What is Espresso? History and Benefits

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Espresso Machine

People don’t have much idea about what espresso really is. According to most of them, It is stronger than regular coffee, served in little cups, and originated in Italy, but there is much more to it. So, let me enlighten you with what espresso actually is.

Espresso (ess-press-oh) is a concentrated drink. It is prepared by pushing 1 or 2 ounces of heated water through finely-ground coffee and put under intense pressure.

Although made from the same kinds of beans as regular coffee, the brewing method is different. And, it is a base for many coffee drinks.
Moreover, it has less caffeine per serving, and cafes serve it in smaller servings.

History of Espresso

Angelo Moriondo, a citizen of Turin in northern Italy, invented the first steam-driven coffee-making device in 1884. Later in 1901, Luigi Bezzera, a Milanese inventor, introduced an improved version of that device and patented it. His version is much close to the latest espresso machines we use today.  

Between the 1950s and the 1990s, espresso became quite popular in the USA (all thanks to the invention and popularity of latte).

Back then in the 1950s, only working-class Italian expatriates living in cities like New York, Boston, and San Francisco consumed it. But nowadays, people of all ages like to enjoy it.

Regular Coffee vs. Espresso

Espresso takes much less time to prepare than regular coffee (about 30 seconds). A well-prepared shot of espresso has a strong aroma and a rich flavor. It could be full of floral, smoky, chocolaty, and cinnamon-ish notes.

The reason why it has such an aroma is because of the brewing method. Additionally, the super-hot, pressurized brewing process preserves many of the natural oils and aromas within the coffee grounds.

Top 3 Health Benefits

1. May Improve Heart Health

According to a study, consuming the right amount of caffeine can help improve cell functionality. This then acts as a barrier against things like heart disease. In fact, coffee drinkers might be 19% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

2. May Improve Brain Health

According to research, drinking espresso may aid in reducing the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, a lot of studies have found out that the intake of regular, moderate coffee can reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

3. May Improve Liver Health

Coffee consumption can greatly reduce the risk of cirrhosis – a liver disease caused by the heavy use of alcohol (source).

Popular Ways to Enjoy Espresso

Apart from using espresso to make several classic coffee drinks, you can do much more. For example, you can use the espresso powder to make delicious desserts like this moist Chocolate Cake.

Summary/ Quick Facts

  • It is not a roasting style or a coffee bean. It is a brewing process
  • Originated in Italy.
  • Contains 29-100mg of caffeine per shot.
  • Its brewing temperature is 190F.
  • Ground coffee beans are the main ingredient for brewing espresso.

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