General English


  • Coffee made with dark-roasted finely ground coffee through which superheated water (water under pressure at a temperature greater than 100°C) is forced. This extracts a high proportion of coffee solubles plus bitter components not normally found in conventionally brewed coffee.


  • noun a type of strong Italian coffee, made in a special machine, where steam or boiling water is forced through ground coffee under pressure
  • noun a cup of this coffee

Origin & History of “espresso”

Etymologically, espresso is coffee that has been ‘pressed out’. The word comes from Italian caffè espresso, literally ‘pressed-out coffee’, which refers to the way in which the coffee is made by forcing pressurized steam or boiling water through the finely ground beans. Espresso is the past participle of esprimere ‘press out’, from Latin exprimere – which is also the source of English express.