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  1. #1
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    Difference in coffee and espresso beans

    Okay, I know this is a VERY newbie question but, what makes certain beans better for espresso and others for coffee? I know you can technically use any bean for either, but I see things like "more or espresso" and what not.

  2. #2
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    Most of us around here use speciality coffee grade beans. The roast and blend from there make it espresso or coffee. Everyone has a different taste so there is no right or wrong answer.

    To get a better answer the question knowing the difference between how and the chemical reactions of drip, espresso and cold brew effect taste would be a good start for understanding. Then there is the roast that can make the same bean floral, nutty or cinnamon aromas / flavors.

    This is what makes coffee so great.

  3. #3
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    We use beans fairly low in acidity to make our basic espresso blend. Most folks are capable of pulling a decent to great shot with this blend, imo. I like to roast before blending, using beans ranging from medium to dark for this offering. Naturally processed beans (as opposed to washed) tend to produce good crema.

    More exotic offerings can be had, but it takes a master on the grinder and espresso machine to bring out the bestest, sweetest shot in some single origin and more acidic blends.

  4. #4
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    Thank you both for the replys! Both are very helpful!

  5. #5
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    Any coffee can be used for any brew method. As has been mentioned, some work better for espresso, press, etc. In business the most common misconception among customers was that espresso is "supposed" to be dark, oily, bitter, etc. I simply told those not familiar with espresso that it's just an amplified version of whatever coffee is used to create it... nothing more, nothing less.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  6. #6
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    That seems to be enlightening. Thanks for the info shadow 745. I will go ahead and do some more research on the matter.

  7. #7
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    There are certain beans which produce better/more crema. When I learned that I adjusted my blend, because it had been based on Colombian, which produces relatively little, so I swapped that for Brazillian, and I added a small amount of Robusta, which produces particularly good crema.

  8. #8
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    Italian espresso is most often produced with a blend of Arabica and Robusta. As Shadow745 stated, rarely roasted dark and oily. Blends are often kept a secret and a great deal of care is taken to ensure the flavours are maintained. Arabica beans with their individual characteristics are blended to give a distinct flavour mosaic and Robusta is often added to "calm things down" (playing with Arabicas can get a bit a bit "fruity") and restore a more common coffee flavour. Robustas are also a good source of oil and caffeine. I am of course generalising somewhat but this gives a feel for it.
    Many Italian companies will give information about the ratio of Arabica/Robusta but try and get details of the beans involved!
    A problem here in the UK is getting an espresso that is a good base for our large coffee menu, a nice espresso might not make a great Latte... Italians like espresso and the odd cappuccino, for breakfast!
    It's also a trend at the moment for many trendy coffee shops here to promote espresso made with single variety arabicas. Menus adorn the walls with quotes like "dark and full bodied, rich aromas of pecans with an aftertaste of..." I doubt it will catch on in Italy and despite the fact that I like to try something new I struggle with this concept to be honest.
    Espresso machines "express" the flavour and for me an espresso made with a single Arabica seems to express the character a bit too much. I'd rather use drippers or a press for this.
    As Shadow745 also stated, it's very much a personal taste thing. Try some fine arabicas, some robustas too and trust your senses. There's nothing wrong with either or a blend of both, just don't pay too much for Robustas!

  9. #9
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    One more note on Robusta, don't use too much of it in your blend, because it has less of a good flavor. As I learned from Sweet Marias:Screenshot by Lightshot

  10. #10
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    I just want to thank you all for the helping input, Learning something everyday

 

 
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