Does Espresso Taste Like Coffee?

How Is Espresso Different From Coffee?

Espresso is a coffee beverage that has become increasingly popular throughout the years.

The espresso brewing process of forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans creates a robust and concentrated flavor with distinct notes of sweetness.

Short Answer: Yes, espresso does taste like coffee, as it is made from coffee beans. However, due to the unique brewing method, espresso has a more concentrated, intense, and rich flavor than regular drip coffee. Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans under high pressure, extracting more oils and flavors from the beans. This results in a full-bodied, bold taste with notes like chocolate, nuttiness, and sometimes a hint of acidity or fruitiness. While espresso has a distinct flavor profile, it still maintains the familiar and comforting taste of coffee that coffee lovers enjoy.

The difference between espresso and regular coffee lies primarily in the brewing method used to prepare it, the grind size, and the amount of pressure applied during preparation.

We'll explore its ingredients and brewing techniques to understand what makes espresso unique from other coffees.

espresso shot in a glass

The Taste of Espresso: Does it Really Taste Like Coffee?

Regarding the taste of espresso, opinions can vary widely depending on personal preferences.

However, despite its concentrated flavor and pungent aroma, espresso is still considered a type of coffee and shares many similarities in taste with other coffee beverages.

A rich, full-bodied, often bold, and intense flavor is one of the defining characteristics of espresso.

This is due to the preparation method of brewing espresso - the finely ground coffee beans are compacted into a small amount of water, resulting in a high ratio of coffee to water.

This concentrated mix of flavors can include notes of chocolate, nuttiness, fruitiness, and even a slight acidity.

While espresso can sometimes taste different from other coffee beverages due to differences in brewing methods and bean selection, the underlying taste profile is still one of coffee.

So, even though espresso may have a more complex flavor profile than other types of coffee, it still has that comforting and familiar taste that coffee lovers enjoy.

Overall, if you love the taste of coffee, you will also enjoy the taste of espresso.

Its concentrated flavor and bold taste make it a unique and flavorful option for coffee lovers everywhere.

Why the Difference in Flavor Between Espresso and Regular Coffee

The difference in flavor between espresso and regular coffee is mainly due to the brewing methods used and the beans selected.

Espresso is brewed using an espresso machine, which forces hot water through finely-ground coffee beans using pressure.

This process extracts more oils and flavors from the beans, resulting in a punchier, bolder taste than regular drip-brewed coffee.

Additionally, espresso is usually made with darker roasted beans blended for specific flavor profiles.

On the other hand, regular coffee is typically brewed by pouring hot water over medium or dark-roasted whole-bean or pre-ground coffee.

Brewing Techniques That Affect the Taste of Your Drink

The brewing process is essential in creating the perfect cup of coffee.

Whether you're making espresso or regular coffee, the brewing techniques can significantly impact the flavor and aroma of your drink.

In this section, we'll explore how different brewing methods affect the taste of espresso and regular coffee.

Grind size and consistency

How quickly or slowly water passes through the coffee is determined by the size and consistency of your grounds.

Finely ground coffee beans are required to maintain the pressure for espresso to create a robust, concentrated flavor.

On the other hand, coarser grinds work well with drip coffee makers, providing a softer, more mellow flavor.


The temperature of your water can impact the extraction of flavor compounds from your coffee.

Lower temperatures produce brighter and more acidic notes, while hotter temperatures extract more bitterness from the beans.

Espresso machines typically brew at higher temperatures, while drip coffee makers stay within the 195-205°F range.


Pressure is crucial in espresso brewing, which relies on high pressure to rapidly extract flavors and oils from the coffee.

This results in a full-bodied, creamy, rich drink that differs from drip coffee.


Espresso and drip coffee requires different timing to extract the best flavor from your beans.

Espresso is brewed in seconds for the perfect balance of acidity, sweetness, and bitterness.

Drip coffee is brewed for several minutes, resulting in a lighter-bodied beverage with a smoother taste.

