What is Espresso?
The name espresso is Italian in origin. It was first coined around 1900 and, loosely translated, means a cup of coffee brewed expressly for you. Today, you will often find that people incorrectly pronounce or spell it “expresso“.
Espresso can be very confusing. Is it a bitter concentrated shot of caffeine? Where did it originate? Can you use sweeteners? What is the creamy froth on top? How should you drink it? Part of the confusion is due to improperly prepared espresso. Correctly brewed espresso is made using a pump-driven or lever operated espresso machine. It is an art and a science. So what makes a true espresso?
Is it the Bean?
No. Inaccurate marketing and erroneous word of mouth have given many people the impression that the type of bean determines whether the brew is espresso or not. This is not true. Any type of coffee bean can be used to make good espresso coffee.
Is it the Blend?
No. Although there are blends designed specifically for espresso, the blend does not make it espresso. The pursuit of the perfect blend for making espresso coffee has led to this common misconception. Some roasters might even argue that you can only make a good espresso with the right blend. 1st in Coffee offers a variety of espresso blends from Gudeli. We even have our own espresso blend.
Is it the Roast?
No. Popular thought might lead you to believe that espresso must be an extremely dark roast; however the espresso roast varies from region to region. In California, you would be most likely to encounter a dark or “French” roast. On the east coast of the US, a light roast is often preferred. And in Northern Italy, a medium roast is generally used. Any roast can be used to make good espresso. It is entirely a matter of taste.