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Espresso v Expresso


Dignan
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Merriam-Webster says: "Etymology: Italian (caffè) espresso, literally, pressed out coffee." But even if the "espress" root has multiple meanings in this context they're all equivalent to "express" in English. So the use of "expresso" by English speakers is hardly surprising. I favor "espresso" but I wouldn't criticize someone for saying "expresso."

Here's a faq from a German coffee web site in which dictionary editor Jesse Sheidlower gives an opinion on the topic.

I would say that regardless of etymology, if I should happen to see "expresso" in a manuscript or proof I'd mark it as an error.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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  • 1 month later...
It really is espresso - pronounced like it sounds.

now THAT is funny !!!!!!!

xo

"Animal crackers and cocoa to drink

That is the finest of suppers, I think

When I'm grown up and can have what I please,

I think I shall always insist upon these"

*Christopher Morley

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  • 1 month later...

OED (2nd Ed) gives 'expresso,' pronounced with an "ex," as a variant of 'espresso,' pronounced with an "ess."

Google gives 4.55M-hits for espresso, versus 840k-hits for expresso. Two notes: First, scanning the first 30 hits, only one in the first thirty had to do with coffee. Second, all the paid ads had to do with coffee. So the ex- usage is out there and is common enough that companies are willing to pay to be linked to that word as well. (Googling espresso + coffee = 1.5M-hits, expresso + coffee = 90k-hits, which probably gives a better estimate of relative usage in English.)

As for etymology, OED concurs with other English sources:

[it. caffè espresso, lit. 'pressed-out coffee'.]

Looking at the word 'express,'

[... L. exprimre of which the chief senses were 1. to press out; 2. to form (an image) by pressure, to represent in sculpture or painting 3. to represent or set forth in words or actions.]

Clearly, one can't just look at 21st century usage of an Italian word to determine the derivation of a word coined more than a hundred years ago. In fact, looking at the English usage of the word 'express' (assuming, in the absence of other information, that italian usage was roughly parallel) shows that the time of first usage in Italian would apparently be of key interest.

Pressing forward in the investigation of circumstantial evidence:

"express" meaning "pressed" is an old word, circa 1400.

"express" meaning "specially intended" is another old word, also circa 1400.

"express" meaning "fast" is a recent word, first known usage in English, 1897.

The first European patent for a steam-pressure coffee machines was granted 1821. If the phrase originates from this date, it almost certainly refers to pressed out (due to pressure - again, with the Latin root premere), as such machines made coffee by the pot.

Bezzera's main 1901 innovation was to design for individual cups of coffee. So if he coined the phrase, then my guess, only a guess, is that the innovation was "expressly for you." However, that means that there must have been eighty years of coffee being similarly made by steam pressure without "pressure" ever figuring into the name. So my feeling is that this is a less likely derivation.

Could it mean "fast"? Conceivable, but unlikely, given the timing. The original "express trains" weren't particularly fast at all -- they were rather "specially intended" to travel from one particular station to another particular station. It looks like until at least 1909, at least, high speed "express" was limited to modifying the hardware -- freight [meaning freight train], boiler, pump, lift [elevator], etc. OED presents other usage (express cleaners, expressway) both in 1938. So in English, at least, it would appear that the most likely usage would have been "express coffeemaker".

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I have worked for my boss, an Italian from Brooklyn, for 36 years. When I first started working for him I used the word expresso and was immediately corrected that the correct word was espresso. He was quite firm about this. He explained that it meant the water was forced through the grounds by steam pressure.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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He explained that it meant the water was forced through the grounds by steam pressure.

Historically that was the case but the lever operated piston replaced the pressure of steam long ago (in the 30's IIRC), followed by Gaggia's revolutionary introduction of a pump to force the water through at a higher and more consistent pressure. I was actually blessed enough to receive a one-on-one lecture yesterday on this time line from one of the owners of the LaMarzocco Espresso Machine company. Fascinating experience to say the least and the day of training I received was transformative on a personal level. I have found my calling. More to follow.

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I have a very old Gaggia that has been retired to the shed. I won one of the superautomatic machines last fall and had the old monster hauled out to make room for the new baby.

Who knew it could be so easy to get a cup with perfect crema....not me, that is for sure.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A few things here:

OED (2nd Ed) gives 'expresso,' pronounced with an "ex," as a variant of 'espresso,' pronounced with an "ess."  . . .  As for etymology, OED concurs with other English sources . . .