By understanding these brewing techniques, you can adjust them to your taste and create a cup of coffee that perfectly suits your palate.

iced americano

Tips on Making a Delicious Cup of Espresso

Use fresh beans

The quality of the beans used plays a significant role in determining the taste of your espresso.

Always choose fresh beans that have been roasted within the last two weeks.

Fresh beans give a more complex and rich flavor to the espresso.

Grind the beans to the right consistency

The grind size determines the water flow rate through the coffee grounds, which affects the espresso flavor.

Espresso requires a fine grind, which allows for a slower pace of water flow and better extraction of flavors.

Use a high-quality burr grinder to get the perfect consistency.

Use the proper water temperature

Water is critical for making good espresso.

The ideal temperature range for water brewing espresso is between 195°F and 205°F.

The coffee is not scalded at these temperatures, and the flavors are extracted perfectly.

Use the right amount of coffee

Using the right amount of coffee is crucial for the espresso's consistency and flavor.

The standard measure for espresso is about 7 grams of coffee for a single shot or 14 grams for a double shot.

This amount depends heavily on the coffee you're brewing and the desired flavor profile.

Adjust the grind amount of coffee to suit your preference.

Tamp the coffee

Tamping is essential to create the right amount of pressure to force the water through the ground coffee.

Always use a tamper that fits the size of your portafilter basket, and exert even tamping pressure across the grounds.

Watch the extraction time

The extraction time is how long it takes for the hot water to pass through the ground coffee.

A good range to aim for is around 25-30 seconds for a double shot.

Too short an extraction time results in weak espresso, and too long results in over-extracted and bitter espresso.

Clean your machine regularly

Regular espresso machine cleaning is critical to keep it in good working condition.

Cleaning removes any buildup of oils and residues that affect the flavor of the espresso.

With these tips, you can pull a delicious, full-bodied, rich, creamy espresso with a perfect balance of flavors.

Practice makes perfect, and with time, you'll learn to adjust the brewing process to suit your preferences and create the perfect cup of espresso every time.

Other Varieties of Coffee Drinks to Try Out Besides an Espresso Shot

There are many other espresso drinks that you can try out if you're looking to expand your coffee palate beyond a regular espresso shot.

Let's look at some commonly available coffee drinks and see what makes them unique.


A cappuccino is made with equal parts of espresso and steamed frothed milk.

Usually served in a small cup, it has a light, airy texture with a sweeter taste than a regular espresso shot.


A latte is similar to a cappuccino but contains more milk.

It is typically made with one shot of espresso and then filled with steamed milk.

Latte art, or decorative designs made on top of the frothy milk, is a popular trend and adds an aesthetic element to lattes.


A mocha is made with espresso, chocolate syrup or powder, and steamed milk. It has a rich, deep, chocolatey flavor, sometimes topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.


An Americano is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso, creating a more diluted coffee flavor.

It has a bolder taste than regular coffee, served in a larger cup than a traditional espresso shot.

Flat White

A flat white is similar to a latte but contains less milk and more espresso. It has a velvety texture and a bold flavor profile.


A macchiato is made with espresso and a small amount of steamed milk.

Its robust and bold flavor is perfect for those who love a more intense coffee taste.

mocha espresso drink

There are many different coffee drinks for you to explore and taste.

Each one offers a unique combination of flavor profiles and textures. It's up to you to find your favorite.

Remember to experiment with different ratios of espresso to milk and try new toppings and flavors to find your preferred coffee drink.


Ultimately, the answer to whether espresso tastes like coffee is yes.

While there are some subtle differences in flavor and texture between different types of espresso drinks and regular coffee, they all have a similar bold taste from roasted beans.

Whether looking for something rich and intense or light and sweet, espresso offers many options to satisfy your cravings.

With its unique flavor profile, espresso will become your go-to drink for any occasion.


Can You Use Espresso Beans for Drip Coffee?


What is an IMS Espresso Filter Basket?