What Is an Espresso Roast?

Crave the bold, intense flavor of espresso? Look no further than espresso roast coffee beans! Espresso roast coffee is perfect for those seeking an intense, energizing cup of joe. Discover what is an espresso roast and why it has become a staple in cafes worldwide.

What Is an Espresso Roast?

Espresso roast is a term for a dark-roasted coffee bean used to make espresso shots. The roasting process of the beans is longer than the light, medium, or medium-dark roasts. This causes the beans to be darker and has a more intense flavor.

A yellow knitted sack filled with dark roast coffee beans was placed on a wooden surface

This roast level has hints of smokiness and bitterness. It is also used in various espresso-based drinks. Roast espresso makes cappuccinos, macchiatos, lattes, mochas, and more. It can likewise make cold espresso drinks, such as iced lattes and frappuccinos.

How Is This Roast Achieved?

Roasting coffee beans for espresso is different than roasting for other brewing methods. Espresso requires a finer grind and higher pressure. Thus, the beans roast more even and longer to create a more intense, concentrated flavor.

The beans get heated in a roaster to around 400°F. This occurs for anywhere from 10-20 minutes. As the coffee beans heat up, the oils, acids, and moisture start to evaporate.

The sugars and proteins get caramelized as the beans expand and take their light brown color. The flavor of the coffee beans will also deepen and become more complex. The beans are then cooled fast, usually by air or water, to stop the roasting process.

What Are the Benefits of This Coffee Roast Type?

Most coffee lovers enjoy this kind of coffee because it gives them a sense of energy and wakefulness. Other benefits of this roast over other types of coffee roasts include:

Rich and Bold Flavor

The espresso bean roast is darker than other coffee bean varieties. This processing level reflects in their bold flavor. These espresso beans also have notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and even burnt sugar. This makes for a more intense yet still pleasant cup of coffee.

Longer Shelf Life

Roast espresso has a longer shelf life than other roasts. Its roasting process breaks down the sugar molecules in a more effective manner. This makes the beans more shelf-stable.

The oils in the coffee beans also cook off more completely, which helps to extend the shelf life. The result is a coffee that can stay fresh for several months when stored well.

Easier to Prepare

Roast espressos are dark-roasted, so the beans have cooked for longer. The beans’ development is already higher, requiring less heat to extract their flavor.

This also means that they need a simplified brewing process. There is less need for precise measurements and timing. Additionally, this roast’s strong flavor is natural. So the taste is still prominent even with a shorter brewing time.

Roast espresso is an excellent choice for those looking for a quick and easy coffee. It’s perfect for those who want to invest little time or effort.

Lower Acidity

Lengthy high temperatures cause the natural acids in the beans to break down. This results in a much smoother, less acidic flavor than the light and medium roasts. This can be beneficial for sensitive stomachs, as it is much easier to digest.

Improved Caffeine Content

Protracted roasting time and higher temperatures cause the beans to become dense. This results in a higher concentration of caffeine when ground. This can help give you an extra energy boost, making it great for those early mornings.

What Are the Best Coffee Beans for Espresso Roast?

The best coffee beans for this type of roast are dark roast coffee beans with an intense flavor and robust flavor. Look for blends with beans from Central and South America. These include Brazilian and Colombian coffees. African and Indonesian beans are also suitable for this roast.

Arabicas are generally preferred for espresso blends because they have a sweeter flavor. Look for high-quality, even roast beans with a pleasing aroma.

A box of 3 in 1 Arabus espresso beside a cup of coffee placed on a white saucer

Some popular bean choices include:

  • Brazil Santos beans – provide a creamy, sweet flavor with a hint of chocolate
  • Guatemala Antigua beans – have bright, sweet notes with a balance of acidity and body
  • Ethiopia Yirgacheffe beans – known for their unique floral and citrus flavor profile
  • Kenya AA beans – bear a tart and intense flavor
  • Sumatra Mandheling beans – deliver an intense, earthy flavor
  • Colombian Supremo beans – produce a mild, balanced flavor that is perfect for espresso

Related questions

What Happens if the Roast Grind Is Too Fine?

If the espresso grind is too fine, the water will take too long to pass through the coffee. The espresso may taste bitter or burnt. Additionally, the coffee can become too concentrated, resulting in a bitter flavor.

Can I Use Espresso Roast for Regular Coffee?

You can use espresso roast for regular coffee. Yet, it may not be to everyone’s taste. Adjust the amount of roast you use depending on how strong you like your coffee.


Espresso roast coffee is a unique and robust blend of dark-roasted beans. It features an intense flavor and smokiness. It’s also versatile and used in various espresso-based drinks. Benefits include a rich and bold flavor, lower acidity, and higher caffeine content. Popular bean choices include Brazilian Santos and Kenya AA.