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Espresso brewing, with a dark reddish-brown foam, called crema or schiuma.
Caffè espresso, espresso, or expresso is a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee.

The first espresso machines were introduced at the beginning of the 20th Century, with the first patent being filed by Luigi Bezzera of Milanmarker, Italymarker, in 1901. Up until the mid-1940s, when the piston lever espresso machine was introduced, it was produced solely with steam pressure.

In contrast to other coffee brewing methods, espresso often has a thicker consistency, a higher concentration of dissolved solids, and crema.

As a result of the pressurized brewing process, all of the flavors and chemicals in a typical cup of coffee are veryconcentrated. For this reason, espresso is the base for other drinks, such as lattes, cappuccino, macchiato and mocha.

While espresso has more caffeine per unit volume of most beverages, compared on the basis of usual serving sizes, a 30 mL (1 fluid ounce) shot of espresso has about half the caffeine of a standard 180 mL (6 fluid ounce) cup of drip brewed coffee, which varies from 80 to 130 mg.

Brewing process

A modern espresso machine.
A manual espresso machine
Preparation of espresso requires an espresso machine. The act of producing a shot of espresso is often termed "pulling" a shot, originating from lever espresso machines which require pulling down a handle attached to a spring-loaded piston, forcing hot water through the coffee at high pressure. Today, however, it is more common for the pressure to be generated by steam or a pump.

This process produces an almost syrupy beverage by extracting and emulsifying the oils in the ground coffee.

Espresso roast

Espresso is not a specific bean or roast level; it is a method of making coffee. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso.

In Italy, the birth country of espresso, roast levels can vary quite a bit. In Southern Italy, a darker roast is often preferred, but the further north one goes in the country, the trend moves towards lighter roasts.


An expert operator of an espresso machine is a barista, the Italian word for a bartender.


Espresso is the main type of coffee in many parts of the world.

With the rise of various coffee chains in the 1990s, espresso-based drinks rose in popularity in the United States, with the city of Seattlemarker viewed as one of the origins of modern interest. In addition to the Italian style of coffee, coffee chains typically offer many variations by adding syrups, whipped cream, flavour extracts, soy milk, and various spices to their drinks.

Espresso has become increasingly popular in recent years, in regions where coffee has traditionally been prepared in other ways.In Northern Europe, specialty coffee chains have emerged, selling various sorts of espresso from street corners and high streets.

Home espresso machines have increased in popularity with the general rise of interest in espresso. Today, a wide range of home espresso equipment can be found in kitchen and appliance stores, online vendors, and department stores.

Etymology and usage of the term

The origin of the term "espresso" is the subject of considerable debate. Although some Anglo-American dictionaries simply refer to "pressed-out", "espresso," much like the English word "express," also conveys the sense of "just for you" and "quickly," both of which can be related to the method of espresso preparation. The words express, expres and espresso each have several meanings in English, French and Italian. The first meaning is to do with the idea of 'expressing' or squeezing the flavour from the coffee using the pressure of the steam. The second meaning is to do with speed, as in a train. Finally there is the notion of doing something 'expressly' for a person... The first Bezzera and Pavoni espresso machines in 1906 took forty-five seconds to make a cup of coffee, one at a time, expressly for you. (Bersten (cited below) p. 99)-

Many latin based countries, such as France, Spain, and Portugal, use the expresso form. In the United States and Canada, both espresso and expresso are used. Italy uses the term espresso, substituting most x letters in latin root words with s; x is not considered part of the standard Italian alphabet.


