This post is for my friend, Danielle Soucy, who has Espresso running through her veins!
The term café-espress has been used since the 1880s, well before espresso machines existed. It means coffee made to order, expressly for the person ordering it. It also means coffee fresh in every sense of the word:
- Made from fresh beans roasted at most two weeks prior to use,
- Ground just before brewing,
- Brewed just before drinking.
Espresso is particularly suited to the social quality of the coffeehouse because of the expense of the technology as well as the skill required to properly prepare it and the on-demand character of its preparation. The resulting deep and flavorful brew and the array of beverages made with it—from traditional Italian macchiattos and cappuccinos to American-style flavored lattes, mochas, and blended coffee beverages—have rapidly spread in popularity across the world.
The majority of espresso served in North America and Europe is made from Arabica beans, the same type used in regular drip coffee. Robusta beans, a close cousin of the Arabica varietals, are sometimes used to give coffee a higher caffeine content, but generally contain less flavor. It’s also worth noting that, per serving, espresso contains less caffeine than regular coffee.