As most coffee drinkers know, not all coffee is equal. In fact, serious coffee drinkers take the methods and type of coffee they drink seriously. One of the big debates for coffee drinkers today is the difference and quality of brewed versus espresso coffee. Which is better? To get an idea of why one might be better, you’ll have to know a little more about the history.

History of Brewing Coffee

Until just a few years ago, espresso was considered the best way to drink coffee. When it was introduced to the United States, most people were drinking drip coffee. The new method of preparing coffee changed our industry forever, leading to a huge growth in the espresso market. Undeniably, espresso is certainly better than drip coffee. What makes espresso different from brewed coffee isn’t the type of roast or bean. It’s just the difference in method. An espresso machine grinds the beans incredibly fine and uses hot water at a high pressure to create a small, intense drink.

Espresso also has a layer of foam at the top known as the crema. It’s similar to the foam on beer and can be used to determine the strength of the espresso. In contrast, brewed coffee uses beans that have a medium grind. There is more than one way to brew coffee from immersion to pour-over, but this method uses gravity and the grounds have a longer contact with water even if you use the best reusable coffee brewer filters. Both types contain caffeine although espresso has a higher concentration per ounce.

Taste Differences

One of the primary differences between coffee and espresso is the size and the taste. An espresso is meant to be enjoyed in a small shot and has a rich, intense flavor. It’s often enjoyed after a meal with dessert or in the afternoon as a quick pick-me-up. Brewed coffee has a more mellow flavor. It’s not as intense but can be sipped slowly and enjoyed as a morning beverage primarily.


It’s hard to compare a pour-over glass of coffee to even the best brewed espresso. While both drinks have pros and cons, a well-prepared mug of coffee is something to be enjoyed and savored time and time again. Espresso, while also enjoyable, is saved for special occasions and pairings. Keep in mind that ultimately taste is going to depend on the individual person’s taste preferences. However, in the United States, a well-made cup of coffee is the winner hands down. This classic drink is hard to beat and is one of the most popular beverage choices today.

Brewed vs. espresso coffee: what tastes better
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