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How to Drink Espresso (In 7 Easy Steps)

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If you’re wondering how to drink espresso, you’re not alone. Learning how to enjoy this drink can be a fun and rewarding experience. Being an espresso junkie, I can help you to learn more.

There is no right or wrong way. Some people prefer to drink it straight up, savouring the rich and intense flavour. Others may prefer to add a bit of sugar or cream to cut the bitterness.

I personally like to add a bit of milk foam to make a nice macchiato.

In this article, I’ll cover the basics of how to drink espresso like a real Italian barista, including some tips for getting the most out of your espresso experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned coffee drinker or just starting out, this guide will help you navigate the world of espresso and discover the best way to drink it.

Credits to Il Barista Italiano YouTube Channel

How to Drink Espresso Like a Pro

1. Order or prepare your espresso shot

To drink espresso correctly, it is essential to order your shot correctly and prepare it correctly.

When ordering your drink, make sure you specify that you’d like an espresso shot instead of a regular pot of coffee.

If you are making espresso, it is also important to remember that a single espresso shot should only take about twenty-five to thirty seconds to prepare properly.

2. Serve your espresso properly

When you drink espresso, one of the keys to getting the most out of your drink is making sure it is served at the right temperature.

To achieve that, preheating your cup can make all the difference.

Doing this will ensure you enjoy your espresso from start to finish as it maintains its flavour and texture better when served at an optimal temperature.

How to drink espresso - Properply served in hot cup with water
Properly served espresso in a hot cup with a cup of water

3. Take a sip of sparkling water to cleanse your palate

Taking a sip of sparkling water before drinking espresso could help to cleanse your palate and give you more flavour and satisfaction with your drink.

A quick sip of high-quality sparkling water can reduce any residual taste in your mouth, allowing you to focus solely on the flavour of the drink.

4. Smell the espresso to appreciate its aroma

When drinking espresso, it is important to stop and appreciate its complex aroma before taking the first sip. The way this drink smells can tell you a lot about its quality.

With time, you will be able to detect delicate notes of spices, wood, chocolate, honey, and even tobacco.

Additionally, this practice will also aid you in noticing potential unpleasant odours that could indicate lower-quality beans or issues with the brewing process.

5. Skim away the Crema or swirl the cup

When drinking espresso, the crema (a layer of dark foam) provides a strong flavour that can be overwhelming.

If this is not your desired drink experience, you can attempt to skim the crema off of your drink before taking your first sip or swirl the cup to mix it with espresso.

If done correctly, this will produce a smoother drink with more complexity of flavour compared to simply drinking right away.

Skimming off the crema also reduces bitterness in espresso drinks and could provide a better drink experience for those just starting out with espresso.

How to drink espresso - Skim away the crema
Skimmed espresso crema

6. Sip and hold the espresso for a few seconds

Taking a small sip of the espresso is a worthwhile venture before indulging in the drink.

Espresso’s inviting aroma combined with its mild yet strong flavour is something always worth savouring, and taking a small sip can ensure that you will enjoy drinking espresso.

Doing this prior to drinking an entire cup can help give you an indication of what the drink is like and whether you should continue or not.

7. Swallow the espresso and enjoy the aftertaste

After tasting it, go ahead and drink the whole cup. Espresso is usually taken in one drink without adding anything to it, thus allowing you to enjoy the rich flavour in its purest form.

In addition to the rich flavour, most of us who drink espresso find ourselves pleasantly surprised by its intense aftertaste.

This aftertaste often lingers for a few seconds and is characterized by a sweetish feeling.

Enjoying all these qualities of the espresso is an experience like no other; for some, it might just become an addiction!

A Few Helpful Tips on How to Drink Espresso

Savour the aroma

The drink has a complex yet pleasant fragrance, often combining nutty and chocolatey tones, depending on its origin.

Brewing it properly requires finesse, as it can easily be over-extracted or under-extracted if too much or too little water is used.

To ensure maximum aroma, you should always use an espresso machine. Furthermore, use freshly ground beans with a relatively high proportion of oils, along with a consistent grind size, to achieve the desired strength and intensity.

Drinking Espresso Tips - Savour the aroma
Freshly brewed espresso aroma

Take small sips

For those who find themselves drinking down the potent drink too quickly, it may result in indigestion and an unwanted quick espresso caffeine intake jolt.

