Why Espressos in America are not Good?
Augusto Marietti

From reading the comments it seems clear that there are 2 contrasting visions. On one side (mostly Italians) agree with the article, on the other side (mostly non Italians) disagree completely.

The problem here is a problem of definition: for any Italian an espresso is the “coffee cup served in bars in Italy, the one you grew up with”, for everybody else is “coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.”.

If you follow the first definition then comments like “I was in Italy and espresso was terrible”, “what is served in US bars is an evolution of espresso” clearly don’t make any sense, to be able to call a coffee cup “espresso” it needs to adhere to the way it’s prepared in Italian bars. By this definition, espresso making is a crystallized and immutable procedure.

If instead you agree with the second definition then the above comments are legit and it comes down to personal taste, you can have variations on the procedure and experiment with different approaches.

This difference in vision creates a huge disconnect in expectations and that’s where we can fix the issue. In my opinion, “Espresso” should be re-named in the US to clearly identify a different beverage, since it takes baristas 5 minutes to make one cup I suggest calling it “Lento” or, noting that the cup is almost fully filled, it could be named “Pozzanghera”. It’s key then to leave the name “Espresso” to be used only for the original Italian coffee.

This way there will be no confusion: Italians in the US will know exactly that what they are ordering is not an espresso, and foreigners traveling in Italy will know that they won’t get a Lento or Pozzanghera there.

Disclaimer: even though I’m Italian and agree with every point made in the article I still think the best espresso I ever had in my life is the Portuguese Delta Coffe that you can find almost everywhere in Southern Portugal.

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