How to Drink Espresso: The Proper Italian Way

Updated: December 22, 2021 by Owen Richardson

how to drink espresso

Have you ever been to Italy or just an Italian restaurant and thought to yourself, “Gee, I wonder if I am drinking my espresso the right way?” If you are wondering how to drink espresso like a true Italian, I am here to help you out!

You see, the first time I went to Italy, I felt so anxious to order an espresso because I did not know how to drink it. I saw some people around me drink it as a shot, while others drank it slowly. I was confused as to what I was supposed to do so that I could get the most from my espresso.

I think that there might be a lot of people who feel the same way when they order their first espresso. If this is something that has been bothering you for a while, my guide is just the thing to calm you down.

You should go over the steps I have included in the guide so that you learn the proper way to drink espresso. By the time you reach the end, you will know how to drink your espresso and feel like you are part of the real Italian dolce vita!

How to Drink Espresso: Step-by-Step Guide

There is no doubt that espresso is one of the most famous beverages in the world. You can get it anywhere, so you do not necessarily need to go to Italy to get a cup of it. However, you do need to know the Italian way of drinking it if you want the proper Italian experience.

From the way to serve it to the way to order and drink it, you can find all this information and more in my guide. So I strongly urge you to pay attention to all steps of the guide so that you learn everything you should know on the correct way to drink espresso. Let’s go right into the first step!

Step 1. The Importance of the Cup

As much as I would like to get right to the drinking of the espresso, the cup that you serve it in is equally as important. Even if you are just ordering it, you should be aware of what you are supposed to get.

espresso cup

The Italian way to serve espresso is in a small cup that can hold anywhere from 50 to 100 ml of liquid. The cup should be ceramic and white with no decorations on it. The only decoration that the cup can have is perhaps the name of a coffee brand – Lavazza, Illy, and so on.

Another important thing to keep in mind if you are preparing the espresso yourself is to preheat the cup before putting the coffee in it. Some people skip this step, but I think it contributes to the overall experience, so I recommend that you take a few seconds to heat the cup.

Step 2. Serve the Espresso with a Glass of Sparkling Water

s pellegrino with coffee

Another thing that you will often see in Italy is that espresso shots are served with a glass of sparkling water. I have heard that they do this because sparkling water is a great way to cleanse the palate. If you have never tried it before, it might be a good idea to give it a shot!

Step 3. Prepare or Order the Espresso

making espresso

If you are planning on making the espresso yourself, you need to have a proper espresso machine. Then, you use your favorite espresso beans and some water to brew an espresso shot. Your shot should be less than 100 ml.

If you are a fan of sweeter coffees, you can also add sugar or milk to the espresso. However, you should try drinking the espresso only to get the full experience. Espresso is quite a strong type of coffee, so drinking only one shot can keep you up and running all day long!

If you are in Italy and you want to get an espresso from a coffee shop, all you need to do is tell the waiter that you want a coffee. In Italy, they use the term “coffee” and “espresso” interchangeably, so they will understand you right away!

You can also choose between the regular espresso, a long shot, or a ristretto shot. The regular is more like a small but concentrated espresso, while the ristretto is an espresso made with less water. Even though you might be keener on one type of shot, I would recommend that you try out all three!

Step 4. Stir the Espresso

stirring espresso

Before you drink the espresso, you should stir it in the cup just like you would do to a glass of wine before drinking it. When you stir the espresso, you help release the aroma and make the shot that much more enjoyable.

Step 5. Drink the Espresso

drinking espresso

Finally, you have reached the most important step: the actual drinking of the espresso. You can drink the espresso as a shot or you can sip it slowly. There is no right or wrong way – it depends on your preference!

Some Italians like to drink the espresso as a shot, but if you are not used to the taste of espresso, I would recommend that you start by drinking it sip by sip. As you get more acquainted with the taste, you can try drinking it as a shot!

FAQs on Drinking Espresso

Is drinking espresso bad for your health?

If you hear someone saying that drinking espresso is bad for your health, tell them that they do not know what they are talking about! Espresso is known to be one of the healthiest choices when it comes to coffee. Drinking espresso can be very beneficial to your health.

It can help you increase your long-term memory while also helping you reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. In addition to that, it can improve digestion, help you with age-related illnesses, and it can help you stay in better physical shape. If all this is not enough to get you to drink espresso, I do not know what is!

What goes well with espresso?

Now that you know how to prepare and serve espresso, you might want to show off your skills to your friends and family. Instead of serving only espresso, I recommend that you serve it with something extra!

You can try serving it with some cake since coffee and cake are a classic combination. You can also serve it with some almonds, chocolate, chocolate-covered espresso beans, or even some dried fruit. Everyone’s preferences are different, so try out all these choices and then decide on which one you like best.

How long should it take to drink espresso?

Since espresso is served in such small amounts, it should not take that long to drink. This coffee is one of the quickest to prepare and drink, so it is a perfect choice for people who tend to be busy or always in a hurry.

The espresso takes less than 30 seconds to prepare and takes another three to four minutes to drink. You do not want to keep it longer because once it gets cold, it is not as good as it is when hot. I would recommend that you sip it quickly, in approximately three to five sips.

If you find that the espresso is too strong for your liking and you cannot drink it quickly, you can choose to add some sugar or milk to make it sweeter. I hope that by doing that, you will be able to enjoy it more!

 

And That’s How You Get to Espresso Heaven!

That is everything you need to know about espresso, how to serve it, and how to drink it in a way that brinks out the most pleasure to get the most from it. Make sure that you remember the steps I mentioned above when ordering or preparing your next shot of espresso.

I hope that you found this guide informative and entertaining. If you know some other espresso-related facts that you would like to share with me and all other coffeeholics, I encourage you to do so in the comments below. I would love to know all about your relationship with coffee and espresso in particular, so feel free to share all about it with me!

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