) on top. 

Espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most coffee beverage, but because the serving size is usually much smaller, the total caffeine content is less. 

Death Wish Coffee can be ground to an espresso grind and used in an espresso machine. This brings out many wonderful dark cherry, mocha, and almond flavors that you may not taste when brewing with conventional methods. 

You don't need an expensive espresso machine to make the strongest coffee possible. Try a Moka Pot. A lot of people use Moka Pots because it's essentially a stovetop espresso maker. And while it's not quite as strong as espresso, it's the closest you can get without a pressurized machine. 

Related: Takeaway coffee isn't a thing in Italy and here's why



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