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Perfecting the Art of Espresso: From Understanding Crema to Making it at Home

How to Drink Espresso Properly

Espresso is a small but mighty coffee that packs a strong punch in flavor and aroma. It’s a favorite among coffee lovers around the world, but not everyone knows how to drink it properly.

Pronouncing “Espresso” Correctly

Before we get started, let’s make sure we’re pronouncing the word “espresso” correctly.

Many people mispronounce it as ex-presso or expresso. The correct way to pronounce it is e-spress-oh, with the emphasis on the “s.”

Warming the Espresso Cup

Espresso can lose its temperature quickly, which can affect its taste and texture. To prevent this, it’s important to warm the espresso cup before pouring the shot.

This can easily be done by rinsing the cup with hot water for a few seconds before brewing the espresso. A warm cup will keep the espresso hotter for longer and enhance the flavor of the coffee.

Sipping Sparkling Water

It’s common practice in Italy to serve a small glass of sparkling water alongside a shot of espresso. Drinking the water before sipping the espresso acts as a palate cleanse, preparing your taste buds for the intense flavor of the coffee.

It also serves to hydrate your body, helping with digestion and preventing dehydration.

Skimming the Crema and Stirring

Crema is the layer of foam that sits on top of the espresso shot. It’s an essential element of a good espresso, as it contains the oils that give the coffee its unique flavor.

It’s important to skim off any excess crema on top of the shot with a spoon before drinking it. This helps to ensure that you get the right balance of flavors from your espresso.

After skimming the crema, give the shot a quick stir to mix the remaining crema and the coffee.

Sipping and Enjoying

Now it’s time to savor the flavor of the espresso. Take a moment to appreciate the aroma of the coffee before taking your first sip.

The first sip is crucial, as it gives you an idea of the overall taste of the espresso. Take small sips to fully experience the complex flavors of the coffee.

Espresso should be enjoyed slowly and mindfully, allowing you to fully appreciate its rich flavor and mouthfeel.

Espresso Cup Types

Now that you know how to drink espresso properly let’s take a look at the different types of espresso cups available.

Ceramic White Espresso Cups

Ceramic white espresso cups are the most common type of espresso cup, favored by many coffee shops and espresso enthusiasts. They are made of ceramic, which helps keep the espresso hot, and their color allows the crema to stand out against the white background.

They come in various sizes and shapes, so you can choose one that fits your drinking preferences.

French Demitasse

The French demitasse is half the size of a regular espresso cup, making it the perfect option for those who prefer a smaller serving of coffee. These cups are designed to showcase the delicate flavors and aroma of the espresso, allowing you to savor every sip.

French demitasse cups are usually made of porcelain or glass and come in beautiful designs and patterns, making them an elegant addition to any coffee lover’s collection.

INEI Specification for Italian Espresso Cups

The INEI specification for Italian espresso cups is a set of standards and regulations that ensures the quality and consistency of espresso cups in Italy. The specification sets guidelines for the size, shape, and materials used for making espresso cups.

They are typically smaller in size to ensure that the coffee remains at the appropriate temperature, and the shape is designed to enhance the crema and preserve the aroma.


In conclusion, drinking espresso is a delightful experience that should be done mindfully and properly. The steps provided in this article aim to help you appreciate and savor the unique taste and aroma of espresso.

The type of espresso cup you choose can also have an impact on your overall coffee-drinking experience, so choose one that appeals to your tastes. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a perfect shot of espresso every time.

3) Understanding Crema

For many espresso drinkers, the layer of frothy crema on top of their shot is not only a pleasing sight but also an essential part of the espresso ritual. Crema is the golden-brown layer of foam that sits on top of your espresso shot and offers an aesthetic appeal to the coffee’s overall appearance.

However, the beauty and appeal of crema go far beyond its appearance.

The Beauty of Crema

One of the most attractive things about crema is the way it looks. Its the first thing that catches the eye when you order a shot, and this is why its easy to understand how some people might mistake it for a simple decoration.

The truth is that a cup of espresso without crema looks off-putting, while a cup with a thick layer of crema is inviting. Crema is an indicator of the quality of the espresso, as it demonstrates the barista’s ability to create the perfect shot.

The Reality of Crema

Crema is much more than an aesthetic feature, though. This layer of froth is an essential element of a well-made espresso shot.

Crema is created by high-pressure water passing through a compacted puck of finely ground coffee beans, causing co2 to be released. The co2 reacts with the water and oil in the coffee, creating emulsification.

The emulsification process allows the layered effect of the crema to form, and the oils within the crema bring out the unique aroma and flavors of espresso.

Skimming Crema

While crema is an excellent addition to espresso, it is important to keep in mind that drinking too much crema can make the espresso taste too bitter. One way to minimize the amount of crema in your shot is to skim it off the surface of the shot with a spoon before you drink it.

If the crema is too thick, the flavor of your espresso may take on an acidic or bitter taste. Skimming the excess crema will help you avoid this situation.

4) Making Espresso at Home

If you’re a coffee lover and want to make great espresso at home, investing in an espresso machine is the way to go. Making espresso at home is a convenient and affordable way to enjoy your favorite coffee beverage without leaving your house.

Using an Espresso Machine

Espresso machines can be intimidating, but once you understand how to use them, making espresso will be a breeze. First, fill the water reservoir and turn on the machine to heat up.

Once the machine reaches the appropriate temperature, grind your coffee beans and lightly tamp them into your portafilter basket. Attach the portafilter to the machine and press the button to pull your shot.

Perfecting the Shot

To pull the perfect shot of espresso, you need to understand the crema. Your shots crema should be thick, but not too thick, and it should have a light brown color.

If the crema is too thick or too dark, your shot may be over-extracted, resulting in a bitter taste. If the crema is too thin or not present at all, your shot may be under-extracted, resulting in a sour taste.

To achieve the perfect shot, make sure that you have the right grind size, correct tamping pressure and that you’re using fresh coffee beans. Adjusting the grind size will help you fine-tune the extraction time, and selecting the right pressure will help you achieve a consistent taste.


Espresso has a wide range of flavors and aromas that can only be appreciated if the drink is brewed and enjoyed correctly. Understanding the importance of crema and how to make espresso at home is crucial to enjoy your coffee beverage anytime you desire.

With a little bit of practice and patience, you can perfect your shot and enjoy the rich, bold espresso that you deserve. This article covers various aspects of espresso, including how to drink it properly, understanding crema, making espresso at home, and the culture that surrounds it.

Through this discussion, we learn about the beauty and reality of crema, the importance of pulling the perfect shot of espresso and understanding crema to enjoy coffee to the fullest. We acknowledge the intimidating aspects of espresso culture and the need to be confident in our brewing abilities, and we encourage readers to find a community of coffee lovers to create a kind coffee tribe.

In conclusion, mastering the art of espresso is a rewarding experience that requires practice, patience, and knowledge. The takeaway is to embrace the culture and enjoy the journey of discovering the unique and complex flavors of espresso.

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