There is a lot of confusion when it comes to what coffee drink you should have. Espresso or just regular old coffee?

The difference between the two can be confusing, but in this article, I’ll break down all the differences so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you!

I’ll go over the difference in taste, brewing method, which is stronger, the caffeine difference, and which coffee is right for you.

Are you ready to learn all about it? Then grab a cup of coffee and start reading away!

Espresso vs. coffee, what’s the difference?

Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee that has more caffeine than regular coffee. It’s made by forcing water through finely-ground, highly roasted coffee beans.

The result is a rich, dark liquid with a strong flavor that can be served in small quantities or mixed into what you’re already drinking for an extra shot of energy.

On the other hand, coffee starts as coarsely ground beans, which are either brewed with off-the-boil water or infused with hot water in a French press to produce a drinkable product.

Espresso vs. coffee comparison.

The brewing methods can change depending on where you’re at, but it might be anything from pour over to coffee brewed with a French press.

You can clearly notice the difference when looking at the comparison below:

Espresso vs. coffee.

How do these coffees differ in brewing methods?

You can make coffee anytime, but espresso requires an espresso machine.

Espresso has a finer grind than regular coffee; the smaller particle size increases its surface area, thereby releasing all of its flavors.

Higher pressure is applied during extraction (with an electric, triggered pump used to pull fresh water into the grounds), allowing more oils and flavor compounds to be extracted per unit time than other brewing methods.

Brewed coffee can be made with different coffee brewers. Some of my favorites include the Hario V60, Chemex, and French press.

Brewing coffee with the Hario V60.

Espresso coffee is brewed within 20 – 30 seconds, while brewed coffee can take anywhere from 4 to up to 6 minutes in some cases.

The more coffee you brew, the longer the brewing time will be, but this is not the case for espresso.

Espresso coffee is always made within those few seconds for optimal extraction.

Tip: If you want to learn how to brew coffee at home, you can check out my beginner’s guide to brewing coffee.

Is espresso stronger than coffee?

Espresso uses a different preparation of coffee whereby the grind is finer, and it uses more ground coffee than coffee, creating a more intense flavor experience. It’s roasted differently, too, so espresso tends to be more acidic than regular drip coffee, giving espresso its stronger taste.

Freshly brewed espresso coffee.

Because espresso is served in such a small cup and the coffee can be drunk with just two slurps, it differs from regular coffee.

Coffee is usually served in large quantities, so more water is used to brew it. Most of the time, about the same ground coffee is used to create both coffees.

Meaning that you’ll get that strong taste in espresso because it’s such a small drink.

Espresso vs. coffee, the caffeine difference

Espresso is lower in caffeine than regular coffee per serving, coming in at 68 mg of caffeine and 170-220 mg of caffeine, respectively.

The caffeine in coffee changes depending on the brewing technique used. Pour over coffee is lower in caffeine, while French press has much higher caffeine content. (source)

Espresso is served in a smaller size, coming in at just 1 oz (30 ml), while brewed coffee is served in 8 oz (250 ml).

If you want a quick burst of energy, drinking espresso is the way to go, as it has a lot of caffeine for its size.

What is the difference in taste between an espresso and coffee?

The difference in taste can be attributed to the higher caffeine content in espresso, which causes a stronger sensation in the mouth when drinking it.

Normally this isn’t too noticeable with regular coffee because it’s made from different beans that have been roasted with a different flavor profile in mind.

On the other hand, espresso is usually made from premium blends of high-quality Arabica beans that have been roasted more intensely, so they deliver a bolder flavor when brewed into an espresso.

Dark roasted coffee beans.

However, when brewing coffee at home, you can choose which coffee beans to use. I also prefer using high-quality coffee beans for my other coffees, just like my espresso coffee.

The main difference in flavor between the two is that the espresso is much smaller and packs a nice punch for its size. Regular coffee can also be intense, but you’ll most likely not get the same punch as an espresso because of its size.

Espresso vs. coffee, which is right for you?

If you need to drink your coffee or espresso with minimal hassle, go with coffee. Espresso is more involved and requires a lot of time and effort, which can be frustrating if you’re in a hurry.

It’s a trade-off – coffee has a milder flavor profile versus espresso’s strong taste, but it takes less work, so great for those days when you have limited time for breakfast!

Try different varieties until you find the one that best suits your tastes!

I like to drink coffee in the mornings to enjoy the coffee flavor longer but switch to espresso later in the day because I like the strength.

Related coffee comparison articles

Are you wondering how the espresso and hot coffee compare to other coffees?

Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:

And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!


I hope you have a new appreciation for the difference between espresso and coffee.

There’s no need to fear either one of them, as they both offer their own unique flavor profiles that may be perfect for any given moment in time.

Whether it’s your morning pick-me-up or after-dinner treat, remember what makes each different from the other so that you can enjoy them properly!

I’ve listed more coffee comparisons below, so if you’re interested in learning more about coffee, you can check them out.

Do you prefer espresso or regular coffee? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!

More coffee comparisons

Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.

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