Talk:Espresso

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Espresso:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Disambiguation: The definitions in Variations for allonge and lungo contradict each other, although they should be the same. A lungo (or allonge in french) is indeed letting more water run through the grains and therefore extract a more subtle taste by being less bitter, but also producing a lesser strong taste impression


Inclusion of technical specifications[edit]

There seems to be a consensus about the technical specifications which define a standard espresso. I've included these and added the most authoritative source I could find but Libeanchic keeps deleting these specifications.

The Italian Espresso National Institute certified espresso has to fulfill the following specifications[1]:

  • Necessary portion of ground coffee 7 g ±0,5
  • Exit temperature of water from the unit 88°C ±2°C
  • Entry water pressure 9 bar ±1
  • Percolation time 25 seconds ±2,5 seconds
  • Millilitres in the cup (including foam) 25 ml ±2,5

Some other sources:

PS what's the normal procedure in this kind of situation? Add it and vote to delete or delete and vote to add?

--Beau (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:50, 27 October 2009 (UTC).

I have put the specifications back given the large number of references provided and this policy: Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden_of_evidence (Note the remark that "It has always been good practice to make reasonable efforts to find sources oneself that support such material, and cite them")

--Beau (talk) 15:16, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

The question is not if this organizations "certification" requirement exists. It does, and has since 1997. The question is if it has anything to do espresso, outside getting a specific certification by a specific organization; is it info that belongs in this article? These requirements do not define espresso. If this is the case, many espresso shops would not qualify, nor would much of the espresso made for the first 100+ years since espressos birth. These are certification requirements set forth by an organization, nothing else. These requirements do not belong in this article anymore then any other created requirements by a website, forum, company, competition rules, or certification agency. By all means, create an article about the Italian Espresso Institute and everything about them, but don't add info from a third partys certification requirement created 12 years ago, into an article about something that was created over a century ago. Why muddle the article with info that relates more to a company/institute, then to the article subject itself? What if Anheiser Busch made up a certification requirement for beer? Do you think any other beer maker would care? Would they cease to call their beer "beer" because of a created certification by another company? Of course not. And these espresso certification requirements have the same importance to espresso making, which is very little. Espresso is what its always been for 110 years. Lilbeanchic (talk) 19:25, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
My last revision did not mention any organization. I stated that a standard espresso is brewed to the given specifications. All sources seem to agree on this. If you have some contradicting sources which have some other way of brewing espresso, please add them. At the moment, no specification is included at all. If you think the phrasing "standard espresso" is to strong, than change it to something else (be a bit constructive...) but you can hardly argue that these specifications are just those of one particular organization. --Beau (talk) 14:16, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
The source for the info wanted to be included, comes from an espresso organization. Whether or not the organization is mentioned or not is not an issue. It's the info itself. Several personal websites that have there own requirement info were also sourced, which do not follow wp:rs guidelines, plus their specs for espresso are all different anyway. What makes these the source for the definition of something created 110 years ago? The definition was created a century ago. The definition is already in this article. Its the very first sentence. There seems to be a search for specific numbers and values for the "true" definition, when espresso never had particular values for pressure, perculation time, etc., since it was created. If we went by the specs detailed in any of several you can find on the net, most espresso made before pump/lever driven machines, couldn't even be classified as espresso because of the pressure requirements. The first machine from 1901 doesn't meet these specs. Neither do several home use machines even today. Should it no longer be considered an espresso machine? Of course not. An organization created its own certification values in '97 - does this override a definition thats decades old? Of course not. Do personal websites with no sources themselves work as valid reliable sources for wiki and override a definition decades old? Of course not. Reference WP:RS, WP:NPOV, WP:V, WP:N. Lilbeanchic (talk) 01:14, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with lilbeanchick. The specs try to set a requirement and thus a definition for espresso. What makes espresso "espresso" is already defined. One of the referenced websites actually uses a definition that this very article used years ago. In effect, wiki was referencing an older version of wiki. It goes to show how useful other websites/people find wikipedia, although, such as in this case, using it as a primary resource and not looking into the wiki article sources itself, leads many aficionado to use the info as solid truth. "Random website 123" uses the possibly incorrect info straight from wiki, or perhaps got that incorrect info another "random website" that got its info from wiki. Which in turn, creates the circular reference problem. Poetprosciutto (talk) 23:30, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
You are correct that "Random website 123" might not be a good reference. The IENI reference however does not fall in to this random website category and IMHO, the IENI definition is relevant to the article. That doesn't mean the article should claim it to be the end-all definition of espresso. The IENI definition is almost identical to the espresso defined in the rules for the World Barista Championship. This Championship is organised by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and the Specialty Coffee Association of America. --Beau (talk) 10:08, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

