Tuesday, September 25, 2012

There's no X in espresso! - The pronunciation and meaning of the word espresso


How exactly is the word espresso spelled and pronounced, and finally what does it mean?

Often I hear people asking for an expresso or see menus with expresso on it, maybe it’s an English translation of the Italian word espresso, but how does the ‘o’ in express-o then come in to play? So lets make it clear, expresso isn’t a word, it’s a made up word by combining espresso with its English translation express. But does espresso just mean fast? Or is there more to the word when using it in the contextual realms of coffee?

Actually there’s a lot of idea to what espresso means. Some believes that the word means pressed out or under pressure. Others stick to a more signified sense of the word in that it is made to order – expressly for the customer. But in fact if you just translate the word espresso it means, as I said, express or fast.

So that leaves us which three meanings of the word espresso, all in correlation with the word express:
  1. Fast 
  2. Pressed out. 
  3. Made to order 
Many do refer to the word as a fast way of severing coffee. But in fact isn’t it faster just pouring a cup of premade coffee from a big bowl? So the question of speed only arises when the coffee is made to order, expressly for the customer. While it is true that espresso is water pressed through a puck of coffee, other brewing methods to day also use similar methods like the aeropress and to some extent French press.
So maybe the correct way to give meaning to the word to day is all of the above. Espresso means a fast, pressed out and made to order coffee, just for you.

1 comment:

  1. I use a French Press and it makes the most delicious coffee made with my new Chefs Smooth Automatic Electric Opener!