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  • Espresso

    by Anthony Parente

    Espresso is Italy's version of coffee. The process for making espresso is relatively fast and can be duplicated at home with an espresso machine. The principle behind this type of beverage is to take hot water under high pressure and have it go through the coffee grinds in a short period of time. The end result is a cup of strong and bitter espresso.

    The history of espresso is not known for sure. There is however various legends about its origins. The most common of these legends has to do with goats located in Ethiopia. Around the 13th century a shepherd noticed that his goats were feasting on berries from a shrub in the region. He also noticed that after his goats ate these berries they became excited and sleepless. The people of the land decided to use these berries to help them stay up at night. These shrubs were found all along the peninsula and were brought to Italy when traders from Venice and Genoa visited the regions that contained these magical berries. Today Italy consumes well over 1 billion pounds of coffee a year and they have turned these berries into one of the most popular beverages in the world.

    If you are in Italy and you plan on having a cup of coffee you may want to remember these three important tips when ordering your coffee:

    1. First and Foremost you should refrain from ordering a cappuccino after any meal except breakfast. This is generally considered a morning drink.
    2. Do not drink coffee during a meal. Coffee is something that should be enjoyed after the meal is complete.
    3. A Caffé contains only 2 ounces of espresso.
    Now you just have to figure out what the difference is between each type of coffee.

    Not too long ago you would have ordered a coffee in a restaurant or bar and you would have been given the option of regular of decaffeinated. Today it is not that simple. There are a variety of drinks to choose from each containing slightly different ingredients. What exactly is the difference between each drink? Here is a guide to the types of beverages available and what they contain. This is not a complete list of drinks available. As you may know new variations are always on the horizon.

    • Caffé or Espresso
      Simply put this is a cup of espresso
    • Cappuccino
      A shot of espresso with steamed milk
    • Caffé Americano
      One or two shots of espresso with additional hot water added
    • Caffé macchiato
      Espresso with a drop of steamed milk
    • Caffè ristretto
      A short shot of espresso, which is stronger but not as bitter
    • Espresso con panna
      Espresso with whipped cream
    • Caffé corretto
      Espresso with cognac, grappa, or a type of liqueur
    • Caffé latte
      Espresso with hot milk
    • Caffé freddo
      This is simply iced coffee
    • Doppio
      A double shot of espresso
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