What in the World is Espresso?

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I know what espresso is!  It’s a special roast of coffee that is brewed in a special machine and comes in a special tiny cup!”

We like your enthusiasm, but you’re not 100% accurate.  It is true though—espresso is brewed in a special machine (aptly named an espresso machine). And yes, espresso does sometimes come in special tiny cup (but keep in mind that espresso can also be used as the base of many delicious coffee beverages).  The trickiest part of espresso, however, isn’t the way it’s prepared or the cup that it comes in.  It’s the roast that it comes from.

To better describe what constitutes an “espresso”, we chatted with one of the Roasterie team members that knows coffee the best—our Q Grader, Paul Massard.

Lucky for us, Paul gave us tons of information about the difference between espresso blends and regular blends.  Check it out:

“The answer is that there is no difference…all of our coffees are roasted to their sweet spot.  The difference is just the way that the coffee is made.  When using an espresso machine, the coffee is put under pressure and extracted very quickly.  This extraction method intensifies the major characteristics of a coffee.  So, a coffee that is bright and citric in nature when brewed regularly will be blindingly bright (almost to the point when it would be considered sour) through an espresso machine.  This is the reason why we create espresso blends.  The goal is to combine different coffees whose end product would be a balanced shot of espresso.  We are beginning to see a trend in the coffee world where single origin espressos are becoming increasingly popular.  This has piqued my interest and I must say that not a day has gone by in the last few months that I don’t try a new single origin coffee as an espresso.  Some have been huge misses, while others give you a unique and balanced shot…and those are: Sulawesi Toraja, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Fair Trade Organic, and Kenya Jambo Estate.

There you have it. In short, any of our amazing coffee blends can become espressos. But because of the brewing method in which espresso is made, some coffees will provide a better, more enjoyable flavor than others. We’re lucky to have a Q Grader of our own to give us this insightful information; it’s much easier than having to read and Google everything!