Espresso vs. Drip coffee - Are they the same?

What is Espresso?

When you hear the word espresso, what comes to mind? To many of us, it’s an intense shot of hyper-concentrated coffee that leaves you with a serious energy boost to kick start the day. Though this is true, there are many myths that surround the aromatic espresso.

First and foremost, the term espresso does not refer to the name of the drink but rather the actual method of brewing. This process involves super fine coffee grounds that are brewed using hot water and an immense amount of pressure via a specialty espresso machine.

The end result – if done right – is a well-balanced shot of coffee with a fine, frothy layer of crema on top. The crema plays an important role, indicating the freshness of the beans used and the strength – the darker the crema, the stronger the espresso.

Due to the extremely fine grounds, the flavor you get is also more intense when using the espresso method. But this doesn’t mean that it’s only suitable for hardened palettes and caffeine addicts. A good shot of espresso can be as delightful and more flavourful compared to regular drip coffee, combining sweet aromas, low tones, and a creamy rich body.

Beyond the simple shot of espresso, it is often consumed in the form of lattes, cappuccinos, and americanos, where steamed milk or hot water is added to dilute the intensity.


What is Drip Coffee?

Compared to a shot of espresso, drip coffee has a simpler profile and is well-rounded since it’s not as concentrated. This makes it cleaner and easier to drink. To brew a standard size of drip coffee, it takes about 16g of coffee beans for a standard 8-ounce mug, whereas 16-22g of coffee are used to pull a shot of espresso which is 1 ounce. So, for those who have never tried espresso before, it would be like taking your mug of drip coffee and multiplying that flavor by eight.


Caffeine Content

Though many believe drip coffee has less caffeine, it actually contains more on average compared to espresso. Naturally, it would make sense to assume the caffeine content of espresso is higher – after all, isn’t that the whole point of it? This, however, is a myth. Drip coffee has more caffeine due to the volume of water that goes through the coffee grounds.  The more water that passes through, the more caffeine that enters your cup. With espresso, less water is passing through, delivering a smaller dosage of caffeine to your beverage. It is as simple as that!


Brewing Methods

It doesn’t matter whether it’s drip or espresso, all coffee comes from the Coffea plant. The difference all comes down to the way the coffee is processed and brewed.

Espresso requires a proper espresso machine because of the method of extraction and high pressure that is needed. This makes the brewing process much faster as the water and pressure combine with the grounds for approximately 20-30 seconds to pull a shot

Alternatively, drip coffee can be brewed using a variety of methods, whether it is a French press, standard coffee machine, stovetop, or otherwise. The grounds are also more course, and the brewing process takes longer with more contact needed between the beans and water. This leaves you with a lighter intensity.



Coffee beans cannot be used once harvested. They first must undergo a roasting process in order to be transformed into your favourite cup of joe. The caffeine content is never affected by roasting. As coffee beans are quite dense, a light roast will deliver an acidic taste since the density of the beans is harder to be solved by water. Dark roast, on the other hand, is roasted longer, and the cells of the coffee beans spread, gaining volume and losing density. As a result, it’s easier to extract more flavors from the coffee bean through the process.

A dark roast cup of coffee is known to have more of a roasted/burnt taste due to the lengthy roasting process. The longer duration brings out that full-body flavor while lowering the level of acidity. This is also done to help the beans handle the high pressure during the brewing process. If you are looking for a roast to suit your preferences, a medium roast is your best bet whether you are drinking espresso or regular coffee.


Experience Superior Quality

Whether you’re looking for that perfect shot of espresso or a well-rounded bean for your morning brew, ORO Caffè offers the highest quality Italian beans to give you a unique, decadent, and aromatic experience with every sip. All of our blends undergo a rigorous process to produce a rich, well-balanced cup./p>

We’re dedicated and passionate about coffee, which is why you’ll find everything you need to produce the perfect cup available right in our online store. Choose from our range of capsules, whole beans and espresso, equipment, machines, and much more. Make your morning cup more luxurious than ever with the help of ORO Caffè.