ChatGPT and Espresso vs Coffee

I have seen way too many coffee related “articles” recently about the “difference” between Espresso and Coffee. It’s clear that generative AI is behind most of them. So, I asked ChatGPT to tell me about it. When it started to spew the same crap, I corrected it. Here is the result.

New chat

Write a blog post on the difference between espresso and coffee

Coffee is a beloved beverage that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. It comes in various forms, ranging from drip coffee to espresso, and each has its unique taste and brewing method. Two of the most popular forms of coffee are espresso and coffee. Although they share some similarities, there are significant differences between them. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between espresso and coffee.

What is Espresso?

Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee that is brewed using high-pressure extraction. It is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans using an espresso machine. Espresso is typically served in small, shot-sized cups and has a thick, creamy layer of foam on top known as crema. It is a popular choice for those who want a quick, strong caffeine boost or a rich, intense flavor.

What is Coffee?

Coffee, on the other hand, is a brewed beverage made from roasted coffee beans. It is typically brewed using a drip coffee maker or a French press. The brewing process involves steeping ground coffee beans in hot water for a period of time, usually several minutes, to extract the flavor and caffeine. Coffee is typically served in larger cups and can be enjoyed with milk, sugar, or other flavorings.

The Differences Between Espresso and Coffee

Now that we have a basic understanding of what espresso and coffee are, let’s take a look at the key differences between them:

  1. Brewing method: The most significant difference between espresso and coffee is the brewing method. Espresso is brewed using high-pressure extraction, while coffee is brewed using a variety of methods, including drip brewing and French press.
  2. Concentration: Espresso is much more concentrated than coffee, with a much higher caffeine content per ounce. A typical shot of espresso contains around 60-70 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of coffee contains around 95 milligrams of caffeine.
  3. Taste: Espresso has a strong, bold flavor that is often described as bitter or intense, while coffee has a milder flavor profile that can vary depending on the beans and brewing method.
  4. Crema: Espresso has a layer of crema on top, which is a frothy, creamy layer of foam that forms during the brewing process. Coffee does not have crema.
  5. Serving size: Espresso is typically served in small, shot-sized cups, while coffee is served in larger cups.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between espresso and coffee ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a strong, concentrated flavor and a quick caffeine boost, then espresso is the way to go. If you prefer a milder flavor and a larger serving size, then coffee is the better

Espresso IS Coffee. They are not separate things. Espresso is simply a brewing method. So, re-write that post with that information.

You are correct, Espresso is a type of coffee, not a separate beverage. Espresso is made using a specific brewing method that involves high-pressure extraction of finely ground coffee beans, which results in a concentrated shot of coffee. While there are some differences between traditional drip coffee and espresso, they are both derived from the same source – coffee beans.

Despite being a type of coffee, espresso does have some unique characteristics that differentiate it from regular drip coffee. These include:

  1. Brewing method: As mentioned earlier, espresso is made using high-pressure extraction, while drip coffee is typically brewed using a filter or French press.
  2. Concentration: Espresso is a highly concentrated shot of coffee, while drip coffee is usually less concentrated.
  3. Crema: Espresso has a layer of crema on top, which is a frothy, creamy layer of foam that forms during the brewing process. Drip coffee does not have crema.
  4. Serving size: Espresso is typically served in small, shot-sized cups, while drip coffee is usually served in larger cups or mugs.

When it comes down to it, the choice between espresso and drip coffee ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some people enjoy the bold, concentrated flavor of espresso, while others prefer the milder taste of drip coffee. Additionally, some people appreciate the convenience and speed of making a quick shot of espresso.

Bezzera BZ10 – 6 Years Later

After 6 years, I finally had to make a repair to my Bezzera BZ10.  The head gasket needed to be replaced.  The repair was very simple, taking only 15 minutes.  But, I figured this would also be a great time to talk about my experience with the machine after owning it for 6 years.

Home Roasting – Which Roaster Should I Get?

So, you wanna start home roasting.  But, which roaster is the best one to get?  There’s a ton of written material on this subject, so here’s my contribution.

The Short Version

For those of you with short attention spans, get a FreshRoast SR500.  It produces excellent results, allows you to experiment some typical roaster variables (fan and heat) and won’t break the bank.  Why not the SR700?  Well, as much as I have fun with it, the computer control is really not great for a beginner.  A manual roaster will let you actually experience the roast better and you’ll learn more.

