You know that feeling when you haven’t quite woken up yet but an overpowering whiff of fresh, hot coffee snaps you back into reality? There’s a good chance that the scent you imagined while reading that line is actually espresso.
Espresso is a deeper, fuller, more concentrated type of coffee than what we typically drink in the United States. The color is a brash black. The taste is a powerful phenomenon. The whole experience is eye-opening. Espresso is made by a special brewing process nicknamed “pulling a shot” because of the smaller quantities in which the beverage is normally served. These small, inviting cups look like mere shots compared to the full-sized cups of coffee most Americans have grown accustomed to.
Espresso vs Coffee As We Know It
There are some key differences between the espresso described above and the plain black coffee you might enjoy from your local diner. This may be a little confusing because espresso is actually a type of coffee. What classifies it as espresso is the preparation method. Here we’ll explain exactly what it is that sets the two apart.
The Brewing Process
There are several ways to brew great coffee and they are all designed to suit specific tastes. When it comes to making espresso, however, the rules tend to be a bit more rigid. Espresso makers typically use heavy air pressure to force extremely hot water through ground coffee beans. Rather than simply allowing the water to meander through the beans to extract flavors and aromas slowly, espresso makers work fast. The ground espresso beans are fine ground, essentially into a special espresso powder, then packed in and pressed tightly. The end result is almost like a miniature cake. Once the espresso is in place, pressurized hot (nearly boiling) water is pushed through swiftly and after about 30 seconds, you’ve got a delicious, velvety espresso shot.
This results in a more potent, aromatic brew. It is stronger than regular coffee, will generally be a bit less acidic, and even tends to have a slightly higher caffeine level. It’s important to remember that enjoying coffee is all about finding what you like, so never forget that there’s always room for experimentation. You can prepare delicious espresso drinks for virtually any occasion and all it takes is a little experimentation to figure out what you like the best.
Other than the brewing process, what else makes espresso different from regular coffee?
What Are Espresso Beans?
One common misconception about espresso is that it is made from a particular type of coffee bean. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though. Espresso can be made from a variety of coffee beans as long as they are ground to an ultra-fine consistency and put through the intense brewing process described above. The very best espressos are actually blends of different coffee beans whose flavors mesh well to create a bright, unique flavor. That’s how we make our specialty KnockBox Espresso Blend, after all.
So do you need a special type of coffee to make espresso? Not at all. There isn’t a particular espresso roast that makes the beverage what it is. It ultimately does come down to the brewing process, so choosing the right machine is actually more important than picking a particular coffee. Remember, it's the brewing process that sets espresso apart from other types of coffee and there are several ways to make delicious, potent espresso at home.
Applying What You’ve Learned
Now that you have a better understanding of what espresso is and how it’s made, isn’t it time to start brewing? Check out different types of espresso drinks and play around until you get a grasp on what you like. Once you get comfortable experimenting, try to make up a few of your own! Remember, it’s all about finding what you like.
The biggest suggestion we can make to any coffee drinker, regardless of what they’re making, is to start every cup with a great bean. At DISTRICT Roasters, we work hand-in-hand with elite coffee farmers on several continents to ensure that we’re sourcing only the very finest coffee beans. Our KnockBox Espresso Blend is no different. We combine fresh, premium beans from our partners in Guatemala, Brazil, and Colombia to create a unique and refreshing espresso that boasts a bright, fruity flavor with a touch of semi-sweet chocolate. Like all of our products, our KnockBox Espresso is guaranteed to satisfy and anything you spend helps us to achieve our mission of eradicating economic, physical, and spiritual poverty through. What do you have to lose?