Can You Use Coffee Beans For Espresso?

A delightfully rich and intense espresso taste will boost energy when you need it the most. The secret to achieving that well-rounded and full-bodied taste is ensuring you get the proper brew. As an espresso lover, I have often wondered if I Can Use Coffee Beans For Espresso.

In hindsight, that perfect cup of espresso has much to do about getting that ideal brew ratio, with a balance of bitterness, acidity, and sweetness. The good news is that you can prepare an espresso shot using any roast of coffee. Whether medium or dark roast coffee beans, the choice is yours.

All that remains is to get your espresso machine and join me on an adventure as we discover the best coffee beans and brewing process for making that perfect cuppa.

The Best Coffee Beans To Be Used For Espresso

Arguably a good espresso must awaken two of your most important senses, the sense of taste and smell. When selecting the perfect coffee bean, the aroma must be on par; after all, our sense of smell is first aroused.

In the case of an espresso bean, the process that goes into roasting the bean for a more extended period ultimately impacts the final taste and aroma. Hence the bittersweet of the espresso will be determined by the roasting process of the bean.

This will leave you with the choice of roast, light, medium, or dark, and the result depends on your taste and preference; it is essential to note that the coffee bean should not be in very light or dark roast categories. The coffee bean should also be fresh; avoid using a coffee bean stored too long.

If you want a calm flow through your body, opt for a medium to a moderately dark roast coffee bean.

While light coffee beans also tend to give more dimension to the espresso, a dark roast coffee bean is recommended due to its strong flavor.

A dark roast coffee bean is ideal if you want a sweeter espresso. A dark roast coffee bean also becomes oilier than a medium roast. If you are using a grinder, be careful that the oil content from the bean does not clog up the grinder.

Besides, the wrong coffee bean can ruin the entire experience of consuming those espresso shots. The perfect espresso can be sweet, rich, and full of flavor, while the wrong choice of coffee bean could create a bitter and dry espresso.

Before I point out the best coffee bean, I must stress the importance of ensuring that the bean has a rich, full-bodied flavor and aroma, an excellent roast level, and not forgetting brand credibility. If you know your coffee bean’s source, the espresso may be of a better quality.

The below coffee beans have been instrumental in achieving a healthy -rounded, flavorsome, and aroma-filled shot of espresso.

 Arabica Coffee Beans

With Arabica coffee beans, you can be assured of getting a full-flavored, rich-tasting espresso. Arabica is a high-quality coffee bean with a slightly sweet flavor and hints of nuts, caramel, and chocolate.

Arabica coffee beans are ideal for espresso due to the slight acidity and bitterness that distinguishes a cup of coffee from a shot of espresso.

A medium dark blend of Brazilian or African arabica coffee beans with about 15% Robusta coffee beans is a firm favorite with espresso lovers, giving the espresso more crema.

Robusta Coffee Beans

If you are looking for more bitter espresso, Robusta coffee beans will satisfy this craving. Robusta coffee is known to have a more earthy grain peanut taste. It is not recommended for espresso use but as a blend.

Robusta coffee beans have more caffeine and less sugar; once brewed, the aroma of molasses is DE

Illy Whole Bean Coffee

Illy whole bean coffee is perfectly balanced, flavourful, and full-bodied. Great on its own or as a blend.

Differences Between Coffee Beans And Espresso Beans

If you already have a bag of coffee beans in your cupboard, you don’t need to rush out and buy a bag of espresso beans to ensure you enjoy a shot of espresso. However, there are some notable differences.

DescriptionCoffee BeansEspresso Beans
Roast LevelLight to Dark RoastDark Roast
AromaMild aroma with a tinge of grass and earthiness.Somewhat nutty and chocolate aroma with an intense coffee.
TasteLighter taste, highlighting more acidity or floral notes. Coffee beans may be more palatable for a beginner wanting to experience their first taste of an espresso.Richer, slightly less acidic, and bittersweet taste.  
Caffeine Content61mg51mg
Brewing Temperature91-98 °C92-96 °C
Natural Oil ContentLow in natural oil contentHigher content of natural oils, ultimately producing the best crema.
Grind SizeA much coarser grind.A much finer grind.
Roasting ProcessRoasted for more prolonged periods under a lower process.Roasted for shorter periods under high pressure.

Brewing The Best Espresso

Most baristas will agree that a perfect espresso has little to do with the coffee bean used but more about brewing. When brewing, the acidity of the coffee tends to be highlighted. If you opt for a coffee bean with a significant acidity, the result is a less palatable cup of espresso.

A more delightful-tasting espresso is often the result of opting for a medium to heavy-bodied coffee bean with mild acidity.

If you use a lighter roasted coffee bean, the brewing process under extraction can result in a sour-tasting espresso. To alleviate this, you should increase the time when running the shots resulting in a finer grind.

If you are dealing with a flat espresso, then the chances are the coffee beans are stale. During the brewing process, the aroma of your coffee bean will be preserved. Yet that bittersweet taste of espresso is still achievable with the right coffee bean, water temperature, extraction pressure, and time.


A shot of espresso is easily achievable by using coffee beans. The critical difference is that a more flavourful espresso is attained using coffee beans, while a more bitter, richer taste can be enjoyed with the espresso bean. Ultimately you need to ask yourself what sort of flavor profile and aroma you hope to enjoy.


Similar Posts