What is an espresso

It is a small amount of concentrated coffee. Although the size may suggest otherwise, the taste of it is great. 

what is an espresso
what is an espresso

Where does espresso come from

It is from Italy. The name of this coffee comes from the Latin word for “squeeze out”, referring to the preparation. When making an espresso, the coffee is “pressed” under high pressure for a concentrated taste. When Italians order a coffee, they are not talking about coffee but about espresso.

what is an espresso
what is an espresso

The power of extraction

The taste of a good cup of espresso depends on the extraction. It is the release of taste and aroma from the ground it to the hot water. If there is an under-extraction, then you will notice this by a faint and predominant sour taste in it. You will soon taste an over-extraction with a too strong, bitter taste.

This is how you recognize a good espresso

A perfect espresso has a thick crema layer. This is a golden brown layer over it, which consists of fats and sugars that are pressed out of the coffee under high pressure. The outlet of it has the color of hazelnut/caramel and you can recognize the taste by a refined rin-bitter balance with a full body.

what is an espresso

The perfect tips in 7 steps

Grinding, dosing, pressing force, water temperature, lead time, extraction. The ultimate taste of it is, therefore, best achieved with a piston machine with which you can regulate all these characteristics. This is how you make the perfect espresso in 7 steps:

Dry and clean the piston

Do this with a clean tea towel so that no residue is left behind.

Grind the coffee in the piston

You need a fine grind and for a coffee (lungo) a coarser grind. Note: the finer the grinding, the longer the lead time.

Equalize the coffee

Spread a flat finger several times with horizontal movement over the coffee so that it is evenly distributed. 

Tamp the coffee

Tamp with a straight arm with a pressure of about 12-15 kg. Make sure the piston is level. This makes it easier to tampen straight.

Flush the brew group

Clean the piston wings and flush the brew group for two seconds.

Firmly tighten the piston

Double check that the piston is in place. If the piston is not properly secured, the coffee will pass.

Turn on

Turn on the double espresso button within two seconds after turning in the piston. Place the cups and start the timer.

what is an espresso

This is how you serve it

It serves you in a porcelain espresso cup with 25-35ml. A good, thick crema layer lies on a good espresso. This is a golden brown layer over it, which consists of fats and sugars that are pressed out of the coffee under high pressure. You serve it on a matching saucer with a teaspoon and sugar.

what is an espresso

What types of espresso are there

In addition to traditional espresso, other types of it exist. The best-known types are the Macchiato, the Ristretto, the Doppio and the Lungo.


It is twice the amount of it in a coffee cup. It is the Italian name for a double espresso.


It is an espresso, diluted with water that is served in a 150 ml cup. Longer lead time is used for a lungo than for it.

what is an espresso


It is an espresso with a dash of warm milk foam on it. Macchiato means “spotted” in Italian.


With a Ristretto you use the same amount of espresso as with a normal, but with less water. This makes the Ristretto stronger in taste.

Ristretto vs cortado

A Cortado contains 30-40 ml espresso, topped with hot milk. A Ristretto contains 15-25 ml of espresso with a natural layer of crema. There is no hot milk in this.