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    Reading time: 4 Min

    What is espresso and how do you drink it?

    Although an espresso may appear small on the outside, there’s nothing small about its intense flavour and aroma. But exactly what is espresso? What types of espresso drinks are there, and what does espresso mean in the first place? We’ll provide answers to all your questions about this powerful little caffeine kick. Once you have a better understanding, you’ll feel confident enough to make your own espresso at home, too.

    What is espresso coffee?

    Many people drink espressos regularly, whether it’s in a latte, a cappuccino, or as a pure shot. However, it’s not obvious precisely what it is. So, what is espresso? Put simply, an espresso is a type of strong black coffee that’s created when hot water is forced through ground coffee beans.


    While this may sound similar to a standard cup of coffee, the two are very different. Espresso requires significantly more pressure and a faster brewing time than coffee. Intrigued? Discover more about the differences between espresso and coffee.

    What does espresso mean?

    The word ‘espresso’ is actually the past participle of the word ‘esprimere,’ which means ‘to express’ or ‘to press out.’ Espresso refers to the process by which it is made, rather than a specific bean. The literal meaning of the word is about the process, since the espresso is brewed with such speed and intense pressure.

    What coffee to use for espresso

    If you’re wondering what coffee to use for espresso, you can use any roast you want, since espresso is more about the brewing process. However, espresso beans or a dark roast tend to get the best results. If you’re interested in brewing your own at home, then an espresso machine will do the job nicely.

    What you need

    Types of espresso shots: what is a double espresso?

    You now know what an espresso shot is, but what is a double espresso? A double espresso is simply two shots. So instead of brewing one, you brew two for the same cup of coffee. A double espresso isn’t the only type of shot or pure espresso drink that you can enjoy, however…

    Types of espresso shots: what does ristretto mean?

    One of the most popular ways to drink an espresso is a ristretto. But what does ristretto mean? A ristretto is simply a stronger, more concentrated single shot of espresso.


    For less intensity, try an Americano, which is a shot of espresso mixed with hot water. And if an Americano is still too strong for you, consider one of the other various coffees that have an espresso as their base.

    Sip slowly and enjoy!

    Now that you’ve mastered an espresso, it’s time to experiment with a variety of espresso drinks. From lattes to frothy cappuccinos to an iced caramel macchiato, there’s no limit to how you can enjoy your espresso.


    Once you know the answers to ‘what is espresso coffee?’ and ‘how is it made?’ you can brew your own at home for incredible espresso every day. And remember to sip slowly to really savour the intense flavour.

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