Espresso is the most common way of making coffee in southern Europe, but there is undeniable growth in its popularity throughout the world. The expression “espresso” (and to clarify –”expresso” is officially considered incorrect) refers to both – a beverage drink and a brewing method. Interestingly, in Italy, people simply order a caffè (coffee), and in Spain, they ask for café solo (referring to coffee without milk) when ordering it.
Angelo Moriondo patented the first espresso machine in 1884, which is considered the beginning of our addiction and passion for the coffee experience. Growing cities needed a place to socialise, and coffee bars became a solution, but they started off as standing up bars, with no chairs ever provided.
It still took quite a few years to become mainstream in other countries. The ever-popular tourism flows to Italy and the Italian diaspora moving away from home helped spread of the drink’s popularity.
In the UK, coffee bars started popping up only in the 1950s as an alternative for a younger generation who felt out of place in the traditional pubs. While in the USA, Italian American Lino Meiorin from California can claim the invention of the drink that got Americans hooked – he called it “latte”,
Although much thicker and concentrated, an espresso cup does not contain more caffeine than an ordinary coffee. It is all due to the size of the cup. Espresso cup holds 25 ml (0.88 fl oz) of brew, while the standard Short cup in Starbucks 236 ml (8 fl oz). The strength will differ thanks to bean type and roasting, but to compare, usualy espresso cup contains around 75 ml of caffeine and short 155 ml. And that’s even before we start going to all those talls, ventas, and grandes.
Word “espresso” is not only about speed – it also means “extracted”. Hence if that coffee cup takes a little bit longer, cut a little more slack to that slower barista to extract your perfectly smooth brew.
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