Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

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Searching for some answers to the question – is Espresso stronger than Coffee? Well, I’ll try to answer that in detail, and add some more to it. Mornings, especially when you feel particularly low, may call for a shot or two of espresso rather than your regular go-to cup of coffee. This super-rich ultra-concentrated brew is known by coffee enthusiasts and non-coffee enthusiasts alike as a literal eye-opener.

That alone might tell you espresso holds “waking” power far stronger than that of a regular brew. Today, we’ll look at the source of espresso’s strength and other things that set it apart from your ordinary cup of joe. You can also check out Freshpresso for related information on our favorite morning drink.

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee – From a “Caffeine” Perspective

It turns out many coffee lovers consider espresso over their regular cup of coffee. That said, you take in almost five times the amount of caffeine when you take a shot of espresso vs. when you drink an ounce of ordinarily brewed Caffè Americano.

With regular coffee sitting at 12 to 15 mg of caffeine per ounce, that would put espresso at around 60 mg of caffeine per shot. Now, that’s quite a difference.

Hence, espresso clearly beats coffee in terms of caffeine. But then does anyone ever drink just an ounce of coffee? A realistic amount would be eight ounces, which translates to anywhere between 90 and 130 mg of caffeine.

Another factor to consider where caffeine is concerned is the brand. Caffeine amounts usually differ, depending on the brand of coffee or espresso in question. That’s because caffeine is also influenced by the roast, the type of beans used, and the method of preparation, most of which are unique to a brand.

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee
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The Biggest Differences Between Espresso and Coffee

Your reasons for preferring one drink over the other could rest on the following factors:

Brewing Method

Many prefer espresso over regular coffee because of its brewing method. Every minute counts in the morning, and the few that stand between you and a fresh cup of coffee might be an inconvenience in some scenarios. This could lead to either you being late or foregoing your cup of brew altogether.

On the other hand, espresso machines take 30 seconds to whip up your usual morning perk-me-up. With this method, you get a sophisticated, complex, and caffeine-loaded shot that infuses you with the energy to take on the day.

That said, you don’t always need a machine to brew delicious espresso. If you’re not pressed for time, you can easily research some of the cool ways to make espresso manually.


How do they differ in terms of taste? While they don’t taste too different, the taste difference is easy to pick up on, especially if you drink one of them regularly. Espresso tends to be stronger and richer than regular coffee because of the lack of filter in its preparation method, which preserves all those flavor-rich oils. On the other hand, the preparation for drip coffee doesn’t really allow those oils to seep in, resulting in a less intense brew.


Pressure is really what allows a shot of espresso to “hit the spot.” The lever of an espresso machine is responsible for delivering the immense pressure that results in a 30-second brewing process and its rich and creamy outcome.

Pressure-wise, you don’t really get anything substantial with filtered-coffee processes. High-end espresso machines can deliver more than a hundred pounds per square inch of pressure, which is equivalent to the pressure of diving more than 200 feet in the ocean. This ultra-high pressure is the reason espressos brew so strong in such a short time.


Ground size can impact your coffee just as much as the other factors. So, what’s the difference between ground espresso and ground coffee?

Fresh, medium-sized ground beans are usually used for filtered coffee, while smaller grinds are brewed for espresso. That has to do with the latter’s extraction process being dependent on the coffee bean’s properties. Basically, the smaller the grind size, the more bean surface area is exposed to water, resulting in a shorter and more efficient infusion process.

Serving Size

In an average cup of joe, you get a serving size of about eight ounces. Conversely, a shot of espresso is only about one ounce. That’s because espresso is denser than ordinarily brewed coffee, and it’s bolder taste calls for less volume.

Should You Drink Espresso?

We know it’s okay to drink espresso; many of us even love it. But is it actually good for you? The answer is: yes, it is. Like black coffee, espresso’s pros clearly outweigh its cons. It’s a low-calorie drink that contains a good amount of antioxidants, which present some very evident advantages.

There’s a Lot To Love About Espresso

I hope this post answered your question of ‘is Espresso stronger than Coffee’. Espresso has been around for a century, so, as a coffee lover, you were always going to want to know more about it eventually. And now that you have, you can freely explore all the wonderful benefits of this specialty brew. Not only are there tons of espresso offerings, but there are also many opportunities to experiment with your brew of choice.


Want to read more of our latest posts? Check out our list of the 24 best coffee shops in Manhattan.