Espresso Basics : A Definition by Place

Finally, espresso can be defined in terms of the places it has helped create and that helped create it: the caffes, cafes, coffeehouses, espresso bars, and espresso carts of the world. For espresso is a quintessentially public coffee. The technological sophistication of the espresso system only could have evolved in the context of public establishments with enough coffee drinkers to support the expense involved in maintaining such large and complex coffee-making equipment. Thus espresso and the espresso machine have come to constitute the spiritual and aesthetic heart of a variety of subtly different institutions, including the Italian-American caffe, the espresso bar, the American coffeehouse, and now the Seattle-style espresso cart and stand.