What is the difference between espresso and black coffee?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the query: “What is the difference between espresso and black coffee?”. In addition, we will discuss the characteristics of espresso and black coffee and how each is prepared. Let’s show which of the two is healthier and which contains more caffeine.

Is there any difference between espresso and black coffee?

The differences between espresso and black coffee is the way of preparation, temperature, caffeine content, density, creaminess, flavor and aroma. 

The easiest difference to notice is the way of preparation. The black coffee is brewed in a paper or cloth filter. The preparation method is, without a doubt, the most traditional among all coffees, not only in Tupiniquim lands, but also in Scandinavian nations and Japan.

Espresso coffee is produced in a special machine and the amount of powder per volume of water is considerably higher. It is worth mentioning that the preparation is practical and fast. The origin of this coffee is Italian, and in Europe this is the most popular type of drink.

The temperature of the two coffees also differs a little bit. While black coffee is made with water heated between 90 and 95 ºC, the espresso coffee preparation process only takes place at 90 ºC, associated with high pressure (9 bar).

Black coffee has a higher concentration of caffeine and this is because in this type of preparation the coffee stays in contact with water longer, which means that a greater amount of caffeine is extracted from the powder.

To give you an idea, a cup of espresso coffee contains 90 to 200 mg of caffeine, while a cup of black coffee contains between 150 and 300 mg of the substance. 

Even in the face of these data, the caffeine content does not only depend on the type of coffee. In fact, external factors such as the amount of water used, the time the water has been in contact with the coffee and the type of powder also influence this aspect.

Black coffee is less dense than espresso coffee, precisely because it stays in contact with water for a longer time. On the other hand, espresso coffee is usually stronger, more consistent and concentrated. This is because the volume of powder is proportionally greater, while the contact with water is less, compared to black coffee.

Espresso coffee is even creamier, sometimes showing foam due to high pressure.

For the same reasons mentioned above, the aroma and flavor of espresso coffee are more characteristic and striking. The acidity is also more pronounced. Black coffee has a pleasant smell and a delicious taste, but much smoother.

Does espresso taste better than black coffee?

Espresso coffee does not taste better than black coffee. But espresso coffee has a stronger flavor than brewed coffee due to the way a drink is made: the powder is pressed into the filter. 

On the other hand, the flavor of the black coffee is accentuated for a longer time than the espresso, which is recommended to ingest right after preparation.

Is espresso healthier than black coffee?

The black coffee is healthier than espresso, as it has a greater capacity to retain cafestol, kahweol, and fatty substances present in the bean. Coffee is very good for preventing diseases like type 2 diabetes, liver disease, and has antioxidants that prevent premature aging. The healthiest way to consume it is pure, without sugar and milk.

Does espresso contain more caffeine than black coffee?

Espresso coffee has a higher concentration of caffeine per milliliter than black coffee, but doses are generally much smaller. Contrary to popular belief, despite the aroma being stronger and more concentrated, espresso coffee is not the one that contains the most caffeine.

Brewed coffee has more caffeine because to extract the caffeine the coffee grounds must be in contact with water at a high temperature for a longer time. 

And the greater the contact with water, the greater the amount of caffeine is extracted because caffeine is a substance that dissolves in water. Most of the caffeine is extracted from the coffee within the first minute of extraction, however, the espresso method takes an average of 20-30 seconds.

Therefore, brewed coffee has more caffeine for two reasons – first because the dose is much larger, it is usually consumed in a 260 ml cup, while espresso usually comes in doses of approximately 30 – 60 ml. 

And second, the preparation of the filtrate also favors greater extraction of caffeine. In the filtrate, we have an average of 150 – 200 mg, in the espresso, the caffeine content varies from 80 – 150 mg.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the query: “What is the difference between espresso and black coffee?”. In addition, we discussed the characteristics of espresso and black coffee and how each is prepared. We showed which of the two is healthier and which contains more caffeine.

Citations

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.