1 Naming Variations2 Popularity and Misconceptions3 Brewing process4 Baristas5 Types of Espresso Machines6 See also7 External links
The term espresso is Italian for "pressed-out", referring to the brewing method.
Ordering a coffee in Italy (un caffè), as in much of Europe, means ordering an espresso. A similar alternative, an espresso mixed with hot water, is known as caffè americano
. The phrase "American Coffee" (spoken in English) is widely understood, as is the commonly used term "Long Black." It is rarely ordered by Italians.
Espresso: the formal Italian term. In most countries, 'espresso' is used solely.Ristretto
(shortened): With less water, yielding a stronger taste 10-20 ml.Lungo
(long): More water (about double) is let through the ground coffee, yielding a weaker taste 40 ml.Doppio
(double or doubleshot): Two shots of espresso in one cup.
Expresso: a common French variation which is sometimes colloquially used in English speaking countries.Caffè macchiato
(marked): in traditional usage, a small amount of foam is spooned onto the espresso; at Starbucks and those coffeehouses which follow their lead, the order is reversed for some macchiatos, such as the caramel macchiato, with espresso added to a large volume of foam on top of steamed milk.Espresso con Panna
(with cream): With whipped cream on top.Cappuccino
: traditionally, a drink of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 microfoam
: This term is an abbreviation of Caffè Latte, or Coffee with Milk, an espresso based drink with a volume of steamed milk, from 6-12oz (180-360 ml) total volume, served with either a thin layer of foam or none at all, depending on the shop or customer's preference.Flat White
: A coffee drink very popular in both Australia and New Zealand, made of 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk.Cortado
: espresso "cut" (from the Spanish and Portuguese cortar) with a small amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity.Mocha
: normally, a latte blended with chocolate.
Affogato (drowned): Served over ice cream.
(American): Diluted with hot water, similar to drip-brew coffee.
Long Black: Espresso and hot water in equal parts.
Cafè Tobio: Two shots of espresso with an equal amount of American Coffee.Red Eye
: a cup of American coffee with a shot of espresso in it. Also known as Shot in the Dark, Eye Opener or Depth Charge.Black Eye
: a cup of American coffee with two shots of espresso in it. Also known as Slingblade.
Dead Eye: a cup of American coffee with three shots of espresso in it. Also known as Blue Eye.
Crazy Eye: a cup of American coffee with four shots of espresso in it.
Blind Eye: a cup of American coffee with five or more shots on espresso in it.
Corretto (corrected): Some sort of liquor added.Cubano
(Cuban): Sugar is added to the espresso grounds during brewing for a sweet taste. Sugar can also be whipped into a small amount of espresso after brewing and then mixed with the rest of the shot.
Popularity and Misconceptions
Espresso is the most popular type of coffee in Argentina
and southern Europe
, notably Italy
, and is also popular throughout Europe
, and North America
. In Australia
and New Zealand
espresso accounts for nearly 100% of the commercial cafe, coffeehouse and restaurant coffee business.
The popularity of different levels of roast in espresso vary greatly. Espresso is typically a blend of beans roasted anywhere from very light to very dark with a lot of surface oil evident. In Southern Italy, a darker roast is preferred but in Northern Italy, a more medium roast is the most popular type. Companies such as Starbucks
have popularized darker roasts in North America and around the world, but the current trend in espresso coffee is matching the roast level to the bean type; this means that the most popular roast style is moving away from being associated with roast color, and more associated with what each region and type of bean used produces the best flavor extraction in the cup.
With the rise of coffee chains such as Starbucks
, Seattle's Best Coffee
, and others, espresso-based drinks rose in popularity in non-traditional markets. Hanging out at a coffee bar sipping little cups of espresso (or more often large mugs of flavored latte) became hip and trendy. The influence of Starbucks has caused a wide divergence from the Italian style of coffee, by adding syrups, whipped cream, flavour extracts, soy milk and different spices to their drinks. Long and complicated drink orders became the punchline of many jokes aimed at making fun of how finicky and obsessive coffee drinkers can be.
Home espresso machines have also increased in popularity with the general rise of interest in espresso, and with the Internet and its use as a tool to spread information about this beverage around the world. Today, a wide range of high quality home espresso equipment can be found in specialty kitchen and appliance stores, online vendors, and department stores. The internet has facilitated the spread of information about a wide range of espresso-based drinks and can dispel (or promote) many myths on how to properly brew espresso.
A frequent misconception about espresso is that it is a specific bean or roast level. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso. While some major North American chains push dark roasts as their espresso roasts, some of the winning blends used in the World Barista Championship have been what is classified as a medium or "City" or "Full City" roast, with little or no visible surface oil on the beans.
