What is an Espresso Shot?

What is an Espresso Shot?

There are some questions that we may feel a little embarrassed to ask. You may order one espresso drink a week, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “what is espresso?” or “what is an espresso shot?”. These questions are far more common that you might expect and there is no harm in asking these questions. An espresso shot is an extremely flavorful shot of concentrated coffee. Most believe that espresso is just a different type of bean used when brewing (espresso bean), however, this is a misconception.

What is the Difference Between Coffee and Espresso?

The most common confusion that goes along with espresso is understanding the difference between espresso and coffee. The key difference is not in the type of beans, it is actually in the way the drink is prepared. In other words, it is the brew method that is different. Most brewing methods take coffee grounds, some warm water, and a good amount of time to let the water filter through the grounds. An espresso machine uses pressure to force boiling water through an espresso puck.

What to Look For in a Shot of Espresso

When I started learning about espresso, I asked myself, “what’s the deal?”. I never understood what the hype was around these drinks. The most popular reason people love espresso, is the “crema” that is produced. This is a brownish, frothy, type foam, where the air bubbles have combines with the oils in the coffee bean. Good crema can make an average drink, extraordinary. Crema is a typical benchmark when judging different  roasts. The extraction process of an espresso machine produces a more robust flavor that has more pleasant aftertaste.

Most Popular Espresso Drinks

Espresso beverages offer more than just caffeine. It took me some time to learn how to drink espresso. I really didn’t understand the difference between coffee from a Keurig or a really well pulled shot. I valued good coffee and over time, have learned how to appreciate different qualities in all beans or drinks.

Espresso Shots

The topic of this post. An espresso shot is timeless. Some might find espresso shots a little strong or bitter. It really does take time to learn to enjoy a really nice shot of espresso. Most shots of espresso are pulled in pairs and try to showcase different qualities of the roast. If you are wanting to experiment with a different roast, see our post on our favorite espresso beans.


Always served hot and best on a cold morning, cappuccinos are one of the easiest beverages to prepare with a home espresso machine. The key to making a great cappuccino is to froth the milk you use, until you have a good amount of foam on top. If you have enough foam, you should be able to drink your cappuccino when it is extremely hot, with a barrier of foam that will cut down the heat and leave you with a rich, sweet taste.


Probably the most popular espresso drink, lattes are iconic. Iced or hot, you can enjoy a lovely sweet, silky drink that can be flavored to your likings. In a hot latte, steamed milk is used with just a touch of foam over the espresso. This milk froth/foam can be used to create latte art, which everyone loves.