There is a very common misconception about regular coffee versus espresso. Have you ever gone into a coffee shop on a day that you were feeling particularly worn out or tired, and said to the barista behind the counter Give me the strongest drink youve got! or Give me whatever has the most caffeine! and they offer you their largest size of regular coffee? Many people have done that and then were taken aback by the fact that the strongest drink on the menu was not an espresso drink.
Espresso, by definition, has a more dense consistency and a higher amount of dissolved solids, per relative volume, than regular coffee. Espresso is also normally measured in shots, whereas regular drip coffee is measured in cups. It is not just a concentrated cup of coffee that contains a greater amount of caffeine than a regular cup of drip coffee. Of course, if you drank twelve ounces of espresso shots, it would certainly contain more caffeine than twelve ounces of drip coffee, but often people assume that just because they are drinking espresso, even at one or two shots, that they are consuming a lot more caffeine than if they drank a regular cup of coffee.
So, if you are spending the extra dollars on espresso drinks for the sake of getting more caffeine, then you are wasting your money. Most coffee drinkers have discovered what they like best and pretty much stick with that. Some have chosen espresso, and some drip coffee, and there is an appreciation for and pleasure found in both. One is not better than the other, but each holds their own aura and attraction about them.
If you are into coffee making, then you are going to have to try making espresso drinks sooner or later, especially because espresso drinks are such a fad these days! If you really want to get fancy about it, you can buy an espresso or cappuccino maker which many times do work better when you are working with espresso coffee. Though there are several standard recipes for espresso drinks, such as cappuccino or lattes, you should feel free to experiment. Start with a shot of espresso and work from there, adding such things as milk (hot milk is best), and different types of spices and flavorings. The sky is the limit, and you may just invent a new espresso drink during your coffee making experimentation that your friends will rave about. Espresso can be expensive, however, so try to experiment with different espresso drinks that you will probably be willing to drink, even if you dont think that theyll be a big hit.
Founder of Atitlan Network