Espresso coffee beans are used to make espresso based coffee beverages. I thought I’d just come out and say the obvious right off the bat. However, you’ll be surprised how many folks don’t know that espresso coffee beans are made for that purpose. So today we’ll look at espresso coffee beans in all their resplendent glory and talk about some of the nuances and uses of these wonderful dark roasted coffee beans. I’ve used them for more than just espresso and I’ve used other dark roasted coffee beans for espresso drinks as well. This is the joy of coffee. You can be creative and expand your palette however you like. So let us enjoy our exploration together of espresso coffee beans.
The basics of espresso coffee beans
So just to get going, let’s talk about the basics of this type of coffee roast. Espresso coffee beans are neither a specific type of coffee bean and nor is it typically and traditionally a type of roast. An espresso roast is not really found in the classic literature. Coffee really only has a handful of different roast levels. Perhaps one day I’ll write in more detail about it. But here they are, from lightest to darkest roast as internationally recognized. City roast, city+ roast, full city, full city+, Vienna (also called Continental) to light French and lastly full French. Full French is just before carbonization starts and if you’re roasting your own green coffee beans then you need to take much care and really have a handle on what you are doing.
So when we talk about espresso coffee beans, we are really talking about coffee beans that have been roasted to Vienna through to full French roast. In Italy, the Northern Italians prefer more of a Vienna roast for their espresso coffee beans and the Southern Italians prefer more of a full French roast for their espresso beverages. I enjoy both depending on the mood I’m in. Though my default or perhaps truly preferred is the Vienna roast for my espresso coffee beans. There is more room for error and the beans are not becoming overwhelmed with the smoky overtones that are often present in the full French roast.
More espresso coffee beans insight
So you’ll often here of espresso beans called Italian coffee beans, although as we just learned, an Italian roast isn’t classically a roast per se, and depending on where in Italy you are, your Italian coffee beans will likely be roasted a little differently. However, for everyday use, Italian coffee beans and espresso coffee beans can be used interchangeably as they really mean dark roasted coffee beans that are used for espresso based beverages like lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos et al. However, as I’ve said before, I used my espresso coffee beans sometimes to make a really delicious, thick and strong cup of coffee. Strong in flavor, because as you know, the darker roast, the less caffeine remains.
Buying wholesale coffee beans is a terrific idea if you want to roast your own. Wholesale green coffee beans are easily half the price of a decent roasted coffee bean and the joy in roasting your own coffee beans is not to be underestimated. I hope one of these days to write an article on how to go about roasting your own organic green coffee beans or fair trade wholesale coffee beans. It’s not terribly hard and with practice one gets better at it too.
The last bit of information that I’d like to share is that really good espresso coffee beans include Robusta coffee beans. Mamma mia! It’s true. A good Robusta coffee bean will give French and Vienna roasted coffee beans a really nice, thick finish with great mouth feel. All the great Italian coffee makers do it, like the Lavazza rossa and cialde Lavazza. So you can enjoy your own coffee pods if you make your own espresso coffee beans and use them as espresso pods. You can do it anyway with already roasted coffee beans too. And don’t forget, espresso coffee beans make the best chocolate covered coffee beans you’re likely to try!