Barista, what is Espresso Coffee? The barista turned to see one of his patrons seated at the coffee table and knew this would be an interesting conversation. Indeed, the barista said, what is Espresso Coffee? Or, as Italians would say, “Qual è il caffè Espresso?” The patron smiled and added, since Espresso is originally a French invention, I rephrase my question: “Qu’est-ce café Espresso?”
Well, said the barista, literally speaking, Espresso is Italian for “quick.” The coffee is pressed out quickly through espresso coffee preparation. You force very hot water under pressure through the finely ground coffee. This method extracts the coffee’s aroma, flavor, and body in a way that requires a special blend and roast level of coffee, called espresso roast. “L’espresso è delizioso” when it is prepared to specifications. It simply yields unequalled taste, fragrance and sensory experience.
But, said the patron, there are so many varieties of Espresso. Which is the best one? Mon ami, replied the barista, Espresso offers you a world of exploration with many possible preferences. Let me explain. You can combine varieties of Espresso to add to your personal sensory experience. Take a regular Espresso which is about a 3 oz. serving in a small cup with the traditional thin red-brown froth on top. With or without sugar, according to your taste, it tastes great. However, if someone wants to make it less strong, simply add a little hot water and you go from Espresso to Café Americano. Then, if you want a less colored and finer Espresso to start, try then what we call Ristretto. For the serious Espresso drinker who is not satisfied with the 3oz cup, Lungo is the right choice. This is a very large Espresso, about 6 to 8 ounces serving. Lungo preparation calls for more water flow though the ground coffee beans than the regular Espresso. Lungo has more of a bitter flavor than regular Espresso but for those coffee drinkers who like that flavor it is their preferred Espresso choice.
What about Caffe Macchiato and Latte Macchiato, asked the patron? Latte is what makes the difference, said the barista. Espresso Macchiato includes about 1.5 ounce hot milk, usually whole milk but Espresso coffee remains the dominant flavor. Latte Machiatto has about 3 ounces of steamed milk added to about 1.5 ounce or half shot of Espresso coffee. They are both delicious, just depends on your personal preference.