Coffee questions you are afraid to ask!


With the rise of Artisan and Speciality coffee shops, the quest for “a regular coffee” can seem like a minefield whilst gazing at the chalkboard menus of some of the coffee shops on our high streets.

We want great tasting coffee to your tastes and standards to be accessible and easy to understand, so we decided to address some of the main questions we get asked on a day to day basis!

What is the difference between a light and dark roast?

Simply, a dark roast has been roasted for longer.

Coffee is differentiated by many factors and not just how “strong” it is. Much like tasting wine, coffee goes through a process called Cupping which gives us more information around the complexity, taste notes and richness. This is affected by roast and a dark roast will often have a more bittersweet flavour whereas a light roast may have a more sweet, floral flavour.

What is the difference between Espresso or Filter/Drip coffee?

Espresso is made by forcing hot water at high pressure through finely ground coffee. This process produces a higher concentration of caffeine and a “crema” which is the creamy, golden layer that sits on top of the coffee often giving nutty notes to the espresso.

Filter or drip coffee is made by pouring hot water through medium/coarsely ground beans. This will pass through a form of filter and in to a form of container such as a Chemex or coffee pot. Although this produces lower concentrations of caffeine then Espresso, generally you drink a larger cup so caffeine hit is all dependant on intake!

What is the difference between a Latte and a Flat White?

Both drinks start with Espresso as the base and what differentiates them is how much espresso, serving size and the form of milk that is added.

Whilst a purist may say that a Flat White should be with a double shot, generally, the rule of thumb is that both drinks are prepared with a single shot, it is the milk that makes the difference.

A Latte is generally served in a larger cup and consists of a large amount of steamed milk with a thin foam layer on top. You may see some baristas holding back foam as they pour with a spatula and then adding last minute to make the layer of foam.

A Flat White is served smaller (often in an 8oz glass or similar) and consists of a velvety frothed milk incorporating all bubbles to make a microfoam, glossy texture which is then poured straight on top of the espresso.

And finally, Espresso or Expresso…

Expresso is a term we hear a lot. It doesn’t exist!! The English language has seen the adaptation of the Italian word Espresso, meaning to “press out”, but it is not the correct term. As quick as an Espresso may be, it is never an Expresso!!


Coffee questions you are afraid to ask!