4 Fascinating Facts About Espresso Coffee

June 07 2022 – Alex Melen

Espresso is a trendy choice of coffee for coffee aficionados because of its rich aroma, texture, and taste. Its viscosity is thicker than usual, and it is sometimes likened to warm honey. Many other drinks are made from the versatility of espresso, for example, cappuccino, espresso macchiato, caffe latte, Caffe corretto (espresso with alcohol), and more. Although commonly served in a small cup, espresso coffee delivers big flavors. Here are some fascinating facts to help you appreciate your next cup of espresso coffee.

Espresso Means Express

Take it from the country that takes their espresso seriously -Italy. It is such an essential part of their lives that its prices are regulated by the Italian government. Espresso means "Express" in Italian. Everything about it should be fast. It is made to order, it needs to be made fast, and it needs to be drunk quickly. In fact, espresso is ordered and drunk at a bar in Italy. One of the main reasons espresso needs to be drunk quickly is due to the crema.

Crema is an Important Part of Espresso

Crema is that light-colored, creamy emulsion of the coffee's oils, which sits on the top of an espresso. It acts as a lid that keeps all the aroma of the espresso inside. However, this lid dissipates quickly, so espressos have to be drunk quickly to savor the drink's full flavor. Besides keeping the goodness in, crema reflects the expertise of the barista and the overall quality of beans used. Freshly-roasted beans release more carbon dioxide and form microbubbles or foam in the crema during the extraction process. Well-cultivated beans have natural oils, which gives the espresso its unique flavor profile. And through the extraction process, the natural oil gets suspended in the microbubbles. So a good crema is often an indication of a good cup of espresso. Never drink espresso without crema.

Espresso is a Precise Brewing Method

Espresso is commonly misunderstood as a type of bean or roast. However, espresso refers to the way that coffee is being extracted or brewed, much like how coffee can also be extracted by french press, brewing, or filtering. Espresso uses high pressure to force water through coffee grounds to extract coffee. It requires a certain level of precision to make the perfect cup of espresso coffee. Espresso machines use 132 pounds per square inch of pressure to extract coffee, distinguishing it from brewed coffee, which relies solely on gravity. Often, softened water is preferred, and it is heated to an almost boiling temperature. One shot of espresso is about seven grams, and it is made with approximately 50 coffee beans. It should take between 25-30 seconds to prepare.

Don't Add Milk to Espresso

Espresso is best drunk as it is. If you add milk, you're drinking espresso macchiato. Espresso can be enjoyed at any time of the day but if you drink milk-based espresso drinks after breakfast in Italy, be prepared to be frowned upon. Milk-based coffees are commonly consumed in the mornings or at breakfast.