Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Timothy Byron Smith
Welcome to our comprehensive guide to espresso terms and definitions, this is your ultimate resource for unraveling the world of espresso lingo!
Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast, a budding barista, or simply curious about the intricacies of espresso, this article will take you on a journey through over 50 espresso terminologies and their corresponding definitions.
So, grab your favorite cup of joe, sit back, and prepare to expand your espresso glossary with our in-depth guide that explores espresso terms and definitions. Let’s dive in!
- Espresso: A concentrated and rich coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee under high pressure.
- Shot: A single serving of espresso, typically about 1 ounce in volume.
- Ristretto: A shorter and more concentrated shot of espresso, extracting only the first 3/4 ounce of an extraction.
- Doppio: A double shot of espresso, using twice the amount of coffee compared to a regular shot.
- Quad: A shot of espresso made with four times the amount of coffee for an extra strong and intense flavor.
- Cappuccino: A balanced espresso-based drink consisting of equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.
- Latte: An espresso-based drink made with a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a small amount of milk foam.
- Cafe au Lait and Cafe con Leche: Espresso combined with milk, no foam, and may include sugar.
- Flat White: A smooth and velvety espresso-based drink originating from Australia and New Zealand, featuring a double shot of espresso and steamed milk with minimal foam.
- Caffe Latte: A creamy and mild espresso-based drink made with a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and topped with milk foam.
- Caffe Mocha: A decadent espresso-based drink consisting of a double shot of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, and foam.
- Caffe Americano: A diluted espresso drink made by combining a shot of espresso with enough hot water to fill a 6-ounce cup.
- Espresso Macchiato: A shot of espresso topped with a dollop of heated, texturized milk.
- Dirty Chai: Chai tea mixed with a shot of espresso and steamed milk.
- Flavored Latte: A double espresso with steamed milk, foam, and the addition of flavoring syrup or powder.
- Cafe Noisette: A shot of espresso with a touch of cream.
- Caffe Breve: Espresso made with steamed half and half, resulting in a rich and creamy beverage.
- Espresso con Panna: A shot of espresso topped with whipped cream.
- Red Eye: A cup of brewed coffee with a shot of espresso added.
- Portafilter: The component of an espresso machine that holds the coffee grounds and attaches to the group head for extraction.
- Group Head: The front part of an espresso machine where water is forced through the portafilter to extract espresso.
- Boiler: The part of an espresso machine where water is heated to the appropriate temperature for brewing.
- Conical Burr Grinder: A type of coffee grinder that uses conical burrs to finely grind the coffee beans.
- Tamper: An accessory used to pack the coffee grounds into the portafilter evenly.
- Barista: A skilled person who operates the espresso brewing equipment and prepares specialty coffee.
- Crema: The tan-colored foam that forms on top of a well-brewed shot of espresso, providing a visually appealing and flavorful element.
- Demitasse: A small cup that holds two to three fluid ounces, specifically designed for serving espresso.
- Puck: The compressed cake of ground coffee left in the portafilter after the extraction process.
- Basket: The part of an espresso machine where coffee grounds are placed for brewing, which is then attached to the portafilter.
- Shot times: The duration from when the pump switch is activated until it is turned off, indicating the brewing time for an espresso shot.
- Naked portafilter: A portafilter without a spout, allowing the visual observation of the espresso extraction process.
- Hopper: The container in a coffee grinder that holds the coffee beans for grinding.
- Knock Box: A container used to discard used coffee grounds from the portafilter.
- Doser: A component attached to a coffee grinder that measures and dispenses a specific amount of ground coffee into the portafilter.
- Burr Grinder: A type of coffee grinder that uses two abrasive surfaces, called burrs, to grind coffee beans.
- Extraction time: The duration it takes to extract espresso from the coffee grounds, influencing the flavor and strength of the shot.
- Grouphead: The part of an espresso machine where the portafilter attaches and water is forced through the coffee grounds.
- Brew group: The assembly in an espresso machine that contains the group head, portafilter, and related components.
- Filter baskets: The small, perforated metal baskets that hold the coffee grounds within the portafilter during extraction.
- Brew Temperature: The optimal temperature at which water should be heated for brewing espresso, typically between 195°F and 205°F (90°C and 96°C).
- Brew Time: The duration it takes to extract a shot of espresso, which can vary based on factors such as grind size and desired flavor.
- Cup Tray: The surface on an espresso machine where cups are placed for filling with coffee.
- Cup Warmer: A feature on some espresso machines that provides a heated surface to warm cups before serving coffee.
- Gasket: A rubber seal located within the portafilter or group head, ensuring a tight and leak-free connection.
- 3-Way Solenoid: A mechanism in an espresso machine that releases pressure after brewing a shot, allowing for easier cleaning and preventing “soggy” pucks.
- Auto Frother: An automated device that steams and froths milk for espresso-based drinks.
- Backflush: The process of cleaning the group head and portafilter by forcing water or a cleaning solution backward through the machine.
- Pressure Release System: A mechanism in an espresso machine that relieves built-up pressure after brewing, ensuring a safe and controlled release of pressure.
- Venti: A term used by Starbucks to describe their largest size for beverages, typically holding 20 ounces.
- Latte Pune: A variation of a latte that originated in Pune, India, typically made with a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a layer of froth on top.
- Latteccino: A fusion of a latte and a cappuccino, combining equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.
- Frappuccino: A trademarked blended beverage created by Starbucks, typically made with coffee, milk, ice, and various flavorings, topped with whipped cream.
- Espresso Lungo: A longer extraction of espresso, where more water is passed through the coffee grounds, resulting in a larger volume but potentially a more diluted flavor.
- Pressurized Portafilter: A type of portafilter that includes a built-in pressure mechanism to help compensate for uneven or coarser grind size, producing a more forgiving extraction.
- Pressurized Filter: A filter basket designed with built-in pressure channels, typically used in combination with a pressurized portafilter to aid in creating a consistent espresso extraction.
- Caffe Amaretto: An espresso-based drink infused with amaretto liqueur, adding a sweet and nutty flavor.
- Caffe Corretto: An Italian coffee beverage where a shot of espresso is “corrected” by adding a small amount of alcohol, typically grappa, brandy, or sambuca.
- Caffe Freddo: A cold coffee drink popular in Greece, made with chilled espresso, sugar, and sometimes milk, served over ice.
- Caffe Medici: An espresso-based drink originating from Seattle, consisting of a double shot of espresso, orange or lemon zest, and whipped cream.
By familiarizing yourself with these espresso terminologies and expanding your espresso glossary, you are now equipped to navigate the coffee shop menu with confidence and order your favorite drink just the way you like it.
Whether you’re a passionate home barista or an avid coffee connoisseur, this knowledge allows you to appreciate the art and science behind the perfect cup of espresso.
So, the next time you step into a coffeehouse, impress your friends or barista with your understanding of espresso lingo and savor every sip of that meticulously crafted beverage.