I frequently go to coffee shops. There are times when I order a Latte or an Americano, if I wanted just to unwind and relax. Just sipping my blend and let time run. There are times where I needed an extra caffeine shot to keep me awake or if I have to stay long hours to complete a task.
Every time I order a shot of Espresso, I never really thought of the pronunciation. What I know is that it is Espresso, anyway that is how most people would pronounce it, until one day.
Here is the story, I was in a famous coffee shop, and I just wanted to order a shot of Espresso, and leave after that. As I reached the counter, I gave my order and said I want a shot of Espresso. After a few minutes, one of the baristas called my name and shouted my order. To my surprise, the barista said – A Shot of Expresso! He said it with an X and not with an S.
Confusion was evident on my face. Was it just slip that he committed? Or was it pronounced as Expresso and not Espresso? To be honest, I was convinced for a minute that it was Expresso, besides I consider the barista as the expert. These baristas were gone through training before they got the chance to prepare these coffee drinks. I was torn between what I know and what the barista may know, that I do not.
Hence, I gazed around to check on the other guests if they also noticed the pronunciation. I tried my best to observe the different expressions on their faces, but to my dismay, no one bothered. Maybe no one noticed the pronunciation or they were just too shy to react.
I went home still thinking of the Ex and Es pronunciation. I checked the internet and tried my best to understand which one is correct.
Here we go. Espresso originated in Italy, it was a famous drink that started around the 1900s. Espresso is the name of the machine that produces Espresso. Some parts of the world would call it Expresso because it is from the term Express Press, which is what the main idea of Espresso is. A coffee shop that can be done in just a few minutes, thus the term Express Press.
Others believe that Espresso is an Italian – American pronunciation and the Expresso is a French pronunciation. Other say that it has been a globally accepted change in the spelling and pronunciation.
Espresso to be Expresso is just fine. It does not matter, if you are more comfortable saying Espresso, then by all means. If you say it as Expresso and no one corrects you, then that is ok.
The Espresso pronunciation will be an unending debate by coffee sommeliers and even linguistics. The variation will remain to be a topic that people will engage in.
As for me, it remains to be Espresso, the coffee that we learned to love and enjoy. You want a single shot or a doppio, or you just want your coffee to be that special beverage that makes your day.
What about you? How do you want your coffee?