What is Espresso? Beginner’s to Barista Guide

You’ve seen those tiny coffee cups with fancy names and wondered what in the world people are ordering. It sounds complicated, but it’s not! Espresso is a type of coffee that is brewed by forcing pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans. And the great news is that it’s not as complicated as it sounds to make.

In this beginner’s guide to espresso, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this delicious drink. We’ll start with the basics, like what espresso is and how it’s made, and then move on to more advanced topics like espresso drinks and how to customize your espresso order. So pull up a chair, get comfortable, and let’s get started!

What is Espresso?

Espresso is a type of coffee that is made by forcing a small amount of hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. The resulting coffee is richer and has a more intense flavour than regular coffee.

espresso is a type of coffee that is made by forcing a small amount of hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. the resulting coffee is richer and has a more intense flavour than regular coffee.

How does espresso taste?

Now that you know the basics of espresso, it’s time to learn what it tastes like. espresso is a strong, rich coffee that is made by forcing a small amount of hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. The result is a dark, aromatic brew that is perfect for a quick caffeine fix.

Unlike regular coffee, espresso is meant to be enjoyed in small doses. Some people even enjoy it with a bit of sugar or milk to soften the flavour. No matter how you drink it, espresso is sure to give you a boost of energy that will keep you going all day long.

What is the difference between coffee and espresso?

When it comes to espresso, the key difference is in the brewing process. Espresso is made by forcing pressurized hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, resulting in a thick, rich and intense coffee.

Coffee is brewed by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans, which allows the water more time to extract the flavour and caffeine from the beans. This results in a lighter, less intense coffee.

So, if you’re looking for a strong and bold coffee flavour, espresso is the way to go.

How to make a perfect espresso shot?

Making the perfect espresso shot may seem complex and intimidating, but with a few basic tips and tricks you can quickly become an espresso master.

There are a few things you need to make a good espresso:

  • high quality, finely ground coffee beans
  • a good quality grinder
  • a good espresso machine
  • a milk frother (optional)

To make your espresso shot, begin by grinding the beans to a consistency slightly finer than sea salt. Then fill your portafilter basket with the grounds and use a tamper to press them evenly into the basket.

Once you have packed the grounds properly, you can load your portafilter into your espresso machine and lock it in place. From here, you can turn on the machine and start pulling your shots – usually, about 25-30ml of rich coffee should take about 20-30 seconds of brewing time.

Once brewed, check to see if your shot is properly extracted before pouring it into a cup. Make sure to keep an eye on both the colour (aim for rich dark brown) and crema (the golden foam that sits atop your espresso shot). With practice, you’ll be able to get a consistent quality shot each and every time!

How to drink espresso?

Now that you know what espresso is, and why it is so distinctively different from other types of coffee, let’s move on to the fun part: drinking it!

First, you need to decide if you want your espresso as a straight shot or as part of a speciality beverage like a cappuccino or latte. If you’re going for the straight shot, simply pour it over some ice, add some flavoured syrup or cream if desired and enjoy!

If you’re making a speciality beverage with your espresso shot, however, you’ll need to add hot milk, foam and/or syrup to create the perfect concoction.

For instance, when making a cappuccino use one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk. Then for extra froth and flavour, top with foam (created by steam) and maybe even a sprinkle of cocoa powder!

No matter how you choose to drink your espresso though, it’s sure to be delicious!

Common coffee-based espresso drinks:

Espresso can be used to make a variety of popular coffee-based drinks. Some of these include lattes, cappuccinos, caffè macchiato, mochaccino and flat whites. The difference between these drinks is based on the amount of espresso that is used and the type of milk that is added.

For example, a latte is made with one shot of espresso and steamed milk, while a cappuccino has one shot of espresso topped with half steamed milk and half foamed milk.

A mocha is made with one shot of espresso combined with chocolate syrup or powder and steamed milk. A flat white is also made with one shot of espresso but with a thicker layer of steamed microfoam.

These are just some common coffee-based espresso drinks that you can try out when you’re ready to move past regular drip coffee. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your own unique combination that fits your taste!

What type of equipment do you need for an espresso?

If you’re serious about mastering the art of making espresso, you’re going to need the right equipment. The basics of an espresso machine include a portafilter, a doser and a tamper.

A portafilter is an essential piece of equipment because it holds and filters the espresso grounds during extraction. It also comes with a handle, which makes it easy to insert into the machine.

A doser is used to measure out the right amount of espresso grounds for each shot, and a tamper is used to pack down the grounds in the portafilter before they’re inserted into the machine.

You’ll also need some other accessories specific to espresso machines, such as frothing pitchers and milk thermometers if you want to make perfect cappuccinos and lattes. So make sure that you have all these pieces on hand before you start your espresso-making journey.

Tips for brewing the perfect shot of espresso:

Now that you know how to make espresso, let me share with you some tips on how to make the perfect cup each time.

Firstly, start with fresh, quality beans. The beans’ freshness will impact the flavour of the espresso. Then, grind them as finely as possible just before use – this is essential for creating great crema and a rich concentrate.

