As a coffee enthusiast, nothing beats the aroma of freshly made espresso in the morning. Yet with so many options available, picking the ideal coffee bean for your espresso machine can be challenging.
So, what coffee to use for the espresso machine? Use finely ground, dark-roasted beans to create the ideal espresso. For instance, Colombian, Robusta, and Arabica. They are roasted for a long time and are less acidic, making them perfect for making espresso shots.
This article will help you know the different types of coffee beans that are excellent for brewing espresso.
Different Types of Coffee Beans for the Best Espresso Shot
The type of coffee you use while making espresso is crucial to getting a flavorful and enjoyable shot. Espresso is a more sophisticated form of coffee. To produce espresso with the ideal color, flavor, and aroma, precise bean types, roast levels, and grind sizes are needed.
To find out what coffee to use for an espresso machine, check out the table below:
|Type of coffee bean||Features||Flavor profile|
|Arabica||Mild, less-acidic||Sweet, and fruity flavor|
|Robusta||High caffeine content, bitter||Woody, and nutty flavor|
|Colombian||Moderate, sweet||Nutty, and caramel flavor|
|Ethiopian||Mild, Fruity, floral||Citrusy and wine-like flavor|
|Brazilian||Smooth, nutty||Chocolate flavor|
|Costa Rican||Sweet, acidic||Fruity, and citrus flavor|
|Jamaican Blue Mountain||Mild, silky||Chocolate, and nutty flavor|
Arabica Coffee Beans
Arabica coffee beans are a great option for specialty coffee drinks like espresso because of their mild flavor and low acidity. Arabica espressos have higher levels of desirable compounds like sugars and lipids that contribute to flavor and aroma.
Arabica beans also have low caffeine levels, which allows you to enjoy a delicious cup of espresso without being concerned about drinking too much caffeine.
Robusta Coffee Beans
If you prefer an espresso with a thicker crema, a stronger and more bitter flavor, and more caffeine, consider using Robusta coffee beans. Crema is the layer of foam that sits on top of an espresso shot and is highly valued by espresso lovers for its creamy texture.
However, a study revealed that Robusta espressos contained higher quantities of 16-O-methyl cafestol. Excessive consumption of this compound can lead to increased cholesterol levels, so it’s best to avoid consuming too much Robusta espresso.
Colombian Coffee Beans
Colombian coffee beans are well-known for their silky, rich flavor and are widely used in espresso drinks. Colombian coffee has a rich flavor because it is grown under excellent conditions, including high altitudes, lots of rain, and fertile volcanic soil.
Colombian coffee beans also offer the benefit of consistent quality and boost your energy level. For this reason, they are an excellent and dependable choice for making espresso drinks.
Ethiopian Coffee Beans
Coffee was first produced in Ethiopia, which also has a long history of sustainable coffee production. You can use Ethiopian coffee beans to brew espressos because of their diverse taste, floral and fruity undertones, and bright acidity.
Brazilian Coffee Beans
Brazil is the world’s greatest producer of coffee, and Brazilian coffee is grown in many different areas with various climatic and soil characteristics.
The mellow, nutty flavor and low acidity of Brazilian coffee beans make it one of the most popular coffee kinds in the world. Brazilian coffee is a viable option for coffee fans because it is frequently cheaper than other varieties of coffee.
So if you’re looking for coffee to use in your automatic espresso machine, consider trying Brazilian coffee beans.
Costa Rican Coffee Beans
Costa Rica is known for its high-quality Arabica coffee beans. Costa Rican coffee beans are a good option if you enjoy an espresso that is flavorful and well-balanced with hints of citrus and chocolate.
A study found that Costa Rican coffee has a high percentage of caffeine and chlorogenic acids, which add flavor and have potential health benefits.
Jamaican Blue Mountain
Jamaican Blue Mountain should be your first pick if you’re looking for a premium and high-quality coffee for your espresso machine.
The distinctive flavor profile of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is well-known and features a mild, smooth taste with hints of chocolate and nuts.
This coffee is only grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. This area is famous for its cool climate and fertile soil, which are ideal for growing coffee plants.
Factors To Consider When Selecting What Coffee To Use For Espresso Machine
When selecting what coffee to use for your espresso machine, there are several factors you should keep in mind. These factors include-
The roast level of the coffee beans
The flavor profile of your espresso will depend on how darkly roasted the coffee beans are. Lighter roasts often have a more subtle, delicate flavor character, whereas darker roasts typically have a bolder, more intense flavor profile.