  • Affogato (It. "drowned"): Espresso served over gelato. Traditionally vanilla is used, but some coffeehouses or customers use any flavor.
  • Americano (It. "American"): Espresso and hot water, classically using equal parts each, with the water added to the espresso. Americano was created by American G.I.s during World War I who added hot water to dilute the strong taste of the traditional espresso. Similar to a long black.
  • Antoccino: (lt. "Priceless") A single shot of espresso with the same quantity of steamed milk poured above it, served in an espresso cup.
  • Black eye: A cup of drip coffee with two shots of espresso in it. (alternately a red-eye or Canadiano)
  • Bombón (Sp. "confection"): Espresso served with condensed milk. Served in South East Asia, Canary Islands, Cook Islands and Mainland Spain.
  • Breve (It. "short"): Espresso with half-and-half.
  • Carajillo: (Sp. slang for "nothing"): Espresso with a shot of brandy, breakfast favorite in Spain for construction workers during winter.
  • Cappuccino: Traditionally, one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third microfoam. Often in the United States, the cappuccino is made as a cafè latte with much more foam, which is less espresso than the traditional definition would require. Sometimes topped (upon request) with a light dusting of cocoa powder.
  • Corretto (It. "corrected"): coffee with a shot of liquor, usually grappa or brandy. "Corretto" is also the common Italian word for "spiked (with liquor)".
  • Con hielo (Sp. "with ice"): Espresso with sugar immediately poured over two ice cubes, preferred in Madrid during Summer.
  • Cortado (Sp./Port. "cut"): Espresso "cut" with a small amount of warm milk.
  • Cubano (Sp. "Cuban"): Sugar is added to the collection container before brewing for a sweet flavor, different than that if the sugar is added after brewing. Sugar can also be whipped into a small amount of espresso after brewing and then mixed with the rest of the shot. Sometimes called "Cafe tinto".
  • Doppio: (It. "Double") Double (2 fluid ounces) shot of espresso.
  • Espresso con Panna (It. "espresso with cream"): Espresso with whipped cream on top.
  • Flat white: a coffee drink made of one-third espresso and two thirds steamed milk with little or no foam. (Very similar to "latte", see entry for lattes below)
  • Guillermo: Originally one or two shots of hot espresso, poured over slices of lime. Can also be served on ice, sometimes with a touch of milk.
  • Iced coffee: Generally refers to coffee brewed beforehand, chilled, and served over ice. In Australia, iced coffee generally refers to espresso chilled over ice and then mixed with milk and ice cream, with some chains using gelato in place of ice cream. In Italy, the iced coffee (caffe freddo) is pre-sweetened and served ice-cold, but never with ice. In the United States, instead, iced coffee is brewed on the spot and poured over ice. In Japan iced coffee is generally served only in summer.
  • Café au lait (French: coffee with milk) In Europe prepared with shots of espresso and steamed milk. In the United States usually prepared instead with French pressed or drip coffee. [7710]
  • Latte (It. "milk"): This term is an abbreviation of "caffellatte" (or "caffè e latte"), coffee and milk. An espresso based drink with a volume of steamed milk, served with either a thin layer of foam or none at all, depending on the shop or customer's preference.
  • Latte macchiato (It. "stained milk"): Essentially an inverted cafè latte, with the espresso poured on top of the milk. The latte macchiato is to be differentiated from the caffè macchiato (described below). In Spain, known as "Manchada" Spanish for stained (milk).
  • Long Black: Similar to an Americano, but with the order reversed - espresso added to hot water.
  • Lungo (It. "long"): More water (about 1.5x volume) is let through the ground coffee, yielding a weaker taste (40 mL). Also known as an in French.
  • Caffè Macchiato (It. "stained"): A small amount of milk or, sometimes, its foam is spooned onto the espresso. In Italy it further differentiates between caffè macchiato caldo (warm) and caffè macchiato freddo (cold), depending on the temperature of the milk being added; the cold version is gaining in popularity as some people are not able to stand the rather hot temperature of caffè macchiato caldo and therefore have to wait one or two minutes before being able to consume this version of the drink. The caffè macchiato is to be differentiated from the latte macchiato (described above). In France, known as a "Noisette".
  • Mocha: Normally, a latte blended with chocolate. This is not to be confused with the region of Yemen or the coffee associated with that region (which is often seen as 1/2 of the blend "mocha java").
  • Marron:(Brown) Etimology from Venezuela. An espresso with Milk. Latte. Varying from "Marron Claro" (Brown lite) with more milk and "Marron Oscuro" (Dark Brown) less milk.
  • Red eye: A cup of drip coffee with one shot of espresso in it.
  • Ristretto (It. "restricted") or Espresso Corto (It. "short"): with less water, yielding a stronger taste (10–20 mL). in French.
  • Solo (It. "single") Single (1 fluid ounce) shot of espresso.
  • Wiener Melange (German: "Viennese blend") coffee with milk and is similar to a Cappuccino but usually made with milder coffee (e.g. mocha), preferably caramelised.

See also


  1. entry of expresso; Merriam Webster
  2. How much caffeine is in your daily habit? -
  3. The Book of Coffee, Francesco Illy, Ricardo Illy, 1992
  4. From Bean to Brew, National Coffee Board. Accessed January 13, 2009.

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