Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
is about the coffee preparation method and the resulting beverage. For other uses,
see Espresso (disambiguation).
brewing, with a dark reddish-brown foam, called crema or schiuma.
Caffè espresso, or just espresso is a concentrated coffee beverage
brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee.
Compared to other coffee
brewing methods, espresso often has a thicker consistency, a higher
concentration of dissolved solids, and crema (foam) . As a result of the
pressurized brewing process, all of the flavours and chemicals in a typical cup
of coffee are very concentrated. For this reason, espresso is the base for
other drinks, such as lattes, cappuccino, macchiato, mochas, and americanos.
The first espresso machines
were introduced at the beginning of the 20th Century, with the first patent
being filed by Luigi Bezzera of Milan,
Italy, in 1901.
Up until the mid-1940s, when the piston lever espresso machine was introduced,
it was produced solely with steam pressure.
While espresso has more
caffeine per unit volume than most beverages, compared on the basis of usual serving sizes, a 30 mL (1 US
fluid ounce) shot of espresso has about half the caffeine of a standard 180 mL
(6 US fluid ounces) cup of drip brewed coffee, which varies from 80 to
130 mg, and hence a 60 mL
(2 US fl oz) double shot of espresso has about the same caffeine as a 180
ml (6 US fl oz) cup of drip brewed coffee. In coffee brewing terms,
espresso and brewed coffee should have the same extraction (about 20% of the coffee grounds are
extracted into the coffee liquid), but espresso has a higher brew strength (concentration, in terms of dissolved
coffee solids per unit volume), due to having less water.
manual espresso machine
Espresso is made by forcing
hot water under high pressure through a tightly compacted finely ground coffee.
Generally, one uses an espresso machine to make espresso, although there are
stove top espresso makers and hand operated devices such as the AeroPress. 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
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. Acidity diminishes and a rich
bitter-sweetness emerges. A
darker or lighter roast will translate into a bitter or acid flavor respectively.
Mixtures where there are several roast levels are common.
In Italy, roast
levels can vary quite a bit. In Southern Italy,
a darker roast is often preferred, but the farther north one goes in the
country, the trend moves toward 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, though this is a recent phenomenon.
With the rise of
coffee chains in the 1990s, espresso-based drinks rose in popularity in
the United States, with the city of Seattle viewed as one of the origins
modern interest. In addition to the Italian style of coffee, coffee
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.
The popularity of espresso
developed in various ways; a detailed discussion of the spread of espresso is
given in (Morris 2007), which is a source of various statements below.
In Italy, the rise
of espresso consumption was associated with urbanization, espresso bars
providing a place for socialization. Further, coffee prices were controlled by
local authorities, provided that the coffee was consumed standing up,
encouraging the "stand at a bar" culture.
In the Anglosphere, espresso
became popular particularly in the form of cappuccino, due to the tradition of
drinking coffee with milk and the exotic appeal of the foam; in the United States
this was more often in the form of lattes, particularly with flavored syrups
added. The latte is claimed to have been invented in the 1950s by Italian
American Lino Meiorin of Caffe Mediterraneum in Berkeley,
California, as a long cappuccino, and was then
popularized in Seattle, and then nationally and
internationally by Seattle-based Starbucks in the late 1980s and 1990s.
In the United Kingdom,
espresso grew in popularity among youth in the 1950s, who felt more welcome in
the coffee shops than in public houses (pubs).
espresso consumption grew in popularity due to the ban on serving alcohol after
Espresso was initially
popular particularly within the Italian diaspora, growing in popularity with
tourism to Italy exposing
others to espresso, as developed by Eiscafès established by Italians in Germany.
Initially expatriate Italian
espresso bars were downmarket venues, serving the working class Italian
diaspora – and thus providing appeal to the alternative subculture /
counterculture; this can still be seen in the United
States in Italian American neighborhood such as Boston's North End, New York's
Little Italy, and San Francisco's North Beach.
As specialty coffee developed in the 1980s (following earlier developments in
the 1970s and even 1960s), an indigenous artisanal coffee culture developed,
with espresso instead positioned as an upmarket drink.
