One of the most prevalent misconceptions that arises in our conversations with both wholesale coffee partners and home brewers is the belief that there is a distinction between a bean used for brewing an espresso shot and one used for drip coffee. There is, in fact, absolutely no difference between the beans themselves, and you can employ a bean typically used for espresso to brew drip coffee and vice versa.
The disparity lies in how you tailor the blend to optimize it for the specific brewing method at hand. When we crafted our best-selling Espresso Fino blend, we didn't start entirely from scratch. In 2015, when we launched Per’La, we commenced with one espresso blend, now known as Espresso Vivo. Over the next year or two, we engaged in ongoing discussions with the hotels, restaurants, and coffee partners we served, consistently receiving feedback. While customers enjoyed our espresso, they believed we could refine the blend further to achieve the perfect espresso. We concurred.
A few months later, our Espresso Fino blend emerged. Though it retained the same Brazil, Guatemala, and Sumatra origins, we adjusted the roast levels on the beans and tweaked the ratios between the three origins. The result was a blend not only yielding a deliciously rich espresso shot with a robust crema but also one that harmonizes perfectly with milk. Despite the considerable attention espresso shots receive in the coffee world, the majority of drinks are milk-based, such as lattes, cappuccinos, or cortados.
How did we enhance the blend even further? We omitted Robusta beans, a low-cost, low-quality option some roasters use to lower their blend prices or to "cheat" and achieve a crema only possible with freshly roasted coffees.
Our Espresso Fino blend also excels as a drip coffee!
It's generally advisable that almost all coffees, both single origin and blends, work well as drip coffee. However, if you're starting your home-brewing journey, I recommend beginning with blends specifically designed for espresso. Lighter coffees, heavy on fruit notes and acidity, may not always be the best choice, but this depends on the coffee drinker's preferences.
Consider espresso as one of the many methods to brew a delightful cup of coffee. In my opinion, it is the method that demands the most skill and precision. If you're new to coffee, I still recommend methods like a French press, drip brewer, or manual pour-over.
As always, feel free to reach out if you have any specific brewing questions or need additional guidance.