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Expresso vs. Espresso

This article is about Expresso vs. Espresso — enjoy your reading!

  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips

Coffee lovers have a special relationship with a certain type of concentrated, highly caffeinated coffee called espresso. Some English speakers pronounce the word with an X, like expresso. In coffee shops, more than in most businesses, keeping up appearances is important. You don’t want to come across as gauche (especially if you’re the one creating the menu). Continue reading to learn the correct way to spell this word.

In this post, I will compare espresso vs. expresso. I will outline the correct spelling and pronunciation of this word and use it an example sentences, so you can see them both in their proper contexts. Plus, I will show you a helpful memory tool that can make choosing espresso or expresso much easier.


The word espresso originated from Italian (caffè) espresso, literally ‘pressed out (coffee)’.

Espresso as noun:

The word espresso is used as a noun in English language where it means a type of strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans.

He bought an espresso and a couple of croissants.

Use of espresso:

Espresso is a noun. It refers to a type of coffee that is brewed with hot, pressurized water and finely ground coffee beans. Espresso has a stronger flavor than other types of brewed coffee and is generally thicker. It also has more caffeine. However, servings of espresso are much smaller than servings of other coffee drinks, negating the caffeine advantage. These spellings are widely used worldwide.


When I drive to work in the morning, I always see a line of cars at the drive-through espresso shack near my house.

Emily brought her laptop to the coffee shop down the street, and drank an espresso while she studied for her test.

If the White House is at war with the news media, it looks as though the fourth estate has an A-list ally in the fight: Actor Tom Hanks, who delivered a fancy new espresso machine to the White House press gallery on Thursday. –The Washington Post

Use of expresso:

Expresso is a spelling variant of espresso. The French spell the word this way, but in America, it originated as a misspelling. It is such a common mistake in spoken English that many speakers don’t recognize it as nonstandard. Indeed, some dictionaries even list it as an alternate spelling. Unless you have a good reason to use expresso, you should avoid it.


For their Christmas market, families can look forward to a Wiggles jumping castle, expresso coffee at $1, free express knife sharpening and a gold coin donation BBQ. [Southern Courier]

[S]itting down to order an expresso or a cappuccino was the height of cosmopolitan sophistication amongst the young at the time. [In Search of Fatima, Ghada Karmi]

This year, he imposed an “impolite” tax. The ubiquitous expresso, for which he charges 1.80 euros (R20), rises to two euros if customers forget to say “please”. [News 24]

Espresso or expresso:

Espresso is a noun that refers to a certain type of coffee. Expresso is a common misspelling based on a mispronunciation of this word. If you are writing in English, you should, only ever use espresso. Expresso is still not universally recognized as an alternate spelling, although its acceptance may grow in the coming years. Remember that espresso has an extra S, like the word sip. The proper way to drink espresso is to sip it, preferably with an air of elitist pretension. By linking espresso with sip in your mind, you will always know how to spell both of these words.

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"Expresso vs. Espresso." STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 20 Jan. 2018. <>.

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