Drip coffee makers are a classic home-brewing choice, and Espresso machines are slowly becoming a modern household staple. Unfortunately, both these machines can brew fantastic coffee that is highly concentrated. Today, we’ll discuss about drip coffee maker vs Espresso machine to decide on the most convenient options. So, it will be easier to make your pick.
Drip Coffee Maker Basics
Drip coffee makers are the most common household coffee brewing method, with various methods to pick from. Though the customization and features may vary from device to device, the base design is the same for all.
In the case of a drip coffee maker, all you need to do is set up the coffee ground over the filter, add water in there, and hit the start button. The gravity will do the rest.
The water slowly “drips” through the coffee grounds (hence the name), and the coffee gathers in your coffee pot. Depending on how much you want to brew, it can take around 5-10 minutes.
Espresso Machine Basics
Espresso machines can be of two different types, and the main difference between them comes from the amount of hands-on approach you can take with any of them.
But still, both machines require proper maintenance for prolonged use and consistent cups of coffee.
Automatic Espresso Machine
Automatic Espresso makers are relatively easier of the two types. First, you need to measure the coffee grounds you want to brew, put them in the right chambers, and press the button.
Everything else is handled by the machine, from mixing to brewing and stopping at the right time. So you’ll have a cup of Espresso ready in your hands 30 seconds after pressing the button.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
If you’re looking to get more involved with your morning Espresso brewing, then the semi-automatic devices are for you. Of course, you’ll have to take care of many things, like grinding the beans and adding in the correct coffee-to-water ratio.
You need to go through almost the same steps as the automatic machines, but in this case, you can control the length of the shot.
Difference Between Drip Coffee Maker And Espresso Machine
Now we know how all the devices work, let’s go through the differences between a drip coffee maker and an Espresso machine.
Difference #1: Brewing Time
Espresso machines have a lower brewing time because of the fine grinds. On the contrary, drip machines use coarser grounds that require extra time to ensure that flavor from all the grounds has been extracted successfully. As a result, brewing with a drip coffee maker can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the ground type and the brew.
Difference #2: Bitterness
The core taste for both coffees is “bitterness,” but there’s a difference between the level of bitterness of the two.
In the case of drip coffee, the water slowly passes through the coffee grounds and ends up in the coffee pot. The resulting coffee can be bitter, but it’s still not as bitter as a cup of Espresso.
In the case of Espresso, the hot water gets shot through the coffee grounds at very high pressure (9-12 bars). Since Espresso makers use fine grounds, the water has a more open surface area to extract flavors, and the final cup has more bitter compounds.
Due to the high bitterness, it’s tougher to balance a cup of Espresso with different additives compared to drip coffee. Drip coffee is less bitter and less concentrated, so it’s easier to balance out for making a delicious drink.
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Difference #3: Caffeine Content
Espresso machines win in terms of caffeine count since they produce caffeine-rich, highly concentrated coffee.
Drip coffee makers can also produce highly caffeinated coffee, but you need to increase brew time and choose a darker roast.
When a 225ml cup is considered, a drip coffee maker produces 95-165 mg of caffeine. In terms of Espresso coffee makers, you can get 375-520 mg of caffeine per 225 ml.
Difference #4: Grinding
Drip coffee machines require a coarser, thicker grind. Espresso coffee makers require a finer ground, which looks like powder.
Difference #5: Pressure
Comparing the pressure levels of both the coffee makers make it a one-sided battle since the drip coffee maker has zero pressure.
Drip coffee maker relies on the power of gravity, and so you have to wait for the coffee to slowly gather into the coffee pot. There’s no way to apply external force or pressure to make it go faster, and even if you do, you may break the coffee maker.
In the case of Espresso coffee makers, the main moving force behind the brewing method is pressure. The water placed inside the brewer gets heated up and is shot through the machine’s coffee grounds at high pressure.
Difference #6: Pricing
Drip coffee makers win here. Though a fancy drip coffee maker can cost you a pretty penny, it’s still cheaper than an Espresso maker, considering the basic build and lesser accessories.
If you’re planning for more convenience or trying to get into barista-style brewing, Espresso makers are the right choice for you, but the cost goes up quickly.
In terms of a fully automatic espresso machine, it can cost you around $700. Even if you’re going the manual route of semi-automatic machines, it can set you back at least $200.
Difference #7: Roasting
The type of roast depends on the brewing method you are about to apply.
For drip coffee brewing, the beans are lightly roasted. A light roast keeps hold of the sweeter flavor notes of the bean while preserving the acidity that is already present in the bean.
A cup of drip-machine coffee will be highly acidic but with a bittersweet flavor profile, even without additives like sugar, coffee creamer, or steamed milk.
In the case of Espresso, the best roast is the dark roast, which compliments the high-pressure brewing method to give the coffee a richer flavor and intense strength, and creates a base drink for other exquisite, more flavorful coffee drinks.
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In the battle of drip coffee maker vs espresso machine, when you compare these two coffee makers that can brew highly concentrated coffee, the real subtle difference lies in their brewing process and the final product they produce.
Do you already own one of these two methods? If you do, you can rest assured that you’re getting a fine cup of coffee, and all you can do is kick back and enjoy.
Espresso machines are automated devices designed to brew a perfect cup of Espresso, and these machines brew only.
Drip coffee makers rely on the power of gravity for water to pour through the coffee grounds and coffee filter in the coffee pot to offer you a cup of coffee. Drip coffee makers are more traditional in style.
Espresso makers work best with fine ground coffee.
Drip coffee makers can offer a better coffee of these two since the method is more tried and tested, and you have control over a few elements of the brewed coffee.
When a batch of ground coffee beans is roasted exclusively for brewing Espresso, it is called an Espresso roast, and the beans are called Espresso beans.