How to Drink Espresso – Tips & Tricks

This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to drink espresso, give you some tips, and provide you with a step-by-step guide to maximize your drinking experience.
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 19, 2023
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If you’re an American (even if you don’t drink coffee), you most likely know what an espresso is. And, if you’re a coffee-lover, then you’ve wondered if you’re drinking your espresso the way it’s meant to be done. Espresso has a deep history, and how to drink it the right way stems from it.

Although you might not have the chance to sit in a café in Venice, Rome, or Florence with a shot of delicious espresso at your lips, it won’t hurt to know how to drink it like an Italian – the best way.

What is Espresso – Origin of the Drink

How to Drink Espresso - Tips & Tricks

An espresso can refer to the full-flavored coffee from Italy, but it is also a brewing method. It originated from Italy in the late 1900s. The name ‘espresso,’ is from the name, ‘esprimere,’ which means ‘to press out’ or ‘to express.’ It is said that Luigi Bezzera Trusted Source The Long History of the Espresso Machine In the 19th century, coffee was big business in Europe. As inventors sought to improve brews and reduce brewing time, the espresso was born invented the know-how of espresso coffee in the early 20th century when thinking up ways to brew coffee in a cup quickly.

Now, espresso is one of the most popular coffee drinks around the world. It can also be made by all coffee lovers, although the best ones come from professional baristas.

To brew it, the barista forces a small amount of near-boiled water through finely-grained ground coffee beans. This kind of coffee is thicker than other types and has a crema on top, which improves the rich flavor. If you see a crema on top, that’s a sign that it was made by a professional barista.

Espresso also has a high concentration of suspended and dissolved solids. An espresso is usually served in shots, and each shot is one ounce. If you get two shots, that’s a double espresso.

The perfect serving of an espresso shot is 30ml. The extraction time for this size of coffee should be between 25 and 30 seconds. Anything after this would mess up your cup of espresso. As long as you get the gold standard of making an espresso Trusted Source How to make the perfect espresso | Coffee | The Guardian You need more than just a fancy machine at home if you really want a fantastic morning caffeine shot. Ultimately, you have to get a bit geeky. , you can enjoy your coffee drinking experience.

For homemade espresso drinks, getting the perfect shot measurement of 30ml might be challenging. It’s advisable to use an espresso shot glasses measuring cup, which is usually used by baristas. Getting the right measurements are important for the perfect espresso.

The Best Way to Drink Espresso

Now, let’s talk about the best way to drink and enjoy your espresso. Whether you’re in Italy or not, you can take advantage of the full taste of this popular coffee drink, as long as you do it the proper way.

If you’re making your espresso at home, then the first step is to use the right cup and warm it. When you get an espresso at a well-known café, it would be served in a ceramic and white cup. But, at really professional cafés, your espresso would be served in a demitasse, which is a French word for ‘half cup.’ As for coffee drinkers at home, it’s much better to use an espresso mug.

So, you should buy a suitable espresso mug like the JoyJolt Savor Double Wall Insulated Glasses Espresso Mugs, as this would enhance the drinking experience. If you ever find yourself in a fancy coffee shop, be sure to ask for your espresso in a demitasse!

Once you have your cup of espresso, you can follow these steps to enjoy the drink.

Drink Sparkling Water:

How to Drink Espresso - Tips & Tricks

This is the first step in knowing how to drink an espresso. If you want to enjoy the full taste of the coffee beans, you can do yourself good service by starting with water. And, not just any water, but sparkling water would do the trick. Coffee places with some of the best baristas usually serve their espressos with a glass or bottle of sparkling water.

When you drink the water, it cleans your palate. This allows you to appreciate the real taste of the espresso, unchanged by any other taste in your mouth.

Skim the Crema:

How to Drink Espresso - Tips & Tricks

After drinking water, the next thing is to skim the crema. Keep in mind that if the crema is there, it’s a sign that the barista prepared the espresso properly. It also adds beauty to the cup of espresso. But this doesn’t mean that the crema is delicious.

Stir Your Espresso:

How to Drink Espresso - Tips & Tricks

When you stir espresso, you blend the thicker parts with the lighter parts. The thick part of the espresso usually drops to the bottom of the cup while the lighter ones are on top.

Stir your espresso with a little spoon, and it would give it a balanced taste.

Enjoy Your Coffee:

Now, you can finally sip your espresso and enjoy the delicious taste. Sip the espresso slowly to enjoy its full flavor, as rushing it won’t let you appreciate the taste. By sipping it slowly, you can take in the flavors of the coffee beans and the texture of the coffee beans.

How to Know Your Espresso is Served Correctly

It’s one thing to know how to drink your espresso, but if it wasn’t served properly, then you might not enjoy the full experience.

For one, how long it takes for the espresso to reach your table would let you know whether the barista knows what they are doing or not. An espresso takes about five minutes to be made complete, and so if the barista is taking a long time, there might be something wrong with the espresso. It should also be hot when it’s served.

Another factor to look out for is the serving volume. One shot of espresso is 30ml, and anything looking more or less than that is not ideal.

If the espresso arrives at your table with a bottle or cup of sparkling water, then that barista knows what they are doing. The perfect espresso should have crema, an intense and full-bodied aroma, and the right taste and aftertaste.

Tips and Advice

The way a beginner drinks an espresso would be different from an experienced coffee lover, and so it’s important to find the right starting point. Espresso beginners should drink their coffees with medium roast beans and not dark roast beans. This would also be helpful for those who don’t like bitter tastes.

You can also drink some other alternatives like French press, V60, and Chemeks, and when you have familiarized yourself with their tastes, you can ease yourself into espresso. You will also begin to appreciate the taste when you do this.


Is Espresso Stronger than Normal Coffee?

A 30ml shot of espresso contains about 62 mg of caffeine. This is the same as 1 oz. But, drinking 12 oz of normal coffee means you’re getting about 120 mg of caffeine. So, although an espresso tastes stronger because of its thick and full-bodied flavor, it isn’t

Why Do Some Places Serve their Espresso with a Twist of Lemon?

How to Drink Espresso - Tips & Tricks

This was a practice in American restaurants, originating in the 1970s, and is not done in Italy. Although it isn’t a bad flavor, you shouldn’t bother doing that if you want to know how to drink espresso like an Italian, where it originated from.

Is It Hard to Make an Espresso at Home?

No, it isn’t. As long as you have all the ingredients, which are an espresso coffee maker, finely-ground coffee beans, and water, you can easily make a delicious cup of espresso at home. Just remember to follow the right measurements. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money on an espresso machine. You can buy one that will make you great coffee at an affordable price. If you are interested, we have a selection of the best espresso machines under 200 dollars.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to drink espresso, you can start enjoying this delicious coffee drink the right (and best) way, whether you’re at home or in a café. And, when you finally get to Italy for a delicious coffee experience, nothing they do would seem strange to you.


The Long History of the Espresso Machine
In the 19th century, coffee was big business in Europe. As inventors sought to improve brews and reduce brewing time, the espresso was born
How to make the perfect espresso | Coffee | The Guardian
You need more than just a fancy machine at home if you really want a fantastic morning caffeine shot. Ultimately, you have to get a bit geeky.

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