To an outsider, the difference between drip coffee and espresso coffee is dubious, at best. Most people simply accept that grind fineness determines if a coffee is destined for the espresso machine or coffee maker. While the grind is a major contributing factor, it is not the only determining factor.
If you're talking about whole bean, any combination therein can be ground for drip coffee. However, not all coffees are suitable for espresso. Espresso usually requires a blend, consisting of three or more origins, since the hallmark of a good shot is rich crema—which can only be achieved under the right conditions. That's not to say drip coffee doesn't have its distinguishing traits.
Many roasters will designate certain coffees for drip, as opposed to espresso. Without the need to deliver crema, there's a little bit more leeway to play with when creating drip coffee. For instance, you may find a nice bouquet of flavors and aroma in drip coffee that's not otherwise available in espresso. Caffe D'arte Meaning of Life and Gourmet Drip Whole Bean (available in dark roasts and decaf) are prime examples of exclusive drip coffee blends. The roaster has taken into account the slower brewing process and lower temperature used to create drip coffee and altered the composition of the blend to suit.
Drip coffee is also well suited to savoring the specific flavors and aroma of a single origin. A lot of single-origin coffees are meant for your drip coffee maker. In fact, some of our most prestigious single-origin offerings are classified as drip coffee including J Martinez Jamaica Blue Mountain and Antica Tostura Triestina's Organic Arabica Ground.
If you're a flavored coffee fan, drip coffee is the only way to go. Thanks to the gentle brewing process used to create drip coffee, roasters are able to infuse a wide variety of flavors and aroma into the coffee and have them translate in the cup. When well-done, the result is a fine drip coffee with exotic notes. Try Aloha Island Chocolate, Hazelnut Paradise or Vanilla Dream (available in ground and whole bean), if you're tempted by flavored coffees.
Another hallmark of drip coffee is the caffeine content. Although a lot of people assume that espresso contains more caffeine than drip coffee, one of Whole Latte Love's own staff members, Mike, has effectively debunked this myth in his blog. The truth to the matter is, when compared by serving size, drip coffee actually contains more caffeine than espresso. It also has a lighter body, when compared to espresso, which tends to be more viscous by nature. If you're an espresso fan looking for lighter fare, consider taking the plunge with well-known roaster. Lavazza and Illy both offer drip coffee options. If you enjoy their respective espresso blends, give these roasters a shot when you want a cup of Joe.
A well-brewed cup of Joe can be every bit as enticing as a shot of your favorite espresso. We're not talking about the slush served at the local diner or gas station, so put your mind at ease. One of the best ways to sample great drip coffee is through—surprise—a sampler. We currently have many packages available, with premium coffees from Whole Latte Love, Lavazza, J. Martinez, Aloha Island and more. The summer is almost upon us, don’t let it go by without an ice coffee in hand!