Talk:Espresso

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

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  • 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

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)

In reference to this paragraph (quoting):
While the 'expresso' spelling is recognized as mainstream usage in some American dictionaries,[20][21] its inclusion is controversial, with many outright calling the 'x' variant illegitimate.[22][23][24][25] Oxford Dictionaries online states "The spelling expresso is not used in the original Italian and is strictly incorrect, although it is common."[26]

I would welcome further discussion on the etymology and also about whether the paragraph should be modified, and how. I'll provide an Italian translation if anyone desires such. My comment is the following:

'Espresso' is the singular masculine past participle of 'esprimere' "to express". So, "espresso fuori", or simply 'espresso', would be in English "expressed", in the sense of "articulated". Whereas, to press out, or squeeze out, in Italian would be "per spremere fuori" < spremere "squeeze or press out" < premere 'squeeze or press out'. And the singular masculine past participial expression would be "spremuto fuori", or simply 'spremuto'. One theory might be that there was an earlier use of the past participle 'espresso'-- *espresso(2)-- which meant the same thing as 'spremuto', and that this use has carried over into Modern Italian when used in reference to the beverage. See https://it.wiktionary.org/wiki/spremuto and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spremere

But see this article which states that some sources derive the term 'espresso' from the English adverb 'expressly' (in "expressly for the customer"): https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/espresso While the notion that the English language may have given Italians the term for a favorite beverage of theirs may seem improbable at first, the etymology makes sense from the standpoint of the Italian language itself; and the popularity of Italy during past centuries as a destination for English tourists might go a long way toward accounting for it. With this in mind, I'll continue to use 'expresso' and consider the term 'espresso' to be "posh" English and a violation of "noblesse oblige". Lavomengro (talk) 23:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Zaffiro (talk) 01:25, 3 March 2015 (UTC) This subject was debated at great length here two or three years ago, provoked by someone who wanted to use a dictionary's etymology section as a substitute for research into the history of coffee. We finally posted a quote and citation from Ian Bersten's famous history of coffee devices, which describes the three meanings. That explanation has remained ever since. If we had to choose just one reason why "espresso" was originally chosen to describe this drink, the prevailing view in the coffee industry is that it is speed of preparation, as demonstrated by early Italian advertising posters comparing espresso to a speeding "express" train. I would really like to avoid rehashing that same debate now.