Filter Coffee Versus Espresso
What Is Your Preference When It Comes To Fresh Coffee?
When it comes to the world of fresh coffee, two giants stand tall – filter coffee and espresso. Each has its unique characteristics and passionate fan base. Are you someone who enjoys the subtle complexity of a filter batch brew, or do you find yourself drawn to the bold, dark flavours of espresso roasts?
Let's explore the distinct features and benefits for both.
Filter coffee is much like tea - it's brewed by steeping grounds in hot water for a period of time, and using a certain method to filter out those grounds to be left with a delicate but complex coffee drink.
Range Of Brewing Methods
One of the most alluring aspects of filter coffee making are the manual filter methods carried out by baristas in cafes and around the world. Whether it's the swirling of the kettle when brewing a pour over, or the slow drip nature of syphon - watching filter roast coffees being made can be mesmerising.
With each manual brewing method, hot water passes through the coffee grounds and filter paper, slowly extracting flavours and capturing the full range of aromatic compounds. The result is a smooth and nuanced cup of coffee, showcasing the unique tastes of the coffee and origin.
Balanced Flavour Profile
The filter brew method truly delivers a balanced and mellow flavour experience, and is the perfect way to enjoy filter roast single origin coffee beans in particular.
The use of a paper filter plus the extended contact time between the water, heat and freshly ground coffee, allows for a more even extraction, reducing the chances of over-extraction or bitterness. The result is a delicious cup of coffee with subtle hints of acidity and sweetness.
Variety Of Brewing Equipment
Filter coffee can be made using a variety of devices. Whether it be a pour over v60 brewer, or an automatic Moccamaster machine where all you add is freshly ground coffee and water - there's a range of filter brewing equipment that covers any preference, budget or lifestyle.
Investing in a good quality kettle and filter beans, plus having a supply of paper filter stock on hand are all essential to creating a cafe standard filter coffee set up for yourself.
Ideal For Large Servings/Groups
If you enjoy sharing your coffee moments with friends and family, filter coffee is the perfect choice. It allows you to brew larger quantities of coffee with ease, making it an excellent option for gatherings or when you need a generous serving.
However, there are products now on the market that allow you to brew filter roast coffee on the go - the aeropress being a great example of this. The aeropress enables you to brew a filtered coffee drink wherever you may be - all you need to do is pour in hot water from a kettle to wet the grounds, invert, extract and pour into a mug.
Made famous in Italy, this type of coffee is the result of brewing from an espresso machine. It's been the catalyst in sparking cafe-culture in cities all across the world, and has quickly become ingrained into the daily lives of millions.
In comparison to filter coffees, this packs a concentrated punch of flavour in a tiny cup. Unlike a pour over filter coffee that is brewed almost similar to a tea, a coffee machine extracts the coffee at high pressure, and results in a shot that is intense and full-bodied.
The flavours are bold, with a rich crema on top, making it an excellent base for a range of drinks and allowing you to add milk to it to create a smooth, creamy milk-based beverage.
Quick & Efficient
Renowned for its quick preparation time, a shot can be brewed in just seconds, not minutes. You only need to make a few adjustments to the grind of the roasted coffee to keep the water flow rate and pressure in check.
It's become the go-to menu item for a cafe making coffee in high volume and looking to reduce its wait time when serving takeaway coffee.
Perfect For A Range Of Beverage Types
The concentrated nature of the shot makes it an ideal base for a variety of specialty coffee drinks. From lattes and cappuccinos, to Americanos and macchiatos, it serves as the foundation for a myriad of coffee creations that cater to diverse tastes.
Nowadays, you can find even more extravagant drinks, such as tiramisu lattes and dark choc mochas, all using the shot as the base for the drink.
Rich Crema & Mouthfeel
A defining feature of a well-brewed shot is its luscious crema - the creamy, caramel-colored layer that sits atop the shot. The crema not only adds to the visual appeal but also enhances the overall taste and mouthfeel of the coffee.
Ensuring your roasted coffee is the correct grind size will help to produce an impeccable crema every time. Storing your beans in an airtight container and out of direct sunlight will help to retain its freshness for as long as possible.
How Do You Know Which One Is Most Suited To Your Preference?
If you're new to drinking coffee, or you are yet to try these different brew methods for yourself, here are a few helpful tips to point you in the right direction:
If you prefer more subtle flavours, with notes of fruit and spice similar to that of tea, go with filter coffee. If you prefer more intense flavours, with chocolate-y and nutty flavours, espresso coffee will be more approachable.
If you like a rich, creamy coffee, perhaps served with milk - espresso is your best choice. If you like a lighter beverage, a filter coffee beverage is your best bet.
Interestingly, filter coffee extracts more caffeine, so if you're looking to keep your intake in check, opt for a weak espresso-based coffee.
Black Or White Coffee
If you love a milky coffee, whether that be a cappuccino on almond or an oat flat while - espresso coffee is your friend. For those black coffee drinkers amongst us - filter coffee will bring you the most enjoyable coffee drinking experience.
Whether you find yourself drawn to the allure of filter coffee or the charm of an espresso roast, both brewing methods offer distinct and enjoyable coffee experiences.
The choice ultimately boils down to your personal taste preferences, the equipment mix you have and the budget you've set for making your own coffee at home.
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