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Espresso Roast vs Filter Roast? The Differences (With Pictures)

espresso beans

As a coffee drinker, you’ve probably heard people in coffee shops asking about their espresso roast more than once. Also, as a coffee drinker, you might know what that means, and then again, you might not. The thing is, there doesn’t seem to be a general consensus on what exactly an espresso roast is.

That’s why in this article, we’ll delve deeper into what an espresso roast is and a little bit about what you need to know about it as well.

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What Is Espresso Roast?

In all the roasts, beans, and flavors of coffee out there, there is nowhere that features an espresso roast, so what exactly is it? Believe it or not, espresso roast is a different thing from the espresso we all know and love. Espresso roast is a name for the darkly roasted coffee beans typically used to prepare shots of espresso.

In fact, an espresso roast is a kind of roasted coffee used to prepare our espressos. In a nutshell, espresso roasts are more roasted than normal coffee beans to reduce the acid in the beans and increase the body of the coffee. This type of roasting is most suitable for espressos and espresso-based drinks.

Coffee beans during the roasting process
Image Credit: SerhiyHorobets, Shutterstock

Understanding Other Coffee Roasts

Of course, you already know there are different coffee roasts out there to choose from, and most coffee drinkers have their favorite. However, do you know much about the different coffee roasts? We’ll go into a little about each of them below.

Medium Roasts

Medium roast coffee beans

A medium roast has a more robust flavor and color than lighter roasts do. The beans won’t be oily, and the flavor of the roast won’t be as acidic. A medium roast has less caffeine, and the taste is more balanced as well.

If you’re just starting to experiment with espresso, then this is the best choice, to begin with.

Medium-Dark Roasts

Medium-dark roast coffee beans

This is the roast that most baristas would recommend if you want to make the perfect espresso. It has a fuller body and is round, dense, and richer than light or medium roasts. You can expect the flavors to be from bittersweet to spicy with a hint of caramel and chocolate added in, depending on the age and origin of the bean used.

Dark Roasts

Dark roast coffee beans

A dark roast should be dark in color and have an oily sheen because these beans are heated at the highest range. As a result, your flavor will be smoky, almost burnt tasting, but still delicious to many people who love a strong espresso.

It’s better to use this dark roast in a French press, as using it in any other machine could end with a bitter and sad experience with your espresso.

The bottom line is that espresso roast doesn’t clearly have a definition, but the type you use will have a crucial effect on the cup of espresso you’re going to enjoy when it’s done. So, you have to make the decision of which roast is the best for you, then go from there on your espresso-making endeavors as well.

Featured Image Credit: ryabovalexandryu, Pixabay


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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