7 Fast Facts About Espresso

“Espresso is a miracle of chemistry in a cup.”- Andrea Illy

November 23 is National Espresso Day! (FYI – “The First Pull” refers to “pulling” a fresh shot of espresso.)

Here are 7 things you should know about this delicious beverage, illustrated with GIFs.


1. Espresso is not a particular type of coffee bean or a particular roast, it is a drink.

Specifically, it is a particular type of coffee brewing method that uses high pressure to force nearly boiling water through finely ground coffee in about 20-30 seconds.



2. “Crema” is the initial light/tawny colored liquid that comes out during an espresso extraction.

Learn more about why crema is so important to espresso aficionados.



3. Espresso is regulated by the Italian government because it is considered an essential part of their daily life.

Related: How to Drink Espresso Like an Italian



4. Espresso machines use 132 pounds per square inch of pressure to extract coffee.

Traditional drip coffee brewers just use boring gravity.


giphy25.One shot of espresso requires 50 coffee beans.

And just one bad bean in the blend can ruin the taste.



6. Brewed espresso has 2.5% fat, while filtered coffee contains 0.6% fat.

This is because espresso is an emulsion; or a liquid composed of stratified oils. (Extra coffee fact: A coffee bean is roughly 12% oil.)



Zero gravity coffee cup – via NASA

7. As of 2015, astronauts on the International Space Station can brew fresh espresso on board.

For a drink that’s really out of this world. [Ed. note: Sorry.]



The Espresso Field Guide

A visual reference for ingredient ratios.
Video: illy

2 thoughts on “7 Fast Facts About Espresso

  1. Pingback: Espresso Field Guide | The First Pull

  2. Pingback: The Espresso Field Guide | The First Pull

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