Today, coffee culture
commentators distinguish large chain, midmarket coffee as "Second Wave
Coffee", and upmarket, artisanal coffee as Third Wave Coffee.
In Northern Europe
(particularly Scandinavia) and to a greater extent in most of Central
Europe, espresso is associated with European identity, as in New
Europe. By contrast, in Hungary,
espresso is associated with pre-Communist cafe culture.
In the Middle East Espresso
is quite popular and becoming more widely available with the openings of
Western coffee shop chains. However, the most common type of coffee remains
Turkish coffee which is also served short like espresso. Turkish coffee is
almost the same measure of ground coffee as an espresso added to water and
brought to a boil. It is quite common that ground Cardamom is added to the
blend of coffee for added flavor.
Currently in Britain
espresso is uniformly popular across all pre-retirement age groups, but is
unevenly popular across class lines, being primarily associated with educated
Café vs. home
A distinctive feature of
espresso as opposed to other coffee is espresso's association with cafés, due
both to the equipment and skill required, and thus espresso has been primarily
a social experience.
Initially espresso machines
were not available for home use, domestic machines only developing in the
1970s, and remaining expensive, bulky, and requiring skill to operate. In
recent years the development of easy-to-use home espresso makers based on
coffee pods (like the E.S.E standard) has increased the quantity of espresso
consumed at home, though top-quality espresso continues to require expensive
equipment and skill, and remains primarily associated with cafés or the enthusiast
In recent years true
espresso brewing has become possible virtually anywhere with small handheld
and usage of the term
The origin of the term
"espresso" is the subject of considerable debate.[citation
needed] Although some
Anglo-American dictionaries simply refer to "pressed-out", "espresso," much like the
English word "express", conveys the senses of "just for
you" and "quickly," which can be related to the method of
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 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. Italian people commonly refer to it simply as
"caffè" (coffee), espresso being the ordinary coffee to order;
in Spain, while "café expreso" is seeing as the more formal denomination, "café solo"
(alone, without milk) is the usual way to ask for it when at a bar.
In Slovakia and the Czech republic, espresso is
commonly referred to as "presso" and is served with liquid creamer on
the side by default. This is referred to as "presso
with milk" (presso s mliekom (Slovak)).
Modern espresso, using hot
water under pressure, as pioneered by Gaggia in the 1940s, was originally
called "crema caffè", in English "cream coffee", as can be
seen on old Gaggia machines, due to the crema. This term is no longer used, though
"crema caffè" and variants ("caffè crema", "café
crema") find occasional use in branding.
Doppio, Ristretto, and Lungo
The main variables in a shot
of espresso are the size and length. Terminology is standardized, but
precise sizes and proportions vary substantially.
Cafés generally have a
standardized shot (size and length), such as "triple ristretto", only varying the number of shots in
espresso-based drinks such as lattes, but not changing the extraction –
changing between a double and a triple require changing the filter basket size,
while changing between ristretto, normale, and lungo require changing the
grind, and cannot easily be accommodated in a busy café, as fine tweaking of the
grind is a central aspect to consistent quality espresso-making, which is
disrupted by major changes such as ristretto to lungo.
The size can be a single,
double, or triple, which correspond roughly to a 1, 2, and 3 US fluid ounce
(approximately 30, 60 or 90ml) standard ("normale") shot, and use a
proportional amount of ground coffee, roughly 7–8, 14–16, and 21–24 grams;
correspondingly sized filter baskets are used. The Italian term doppio is often used for a double, with solo and triplo being more rarely used for singles and
triples. The single shot is the traditional shot size, being the maximum that
could easily be pulled on a lever machine, while the double is the standard
Single baskets are sharply
tapered or stepped down in diameter to provide comparable depth to the double
baskets and, therefore, comparable resistance to water pressure. Most double
baskets are gently tapered (the "Faema model"), while others, such as
the La Marzocco, have straight sides. Triple baskets are normally straight-sided.
Portafilters will often come
with two spouts, usually closely-spaced, and a double-size basket – each spout
can optionally dispense into a separate cup, yielding two solo-size (but
doppio-brewed) shots, or into a single cup (hence why they are closely spaced).