Taking small sips while drinking espresso will allow you to savour the flavour, aroma and strength of each sip.

Doing so can even help you detect hidden layers of flavour, as some subtle and delicate notes may only present themselves when given time to linger on your pallet.

Don’t add sugar

If you are thinking of adding sugar to your espresso, think twice and consider changing your drink altogether.

Sugar can take away from the complex flavours of the drink and instead replace those flavours with a sweetness that could disguise the drink’s true flavour.

This would not be doing any justice for the drink or yourself. Enjoy espresso for its original flavours, after all, it is made for that purpose – for people who enjoy strong yet sweet coffee.

Pair with a small treat

Drinking espresso can be an amazing experience since it has a very concentrated, intense flavour. To truly appreciate the drink and capture its full potential, pairing it with a small treat is highly recommended.

An espresso accompanied by an individually wrapped biscotti or a macaron can really enhance the unique flavour of this drink, leaving behind a pleasant aftertaste on your palate.

Drinking Espresso Tips - Pair It With a Treat
Pair espresso with a treat

Drink it hot

Drinking espresso when it is hot is one of the most important things if you are looking to seize the full flavour and essence of the drink.

There are several reasons for this; firstly, espresso has a much shorter brewing time than a standard pot of coffee, so if you drink it when it’s lukewarm, you will be missing out on some of its unique tastes.

Secondly, drink temperatures affect your palette too: After just a few minutes out from the machine, espresso loses many of the pleasant yet complex flavours that make it truly special.

Finally, many people drink espresso because they want to benefit from its high caffeine content – but drinking warm espresso can cause stomach issues due to the heat that could take away all enjoyment you could have had with this drink.

In short, remember to drink your espresso when it’s hot!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to drink espresso?

The best time of day to drink espresso is in the morning, shortly after waking up.

Having a good cup of espresso in the morning can help jumpstart your day, providing an energy boost to get you ready for whatever lies ahead.

How much espresso should I drink in a day?

The amount of espresso you should drink in a day depends on several factors and will vary from person to person.

Generally speaking, it is recommended that individuals consume no more than 300 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of 2-3 shots or cups of espresso) per day.

Any consumption above this amount can cause side effects such as headaches, anxiety, rapid heart rate, and insomnia.

Can I add milk to my espresso?

Yes, you can add milk to your espresso. Adding milk to an espresso can change the flavour of the drink and create a richer, smoother beverage.

While ‘straight’ espressos are considered the traditional way to consume this type of coffee, many people enjoy adding steamed or frothed milk to their espresso for a creamy texture and subtle sweetness.

By adding milk you can make different types of espresso drinks.

How do I know if my espresso is bad?

There are several ways to tell if your espresso is bad. First, you should look at the colour and consistency of the espresso.

Good espresso should be dark brown and have a smooth, creamy texture. If it is lighter than expected or has an oily sheen on the surface, it may be rancid or stale.

Additionally, you should smell the espresso beans before brewing them. Good beans will have a fresh and potent aroma that immediately fills the room; if they smell musty or faded, they are not suitable for brewing.

Lastly, you should taste the espresso itself. Freshly brewed espresso should have a strong flavour with a hint of sweetness; if it tastes bitter or sour, then it could be past its prime.

When in doubt, discard any suspicious beans and opt for freshly roasted ones instead.

How to Drink Espresso Is No Longer a Mistery

If you’re a coffee lover looking for a new way to enjoy your favourite drink, look no further than espresso. Espresso is perfect for those who want a strong, bold flavour in their coffee.

However, it is important to remember that there is a correct way to order, prepare, stir, and drink espresso in order to get the most out of the experience.

I hope this article has answered all your questions about the process. Now that you know how to correctly drink espresso, are you ready to start enjoying it like a pro?

What to Do Next?

I hope you enjoyed our instructions on how to drink espresso. If you want to take your game a step further, check out our espresso guides here.

Photo of author

Author: Ivan Brozincevic

Ivan fell in love with everything about espresso while he was in college back in 2010, so much so that he decided to quit his education and pursue a career as a barista. Today, Ivan has extensive knowledge about espresso, espresso gear, and everything else related and loves sharing it with others who share his passion.

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