Espresso is a delicious, savvy beverage that not only tastes great, but is also fun to make at home!
In case you’re newer to the world of brewing coffee at home or haven’t tried making espresso at home, there are so many different ways to do it.
From inexpensive to very expensive, super quick to not so quick, big and fancy to small and portable… there are so many options!
In this article about the best espresso machines I go over the best choices for making espresso at home, and you can take a look at that if you need recommendations.
But here’s a good question that many people ask… do you need to use espresso roast to make espresso?
The answer to that question can go different ways, and in this article I’m going to try to answer it as best as I can, in as many ways as I can!
Let me start by giving you the straightforward answer to this question now, if that’s what you came here for…
No, you don’t need to use espresso roast for making espresso.
But here’s the other part of the answer to that question…
It’s always best to use espresso roast for making espresso.
There are definitely reasons why it’s called “espresso roast” and why they made it for brewing espresso.
In this article I’m going to talk about espresso, what espresso roast is, why it’s best to use it for brewing espresso, if you can use espresso roast to make regular coffee, my own taste test, and more!
Also, at the end of this article I’m also going to give you a link to easily view or purchase my favorite espresso roast on Amazon.
It’s inexpensive and delicious… the perfect combination!
You’ll definitely want to check it out if you’re brewing espresso.
So let’s start by looking at what espresso roast is exactly, and why it’s goo to use it.
What Exactly Is Espresso Roast?
First off, espresso is a type of coffee that’s about 6 – 10 times more concentrated than normal brewed coffee.
It’s measured in “shots” instead of cups.
And where coffee usually takes a few minutes to brew, espresso takes 20 to 40 seconds to brew, at least for the extraction.
Because of these things, and other factors, it’s good to have a roast with lower acidity for brewing espresso.
And because of that, much of the time an espresso roast will be a dark roast. But there are many medium roasts and some light roasts as well that are used for espresso.
So an espresso roast isn’t necessarily stronger or a special type of coffee bean, it’s just roasted differently for the purpose of making espresso.
Since espresso should have a lower acidity, the flavor profile is often similar to that of dark roast coffee.
Things like nutty, smoky, robust, earthy, etc, are flavors that usually come out very well in espresso. At least in my experience that’s usually the case.
On the other hand, I’ve certainly had espressos that contain flavor notes that are sweet, berry, fruity, citrusy, or other things like that which are more characteristic of light roasts.
And they have been good!
But these have been from high profile coffee shops and they have perfected the art and science of working with different roasts for espresso.
Also of note is that ones which have these flavor profiles expire quicker. Espresso goes flat and sour after a rather short time, and this is what we call “expiring”.
So to sum all this up, espresso roast is a type of roast that usually has a low acidity and is made for brewing espresso. It usually has characteristics of dark roast coffee but it doesn’t need to.
My Findings About It
I’ve actually done plenty of taste tests to see if it really makes that much of a difference whether or not you actually use espresso roast to make espresso.
But basically, some coffees taste great if you make espresso with them… and some of them don’t!
And it can be hard to tell which ones will be good as espresso and which ones won’t. It’s basically trial and error.
So while you can feel totally free to experiment with it, I’d suggest you just stick with espresso roast.
What I’ve found personally, especially with home brewing, is that it just tastes a lot better.
I got a very popular espresso roast for a Christmas present. It’s actually one of the most popular coffee companies and especially for espresso.
It’s actually the recommendation that I’m going to give you at the bottom of this article!
But anyway, prior to getting that, I had tried using many different regular coffees to make espresso with.
And like I mentioned, it was always hit or miss. Some were pretty nice as espresso, and some were not good at all!
But when I got this particular one for Christmas, and I started using it with my Minipresso (which I absolutely love by the way), it was heavenly!
*I receive commissions from purchases made through product links in this post. I sincerely appreciate if you use my links if you decide to buy something and help me in this way! And if not, no problem. To learn more click here. Coffee cheers!*
I was like ahhhh yes this is why we use espresso roast for espresso!
If I can put it bluntly, it pretty much makes all the difference.
So after trying many different roasts and coffees to make espresso, I can say from experience that it’s just way better to go with espresso roast when you make espresso at home.
That’s why they call it espresso roast, after all!
But… how about vise versa!?
So Can You Use Espresso Roast To Make Regular Coffee?
Again, the answer is yes you can!
But, unlike the other way around, it’s definitely more “safe” to use espresso roast to make coffee.
What I mean by that is it’ll probably taste at least ok if you do that.
But, it will probably be a pretty robust coffee! That’s just the nature of espresso roast.
Again, for me personally, I don’t remember too many times where I made regular coffee using espresso roast and thinking, “This is bad.”
Usually I’m thinking something like, “This is a nice strong coffee!”
I find that if you use espresso roast to make regular coffee, the flavor profile can feel kind of narrow…
It will usually taste robust, smoky, nutty, strong, dark.
But if you know you like it, then you can’t go wrong with it. In fact, I know that many people like to use espresso roast when brewing regular coffee.
If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you give it a try! You may really like it.
Especially if it’s a good espresso roast like the one I’m about to recommend!
Now with everything that I’ve said so far, here are the three main points you can take away from what I’ve said…
- You can certainly use any coffee to make espresso
- You can also use espresso roast to make regular coffee
- But there are reasons they make espresso roast for espresso, and it’s best to use espresso roast for making espresso and regular coffee for making regular coffee!
My Espresso Roast Recommendation
I was very impressed by the espresso that I had gotten for Christmas that I mentioned above.
But it wasn’t too surprising that it was so good, considering that it’s from one of the most popular coffee companies in the world!
This particular espresso roast is also very, very popular I found out.
Another great thing about is that… it’s super inexpensive!
Cue the Hallelujah Chorus… An espresso roast that is downright delicious and really inexpensive! That’s like, any coffee or espresso lover’s dream.
So this particular one has definitely become my go-to when it comes to making espresso. They seriously did espresso roast just right.
It just so happens that this one is a medium roast.
As a little side note, it’s funny because when I was working as a barista for a few years, I never really educated myself enough to know that espresso roasts can be dark, medium or light roasts. I thought they always had to be dark roasts!
This young grasshopper had a lot to learn.
Anyway, enough talking, here’s my recommendation for your home espresso brewing. We have…
(These links will take you to the Amazon product page)
As I mentioned before, Lavazza is know all over the world for good coffee.
It’s carried and sold in coffee shops and grocery stores alike.
They’re an Italian company that’s been around since 1895, they know what they’re doing, and they’re particularly known for their awesome espresso.
The Espresso Italiano is a %100 Arabica blend from South and Central America and it has highly aromatic notes, amazing flavor and a rich body. The beans are long-roasted which gives it an authentic, distinct Italian espresso taste.
One thing I really like about it is that while it has a nice robust, strong flavor that’s characteristic for espresso, it’s nicely balanced with some fruit flavor notes as well.
This is a roast that practically any espresso lover should enjoy!
And if you’ve never tried a Lavazza coffee, this is definitely a great place to start!
This is a 2.2 pound bag of espresso for about $15. That’s an amazing deal!!
I’ve bought 12 ounce bags of regular coffee for more than that. Some of them weren’t even as good as the Lavazza espresso.
One cool thing about this roast, and Lavazza does this for all their roasts, is tell you on the bag what kind of brewing methods you can use for it!
That’s nice and convenient!
This Espresso Italiano just so happens to be one of those roasts that can be great for any brewing method, yes as regular coffee also! You can use it for pour over, automatic drip machine, French press, espresso maker, pretty much anything!