If I may (foolishly) enter this fray, I think there is a reasonable middle-ground. Although steam-pressure coffee drinks, such as mocha pot coffee, are called "espresso" by some (especially Italians), the usage has become increasingly archaic since the introduction of lever machines and even more so since the entry of pump-driven machines after WWII. I think is does a disservice to people looking to Wikipedia for information (as opposed to satisfying the egos of contributors) to include any steam-driven brew in a modern definition of "espresso." As for the Italian institute, their definition is a useful reference point, but certainly not the be-all and end-all of defining espresso, even very good expresso. Could I suggest the Institute's definition be included here, but with a caveat that it is a respected guideline and that excellent espresso can be made with some variation from it? Zaffiro (talk) 00:16, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the definition should be included but with the caveat.--Beau (talk) 10:08, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

If a Moka pot does not produce espresso, then what does it produce? Please allow me elaborate. Is a gun shot wound from a musket still a gunshot wound? Yes, the musket is an "archaic" method of shooting someone, but just because you find it an old-fashioned method, does not turn it into a stab wound, as some would seem to suggest (using their logic when it comes to moka pots). Saying a moka pot produces regular coffee is just as silly. It does not drip, it drives the water through the coffee using steam. Sounds a lot like the definiton of espresso to me. There is nothing wrong with espresso standards, those specs produce a very good espresso, but if a cake isn't a good cake, is it still a cake? This is getting too philosophical for me. Is it really necessary for us to discuss the Socratic form of Espresso? Wouldn't it be enough for us to give the definition,then say that these specs produce "standard espresso" according to the Italian Espresso National Institute, but espresso can vary in strength and quality just like anything else? All best. Saji Loupgarou (talk) 03:15, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

"Is it really necessary for us to discuss the Socratic form of Espresso?"
Platonic form of Espresso. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.108.188.137 (talk) 06:16, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Saji Louparou's spirit but not the analogy. A musket is a type of gun. Thus a musket wound is a form of gunshot wound. Musket is a subset of guns. However, I do like the cake analogy very much. To take this a bit further . . .
If we define espresso to a standard developed in the 1990's, would this preclude all things generally called and accepted as espresso that do not meet this definition? Would this preclude many things generally accepted as espresso from before the inception of the definition? Then this may be a certification by a particular organization, but it is not a definition. The definition existed well before the certification . . . a certification cannot redefine meaning for the general populace.
I'm Italian, so let me clarify: a Moka pot produces moka coffee, not espresso. To get an espresso coffee you need an espresso machine. The difference is in how finely the coffee is ground, the fact that in a moka the ground coffee is not compacted, while in an espresso machine it's forcefully compacted, and the pressure each device uses to brew coffee. An espresso machine will use a pressure which is 4-6 times that of a Moka. The difference in pressure and grinding will result in very different characteristics of the final brew. But it's not enough. I've never managed to get a proper espresso outside Italy. The care in maintaining the machine and how it is used makes a huge difference. For example, just because you have a certain size of cup, it doesn't mean it has to be filled to the brim. An usual espresso will fill about one half of the cup, with a "short" one being a third of a cup. This because the "tail" of the brew brings along lots of poorly tasting chemicals. Thermal cycling of the machine also has a great influence. People knowing their trade never switch down the machine, which is left always on. Coffee has to be kept sealed, and possibly refrigerated (NOT frozen!). Anyway, when all it's said and done, the proof of a good cofee is in the cup.