With all due respect, I still cannot figure out why we should care in the least what an English language dictionary has to say about the etymology of an Italian language word. The OED is a great resource for English. For Italian, why not turn to the "OED of Italian" -- Lo Zingarelli?

Clearly, one can't just look at 21st century usage of an Italian word to determine the derivation of a word coined more than a hundred years ago.  In fact, looking at the English usage of the word 'express' (assuming, in the absence of other information, that italian usage was roughly parallel) shows that the time of first usage in Italian would apparently be of key interest.

As shown below, espresso has been around in use as the past participle of esprimere since 1292. THe primary meaning, dating from that time, is "declared of manifested explicitly" as in "I have manifested this tiny little cup of coffee explicitly for you." Note that the use of the verb esprimere to signify "pressing out" is considered archaic, which meaning has long been taken (since the 16th century) by the verb spremere (past part. spremuto).

Lo Zingarelli says:

esprimere o *espremere, *ispremere, *sprimere [vc. dotta, lat. exprimere 'premere (premere) per far uscire (ex-)'; sec XIII] A. v. tr. (pass. rem. io esprèssi, tu esprimésti; part. pass. esprèsso) 1 Manifestare con atti e parole [to manifest with actions and words] . . . 2 Tradurre in espressione artistica [to translate in artistic expression] . . . 3 Generare, produrre [to generate, to produce] . . . 4 *Spremere. [to squeeze] 5 (fig) *Trarre fuori [to draw out] B v. intr. pron [esprimersi]

espresso (1) o *ispresso, *spresso [av. 1292] A part. pass di esprimere; anche agg.  1  Dichiarato o manifestato esplicitamente [Declared or manifested explicitly]

* = parola o accenzione arcaica [archaic word or meaning]

The first European patent for a steam-pressure coffee machines was granted 1821.  If the phrase originates from this date, it almost certainly refers to pressed out (due to pressure - again, with the Latin root premere), as such machines made coffee by the pot.

If we're talking about something that dates from 1821, then why are we trying to trace its name back to a language that had been long dead by 1821, and overlooking contemporary meanings in the appropriate language? Again, per Lo Zingarelli, it would seem that the use of espresso to describe coffee dates from the mid-19th century:

espresso (2) [ingl. express dal fr. exprès 'espresso'; 1853] A Celere, rapido [quick, rapid] | Detto di cibo o bevanda preparati sul momento per chi li richiede [said of food or drink prepared at the moment for he/she who requests it]: piatto e.; spaghetti espressi; caffè e. [express dish, express spaghetti, express coffee] B in funzione di agg. inv. Detto di corrispondenza che viene recapitata con maggiore celerità e che richiede un'affrancatura di maggiore importo rispetto a quella ordinaria [said of correspondence that comes delivered with blah blah blah] C s.m. 1 (ellit.) [elliptical] Caffè espresso: chiedere, bere un e. [to ask (for), drink an espresso]. . .

It seems fairly clear to me, as I said before, that caffè espresso means either "coffee made quickly," or "coffee made at the moment for someone" -- or, most likely, both.

--

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Welcome to the board, g_hanson!

When I hear someone order "an expresso" I start thinking about this culture's obsession with celerity.

.......It makes me cringe on the order of hearing someone say nukular.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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It really depends what we're arguing about here. So a "hamburger" originally meant "ground meat like they serve in Hamburg, Germany" but that's not really what it means in modern American usage. Whatever a caffe espresso originally meant, it now means "made at the moment you order it," according to Lo Zing. Agreed. Or maybe not agreed. Shall we delve into signifiers and signifieds?

Note that there is no history of the word in Lo Zing, so there's no way to determine whether its current usage is a back-formation from the phrase "caffe espresso," whatever its original derivation. For example, "turkey burger" is a back-formation unrelated to the German root-word "burg." Without the history of the word its impossible to tell. Care for some ground meat like they serve in Turkeyburg, Germany?

With all due respect, I still cannot figure out why we should care in the least what an English language dictionary has to say about the etymology of an Italian language word. The OED is a great resource for English. For Italian, why not turn to the "OED of Italian" -- Lo Zingarelli?

Erm, I think not. Not close. Just calling it the OED of Italian doesn't make it so. From the looks of it, perhaps equivalent to the "Shorter OED."

