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What is an Espresso?

Whilst infamous and iconic in the coffee world, even the biggest coffee lovers don’t know exactly what an espresso is.

What is an espresso?

Espresso is a 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.

But actually, what is an espresso? Espresso is not a type of coffee bean or a roasting style – a common misconception. It’s a process of brewing coffee and is instead made by forcing high-pressured hot water through very finely ground coffee beans. This is then topped with a crema, a brown foam, that adds the rich, full-flavoured aftertaste. An espresso is intense and bold, but nonetheless delicious, and is usually served in small demitasse-style cups for this reason.

Espresso origins

Often mistaken for being a translation from the Italian word "express", meaning fast, espresso actually derives from the word "esperimere", which means "to press out" or express. However, the concept of an espresso was to create something that could be prepared quickly. Espresso became increasingly popular when the demand for coffee increased in the late 1800s and early 1900s

What is the difference between an espresso and regular coffee?

We have questioned what an espresso is, but how does it compare to regular coffee? The biggest difference between regular coffee and espresso is the preparation. Other methods of brewing coffee can take more time, because they rely on a slow filtering process sifting hot water through coffee grounds. The next biggest difference is the fineness of the grind. The beans in an espresso need to be finely ground, whereas for regular coffee, medium ground beans are required.

Now you know what an espresso is, discover a NESCAFÉ instant espresso, here.

Coffee recipe


Get inspired. Try our NESCAFÉ coffee recipe today!

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