I make espresso . . . I'm confident mine does not meet the tight criteria set by the aforementioned certification. Is it espresso? I think so . . . most of my friends think so. I've been making espresso since the early nineties. Did my espresso suddenly not become espresso in 1997 after this certification was developed? I think not. If I buy an espresso at a restaurant and it does not meet the aforementioned criteria can I sue the restaurant for fraud? I don't think so . . .
The definition of espresso is a superset of the certification for espresso. The certification is a subset of the definition for espresso that meets a particular criteria . . . but that does not redefine what espresso is . . .

StateOfTheUnion (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:39, 10 June 2010 (UTC).

Every description of espresso I've ever seen stipulates that the grounds must be compacted, but I've never seen an explanation of why. It can't be simply to get more into the basket because if it were, it would be just as easy to make the basket a little larger. If anybody knows, and has a source, it should be added to the article because I'm sure that I'm not the only person wondering about it.JDZeff (talk) 00:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Good question. It is to ensure an even flow of hot water under constant pressure through the coffee grounds, making sure that the water comes in to contact with all of the coffee grounds inside the brewing cup. If the coffee weren't tamped down evenly, each espresso would end up tasting different as the water wouldn't always pass through the coffee at the same speed. Also, due to the high pressures involved, channels could be created in the coffee grounds if it wasn't tamped down correctly, thus allowing water to pass through the grounds in the brewing cup that has hardly touched any coffee at all. I'll try to incorporate this into the article. - Takeaway (talk) 01:04, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

National Espresso Day[edit]

"National Espresso Day is November 23rd." What nation? This needs to be either cleared up or removed :) 94.209.235.75 (talk) 14:17, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Expresso?[edit]

It makes me sad that "expresso" is included here. I realize it is listed in many on-line dictionaries, but that doesn't make it any better. The word is "espresso". Why isn't "expecially" listed as a variant of "especially"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.251.39.23 (talk) 20:00, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I was about to ask the same thing. If enough idiots say it wrong, does that make what they say a legitimate word?--Jcvamp (talk) 07:07, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, it does. Except for the invention of new words (like "LOL"), that's specifically how languages evolve. "Neither" used to be "nor either", and only your so-called idiots used the lazy pronunciation. Dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive. Language isn't like science; when enough people believe the wrong answer, it becomes the right answer. Sorry to interrupt, but I'm an (Espresso-loving) English professor, and I can't help it. [tmr] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.108.188.137 (talk) 06:34, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
That's fine but there it is still a subjective matter of just how many idiots it takes. The word "foreign" and many other words with ie or ei are also often misspelled, but we don't simply say spelling these words with the i and e in any order is correct. The matter of how widely considered wrong the spelling is also plays a part. I think "expresso" falls into the category of widely considered a mistake except by the same people who use apostrophes to pluralize words. I would argue that "expresso" was accepted into dictionaries as a variant back when espresso was uncommon enough in the English-speaking word that the proper spelling was not common knowledge, and that it should be ditched. At one time "expresso" probably had a good chance of becoming an anglicization of the word, however that did not happen and is no longer likely to in this age when we're much less prone to anglicize spellings.--Ericjs (talk) 03:41, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Fortunately, it isn't up to us to make those decisions. If the OED says it's incorrect, but in common usage, we should just say that, since it's a premier source for English. No need for us to speculate on the whys and whens.... --Nuujinn (talk) 00:37, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Except that the purposes of dictionary entries and encyclopedia entries is not identical. While dictionary sources certainly should be taken in account, they are not necessarily the last word for deciding what goes into an encyclopedic entry. Also the OED is the premier source for British English. While I personally agree with its treatment of the word, Merriam-Webster for example, simply lists "expresso" as a variant. (I should add that I think the current treatment in the article is fine...I'm not arguing for any changes.) --Ericjs (talk) 02:57, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
It's not up to us to speculate either. Where does the OED say "expresso" is in common use? Show me the reference. My guess is the "expresso" inclusion in this article came from the same source that suggested "personally" and "fast train" as alternative etymology, practically plagiarizing the NOAD definitions for "express," in order mind you. Lookit, Imma not escared to axem at da libary bout expresso. (See the slippery slope?)
Espresso is Italian, Expresso is French. Espresso might be more used than Expresso in english, but than does not make Expresso wrong, it just a the same foreign word from a different foreign language. 16:05, 3 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.100.130.7 (talk)
Oh, that's just bad logic. Same definition, different language, but I can't imagine a cocktail dinner at the White House ever serving pupus with drinks, even if the president is from Hawaii.
The picture here is interesting: http://www.geograph.ie/photo/696363 , and there was http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053806/ - In the 1950s in the UK it was often spelled 'Expresso', especially outside London, and I rather think that was a trade name of some chain or other.--Robert EA Harvey (talk) 10:30, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Café/Caffè/Kaffee/Kaffe/Koffie etc are also different spellings with the same address. Outside Italy, "Caffeellatte" (yes, with two l's) is more often spelled Café latte, although "café" is the french spelling, and in the US mostly simplyfied to "Latte" -and pronounced 'latté'. And how about Mocha? In italian it is written 'Moka' (have a look at your Bialetti), but other languages use other corruptions of the word, its origin from the old city of al-Mukhā in Yemen. "Café Mocha" (the beverage with espresso, chocolate and steamed milk) is not an italian creation, so how would you spell it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jazzbobrown (talkcontribs) 07:44, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