The long version

What follows is my opinion after having tried most of these things over the last 5 years.  Most people will recommend starting out with a Westbend Poppery popcorn maker from eBay.  Yes, this will work, and can produce good results.  But, to truly get the most out of it, you will need to modify it.  And, there’s an impressive set of mods you can make if you are so inclined.  But, and the end, you will basically have built an SR500.  But, hey,  if you like building things, and you have the skills, go for it.

You could even start off with a cast iron skillet, or a wok, or even your current toaster oven.  If you have a toaster oven with a convection setting, you can easily roast 1/2lb loads and do a pretty decent job.  But, you will likely outgrow these more primitive tools and methods VERY quickly.  Having a roaster that can still be of service after you upgrade is going to be a nice thing.

What about a Behmor?  The Behmor 1600+ is a great roaster – for the price it really is.  But, there’s significant quirks and short-comings that make it really aggravating for beginners (just Google for Err 7 and read about all the dumped roasts due to this “feature” – it’s an insurance this for the company.)  Also, while it will in fact roast a full pound, I find the sweet spot is 1/2lb, and with the cooling cycle, you can actually roast a full pound in 4 batches in the SR500 in almost the same amount of time.

There are of course other options.  But, for ease of use, ability to actually learn about roast mechanics, and quality of the result, if I had to do it over again, I would start with the FreshRoast SR500.  And, the bonus is that it is such a capable roaster, when/if you upgrade to something larger, you can still use the SR500 as your sample roaster (there are some commercial roasters that actually do this).

Alchemy Lounge – Huntsville, AL

My son spent a week at Space Camp, which left me for a week working remotely in Huntsville, AL. On a recommendation from a coffee group I found Alchemy Lounge. It’s not a place you would find on your own. It’s in a wacky location inside a converted old warehouse type building.

Inside, Alchemy has a cool vibe with a very modern hipster feel. The air conditioning and wifi make for a great remote work location, and the coffee is excellent.

Alchemy is a Counter Culture shop and has all the usual espresso and pour over options you would expect. Espresso is served up from a La Marzocco Linea and Nouva Simonelli Mythos grinders. Pour overs are done with Kalita drippers.

They also have small bites and beer and live music on occasion.

Bird & Branch NYC

Ever since my son was in the cast of Matilda on Broadway, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with coffee in New York.  There’s a bunch of great spots, but there’s also a ton new new places that are trying to capitalize on the coffee bandwagon and have good looking shops but make crap coffee.  My stop on this trip was Bird & Branch.

Flat White @ Bird & Branch

Every time I go back, I make it a point to try the new places and patronize the smaller shops.  Bird & Branch is on 45th near 9th (across the street from Schmackary’s).  The owner is a nice young guy who cares about what he’s doing.  My wife had visited the store 6 months before, and apparently was talking about my home roasting, and the guy recognized my son and asked if I was the home roaster!

They don’t roast their own, rather serve Saint Frank, a San Francisco based roaster.  The Espresso is 3rd wave-ish, but not overly acidic and pairs well with Milk.  They are using a “Slayer Steam” for espresso extraction, and it’s a beautiful machine.  If you’re a pour-over fan, the Guatemala is excellent with hints of milk chocolate.  The shop is small. clean and bright and I will go back.

Starbucks Blonde Espresso?

So, in a very interesting development, Starbucks has introduced what they call Starbucks Blonde Espresso. Which, supposedly is a true “light” roast. Anyone that has ever looked at the Blonde Veranda beans can see that they are clearly what the SCA defines as “medium”.

So, we’ll ignore the light roast comment and move on to something more interesting.

Andrew Linnemann, vice president of Global Coffee for Starbucks, describes the Blonde espresso blend as “bright, with sweet citrus notes and a smooth body.”. This seems to be hinting at what most early reviews are saying, that it is less bitter. An article at Fortune used the term “hard stuff” to refer to the Signature Roast Espresso.

What is ridiculous about this is that Espresso should NEVER be bitter…ever. What Andrew Linnemann called “boldly roasted” in the Fortune article is plain burnt, which is why it’s bitter. Also, Espresso is NOT a roast, it’s a brewing method.

Did Starbucks really just introduce a roast because they realize their signature roast is burnt, nasty and bitter? Is this a marketing move like “New Coke”? Time will tell, but I will still spend my money on the smaller shops that have people behind the counter that can actually tell you what 1st and 2nd crack mean.