National Espresso Day is observed annually on November 23.
The word espresso (/ɛˈsprɛsoʊ/; Italian pronunciation: [eˈsprɛsso]) in Italian means ‘quick in time’. Before the advent of the espresso machine, espresso was simply a coffee expressly made for the person ordering it and made with recently roasted beans which were freshly ground before brewing and freshly brewed before serving. In the late 1800s, this was common practice in cafés and restaurants.
Today, the freshness has been maintained, but we have come to know espresso as a highly concentrated brew served in smaller quantities or used as a base for other, delicious coffee creations. This modern view of espresso is due to the advent of the espresso machine. In 1901, the first successful espresso machine was invented by Italian inventor Luigi Bezzera. The newer technologies produced a smaller, more concentrated cup more quickly than more traditional coffee brewing methods.
This thicker, more intense brew creates a creamy foam on top called the crema. The richer flavors and aromas of an espresso create delicious lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, macchiato and many cafe’ creations.
- It takes approximately 42 coffee beans to make an average serving of espresso.
- Coffee contains more caffeine than espresso. Strong tasting coffee has no more caffeine than weak-tasting coffee.
- Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world second to only oil.
- Espresso is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency).
- Espresso is not referring to a particular type of bean, it is a drink.
- Angelo Moriondo’s Italian patent for a steam-driven “instantaneous” coffee beverage making device, which was registered in Turin in 1884, is notable. Author Ian Bersten described the device as “… almost certainly the first Italian bar machine that controlled the supply of steam and water separately through the coffee. ” Unlike true espresso machines, it was a bulk brewer, and did not brew coffee “expressly” for the individual customer.
- The origin of the term “espresso” is the subject of considerable debate. Although some Anglo-American dictionaries simply refer to “pressed-out”, “espresso,” much like the English word “express”, conveys the senses of “just for you” and “quickly,” which can be related to the method of espresso preparation.
- Espresso is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life.
- Caffè mocha, in its most basic formulation, can also be referred to as hot chocolate with a shot of espresso added.