break since the discussion above is ongoing, and below stale[edit]

The Oxford English Dictionary says 'The spelling expresso is not used in the original Italian and is strictly incorrect, although it is common'. [1]--Jcvamp (talk) 07:09, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

What the hell wikipedia? Now it will be even more common... Maybe say (sometimes incorrectly spelled as "expresso")  ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.21.128.153 (talk) 11:30, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

"What the hell wikipedia?"
A proscriptive platform for frantic pedantics? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.108.188.137 (talk) 06:44, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
"Expresso" is the French spelling/pronunciation. As such it is common in those English-speaking countries/cultures whose coffee culture was originally introduced by the French (England, Australia, etc). LaoZi81 (talk) 11:42, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
'Expresso' is not French. 'Espresso' is French. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.181.182.47 (talk) 08:44, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
No, "Express" is french; in french cafés neither 'espresso' nor 'expresso' is used, unless you are at a third wave coffee shop in Paris (yes, they finally are there). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jazzbobrown (talkcontribs) 07:48, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

In my experience, "expresso" is simply an english corruption of the actual italian name for espresso coffee. It sticks because it's an easy, logical and consistent translation. For instance you can't do the same thing for cappacino, so the italian name is used in english. I've seen "CUP-pacino" but this I think is wrong because there's a misplaced emphasis on the larger cup that holds the variant of espresso coffee. I agree with an earlier edit that new words only need to acquire some widely accepted currency to be considered legit. For example "normalcy" was reputedly first used by President Harding in a speech. It's now commonly used in the US, but the rest of the English speaking countries I think still prefer "normality".

Secondly, a larger discussion of the gentrification of espresso is appropriate. It's interesting that in the 50's and 60's North America it was not mainstream and actually a drink for people moderately on the outer edges- beatniks, hippies, university students and first and subsequent generations of Italian heritage. At one time, the few places where one could get a genuine espresso was small folk music venues and pool halls. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Consulzephyr (talkcontribs) 13:05, 18 January 2011 (UTC) Consulzephyr (talk) 13:09, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi everybody, I've added expresso with a comprehensive explanation of both the fact that people use it and people call it incorrect. Google hits gives 9 million vs 27 million on expresso vs espresso respectively. Between that and dictionaries accepting "expresso", I think it has to be included. To omit it would put wikipedia in the POV position of prescriptivism. And I think wikipedia probably has a responsibility to err on the side of descriptivism, even if it annoys the hell out of me when people say "expresso".--Louiedog (talk) 22:10, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I've removed the questionable discussion on etymology. We need facts, people, not some amateur's opinion. "Just for you"? Really? Chris Weimer (talk) 00:15, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

As usual, the consensus remains that it should not be added in the lead. It is explained in detail in the etymology section. An IP edit warrior has no standing to override this consensus. Yworo (talk) 20:24, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi folks. Stumbled across this discussion from the edit war. I doubt I'll be back. Espresso rules OK? --Roxy the dog (quack quack) 22:16, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Removed citation[edit]