So lets turn to the "Shorter OED of Italian."

espresso (2) [ingl. express dal fr. exprès 'espresso'; 1853] A Celere, rapido

There, indeed, is why we should care what the OED has to say. Right there. Inside the square brackets. From the English express, 1853. In 1853, in English, express didn't mean 'fast'. So not giving the history of the word badly misleads the reader.

A boring history aside. The word "express" meaning "fast" is closely tied to the railroads. It happens that the railroad boom in England and the US predated the Italian railroad boom by thirty years -- Italy's began post-1866. Which is why Italian is borrowing that constellation of meanings from English.

I pull up to the Flying-J truckstop outside Cheyenne and step inside to the restaurant. Before I take a stool, a waitress parks herself before me, a blonde with pink satin showing three different places. I'm still standing while she pours me a long, slow smile and a hot cuppa joe.

I step into Tully's in Noe Valley in San Francisco and stand on line. Eventually, I shuffle up to the counter, where I place my order with a harried young man. I think "my goatee's better than his" and then I stand to the side, waiting. The world sounds like milk steaming. I think I hear my name over the shrrr of steam, but no, I'm mistaken. I stare at the mugs on display.

So why is espresso the fast one?

To venture another guess, what about this. It really comes from the French, whose "cafe pression" (French press coffee) really does mean "pressed out." A bit of lazy elision and comical cross-cultural misunderstanding in heavy accents gives "caff' epressio" which becomes "caffe espresso."

my boss, an Italian from Brooklyn.... explained that it meant the water was forced through the grounds by steam pressure.

Holy cow! [santa Vacca!] Call Lo Zing! An Italian in Brooklyn is using a dialect of Italian thought to have gone extinct before 1600!

Uh, no, just checked the OED again. Turns out that Fat Guy was right. It does mean "eat me."

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It really depends what we're arguing about here.  So a "hamburger" originally meant "ground meat like they serve in Hamburg, Germany" but that's not really what it means in modern American usage.  Whatever a caffe espresso originally meant, it now means "made at the moment you order it," according to Lo Zing.  Agreed.  Or maybe not agreed.  Shall we delve into signifiers and signifieds?

Note that there is no history of the word in Lo Zing, so there's no way to determine whether its current usage is a back-formation from the phrase "caffe espresso," whatever its original derivation.  For example, "turkey burger" is a back-formation unrelated to the German root-word "burg."  Without the history of the word its impossible to tell.  Care for some ground meat like they serve in Turkeyburg, Germany?

Perhaps I don't understand where you're coming from, unless you are arguing in favor of my point now. This fork of the discussion came from a poster who furthered the definition from the OED that "caffè espresso" means "pressed out coffee." My contention is that this definition is not correct, and that it does not make sense to derrive the current meaning from its Latin origins, as the OED does.

What I get out of what you are saying here is that it is ridiculous and inappropriate to trace the etymology of "turkey burger" all the way back to its German origin in order to understand its meaning today -- just like it is ridiculous and inappropriate to trace the etymology of the Italian word "espresso" all the way back 1,000+ years to a Latin verb in order to understand its meaning today. If this is what you're saying, then we are in agreement. What do these things tell us? If I were to approach the "turkey burger" question as you and the OED have approached the "espresso" question, I should conclude the following: turkey burger comes from hamburger and hamburger comes from Hamburg, Germany. Therefore, "turkey burger" means "turkey prepared in the style of Hamburg, Germany." This is, of course, ridiculous. The meaning of "turkey burger" has nothing whatsoever to do with Hamburg, Germany. Why? Because it is based on a meaning of "burger" that has nothing whatsoever to do with Hamburg, Germany.

Now, from a purely historical and etymological standpoint, it is most likely true that "turkey burger" can be traced back to Hamburg, Germany. Unfortunately, this doesn't really help us underestand the meaning of "turkey burger." The same thing can be said for the Italian word espresso. It is the past participle of esprimere, which evolved out of a Latin verb exprimere which had the meaning "to press out." So far so good. But, just as "Hamburg, Germany" doesn't tell us much about the meaning of "turkey burger," neither does exprimere tell us much about the meaning of espresso -- except, of course, from a purely historical standpoint.

So, where does this leave us in terms of understanding the meaning of espresso? According to the OED, since the Italian word espresso can be linked back a few thousand years to the Latin verb exprimere, and since the Latin verb exprimere means "to press out," the Italian word espresso means "coffee that is pressed out." This is more or less analogous to an Italian dictionary saying that "turkey burger" means "turkey served in the style of Hamburg, Germany."

