Espresso Vs. Brew Poll

Author: george Posted: January 4, 2010

“And in this corner, weighing in at 2 ounces…”

I’m curious to see what’s more popular right now, so here’s a hypothetical situation for us all to run with.

If you were told that for the rest of 2010, you had to make a choice between ONE of the following, which would it be?

Only having espresso based drinks for the entire year.
(This embodies anything that can be made from an espresso machine.  Espresso/Macchiato/Capp/Latte/Americano – you name it.)


Only having “drip” coffee the entire year.
(Any brew method except an espresso machine is fair game.  Press/Vac Pot/Pour Over/Clever – whichever.)

To make this fair for those who don’t live in the hippest of cities, we’ll assume that with whichever option you pick, you gain access to any coffees available.  In other words, don’t let your lack of skills or coffee options in your area deter you from making a certain choice.

Before you pick, think about all the coffees and coffee experiences you had in 2009 that are still in your mind, and then decide.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

42 Responses to “Espresso Vs. Brew Poll

  1. Jeremy says:

    I can live without spro, but I can not live without a press.

  2. Matt Reynolds says:

    I have a $3000 espresso set-up (Expobar Brewtus and Mazzer Mini).

    When I’ve got fresh coffee and my set-up dialed in, I can even make americano’s that rival a great press-pot.

    That is my reason for choosing espresso based!

  3. Michael W says:

    I feel like you are asking me if I love my son or daughter more.

    I don’t even have kids.

    I voted Spro, because sometimes I dig mocha’s (so like, every 6 weeks) and milk.

    I don’t enjoy drip coffee with chocolate or milk.

    You can achieve a similar cup with an americano (something tasty and hot that you can sip on for a while)

    I guess this also assumes at home, which would assume I have the capabilities to make good espresso at home. I would be so down with that.

  4. James Hoffmann says:

    Drip all the way. I am a neophile, and espresso based drinks just don’t do variety very well.

  5. george says:

    I voted for drip, by the way.

  6. Anth says:

    drip drip drip.

  7. a.braun says:

    “drip” hands down.

  8. Ryan S says:

    *If* I had unlimited access to fantastic fresh rotating single origin coffees, I would gladly make “drip” coffee daily using the Clever or some other method.

    But if for some reason I was stuck with one coffee or blend for the entire year, espresso would certainly provide more variety and interest.

    Since you placed no restrictions on sourcing coffee, I voted “drip.”

  9. Lincoln says:

    You’re kidding right??

    Spro FTW

  10. May says:

    dripdripdripdrippydripdrippp (well i mean press..) in my opinion, drip has so much more personality and aroma than ‘spro.

  11. Emily Oak says:

    i can’t vote. it won’t let me play.

  12. Collin says:

    Just moved to Chicago this week and have had quite a few amazing drip coffees at intelligentsia today, which slightly swayed my vote as i was remembered how wonderful prepared drip can taste!
    Single Origin Espressos are wonderful and more my palate than Drip, but there’s only so many espressos i can drink in one day, while i can do drip all day!
    cheers, interested to see the results!

  13. Take the poll: Espresso vs. brewed… « daily YHZ espresso says:
  14. Dan Yee says:

    Drip, no brainer. It’s not I don’t like espresso, I just love drip.

  15. James Hoffmann says:

    On a side note, something about the photo of the press pot unsettles me.

  16. Lincoln says:

    Well Yeeza, I must be missing something in the drip.

    Anytime you can point me in the right direction…

  17. Robert Dall says:

    I’d have to say espresso based drinks. Because it runs the gamete from Americanos to Macchiatos to dry capp.

    But damn it won’t let me vote either. . . (I didn’t know we were in Florida)

  18. Jess says:

    I voted espresso. My husband and I roast our own coffee for our shop and we have a commercial espresso machine/grinder set up in our kitchen at home. We recentlystarted cupping some coffees through the espresso machine when we were tweaking our espresso blend…and I don’t know what happened….I sort of fell in love with simple shots. So now, if I drink coffee, it has to be a shot of espresso. I have a hard time even enjoying it with milk because I feel like it’s just masking some of the flavor that I’m trying to experience.

  19. MAS says:

    Espresso hands down.

  20. Stephen Curtis says:

    Giving myself the variable that I will be able to actually drink every cup made – Drip.

    On my current schedule…it’s a tough call.

    I voted for drip.

    I’m with James – odd press action going on.

  21. Tom B says:

    Giving up either would suck. I voted ‘spro strictly based on the SO options available. Allows for some variety and not have to give up that little 2 oz cup of bliss.

  22. Brad D says:

    Drip. As much as I love espresso, I couldn’t give up my press, vacpot or tikrit.

  23. arthur wynne says:

    i like to sit back and drink a nice drip after working with espresso all day

  24. Sebastian Storholm says:

    I’d go for espresso based, if I had to choose, but it would make my life a living hell since you just can’t get drinkable espresso (or good drip for that matter) over a counter in my town, I know 2 places in the country (Finland) that serve good espresso. So I would have to make the coffee myself, but I would still rather have that than not be allowed anything but the mediocre coffee that’s the national standard here.

  25. Julian says:


    Don’t misunderstand me; I love espresso, and I’ll be dying for a shot at year’s end. It’s just that at this stage in my coffee education, I have a slightly better palate for the flavours from coffee prepared in a drip-like fashion. With that reasoning, given that I would have access to all the coffees of the world, I’d find more novelty in every different “drip,” and not so much with ‘spro.