I removed this citation from the lead because per the manual of style on leads - citations do not go in the lead of an article. Lead sections should only summarize the article and not present new information. I also removed the clarification tags as they should be used in the article and not in the lead. If there is information in the lead that is not in the article body, it should be added to the article. --Jeremy (blah blahI did it!) 21:17, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

"Many Latin European countries, such as France and Portugal, use the expresso form."[edit]

This is not true in Portugal. In Portugal we use "café" to refer to an espresso and the "expresso" term is rarely used. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 17.193.13.39 (talk) 20:12, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Also not true in France - Order "café" and the waiter will call back to the barista: "un express." Perhaps that was what the author of that line is confused about? Don't live there, but have never heard anyone say "expresso" (other than a tourist perhaps.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.248.181.84 (talk) 16:21, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

"Express" is a method of preparing "café" : ordering a cup of coffee in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and other southern european countries is easy, because "café" or "caffè" is only prepared on the espresso machine. The moment you go further north, "coffee" means either filter coffee or a longer extraction from the espresso machine ("alongée", "verlängerter" etc), thus "espresso" (or the "express") and '"coffee"/"Kaffee"/"café"/"koffie" etc. You might argue on the mis-spelling, but "express" is the most wide spread way of writing west of Italy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jazzbobrown (talkcontribs) 07:17, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

"Espresso" term in Czech and Slovak[edit]

I had removed the paragraph about the term usage in Czech and Slovak since it's highly debatable even in here (I'm from Czech Republic) and mainly because it doesn't belong to English page IMHO. There were several movements trying to spread a coffee culture in Czech Republic (e.g. http://www.piccoloneexistuje.cz) and cited terminology got a negative connotation of incompetence now.

Instant espresso[edit]

Zaffiro, I'm a little curious about this edit. How is instant espresso different than instant coffee? And more curiously, why do we want to avoid mentioning it? – JBarta (talk) 21:11, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Glad you asked. "Espresso" is not a bean, a roast or a grind. It is a method of making coffee. Several recognized definitions are collected here: http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/tchen3/espdifine.html. What the definitions all have in common is that the drink is produced by forcing water at great pressure through finely ground coffee, resulting in a small, very concentrated beverage with an emulsified layer of foam on top called "crema."

When a company calls its instant coffee "espresso," they are trying to evoke some kind of association with the drink, but it is definitely not espresso. Zaffiro (talk) 04:44, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Your take on the matter does't quite jive with the source you present. Your source defines "espresso" as both a beverage and a method. Actually that's being generous. The source overwhelmingly defines it and refers to it as a beverage rather than a method. And while your views on the legitimacy of an "instant espresso" product are interesting, it doesn't really matter what your views are or what you think their marketing aims might be. What matters is what the sources say. And your source isn't saying. The product also seems to be marketed as "espresso powder" for use in cooking. Certainly no one is suggesting that "instant espresso" is the same as traditional espresso, but that doesn't mean we have to avoid it altogether. I see no reason why it can't be included in an accurate and neutral manner. If sources generally describe it negatively as you have, we can include that as well. If sources really don't comment one way or another, then maybe we shouldn't editorialize and just let the reader decide. – JBarta (talk) 09:19, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Of course espresso is a "beverage." Otherwise you couldn't order one in a coffee shop. My point was that espresso "the beverage" is only produced by espresso "the method," which is what all those definitions are telling you. Zaffiro (talk) 16:09, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Well here's a source that defines instant espresso as a powder which makes espresso when combined with hot water. And this states that espresso powder is brewed espresso (maybe even by the espresso method?!) that has been dehydrated into granules and to make espresso, you just add boiling water. Now granted, most uses seem to be for cooking, but the fact remains that it's a real product and it falls under the topic of espresso. You seem to champion limiting the article to only include espresso brewed in the traditional fashion by the espresso method. Clearly though, the topic of "espresso" is not limited to that. In my opinion the article is improved by mentioning instant espresso (and espresso powder) and certainly is not harmed. – JBarta (talk) 18:18, 13 November 2014 (UTC)