True solo shots are rare, with a single shot in a café generally being half of
a doppio shot.
In espresso-based drinks,
particularly larger milk-based drinks, a drink with three or four shots of
espresso will be called a "triple" or "quad", respectively,
but this does not mean that the shots themselves are triple or quadruple shots.
Rather, generally double shots will be used, with 1½ shots used in a triple
(split via the two spouts), and 2 shots used in a quad.
The length of the shot can
be ristretto ("restricted"), normale/standard ("normal"),
or lungo ("long"): these correspond to a smaller or larger drink with
the same amount of ground coffee and same level of extraction. Proportions
vary, and the volume (and low density) of crema make volume-based comparisons
difficult (precise measurement uses the mass of the drink), but proportions of
1:1, 1:2, and 1:3–4 are common for ristretto, normale, and lungo, corresponding
to 1, 2, and 3–4 US fl oz (30 ml, 60 ml, 90–120 ml) for a double shot.
"Ristretto" is the most commonly used of these terms, and double or
triple ristrettos are particularly associated with artisanal espresso.
Ristretto, normale, and
lungo are not simply the same shot, stopped at different times – this will
result in an underextracted shot (if run too short a time) or an overextracted
shot (if run too long a time). Rather, the grind is adjusted (finer for
ristretto, coarser for lungo) so that the target volume is achieved by the time
A significantly longer shot,
rare in the Anglosphere, is the caffè crema, which is longer than a lungo,
ranging in size from 4–8 US fl oz (120–240 ml), and brewed in the same way,
with a coarser grind.
Espresso can also be
lengthened by dilution with hot water, as in the Americano or long black.
The method of adding hot
water produces a milder version of original flavor, while passing more water
through the load of ground coffee will add other flavors to the espresso, which
might be unpleasant for some people.
In addition to being served
alone, espresso is frequently blended, notably with milk (either steamed (without
significant foam), wet foamed ("microfoam"), or dry foamed) and with
hot water. Notable milk-based espresso drinks, in order of size, include:
macchiato, cappuccino, flat white, and latte, while espresso and water drinks
especially include the Americano and long black. Others include the red eye and
latte macchiato. The cortado, piccolo, and galão are made primarily with
steamed milk with little or no foam.
In order of size, these may
be organized as follows:
- Traditional Macchiato: 35–40 ml, 1 shot (30 ml) with a
small amount of milk (mostly steamed, with slight foam so there is a
- Modern Macchiato: 60 ml or 120 ml, 1 or 2 shots (30 or
60 ml), with 1:1 milk
- Cortado: 60 ml, 1 shot with 1:1 milk, little foam
- Piccolo: 90 ml, 1 shot (30 ml) with 1:2 milk, little
- Galão: 120 ml, 1 shot with 1:3 milk, little foam
- Flat white: 150 ml, 1 or 2 shots (30 or 60 ml), with
1:4 or 2:3 milk
- Cappuccino: 150–180 ml, 1 or 2 shots (30 or 60 ml),
traditionally with significant dry foam, today often found with wet foam
- Latte: 240–600 ml, 2+ shots (60 ml), with 1:3–1:9 milk
Some common combinations may
be organized graphically as follows:
espresso is on
Methods of preparation
differ between drinks and between baristas. For macchiatos, cappuccino, flat
white, and smaller lattes and Americanos, the espresso is brewed into the cup,
then the milk or water is poured in. For larger drinks, where a tall glass will
not fit under the brew head, the espresso is brewed into a small cup, then
poured into the larger cup; for this purpose a shot glass or specialized
espresso brew pitcher may be used. This "pouring into an existing
glass" is a defining characteristic of the latte macchiato and classic
renditions of the red eye. Alternatively, a glass with existing water may have espresso brewed into it
– to preserve the crema – in the long black. Brewing onto milk is not generally
For a more
comprehensive list, see List of coffee beverages
- 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, but with opposite order.
- Antoccino: (lt. "Priceless") A single shot of espresso
with the same quantity of steamed milk poured above it, served in an
- Black eye: A cup of drip coffee with two shots of espresso in
it. (alternately a red-eye or Canadiano)
- Bicerin (Pms. "Little glass")
Made of layers of espresso, drinking chocolate, and whole milk. Invented
and served in Turin.