It just seems nonsensical to attempt to frame one's understanding of a word that describes a 20th century product (albeit with technological origins as far back as 1821), according to a Latin verb and/or the meaning of an Italian verb which was archaic by that time. Similarly, if I we could say "the turkey burger was invented in 1973" I would look to meanings of "burger" from around 1973 or later upon which to base my understanding of "turkey burger."

That's all I'm really saying here. "Espresso" is the p.p. of esprimere. Esprimere hasn't meant "pressed out" for a long time, and it didn't have that meaning for at least a hundred years before the invention and popularization of the coffee product known as caffè espresso. Therefore, it strikes me that, despite what the OED and other English language dictionaries suggest, there is no way espresso has that meaning.

Another question to be answered is when it started to be called caffè espresso. Although you assert that the first European patent for a steam-pressure coffee machines was granted 1821, there is no reason to suppose that the word caffè espresso dates from this time. FWIW, most people date the invention of "espresso" from Bezzera's 1901 patent, and indeed his was the first machine to use the force of steam to directly press water through the coffee grounds. Prior to that time, the other machines used pressure to force the water some distance above the coffee grounds, after which the force of gravity carried the water through the grounds. Mostly these machines were to be found at expositions and fairs and the like. The consumption of espresso as a popular phenomenon dates from the 20th century, with the rollout of the Pavoni and Victoria Arduino machines, etc. and it strikes me as most likely that the usage of caffè espresso dates from this time or later. This guy here dates it from 1945 in his English etymology dictionary (altnough he also furthers the OED's definition), which would put it after the 1938 Cremonesi piston pump and just prior to Gaggia's rollout of commercial piston machines (i.e., the birth of modern espresso).

Whichever date one prefers, both 1821 and 1901 put espresso many years removed from the meaning "pressed out." Both, on the other hand, are well within the years in which is had the meaning "declared of manifested explicitly." 1901 puts it well within the years in which it had an additional meaning of being fast. This brings me right back to what I said earlier: caffè espresso means either "coffee made quickly," or "coffee made at the moment for someone" -- or, most likely, both. Although, perhaps I should put the two meanings in reverse order so as to give precedence to the meaning of longer standing: caffè espresso means either "coffee made explicitly (at the moment) for someone," or "coffee made quickly" -- or, most likely, both.

--

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English-language dictionaries are notorious for not "getting" espresso. See alt.coffee for some great rants on the standard definition of espresso as coffee brewed with steam (as any geek will tell you, milk is steamed and espresso is brewed with hot but not boiling water). Although better than most, the latest Miriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, © 2003) still misses the mark, defining espresso as "1 : coffee brewed by forcing steam or hot water through finely ground darkly roasted coffee beans 2 : a cup of espresso". (While the reference to steam can be written off as a nod to espresso's roots and/or cheap modern-day espresso machines that use a thermoblock instead of a pump, it has never been carved in stone that the beans used for espresso must be darkly roasted.) However — and here's the point — MWCD11 finally gets the etymology right: "[it (caffè) espresso, prob. lit., coffee made on the spot at the customer's request] (1945)".

edit: BTW, the 1945 refers to the earliest recorded use in English, not Italian.

edit: clarity

Edited by carswell (log)
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Another question to be answered is when it started to be called caffè espresso.  Although you assert that the first European patent for a steam-pressure coffee machines was granted 1821, there is no reason to suppose that the word caffè espresso dates from this time.  FWIW, most people date the invention of "espresso" from Bezzera's 1901 patent, and indeed his was the first machine to use the force of steam to directly press water through the coffee grounds.  Prior to that time, the other machines used pressure to force the water some distance above the coffee grounds, after which the force of gravity carried the water through the grounds.  Mostly these machines were to be found at expositions and fairs and the like.  The consumption of espresso as a popular phenomenon dates from the 20th century, with the rollout of the Pavoni and Victoria Arduino machines, etc. and it strikes me as most likely that the usage of caffè espresso dates from this time or later.  This guy here dates it from 1945 in his English etymology dictionary (altnough he also furthers the OED's definition), which would put it after the 1938 Cremonesi piston pump and just prior to Gaggia's rollout of commercial piston machines (i.e., the birth of modern espresso).

