Filter coffee is coffee that is made by brewing coffee grinds through a filter, usually paper, in a coffee maker.
Espresso coffee is coffee that is made by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. The coffee is then ready to be consumed.
The roast of filter coffee is very light whereas the roast of espresso coffee is dark - almost black or very dark brown.
Filter coffee is roasted for longer than espresso coffee in order to develop the coffee's unique flavor, its body and sweetness.
Obviously both types of coffee are very popular, and many people consume both.
In this post we'll explain some of the differences between roasting coffee for each type of brewing.
Espresso coffee is roasted for a shorter period of time than coffee for filter coffee.
Roasting coffee for espresso coffee is done at a higher temperature, and coffee beans are often only roasted to the level of second crack.
This means that coffee beans generally reach their full roast density in just six or seven minutes whereas coffee beans typically spend nine minutes fully roasting for filter coffee.
Filter coffee is generally roasted 15-20% longer than coffee for espresso coffee.
Roasting espresso coffee will result in a more intense flavor because it has been roasted at a higher temperature.
The higher the coffee is roasted on the coffee roasting curve, the more intense its flavor will be (because of less moisture) and also because it will be less acidic.
In fact, moisture is a coffee's bane because it can cause coffee's flavor to become stale and acidic.
Methods of coffee production that involve drying the coffee beans after roasting have been developed in order to counter or inhibit this toughness, mainly because it simplifies storage as well as serving coffee fresh.
Espresso roasting will result in less moisture and acidity thus produce a coffee that tastes more flavorfull.
The darker the roast, the stronger the taste of espresso coffee.
During coffee roasting, carbon dioxide gas is produced that forces itself out of coffee beans. A dark roast means there has been no loss in flavor due to allowing these gases to escape, whereas coffee that has only been roasted lightly will be found lacking in coffee flavor.
The roast of coffee for espresso coffee is often lighter than coffee for filter coffee because the coffee beans are roasted at a higher temperature which develops its unique flavor, body and sweetness.
Coffee beans are typically ground into smaller pieces before being brewed to make espresso coffee.
This is because coffee beans are porous and the smaller coffee grinds will better absorb water. The coffee becomes infused with more flavor, producing a coffee that tastes more intense.
Adding coffee to boiling water for filter coffee means it's introduced into hot water that has been without contact with air or gas.
Introducing coffee into boiling water is known as coffee "blooming" and it generally helps coffee grounds to aerate. The coffee blooming stage of coffee preparation allows the coffee beans to expand up to three times their original size.
This not only adds more flavor but also better extracts the flavors from coffee beans so they become fully infused in coffee.
Filter coffee is usually made from larger chunks of coffee beans that have been roasted longer and less intensely.
This coffee is known as a coffee blend and the coffee beans have been roasted in such a way that it produces coffee with mild flavors that works well with milk.
In fact, coffee for filter coffee has been roasted to produce less acidity so adding milk doesn't result in "off" flavors.
Coffee for filter coffee is also more suited to making coffee in large batches rather than coffee for espresso coffee because it's roasted longer and contains less moisture.
These coffee beans are often ground into larger chunks, or "pulses" so they can be measured out more easily.
In contrast, espresso coffee is made from coffee beans that are ground to a finer coffee grind coffee in order for it to better extract flavors in water when infused in coffee.
A lighter roast may be preferred when making filter coffee so as not to overpower other flavors in the cup with bitterness or too much acidity.
Roasting coffee beans lighter will prevent coffee beans from overpowering the coffee flavors in coffee served.
However, coffee beans roasted lighter are more vulnerable to flavor profiling.
It requires careful attention when roasting coffee so as not to roast coffee past the coffee bean's best flavor profile.
However, coffee beans roasted darker will offer a much stronger flavor.
This may over power coffee flavors when coffee is served with other coffee shop drinks or coffee shop food items such as pastries or desserts that are sweet in nature.
Espresso roasts also require careful attention when roasting coffee so as not to roast coffee past the coffee bean's best flavor profile.
The main difference between roasting for espresso vs roasting for filtered brewing is that espresso coffee beans are roasted shorter and more intensely than filtered coffee beans.
This difference exists because of the impact on flavor, where espresso is more full and intense but filtered coffee needs to have a softer and more balanced flavor profile.