12 Interesting Facts about Espresso

Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer is our senior editor and content writer, at CoffeeVibe. Apart from writing and reading, she’s fond of the coffee brewing process and enjoys tasting new coffe read more
Reviewed By
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks is our tester, who puts products through their paces. He used to be a barista and is now a full-time coffee enthusiast. He’s always testing out new gadgets, read more
Last updated: August 26, 2023
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Espresso is a popular drink nowadays, and a shot of espresso actually serves as a base for even more drinks. But what actually is espresso? Why is it so important? How is it made, and how is it different from drip coffee? If you have questions about espresso, then the following espresso facts will answer them for you, so keep reading!

Espresso is not a bean

So many different kinds of coffee are labeled by the type of beans used to make them. But not espresso. Espresso is actually a specific drink. It is a particular type of coffee that uses high pressure to force almost boiling water through finely-ground coffee. So, if you’re calling a coffee bean espresso, you’re making a common mistake.

12 Interesting Facts about Espresso

What does “espresso” mean?

Espresso is an Italian word, and this type of coffee was invented in Italy. We owe them our thanks. Espresso translates as “something is forced out”, which sounds a little strange but makes perfect sense when you think about it. Espresso is made by using pressure to push water through tightly packed coffee. And remember, in English, it’s pronounced “ES-presso” not “Ex-presso.”

You may have already tried espresso

Since espresso has such a robust and fine taste, it’s used as a base for a lot of other coffee drinks, including, but not limited to, mochas, lattes, and cappuccinos! You could have already tried espresso already and haven’t even realized it!

What is crema, and why is it important?

Crema is something that comes up all the time when espresso facts are being discussed. That’s because if you have espresso, you’ll have crema. Crema is the light-colored liquid that first comes out when espresso is being extracted. This creamy, airy layer sits on top of the espresso once it’s brewed.

Crema is important because it can tell you much about the drink, everything from how fresh the beans are to whether your drink is over or under-extracted.

How many beans do you need to make a shot of espresso?

Did you know you only need 42-50 coffee beans to produce a single shot of espresso? It’s true! And a fun espresso fact you can pull out the next time you’re sharing an espresso with a friend.

How much fat is in espresso?

If you’re looking for a coffee drink with higher fat content, then espresso is probably the way to go. That’s because while normal, drip coffee has about .6 percent fat, espresso has 2.5 percent fat. This big difference in fat content for espresso is due to the extraction process — the higher-pressure forces more fatty oils out of the beans and into your cup. Now you have a better understanding of espresso nutrition facts.

Espresso is regulated by the government

Because coffee is such an important part of Italian life (since they invented espresso after all), the government actually regulates the cost of espresso. It’s true! They know how important it is to their people, and so they keep the cost low enough, so it’s accessible to everyone. Buon lavoro!

Espresso has less caffeine

You might think that all that pressure forcing water through those finely-ground beans would mean that espresso would have more caffeine, but the opposite is true.

Espresso actually has up to 1/3 less caffeine than drip coffee.

Espresso brewing temperature

The ideal brewing temperature for a shot of espresso is 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to make sure it’s extracted properly. As for the serving temperature for espresso, it is 160 degrees Fahrenheit, so be careful not to burn yourself!

Espresso timing is important

Besides the temperature, it’s important that the espresso extraction is timed properly, as well. The ideal time for pulling a single shot of espresso is 25-30 seconds. This will make a great-tasting shot!

Espresso size matters too!

12 Interesting Facts about EspressoThe size of an espresso cup matters for a variety of reasons. If the cup is too big, the espresso will cool down too quickly. The perfect size cup for a shot of espresso is 2 ounces, and that should only be filled 2/3 of the way full. Porcelain is the best bet for cup material, and warming the cup beforehand will help make the perfect drink.

Why was espresso invented?

Another fun espresso fact you can wow your friends with is the reason why espresso was invented in the first place. Espresso shots are small and compact because espresso was invented so workers drinking espresso would spend less time on their coffee breaks.


So the next time you’re pulling a shot of espresso, or even drinking a latte, mocha, or cappuccino, you can think about espresso in a different light and know all these wonderful espresso facts about a drink that makes our mornings and afternoons and even evenings such a delight.

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