As I stated earlier, after a fair amount of study of the topic (it's what I do for a living), to the best of my knowledge, the first use of "caffe espresso" as a phrase was in booth advertising at the 1906 International Trade Fair in Milan at the Bezzera exhibit where they offered caffe espresso made from their Ideale machine. Historical records indicated that Luigi Bezzera termed the drink "caffe expres" in all of the 1901 product and marketing materials. Given this, we can probably say that the odds are good that the earliest date for the use of "caffee espresso" in popular vernacular lies between 1901 and 1906 -- but certainly no later than 1906.

Edited by malachi (log)

fanatic...

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As I stated earlier, after a fair amount of study of the topic (it's what I do for a living), to the best of my knowledge, the first use of "caffe espresso" as a phrase was in booth advertising at the 1906 International Trade Fair in Milan at the Bezzera exhibit where they offered caffe espresso made from their Ideale machine. Historical records indicated that Luigi Bezzera termed the drink "caffe expres" in all of the 1901 product and marketing materials. Given this, we can probably say that the odds are good that the earliest date for the use of "caffee espresso" in popular vernacular lies between 1901 and 1906 -- but certainly no later than 1906.

Right. I was only offering the 1945 date (which, as carswell points out, is really the date it entered the English vernacular) as a further indication of its 20th century provenance. That we can relatively conclusively date it to the early 20th century further bolsters my argument that espresso signifies not only "made expressly for someone" but also has connotations of speed, as this meaning was well established by the early 20th century.

Your information, for me, seals the deal against the notion that espresso means "pressed out coffee."

--

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it is ridiculous and inappropriate to trace the etymology of the Italian word "espresso" all the way back 1,000+ years to a Latin verb in order to understand its meaning today.

Yes, absolutely. We should avoid harkening back to word roots in obscure languages to seek meaning. Yes, damn it, yes. You're right. Why are we considering Italian at all? Espresso is an English word -- hell, the stuff's not even called espresso in Italy, right? So espresso is an English word for coffee brewed using certain techniques and that's all.

However :wink:

Discerning readers skip this paragraph. OED never goes to the Latin, it goes to Italian. (The scroll bar is the thingy on the side of the window. Words are the short black patterns on the white background. Reading is what you do with words.) Say "American Heritage." Now say "OED." See, they're different!

Okay, here's a thought experiment. You walk up to the counter at Tully's. Mr. Goatee says "We had a rough morning. This guy came in and ordered an espresso. So I started making it, just for this guy. But after I tamped the grounds, the water ran out. Some valve was closed. I'm trying to make direct, nonstop, fast coffee here, for crying out loud! It took about ten minutes to get the water back up and running. So he walks out because it wasn't fast enough. I made one cup, and now the machine's not working again. I didn't make it for you, and I didn't make it quickly. But it was pressed out using pressure through pressed grounds, and it's fresh. You can have it if you want.

"Or just for you, I can quickly boil down this cup of drip coffee. The latest microwave technology, you know. Just for you, quickly, as soon as you order it. Tastes great, I swear.

"You want espresso, right? Which one do you want? It really depends on your definition of espresso, doesn't it."

(He's a cheeky bastard, Mr. Goatee is.)

Okay, it's game time. Multiple choice:

  • caffe ristretto = restricted (pull)
  • caffe lungo = long (pull)
  • caffe macchiato = marked (with milk)
  • [li]caffe espresso =[/ul]

a. pressed

b. made expressly for you quickly at the moment you order it

Not proof of anything, of course.

However - and here's the point - MWCD11 finally gets the etymology right: "[it (caffe) espresso, prob. lit., coffee made on the spot at the customer's request] (1945)"
English-language dictionaries are notorious for not "getting" espresso.

Actually, espresso drinkers are notorious for not "getting" dictionaries. I've read some of the rants, and they are uniformly just that: ahistorical, masturbatory, self-congratulatory rants. "My experience defines the universe, and dictionaries are totally fucked for not agreeing with what I think. Wow, I am actually smarter than the dictionary! Kiss my ass, Noah!"

At the time when "espresso" first dipped its robust yet delicate toes into the English language and decided "I'm staying!", Achille Gaggia was just on the cusp of making the first "modern" espresso, so for the most part, espresso was made using steam. The 1945 citation of first English usage, by the way, includes its own definition: "I was drinking a caffe espresso, a strong, bitter, steamed coffee."

