A common question we get is: What is espresso? Is it a process? Is it a type of bean? How do you get an espresso?
The short answer is espresso is a strong, often thick coffee beverage with a layer of dense foam called crema made from water and coffee grounds. The grounds have been stressed at a high pressure with hot water through a basket of tightly packed, finely ground coffee for a limited amount of time. There is A LOT of confusion on what qualifies as “espresso.” Here are a few things it’s not:
Espresso is not: a type of bean. You can make espresso with any type of bean. A dark roast is often associated with espresso because when it first started gaining traction in the States, came from southern Italy, where they prefer a very dark roast. Ever since then marketers label “espresso beans” from specific dark roasts. So espresso can and is made with any level of roast and any kind of bean, but the traditional dark roast is not widely appreciated by American baristas or coffee drinkers alike. That’s why our Forte Espresso blend is a lovely medium-bodied blend made up of our sweeter coffees combined with some more full bodied ones to result in an espresso that sweet, caramel notes with a hint of brightness.
Espresso is also not the same as strong coffee. Strong coffee can be made from coffee devices like the Aeropress, which makes much stronger coffee than more popular devices in the U.S. like drip, pour over, or French press. Those do have some element of pressure involved but won’t give you an espresso experience like the Aeropress or an espresso machine.