8 facts you didn’t know about Italian espresso



If you are reading this, you are an Italian espresso lover. Either to help you relax, enjoy a nice chat with friends or keep you awake at work, you can’t live without it - but let's get down to business. Are you only a lover or an expert? We bet you did not know some of these:

Espresso originally means fast and on time, and not pressurized

Contrary to popular belief, the name "espresso" wasn’t chosen because of the pressure the coffee has to be subject to. Instead, it means the coffee is taken right at the time the customer asks for it, taking only a few seconds.

The perfect espresso consists of three main parts: the heart, the body and the crema

Sounds poetic, right? But the truth is, this really makes a difference when it comes to tasting. Experts say the perfect espresso must have a dense crema (foam with a creamy consistency) of a dark-caramel color.

Espresso is not only in Italy

Portugal, Spain, Greece are some of the other countries that also cultivate the habit of taking espressos instead of regular coffee. One of the reasons behind this is the weather: the Mediterranean climate invites more to a cold swim in the ocean than a big cup of American coffee next to the fireplace.

Espresso means coffee in such countries

If you go to countries with the espresso culture, and ask for a coffee (un caffè in italian), they immediately understand you want an espresso. Moreover, you can ask for an even shorter coffee (about half of a normal espresso) that they call ristretto or espresso corto.

An espresso DOES NOT have more caffeine than a normal, let’s say, “American”, coffee

Even though espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than the typical American coffee (due to the fact that American coffee is diluted in a much bigger amount of water), the serving size of the former is much smaller. In fact, the typical amount of espresso (1.5 fluid ounces) contains between 75 and 110 mg of caffeine, while a mug (8 fluid ounces) of standard brewed coffee contains 115-180 mg.

In countries with the espresso culture, it is barely impossible find a home without an espresso machine

Besides taking the usual morning coffee in cafes, people from these countries usually have espresso machines at home – using capsules or whole beans, machines are used right after breakfast or any other meal.

One cup of espresso has ... 1 calorie!

If you were looking for an excuse to drink that extra cup, here’s the perfect one: 60 ml of the drink contain just 1 calorie.

There are over 100 combinations of drinks you can make with espresso

Taking a solo espresso every day of your life might become a little dull. That’s why Italians and other nations have come up with awesome combinations we can try! According with the Italian terminology, some of them include mixing it with liqueur (corretto), with sugar during the extraction (Cuban espresso), and the classic ones: ristretto, lungo (with a larger amount of water), doppio (double, with two shots of espresso instead of one) and our very favorites, macchiato, latte and cappuccino.


Have you tried them all? What’s your favorite way of drinking an espresso? Let us know in the comments!


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