Fast forward three years from 1945. Achille, with whom we are on a first name basis by now, creates this new machine.

(i.e., the birth of modern espresso)

Note how the opportunity is lost here. This stuff is so different that in retrospect, we have to modify the word. Modern espresso. "Achille, bambino," we cry from sixty years in the future, "non es espresso, es crema!" Achille replies "pidgin Italian? Fuggedaboutit. I acknowledge the history of this coffee called espresso and frankly, the customer base is already in place for espresso machines. Why mess with success?"

This was the basic type of machine used until 1948, but the coffee being produced by it would not be recognizable by any of us as espresso.

So even as you praise him, curse the name of Achille Gaggia! Because of him, dictionaries must for reasons of technical accuracy include mention of steam. And that cheap Krups machine, the "why's this so much cheaper than that" model, that, too, really is an espresso machine. Those Italian percolator, those too are legitimately "espresso pots."

In the interest of full disclosure, unprompted, I report that the OED is one of those damnable "Fahrenheit 451 'em!" dictionaries that only has the "steam" definition.

And I think this definition (Merriam-Webster's Third New International, Unabridged, considered by many word geeks as second in authority to OED if dated, and which agrees with It. "pressed out") is delightful:

3: a neighborhood shop where friends gather to drink espresso.

Ah, no strangers, no enemies.

As I stated earlier...
Your information, for me, seals the deal...

Intelligence. Contradicting intelligence. The first report, repackaged. "We have absolute confirmation!"

Actually, something there is very interesting indeed!

Historical records indicated that Luigi Bezzera termed the drink "caffe expres" in all of the 1901 product and marketing materials.

Thank you for reposting, because I missed it the first time around. There's no X in Italian. "Expres" is a French word. A mystery!

I thought up a signature. What do y'all think?

My *real* job is keeping slkinsey busy.

Edited by Phaelon56 for OT political discussion

Edited by phaelon56 (log)
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My *real* job is keeping slkinsey busy.

Unfortunately, you've run out of ways to do that in this topic area.

1. Caffè espresso dates from the early 20th century.

2. By the early 20th century, espresso did not mean "pressed out."

3. By the early 20th century, espresso did mean "expressly for you" and it did have connotations of speed

1 + 2 + 3 = caffè espresso means "coffee made expressly for someone" and has connotations of being made quickly

1 + 2 + 3 != caffè espresso means pressed out coffee

There's really nothing more to say about it.

--

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Historical records indicated that Luigi Bezzera termed the drink "caffe expres" in all of the 1901 product and marketing materials.

Thank you for reposting, because I missed it the first time around. There's no X in Italian. "Expres" is a French word. A mystery!

If true, than "expres/espresso" probably made an allusion to "quickly made" above all.

Lettre chargé (registered post) and Lettre exprès (express post) have been common designators in France (and Switzerland) by then. I think exprès meant that you had to voice *explicitly* your desire for fast transportation.

Around 1900, with all the new railways, ther must have been a fever for internationalism and technical progress. Hence all the international trade shows and Expos.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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Historical records indicated that Luigi Bezzera termed the drink "caffe expres" in all of the 1901 product and marketing materials.

Thank you for reposting, because I missed it the first time around. There's no X in Italian. "Expres" is a French word. A mystery!

In that case... I'll repost the whole thing, as my guess is (from discussion) you may not be the only one who missed it...

Actually, espresso does, in fact, refer to being made quickly... in addition to describing the method of extraction. Actually, "espresso" has a number of types of meaning in Italian. As described above, one is the process of "expressing" the flavour of coffee. Another is to make the coffee quickly. And finally, Luigi Bezzera created and popularized "caffe expres" in 1901, a coffee making method that created a single cup of coffee "expressly for you." This was an early precurrsor to true espresso machines and there is little doubt that the name derives from this. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the first use of "caffe espresso" as a phrase was in the 1906 International Trade Fair in Milan where Bezzera was an exhibitor and offered caffe espresso made from the Ideale machine. By 1909 the Ideale machine was being sold by Desiderio Pavoni (who obtained the Bezzera patent in 1903), with the key addition of a steam relief valve. This was the basic type of machine used until 1948, but the coffee being produced by it would not be recognizable by any of us as espresso. It was not until Gaggia introduced the first lever machine in 1948 that true espresso was created.

fanatic...

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