What Is Espresso?


New member
Feb 10, 2008
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To answer the question, it is a concentrated coffee beverage that is brewed by forcing extremely hot water (but not boiling) under very high pressure through finely ground coffee beans. The coffee is ground so small, it's almost a powder. It was invented in 1843 by Edward Loysel de Santais and premiered at the Paris Exposition of 1855.

People in Milan, Italy perfected espresso in the early 1900s. That said, it was made with steam pressure until the mid 1940s. When the spring piston lever machine was invented, commercial success was huge as it pertained to espresso machines. The same type of spring piston lever that was used in the late 1940s to make espresso is the same one that is used today.

There are several differences between espresso and coffee. For example, espresso is thicker. Also, there are more dissolved solids in espresso than there are in coffee. Furthermore, a standard cup of coffee is 8 fluid ounces while a standard cup of espresso is just one ounce.

Espresso is a chemically complex fluid and is comprised of three different parts: the body, the heart and the crema. The latter is the most distinguishing characteristic of espresso, and is a reddish brown foam that floats on top. Made out of proteins, sugars and vegetable oils, crema has elements of foam colloid and emulsion.

Essentially, espresso is a more concentrated form of coffee. The flavors are stronger than coffee because of the finely grated beans and the high pressure used during brewing. Because it is so intense and concentrated, it mixes well with other liquids to form different coffee based drinks.

When mixed with milk, hot water, sugar or chocolate, you can turn espresso into lattes, mochas, cappuccini and macchiati. It turns out, the question of "what is espresso?" is one that takes a longer amount of time than expected to answer.


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Apr 8, 2007
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Why would somebody pause a question and then answer it??? It's beyond me

as for the blog being bad, you're not refering to "http://velvetliquid.wordpress.com" are you?


New member
Oct 4, 2007
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Nice Wordpress, simple and dark, but still elegant.

I'm curious about the ratio of beans to chocolate used for the ChocoShocks. Using a finer espresso grind sounds good as well.