- 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.
- Caffè Tobio : Espresso with an equal amount of American
Coffee. Similar to Americano or Long Black
- Carajillo: (Sp. slang for "nothing"): Espresso with a
shot of brandy, breakfast favorite in Spain for construction workers
- 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
- Con hielo (Sp. "with ice"):
Espresso immediately poured over two ice cubes, preferred in Madrid during
- 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 from 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 US 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
- Café au lait (Fr. "coffee with
milk"): In Europe prepared with shots of espresso and steamed milk[citation
needed]. In the United States usually prepared instead with
French press or drip coffee. (Very similar to "latte", see entry
for lattes below)
- 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
- 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 allongé 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
- Cafè Marocchino: Created in Turin, normally served in a small
glass, this is a shot of espresso, a sprinkling of cocoa, frothed whole
milk (about two table spoons to bring to the brim of the glass), then a
further sprinkling of cocoa on top
- Marron:(Brown) Etymology from Venezuela. An espresso with
Milk. Latte. Varying from "Marron Claro" (Light Brown) with more
milk and "Marron Oscuro" (Dark Brown) less milk.
- 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.
- 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").
- Normale: A normal length shot, not ristretto or lungo. Term
primarily used to contrast with "ristretto" and
- 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). Café serré or Café court in French.
- Solo (It. "single") Single
(1 US fluid ounce) shot of espresso.
- Triplo or Triple shot: Triple (3 US
fluid ounces) shot of espresso; "triplo" is rare; "triple
shot" is more common.
- '"Miami Vice'" or '"Cuban
Americano'": The mixture of a Cubano and Americano, Sugar in the
collection container, then mixed with hot water. This is often made as a
- Espresso bar
- Espresso crema effect
- Espresso extraction
- Moka Express
^ How much caffeine is in your daily habit? - MayoClinic.com
^ Davids, Kenneth. Espresso:
ultimate coffee. St. Martin's Press.
^ "Espresso Roast, After-Dinner
Roast, Continental Roast, European Roast".
^ The Book of Coffee, Francesco Illy, Ricardo Illy, 1992
^ "Caffe Mediterraneum – Invention
of the Caffe Latte". http://www.caffemed.com/about_us.
^ E.S.E consortium
^ "espresso". Oxford
English Dictionary. Oxford University press. 1989.
^ Dictionary.com entry of expresso; Merriam Webster
^ Brewing ratios for espresso beverages
^ a b Anatomy of a Triple Ristretto, by
Jeremy Gauger, Gimme Coffee, Mar 17, 2009 – images and explanation
^ From Bean to Brew, National Coffee Board. Accessed January
^ Café au lait, culinary.net
Jonathan (2007), The
Cappuccino Conquests. The Transnational History of Italian Coffee,
- Illy, Francesco; Illy, Ricardo
Book of Coffee. Milano: Abbeville Press.
- Illy, Andrea; Viani, Rinantonio. Espresso:
The Science of Quality. Academic Press.
- Bersten, Ian (1993). Coffee
Floats Tea Sinks: Through History and Technology to a Complete
Understanding. Helian Books.
- Fumagalli, Ambrogio (1995). Coffee
Makers. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0811810828.
- An espresso timeline, with illustrations.
- Adam Dean, The
Founding Fathers of Espresso, www.wholelattelove.com. Mainly an online
summary of Bersten's original research (see above) on the development of
the espresso machine by Luigi Bezzera, Desiderio Pavoni and Giovanni
- Coffee Drinks Illustrated — Side-by-side diagrams of a
few common espresso drinks
- CoffeeGeek - a vast resource for coffee and espresso,
including a large membership of contributors.
- Italian Espresso National Institute
- CoffeeGeek – An Espresso Glossary, Mark Prince, July
- Coffee Taster, the free newsletter of the International
Institute of Coffee Tasters, featuring articles on the quality of
espresso, chemical and sensory analysis, market trends
- Home-Barista.com – Resource for home espresso fanatics