A nice creamy cup of espresso begins by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee. It may then be used as a base for many specialty coffee drinks or enjoyed as is with a lemon rind to rim your cup.
Espresso has more caffeine per typical 30ml (1 fluid ounce) cup than other beverages. Compared to a 6 ounce cup of drip coffee it has about half of the caffeine.
In Italy espresso bars provided a place for socialization with the advent of growing urbanized areas. Local authorities controlled the price of espresso with the understanding that it would be consumed standing, hence the “stand-up” café.
Due to the equipment that was needed to make espresso they were only available in cafes or restaurants with the machines. The domestic espresso machine was popularized in the 1970’s but was still large, expensive and required a bit of know-how to use them. In recent years the espresso machine has evolved through the introduction of the coffee pod concept.
The origin of the word is debatable but it has been said it means “pressed out” or similar to the English word express meaning a quick coffee.
Express can also mean to squeeze the flavor from, espres can refer to the speed of a train and espresso can mean especially for someone.
The first espresso machines the Bezzera and Pavoni from 1906 took 45 seconds to make a cup of espresso, one cup at a time, “just for you”.