Next, use a tamper to get an even extraction by firmly pressing the ground coffee evenly into the portafilter. When tamping down your espresso grounds, make sure that you don’t use too much pressure. Otherwise, you’ll end up blocking the filter and won’t get any espresso out.

Finally, it’s important to experiment with different water temperatures. Hotter water will result in a more intense flavour while cooler water will produce a lighter result – find what works best for your palate!

How to buy and store espresso?

How do you select espresso beans? Make sure to buy high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans and store them in an airtight container. Plus, when buying pre-ground coffee, choose a product that is labelled “espresso” as they are usually finely ground to produce the most flavorful coffee.

Generally speaking, it’s best to purchase whole beans so you can grind them at home shortly before brewing. It will provide a fresher taste and nicer aroma compared to pre-ground coffee.

When possible, try to buy beans with the capacity to work with both an espresso machine and manually brewed coffee methods. After opening your bag of beans, use them within two weeks for maximum flavour.

When storing your beans, keep them away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight — an airtight container kept in a cool and dry place is ideal. Don’t refrigerate your coffee or store it in the freezer; instead, let it sit at room temperature and give the container a shake occasionally to distribute the flavours evenly for better extraction during the brewing process!

How do a roast and grind espresso beans?

To get the perfect espresso, you need to use the perfect beans. For that, you need to roast and grind them yourself. But don’t worry—it’s not as complicated as it sounds!

First, you’ll need to find some good quality coffee beans and determine the roast level you want (light, medium, dark). Once that’s done, put your coffee beans into a hot skillet or oven tray and roast them for a few minutes. Pay close attention so they don’t burn!

When you’re satisfied with the level of roasting, move on to grinding the coffee beans with a hand grinder or coffee grinder. You’ll want to grind your beans as finely as possible and make sure that your grind size is consistent.

It may take some practice before you get it just right, but once you do, you’ll be able to enjoy an espresso like never before!

Espresso FAQs:

Do you have questions but aren’t sure where to turn? Here are some of the most common questions about espresso that I’ve heard.

How is espresso different from coffee?

Espresso is more concentrated and has a richer taste as a result. It’s brewed with finely ground coffee beans with high pressure and consists of a smaller amount of coffee than regular coffee.

Is it true that espresso has more caffeine than regular coffee?

Yes, it is true! Espresso can have twice as much caffeine as regular coffee, so be sure to keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

Is espresso stronger than coffee?

While espresso is more concentrated and has a richer flavour, coffee generally has more caffeine. So it really depends on what you’re looking for.

What is a cappuccino?

A cappuccino is an espresso-based drink that is topped with steamed milk and milk foam. It’s a popular coffee drink that is enjoyed all over the world.

What is a latte?

A latte is an espresso-based drink that is made with steamed milk and topped with milk foam. It’s a popular coffee drink that is enjoyed all over the world.

Is an espresso just a shot of coffee?

No, espresso is made with finely ground coffee beans that are brewed with high pressure. It’s a small but concentrated coffee drink.

What exactly is a shot of espresso?

A shot of espresso is one ounce of coffee that is made with finely ground coffee beans and brewed with high pressure. It’s a small but concentrated coffee drink.

What are the 3 types of espresso?

The three types of espresso are ristretto, espresso, and lungo. Ristretto is a strong and concentrated espresso, espresso is a regular espresso, and lungo is a weaker and more diluted espresso.

Is espresso healthier than coffee?

Espresso has more antioxidants than coffee, so it is technically healthier. However, both coffee and espresso have health benefits, so it really depends on your preference.

Why espresso is called espresso?

Espresso is named after the quick and easy brewing method that it uses. It’s made with high pressure and only takes a few seconds to brew.

How much coffee is in an espresso?

Espresso is made with finely ground coffee beans and is brewed with high pressure. It consists of a small amount of coffee, but it is very concentrated.

Does espresso burn fat?

Espresso can actually help to burn fat because it contains caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can help to increase your metabolism and help you to burn more calories.

What is an espresso con panna?

An espresso con Panna is an espresso with whipped cream on top. It’s a delicious and rich coffee drink that is popular in Italy.

What is an espresso macchiato?

An espresso macchiato is an espresso with a drop of milk. It’s a popular coffee drink that is enjoyed all over the world.

What is an espresso Bianco?

An espresso Bianco is an espresso with steamed milk. It’s a popular coffee drink that is enjoyed all over the world.

Can I add milk to the espresso?

Yes, you can add milk to espresso. Milk can help to mellow out the strong flavour of espresso and make it more palatable.

Is espresso good on an empty stomach?

Espresso is actually good for your stomach because it helps to stimulate digestion. However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to avoid espresso on an empty stomach.

What is a doppio?

A doppio is a double shot of espresso. It’s a strong and concentrated coffee drink that is popular in Italy.


When it comes to espresso, there are a few things to keep in mind. The most important thing is to use fresh beans that have been roasted within the past two weeks. You’ll also need a good quality espresso machine. And, of course, make sure you practice your technique so that you can make a perfect cup of espresso every time.

Mian Mohsin (MohsinZox)

About Author:

I'm Mian Mohsin the founder of the DeesCoffee. Here, I share step-by-step guides and explore different coffee products from my personal experience. Learn more...