    And for the moment, I prefer “drip” over Americano’s (i.e. prepped by Clover, syphon, etc.). Maybe that’s just ‘cuz I’ve had bad experience with Americano’s before (too bitter, too hot!)

  26. Peter Van de Reep says:

    ‘Drip’ without a question. Espresso is fine, and I do like a daily macchiato, but there’s just so much more finesse to well prepared brewed coffee. An analogy in the wine world is that I quite enjoy sherry or port, but I only have it once in awhile. Table wine I could drink daily.

  27. John Giannakos says:


    It’s simple for me, I have way more memories of fantastic drip coffees than I do espresso drinks.

    And to the guys above, sorry, but Americano is just not going to cut it. Not even close.

  28. Chris Giannakos says:


    Sorry ‘Spro. I love you, but will not die for you.

    I also love the fellowship of the drip, It is share-able, you can enjoy the same coffee experience.

    I have had too many amazing drips to give it up.


  29. David Walsh says:


    For me it’s the better way to present the characteristics of a particular coffee.

  30. Justin says:

    I have to go with espresso. I love the variety you get with drip, and I love that it’s a long drink, and you get to share the experience…but all that is just gravy for me I think. I can go a week or me without drinking drip/press/clover coffee, but I can’t even go a day without and espresso.

    When my home espresso machine was out of commission after we moved out East, I went for almost 8 months without espresso. I had some really amazing coffees during that time, but I crazed espresso. Having gone almost two-thirds of a year without espresso, I know I don’t want to do a whole year without it.

  31. lawrence says:

    Like Justin, I can’t go a day (easily) without espresso (assuming its a good shot). Whereas I used to go to any cafe that was open to get my fix (especially around holidays when cafes tend to close), I have improved my palate and now can only drink espresso from certain places and baristas. I will leave coffee in the cup if it is a bad shot….

    When its a choice between bad espresso vs. drip, that is easy, I would rather stay at home and brew up some S-O coffee on my eva solo, siphon or Abid.

    Perhaps, I don’t know brewed coffee well enough to understand why espresso is lagging behind.

  32. Spencer says:

    Any fool can grind the right dose at the right grind, press after 3-4 minutes, and serve. On the other hand, good espresso is necessarily dependent on the more refined skill of another PERSON. Espresso is therefore necessarily relational. It is also as much a cultural statement as it is a culinary experience.

    I love that some coffee fans out there are so passionate about getting a good cup that they will spend good money on their home espresso-set up. But I think even most of them would agree that it misses out on some fundamental element of the cafe itself. And for those of us who don’t have $4,000 plus home machines, it’s impossible to replicate the quality of drinks available in the public realm. It’s far easier to replicate cafe results at home with a press than with a cappuccino. The best things in life are not easy. They demand work and attention. Thus, I cast my vote for the espresso realm, partly because it is difficult to prepare, partly because it is more cultural than drip (a cappuccino is different than an espresso, is different than a macchiatto, and all must be had “in public”), and partly because it is relational (between barista and drinker).

  33. Karl Purdy says:

    Espresso for a that much needed quicky in back seat…

    But it’s drip baby, drip! For truth, clarity and elegance. Romance in a cup.

  34. Tristan says:

    Espresso without hesitation. There is too much of oneself that goes into every shot: The countless hours of practice, preparation, trials, errors, learning from each and every time the button is pushed or the lever is pulled… I couldn’t give up espresso. There is to much artistry in the tradition and the community.

  35. Ravi says:

    Pour over will probably kick espresso’s butt any day! As an analogy would you want to run a 100m dash vs 26.2 marathon…both are different beasts.

  36. robyn says:

    Drip. For real.

  37. Tyler Brown says:

    Used to be espresso but it seems everywhere baristas are trying to jam as much possible flavor into the smallest possible volume and in doing so sacrifice balance. Maybe my palette is to easily overwhelmed… but I enjoy the flavors and their potency when they compliment each other in a cup, not sensory overload. For these reasons I selected drip – as I am more likely to get an enjoyable culinary experience.

    (With that said…. the experience of a good espresso is divine, so for a year its drip. For a lifetime its espresso)

  38. whippedcrema says:

    Drip, for sure. A good cup of black coffee was my first love and it holds, still. Much as I love the challenge of espresso, its temperamental nature makes me afraid to commit to it.

  39. Jordan says:

    Man, hands down… need espresso. Brewed will do in a pinch, but espresso is by far a superior extraction! I mean, even the pathetic “Americano” is better than a brewed drink, even a french pressed or clover extraction! That’s my opinion. Of course, the espresso must be done right… for an EXCELLENT brewed coffee can meet a crappy espresso. So I am assuming proper espresso extracting as critical to this question…

  40. Bfortch says:

    Drippy (brew) allows for too many great options and too many easy brewing opportunities without having to be tied to a big grinder and machine and someone who knows what they’re doing. I can make it at home, in a field, on a plane, on a train, in a tent, and share it with friends. And the drippy brewers come in so many fun colors now.

    But this is a bit of a silly poll because I will never live in a world where I have to choose one or the other.


  41. Tarry G says:

    No contest for me – Espresso – I need the beautiful texture of a great shot of espresso with a little velvety smooth milk.

    Having said that of the many great coffee experiences in 2009 the two that always come to mind are:
    Espresso – a Gibraltor from Gimme! – Mott Street
    Drip – Verve’s Panama Elida estate pour over via Chris G. at the Canadians

  42. James says:

    Espresso — no question. It tastes better. The silly, hipster-driven siphon coffee redux while fade eventually.

Leave a Reply