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Espresso Machine Vs Coffee Maker

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Updated December 14, 2021

Coffee lovers have long debated the benefits of an espresso machine vs a coffee maker, with one side preferring the smooth flavor of espresso to the bright brew from a drip coffee maker. You may have the best coffee maker in your kitchen right now since they represent a large portion of the market.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Espresso machines and coffee makers use the same coffee beans, ground to different grind sizes.
  • Drip coffee offers easier brewing than an espresso machine, especially if you don’t have an automatic espresso machine.
  • Espresso coffee drinks express a dark, rich flavor that contrasts with drip coffee’s light, acidic roasts.

However, you could opt to buy a product that allows you to make your favorite espresso drinks at home instead of going to a coffee shop. If you want to explore even more flavors, consider an espresso machine vs a french press.

Difference Between an Espresso Maker and a Coffee Machine

If you and your family are new to the world of coffee aficionados, you may not realize how many differences there truly are between espresso and regular drip coffee. As a result, you probably want to explore and find the best coffee flavors for yourself. For drip coffee makers, the coffee typically features a different flavor depending on the grind size and roast used.

In contrast, espresso machines feature the same coffee grounds but require specific grind sizes, resulting in a different type of flavor extraction and brewing method. To explore other coffee brewing methods, check out our guide comparing a drip vs a siphon coffee maker.

Brewing Process

Espresso machines turn your fine coffee grounds into shots of espresso. To do so, the brewer features water forced through the grounds with a high-pressure water pump with around nine bars of pressure. This method replaces temperature extraction with pressure, ensuring you have your espresso shot in about 30 seconds.

Insider Tip

Use a fine grind for great tasting espresso drinks.

Instead of pressure, filter coffee brewers use a different brewing method to brew your morning cup of coffee. The water in your water reservoir or water tank becomes heated before being poured over your coffee grounds for extraction. The process takes a little longer than espresso, and the machine does all of the work for you over the course of a few minutes.

Grind Size

Specific coffee preparations require coffee beans to be ground to different grind sizes to extract your desired flavor, and espresso and drip coffee are no different. For an espresso machine, you want a fine grind that you compact into a puck during brewing. This ensures that the pressure and short contact with the grounds makes a delicious coffee.

On the other hand, drip coffee makers generally need a medium grind size. These brews may not taste right if you use the wrong grind size, and the flavor may end up being too bitter or too bland. Of course, with a drip machine, you can adjust the grind size slightly to suit your taste.

Flavors

The roast of your coffee beans influences the flavor of your brew significantly, but so does the brewing method. Espresso drinks should be made with a dark roast that generally has a dark, rich flavor that pairs easily with steamed milk from a steam wand for lattes and cappuccinos. Because espressos are made on a shot-by-shot basis, many coffee drinkers consider a two-ounce shot of espresso to be stronger and higher quality than black coffee from a coffee machine.

Coffee machines brew bright and acidic beverages that are generally measured in five-ounce cups. With many of these devices, you can brew several cups at a time. However, if you leave your coffee in a glass carafe on a warming plate for too long, your drink may taste different or burnt after sitting for a bit.

To reduce changes to the taste over time, remove the filter and coffee grounds right away, and pour your coffee into a thermal carafe to keep it warm.

Warning

Don’t leave your brewed coffee on a hot plate for too long, otherwise you risk burning it.

F.A.Q.S

What type of coffee grind is best for brewing on a stovetop coffee maker?

You should use a fine coffee grind for stovetop coffee makers, just as you would for a regular espresso maker.


Can you use regular pre-ground coffee in an espresso machine?

Yes, you can use pre-ground coffee in an espresso machine. However, it won’t taste as fresh as it would if you grind the beans when you make your coffee.


What’s the difference between pour over and drip coffee?

Pour-over coffee allows you to control the strength of your brew because you pour the water on top. Meanwhile, drip coffee is brewed using a machine that heats the water and pours the hot water on top of the grounds.



STAT: Because of its intense flavor, most people take their espresso mixed with water (an Americano), or milk (such as the popular Latte). (source)