While the type of beans you use is important when it comes to taste, the main difference between espresso and coffee has to do with the way the coffee is prepared. Technically, you could use espresso-roasted beans to make drip coffee and dark roasted coffee beans to make espresso if you ground the beans correctly and used the right gear. 

It’s All About How The Coffee or Espresso Is Made

Most of us know how drip coffee is made. The hot water slowly sprinkles over coarsely ground coffee beans, and the resulting liquid passes through a paper filter and lands in the pot. It usually tasks several minutes, depending on if you are doing 4 cups or 12 cups of coffee. So, what’s the right gear to make espresso? It sounds obvious but you need an espresso machine. That’s because espresso, by definition, is a strong black coffee, made by forcing hot water through tightly packed grounds. That extraction process is what gives a shot of espresso its signature layers… a shot of coffee at the bottom with a small layer of foam, or creme, at the top. So the difference has everything to do with the way its made. These methods of preparation are what dictates the flavor more so than the beans.

Coffee Ground Size Matters

Espresso beans are roasted longer and darker than the beans used for drip coffee. Light, medium, and medium-dark roasts are typically used for drip coffee. That’s what you think of when you think of traditional “American” coffee. Espresso is roasted for a longer time, usually past the second crack, so it has a toasted and deeper flavor. An espresso ground is typically much finer than other types of coffee grinds. This is because the process of making espresso requires hot water to be pushed through tightly packed grounds. The coffee grounds need to be very fine, like the texture of sand, because the water comes into contact with them for a shorter period of time.

Does Espresso or Regular Coffee Have More Caffeine?

By the Numbers. It turns out that it depends on what you call a cup of coffee. An ounce—or one shot—of espresso contains 63 mg of caffeine, according to nutritional information from the Department of Agriculture. By comparison, regular coffee averages 12 to 16 mg of caffeine per ounce. However, you are getting about six to eight ounces of coffee per cup, while a shot of espresso is just one ounce. If you measure caffeine per ounce of liquid, expresso easily claims the caffeine title. But it is unlikely you would drink 8 ounces of espresso at a time.


Espresso has a well-rounded, full-bodied flavor that many consider much bolder than the taste of the coffee. Some espresso-lovers insist that the paper filter used for brewing regular drip coffee saps some of the flavors from the coffee grounds and therefore is the cause of this evident difference in taste. There is no creme atop a cup of regular. Coffee’s milder flavor appeals to those who find espresso to be too strong and bitter.

All in all, it’s really up to you based on your preferences. We say “Why not have both?”. Pro Tip… Add espresso to your coffee. One of the best coffee drinks (especially in the Winter) is a Hot Chocolate Mocha with a shot of espresso in it!.

Memorie Makers Has Wonderful Coffee and Espresso!

Our coffee and espresso beans are Kentucky proud, sourced from creative coffees located in Winchester. We have a variety of coffee blends including: Kentucky bourbon, french vanilla, signature decaf, and more! Think you can only get fun drinks at Starbucks and Dunkin’? Think again! Get creative at our cafe with a honey lavender iced latte or a dark chocolate cherry iced mocha! Like the classics? Try a Caramel Macchiato.

About Memorie Makers Cafe & Cupcakery

Memorie Makers Cafe & Cupcakery is a unique locally-owned family bakery that specializes in homemade made-from-scratch baked goods. You can visit the bakery or custom order a wide variety of cupcakes, cookies, scones, coffees, teas, and much more! We also host events for the public and have a room for private parties. One of our many passions it to use pure, sustainable “Kentucky Proud” ingredients. We offer cakes, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate dip treats, scones, breakfast items, coffees, teas, matcha, lemonade, hot chocolate, merchandise and more!