There is a more specific "espresso grind", which normally means a fine grind, somewhere between drip (a medium grind) and Turkish (a powdery grind).
Colloquially, a professional operator of an espresso machine is called a barista
(Italian for a bartender), and the act of producing a shot of espresso is termed "pulling" a shot. The term "pulling" derives from lever-style espresso machines that required pulling a long handle to produce a shot. To pull a shot of espresso, a metal filter-basket is filled with either 7-10 grams or 12-18 grams of ground coffee for a single shot (30 ml) or double shot (60 ml), respectively. The espresso is then tamped, lightly or heavily (and sometimes not at all) into a densely packed puck of espresso. New baristas are often admonished to tamp with 30 lbf/in² of pressure for the sake of consistency. The portafilter (or group handle) holds the filter-basket and is locked under the grouphead's diffusion block. When the brew process begins, pressurized water at 90±5 °C (200±9 °F) and approximately 900 kPa (130 PSI) is forced into the grouphead and through the ground coffee in the portafilter. Water cooler than the ideal zone causes sourness; hotter than the ideal zone causes bitterness. High-quality espresso machines control the temperature of the brew water within a few degrees of the ideal. (The serving temperature of espresso is significantly lower, typically around 60-70 °C, owing to the small serving size and the cooling effects of the cup and the pouring process.)
This process produces a rich, almost syrupy beverage by extracting and emulsifying the oils in the ground coffee. An ideal shot of espresso should take between 24 and 26 seconds to arrive (optimum at 25 seconds), timed from when the machine's pump is first turned on (unless the machine has a "preinfusion" stage, which may add about 7 seconds to the process). Varying the fineness of the grind, the amount of pressure used to tamp the grinds, or the pump pressure itself can be used to bring the extraction time into this ideal zone. Most prefer to pull espresso shots directly right into a pre-heated demitasse
or shot glass, to maintain the ideal temperature of the espresso and preserve all of its crema.
Freshly brewed espresso must be prepared/mixed into other coffee beverages within 10 seconds, which otherwise would result in a change of the true & ideal taste of the coffee. Temperature and time of consumption are important variables that must be observed to enjoy an ideal espresso; it should be consumed within 2 minutes from when it is served, otherwise the ideal taste would surely and gradually degrade to stale coffee (a process of oxidation). Nevertheless, the cleanliness of the machine internally is directly related to how good the espresso is.
A recent North American brewing trend came with the invention of the bottomless portafilter, that is, a portafilter without the bottom half, exposing the basket and causing the espresso to not contact any additional metal during the extraction process. The bottomless portafilter serves as a tool to analyze evenness of grind distribution and tamping, as more volume of espresso will flow from low-density areas of the coffee puck. Some claim to prefer the taste, citing the portafilter's capacity to preserve crema.
is a term originating in Italy; it literally translates to "bar man" or "bar person". In Italy, it is the person who professionally prepares espresso based drinks, as well as other non-coffee based beverages including those with alcohol, in cafes or "bars".
In North America and other parts of the world, the title Barista has been in long use, especially in Italian-style cafes and coffeehouses, but the use of the term gained mainstream popularly when Starbucks started to call their counter staff by this title, prior to and around the time they began their expansion outside of Seattle. In the late 1990s and beyond, the term barista became synonymous with the person in a cafe who specialized in preparing espresso-based beverages for customers. Along with this came the term "home barista" to distinguish the home espresso enthusiast who took care to practice this craft to level that sometimes matched, and sometimes surpassed the levels exhibited in many cafes.
In Italy and other parts of Europe, the barista is frequently considered a career position, often with skills and training passed down generation to generation. In other parts of the world, the job of the barista has been frequently seen as an employment choice for young people, one to get them started in employment, but frequently, it was not seen as a career choice.
There is a current movement both outside of Europe and even within parts of the continent to build pride and professionalism among baristas, encouraging them to consider their work as a serious craft, worthy of the respect granted to other food preparation artisans. In some ways this trend is meant to follow the traditions in places like Italy, France, and Portugal where the barista is considered a respectable career decision. In other ways, this trend is part of what is seen as the "Third Wave" in coffee, where transparency in information sharing is paramount, and open discussion of ideas, concepts, opinions, and education are shared, even amongst competing businesses in the world of coffee and espresso. (Background: Third Wave Article
) The trend is part of the bigger process in specialty coffee to promote coffee as a culinary drink, not as something "regular" or average.
The barista movement includes the creation of the Barista Guild of America
, and the development of Barista Championships, competitions that build from regional events in a wide variety of countries (including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and many more) and culminate in the annual World Barista Championship