The type of bean used
Different types of coffee beans, such as Arabica or Robusta, have different flavor profiles and levels of acidity. While choosing the type of bean for your espresso, keep in mind both your own preferences and how you plan to use it.
The freshness of the beans
Samo Smrke, a scientific associate, believes that freshly roasted coffee is the most delicious. Therefore, it is essential to consider the freshness of the beans when selecting coffee for your espresso machine. Try to find beans that have been roasted within the last two weeks.
Size of the grind
The size of the coffee grounds will impact the flavor and extraction of your espresso. Choose beans that can be processed finely enough for your espresso machine because espresso requires a fine grind.
Price of coffee beans
Coffee beans can range in price, and more expensive beans are not always of superior quality. While choosing beans for your espresso machine, be mindful of your budget.
Selecting a mix or a single origin of coffee beans
A single-origin bean or a mix of coffee beans can be used to make espresso. Single-origin beans have a more distinctive flavor than blends, which often have a more complicated flavor profile. Hence, bear this in mind while choosing the coffee to use in your espresso machine.
Coffee beans’ country of origin
Coffee beans from various regions have varying flavors and qualities. For instance, beans from South America typically have a nutty, chocolatey flavor, while beans from Africa typically have a sweet, floral flavor.
Which Roast Level Is Best Suited For Espresso?
One important element that might impact the flavor profile of the final espresso is the roast level of the coffee beans.
There are three basic roast levels for coffee- light, medium, and dark- each with a unique flavor profile. The roast level of coffee can significantly affect the type of coffee used in an espresso machine.
The table includes information about the coffee beans’ color, flavor, and roast level:
|Level of Roast||Color||Flavour||Explanation|
|Light||Pale brown||Greater acidity, a fruity or floral flavor, and a lighter body.||For those who want a mild sweetness and a lighter texture.|
|Medium||Medium brown||Medium body, balanced acidity, and a blend of sweetness, acidity, and bitterness.||For those seeking a balanced flavor profile with a stronger body than light roasts.|
|Dark||Dark brown color with a slick look||Reduced acidity, a strong taste, and a blend of bitter, sweet, and smoky flavors.||For people who enjoy a robust, rich espresso with a powerful flavor profile.|
Recommended Coffee Brands For Espresso Machines: Top Picks!
A wonderful and fulfilling cup of espresso can only be made by using the proper coffee beans. The following list includes some of the top coffee selections for espresso machines:
- Blue Bottle Coffee Bella Donovan: This espresso mix has a silky, smooth texture and a flavor that is strongly chocolaty. The beans used to make it come from Brazil, Guatemala, and Ethiopia.
- Lavazza Super Crema Espresso: Arabica and Robusta beans are used to make this coffee blend. It has smooth and creamy with flavors of honey and almonds.
- Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso: With berry and dark chocolate undertones, this espresso mix has a strong, refined flavor. A mixture of beans from Africa and Latin America is used to make it.
Here are some FAQs about what coffee to use in an espresso machine for your use:
Q1: How should I store my coffee beans?
Coffee beans should be kept in a cool, dark spot in an airtight container. This keeps their flavor and freshness intact.
Q2: What size grind should I use for my espresso machine?
Espresso machines work best with a fine, powdery grind. This aids in producing a rich, creamy shot of espresso by drawing out the flavors and smells from the coffee beans.
Q3: Is it necessary to use freshly roasted coffee beans?
Yes. Use beans that have been roasted within the last two weeks, as stale or old beans might impact the flavor and aroma of your espresso. You can also consider roasting your own beans at home with the best espresso machine to ensure maximum freshness.
To summarize, picking the right coffee is essential for getting the best espresso shot from your espresso machine. Knowing what coffee to use for the espresso machine can make a significant difference in the taste and quality of your espresso shot.
You can start producing great espresso shots at home like a pro by fully understanding the characteristics of various coffee beans. Additionally, it is crucial to recognize the importance of the grind size and freshness of your coffee beans in achieving a perfect shot of espresso.
Next time you’re shopping, consider the kind of coffee and roast level that would be most suitable for your espresso machine. By doing so, you can begin to savor the exquisite flavor of freshly brewed espresso.