Make Your Editor Cry: Expresso vs. Espresso

Make Your Editor Cry: Expresso vs. Espresso

“Espresso” is defined as “coffee brewed by forcing steam or hot water through finely ground darkly roasted coffee beans.” This particular strong coffee drink brewed into a tiny cup is pronounced with an “s” in the first syllable and written as “espresso.”

The origin of the word is Italian. The espresso in caffè espresso did not pertain to the “express” nature of brewing but the fact that the coffee was “pressed out,” espresso being cited as a past participle of esprimere, from Latin exprimere.

Expresso is US slang based on “expressing” the coffee, and until very recently was not actually a word. This is a small but important distinction.

The correct word is “espresso.”

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