What is Espresso? | All About this Powerful Shot of Coffee

Espresso machines employ nine bars of pressure to force hot water through finely-ground beans, making it a distinct kind of coffee. Espresso shots have a high concentration of soluble oils because of the brewing process' fast extraction of coffee. The oils give the coffee an "expressed" taste and thick texture.

Despite its little size, an espresso packs a powerful punch. But what is the actual definition of espresso? What are the many kinds of espresso beverages and what exactly does the word "espresso" actually mean?

The History Of Espresso 

During the early 1900s, espresso was invented in Italy, where it is still widely consumed and much regarded. If you request a "caffe" in Italy, you'll probably get a shot of espresso. Espresso became popular because it could be made in a fraction of the time of a conventional cup of coffee and was much cheaper. To save time during break periods, workers favored espresso over other beverages.

What Does Espresso Taste Like? 

Espresso coffee tastes strong and bold. Espresso has a higher concentration of coffee taste because of the high coffee-to-water ratio. Aroma, sweetness, roast, acidity, and distinct taste nuances will be highly apparent in espresso. Due to the lack of a paper filter in espresso machines, all of the flavor-rich oils can reach the cup. The oils are thick and roll about the tongue and linger. These elements give espresso a rich body.

Because of its short brewing time, espresso has very little bitterness. Espresso's quick brew period of 30 seconds doesn't allow any time to extract the heavy components into the espresso shot (quite different from the customary four minutes for ordinary brewed coffee). This enhances the taste of espresso.

What Kind of Coffee Works Best for Espresso? 

If you're wondering what kind of coffee to use for espresso, you can use any roast, since espresso is more about how it's made than the coffee itself. But espresso beans or a dark roast work best most of the time.

Espresso can be made using beans that have been roasted to a light or medium level of intensity. The acidity of lesser roasts may be overbearing in espresso, so keep that in mind while making a cup. Light coffee components (including acidic tastes) are initially extracted by the hot water. Because espresso brews so quickly, acidity and sweetness will be prominent characteristics. Espresso made with dark roasts has a complex taste. 

Are There Different Types Of Espresso Shots?

After learning about espresso, what's a double espresso? A double espresso is just two espresso shots combined into one drink. As a result, you make two cups of coffee instead of one. Double espresso isn't the only kind of espresso that can be made though.

One of the most typical ways to drink espresso is as a ristretto. A ristretto is a single shot of espresso that is bolder and more concentrated than a regular espresso.

Have an Americano, which is a shot of espresso combined with hot water, for a less intense experience. If an Americano is still too strong for you, try one of the other coffees that use espresso as their foundation, such as a latte or cappuccino.