Filter Coffee vs. Espresso

Are filter coffee and espresso really from two separate planets? Of course not, but the realization that both come from the same coffee bean may come as a surprise to some.  Neither one is “better” than the other; both, when prepared properly, have nuances that make them enjoyable in different ways.  You may have a preference for one over the other, but you should take the time to learn what makes them unique and which is more your type

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The most obvious differences between filter coffee and espresso are in the fineness of their grinds and in their brewing times.  Filter coffee has a coarser ground and is brewed for a longer time at a lower temperature.  Espresso has a very fine ground and is exposed to hotter water for a much shorter period of time. Additionally, espresso coffees are usually roasted much darker than filter coffees. This isn’t always the case, but it’s pretty common.  

Taste the Difference

How do these differences affect the way your filter coffees and espressos taste? Filter coffees tend to produce a clean, sweet, and delicate brew that bring out the coffee’s complexities.  They usually have a softer acidity. In contrast, espressos tend to have an exaggerated acidity. Subtleties of body, sweetness, and finish are brought out.  To better portray the differences, some go as far as to compare filter coffee to wine and espresso to hard liquor; both are easily enjoyed, but in quite different ways!

It’s Methodical

When comparing filter and espresso, it’s also important to take a look at the equipment being used to brew your cup of coffee.  Each type of coffee can be brewed automatically or manually.  When brewing filter, we prefer manual. It allows you to control the brewing process and get the most of your beans. Automatic will still give you great filter coffee, but with less control over the flavors and aromas of your brew. In the case of espresso, we prefer manual brew; when done correctly, the results can be fantastic. Manual espresso requires a lot of knowledge and skill.  Automatic espresso becomes tricky and requires a lot of trial and error with finding the right settings, which is not ideal.

A Rebirth of Filter Coffee?

After being cast aside for being too boring or just not good (think: stale American diner coffee), filter coffee is back on the rise!  Part of this is because more people are realizing that filter gives you greater precision in the brewing process. It’s a craft, and it’s giving stylish espresso a run for its money.  We love the delicate and temperamental qualities of filter coffee and are excited to see it appear more and more in coffee bars everywhere.

Whether you prefer filter coffees or espressos, you can find something you enjoy in our webshop!

For the espresso-lovers, we can suggest:

For the admirers of filter coffee, we recommend:

In any case, we hope you stumble upon a coffee that interests you as you browse through our webshop! If you’re lacking the proper supplies and equipment, that’s not a problem either.

We hope you enjoy your coffee!


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