main content
An espresso coffee in a cup

What is an Espresso?

It’s iconic across the globe, and the base of more delicious coffee drinks than we’d like to count. But why is an espresso so special? Is it the best type of coffee? Why was it this particular way of brewing that made it so popular? Keep reading and let’s find out.

What is an espresso?

Espresso is a delicious concentrated form of coffee, served in shots and it’s often the coffee base of many other beverages, such as cappuccino, latte, americano and macchiato. An espresso is intense and bold, but nonetheless delicious, and the espresso is usually served in small demitasse-style cups for this reason.

Caffeine content in espresso

Espresso has the reputation of having a high caffeine content. However, this depends on how much is drunk. Typically, espresso contains 29 to 100 milligrams of caffeine in a single shot. A double shot will contain between 58 to 185 mg of caffeine.

Origins of the espresso

As with many famous coffee recipes, the espresso was invented in Italy, around 100 years ago, and is credited to a man by the name of Luigi Bezzera, from Milan. He was the first to use a steam-pressure method of brewing coffee, which produced a strong cup of coffee faster than ever before. In fact, the name "caffé espresso" translates to "pressed out coffee", referring to the water being pushed through the finely ground coffee at a very high pressure. Espresso became increasingly popular when the demand for coffee increased in the late 1800s and early 1900s. By the 1940s, the process of making espresso had been properly fine-tuned, creating the espresso known and used cross the world.

What is the difference between an espresso coffee and regular coffee?

Espresso is the base of almost every type of coffee. Baristas making espresso use water under high amounts of pressure to force its way through compacted ground coffee, which makes a thick, syrupy liquid, with a gorgeous light brown foam layer on top, called the crema. That's the main difference - other coffee types rely on a slower filtering process, allowing hot water to slowly sift through coffee grounds. Espresso also relies  on a much finer bean grind, while regular coffee works perfectly with medium ground beans. 


Other articles you might be interested in

  • What is a Cortado?

    The cortado is relatively new in the world of coffee and many get it confused with a flat white. So, what is a cortado and what makes it different?

  • What is a Mocha?

    Deliciously sweet, nutty and chocolatey. Find out what is a mocha, where it came from & how it's different.

  • What is Cold brew?

    Cold brew coffee has taken the world by storm in recent years, but what is it and how does it differ from an iced coffee?