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The Meaning of the Word “Espresso”

Written by Anthony C. Marano-Ducarne

First let’s start with the word Espresso; the Italian word espresso and its English counterpart, Express, both mean the same thing; fast or quick. In relationship to coffee, the proper way to use the word Espresso is to preface it with the word “caffè” – caffè espresso or espresso coffee. Otherwise, in Italian you could be speaking about anything “espresso” even an espresso train – express train.

A caffè espresso refers to a cup of coffee made with a “Macchina per caffè Espresso” an Espresso Coffee Machine that was invented in Italy many, many years ago. The Espresso coffee machine is designed to quickly and efficiently push hot water, with some pressurized steam, through finely ground coffee. This process will quickly “express-like” extract the best essences, flavors and natural oils that are contained in the ground coffee. Thus producing a rich aroma, a very pleasant taste and a crema di caffè (coffee cream) while leaving behind all the other unnecessary and uninteresting flavors.

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