There aren’t many things in life better than the aroma and taste of fresh ground coffee. However, with the range of beans, roasts, and blends available, it can be challenging to understand the differences between all the products. For example, can espresso beans be used in the place of regular coffee beans?
You can use espresso beans for regular coffee because both beverages use the same coffee beans. The only difference is the roast. Coffee beans labeled as “espresso” are just roasted darker, which is generally preferable for brewing espresso. These beans are usually also fine ground.
The rest of this article will explain in great detail the differences between coffee bean types and blends, why espresso and drip coffee beans are interchangeable, and how you can use either type in your coffee machine.
Making Coffee With Espresso Beans
When most people say “regular” coffee beans, they refer to the type of coffee that people use in a standard drip coffee maker. But, even if you don’t know the difference between coffee and espresso, you may have noticed the vast differences between the two machines.
Despite the difference in the brewing process and final product, regular coffee and espresso start out the same way – a coffee bean. A coffee bean refers to any bean from a coffee plant that’s been roasted.
Coffee beans are roasted to varying degrees for different purposes. For example, some beans have a light roast for those who prefer a more delicate coffee flavor, but they have a more acidic content. Therefore, they are not a wise choice for someone prone to acid reflux.
On the other hand, a dark roast contains less acid and is better for those who suffer from acid reflux.
The difference between espresso and coffee is the roast. When coffee is labeled as “espresso,” it’s simply a recommendation from the roaster or manufacturer on how you should brew the bean to best bring out the intended flavor.
Espresso beans are coffee beans that have been roasted longer than “regular” coffee beans.
You can use espresso beans to make any type of coffee you want by brewing them the same way as any other coffee bean, especially if you grind them yourself at home. If you buy the espresso already ground, it may be finer than drip coffee.
You can still use it to make coffee, but you should use a filter and know that it may slightly change the flavor profile.
Is There a Difference Between Coffee Beans and Espresso Beans?
Coffee beans, including espresso beans, are typically either Arabica or Robusta. There are other varieties, like Liberica and Excelsa, but they are far less common.
Beans can taste differently depending on where and how they’re grown and roasted, which is what you see on the packaging when you buy coffee at your local supermarket.
Coffee beans become espresso beans during the roasting process, but there’s nothing inherently different between them and “regular” coffee beans. Espresso beans are just coffee beans that are roasted dark or medium-dark for a richer flavor. Regular coffee is usually light, medium, or dark roasted.
Whether you grind coffee beans at home, at the store, or buy them already ground, you may know that they can be fine, medium, or coarse. Espresso beans are typically fine ground, causing the water to flow slower through the coffee and resulting in a more robust flavor.
Is Espresso Just Finely Ground Coffee?
Espresso is much more finely ground than regular coffee, but that alone isn’t what makes it espresso. An espresso bean is a regular coffee bean that is roasted a certain way. The finished espresso is a different way of preparing coffee.
Espresso involves a rich, dark roast bean and a smaller grind size.
Once the coffee beans are roasted to their optimal darkness, they are ground finer than what’s used for standard drip or pour-over coffee. This finely ground coffee is vital because espresso involves super hot water flowing at high pressure through the coffee, producing the beverage in a short amount of time.
With the longer, darker roast, espresso beans have a more robust, richer, and sometimes smokier flavor than other coffees. In addition, beans go from their natural green color to the rich brown or black that you are used to seeing during the roasting process.
Chemical changes cause the soft bean to dry out, hardening to a crisp, and the aroma changes from “grassy” to the coffee smell we all recognize.
Can You Use Espresso Grind For Drip Coffee?
You can use espresso grind for drip coffee since coffee beans and espresso beans are technically the same. All it takes is the proper preparation, and you can use any kind of bean for drip coffee.
To make drip coffee with espresso beans, grind your beans to a coarse-medium size, which should be about the size of kosher salt crystals.
You will want to get a good-quality coffee grinder to make this task easier. I like the Shardor electric grinder from Amazon.com because it has a knob to adjust the grind size you need, from coarse to fine. It also has a removable stainless steel bowl, which makes it easy to clean.
Once your espresso beans are ground down to a coarse or medium grind, you should use a coffee to water ratio of 2 tbsp (15.6 grams) of coffee for every 8 oz (236 ml) of water in your coffee maker. For slightly stronger coffee, you can add more. If you like weaker coffee, use a little less.
How to Brew Drip Coffee With Espresso Beans
Basically, brewing drip coffee with espresso beans uses the same process as other types of coffee grind. So while you will experience a more robust flavor with espresso beans, the process is similar.
Let’s take a look at the process:
- Place the coffee filter into the coffee maker (paper or reusable is fine).
- Add your espresso coffee grounds to the filter using an appropriate coffee to water ratio.
- Add the proper amount of water to the coffee maker’s water reservoir.
- Place the coffee pot in its right place to catch the coffee.
- Push the “start” button or whatever your coffee maker’s manufacturer specifies.
Once the cycle is complete, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh, hot coffee brewed from rich, dark-roasted beans.
You can use this coffee as you would typically with “regular” beans. However, you may prefer it with fewer additions, such as a sweetener or cream, because of the rich flavor.
Storing Your Coffee Beans
You’ll want to store your espresso and all types of coffee beans in an airtight container to keep them fresh and maintain a high-quality flavor and aroma. I LOVE this Veken coffee canister from Amazon.com.
It’s stainless steel, so it’s effortless to clean. It has a date tracker on the lid, so you can easily keep track of how long the coffee has been in there, and there’s a handy scoop that attaches to the side.
I like the black one because it looks super sleek. Still, it also comes in several different colors that can accent your kitchen colors.
Espresso beans and coffee beans are the same things. The only difference is how they were roasted and ground.
Espresso is darker roasted and ground to a fine powder-like texture because of the brewing process used in espresso machines. So, if you like dark roasted coffee, you can use espresso beans in your drip coffee maker the same way you use regular coffee beans.