Category Archives: BaristaLife

Espresso vs Other Beverages



There is a great probability that you have heard the rumor that an espresso shot is filled to the brim with caffeine that many people are simply referring to the beverage as “caffeine shots.” However, have you ever wanted to find out the truth about espresso and how much caffeine it contains? Is there any such thing as caffeine-free espresso, a term primarily used for “decaf” coffee? How unhealthy for you is espresso, really? And if espresso is so unhealthy then why hasn’t it been taken off the market? All of these are great questions that could come from an espresso addict, coffee addict, or just someone else who would like to know more about the myths surrounding espresso shots. One thing is for sure, though, and that espresso shots are definitely not as unhealthy for you as alcohol shots are.
But the whole problem surrounding espresso, for many people anyway, is the fact that they’ve continuously heard that espresso contains so much more caffeine than other beverages that it is deemed almost dangerous to consume. However, this is a myth and simply isn’t true! Even though espresso does contain quite a lot of caffeine in one shot, here is how it stacks up to other popular beverages:

Espresso Versus Coffee

There are many things to consider when comparing the amount of caffeine in an espresso shot as compared to a cup of coffee considering the fact that there are so many varieties of espresso as their are coffee. For this comparison purpose, though, the term “espresso” means one plain shot of espresso that has no extra flavor of frills, and “coffee” means a regular black cup of Joe that many people wake up to in the morning. That being said, you may be surprised to find this out but a regular black cup of coffee actually has more caffeine that one shot of espresso. It’s true that espresso does contain more milligrams of caffeine per ounce, but espresso shots are typically only consumed in 1-ounce shot glasses. Espresso contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine per ounce and coffee contains around 20 milligrams in an average full cup. However, many people only usually consume one shot of espresso at a time, whereas others can consume multiple cups of coffee throughout their morning!

Espresso Versus Coca-Cola

So what would be the better choice: having a can of Coca-Cola in the mornings to get your kick start or continuing with your espresso routine? As mentioned above, espresso shots usually contain about 50 milligrams per 1-ounce shot glass. On the other hand, a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola usually contains only about 35 milligrams of caffeine. It is obvious then which beverage is less harmful, although if you truly want a kick-start in the morning then the espresso shot would be the way to go!
Altogether, as you can see an espresso shot really is not all that much more harmful to you than a can of soda pop or even a regular cup of coffee.

In the whole scheme of things one can probably say that espresso is about average when it comes to the amount of caffeine in a single serving, but now you know just how espresso shots stack up!

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What is Espresso?



Even though most coffees have been around for hundreds of years, this is not the same for espresso. Espresso, on the other hand, is essentially a more concentrated cup of coffee. There are many reasons why espresso is loved more than any other coffee and perhaps the reason that it is enjoyed by so many people throughout the world is because it really does have quite a different nature than other coffees! But not only is espresso a more concentrated cup of coffee, but the taste is very different as well and may account for some of the reason why espresso is usually liked more than coffee.

The Nature of Espresso

Espresso originated in Milan, Italy in the early 19th Century. Many Italians call espresso a romantic kind of coffee and it’s easy to see why. The nature of espresso is such that it doesn’t take a whole lot to fill you up. But to define espresso involves accounting for the different ingredients that it’s made of. Espresso is essentially finely ground coffee beans that are tightly packed together and placed in an espresso machine. Machines are the easiest way to make espresso nowadays, which is why they are put into the machine in the first place. But nevertheless, they are placed in the machine and hot water creates steam. That steam is forced up to heat the coffee beans and produce a thick, drippy liquid called espresso. The thickness of espresso is also a defining feature because it is almost three to four times the consistency of regular black coffee.

Another one of espresso’s defining characteristics which will help you to understand exactly what espresso looks like is the crema. The crema is a reddish-brown substance that floats on the top of the espresso itself. But the crema is actually the main part of the espresso that many people like because it also has a foamy substance attached to it. Of course on top of the crema is where many people sprinkle cinnamon, put a dollop of whipped cream, as well as sprinkle that with chocolate shavings. Even though it seems like espresso is a large drink considering all of the defining characteristics of it, espresso is actually consumed by the 1-ounce shot glasses. If made right, espresso can be the ultimate beverage of a lifetime!

Espresso is also the base for which many other drinks are made. Whether you want to make a latte, mocha chill, or another version of the espresso drink then it all relies on the espresso coffee drink which so many people love! In fact, there are probably over a hundred different ways that espresso can be used; it is actually used for desserts, evening drinks, morning wake-up drinks, as well as for a whole variety of other drinks. If you have ever run into a coffee shop that sells espresso then chances are that you’ve heard just about all the beverage names that can be made from it. This shows just how truly popular an espresso drink can be!

Espresso 101 – Part 1



Even though most coffees have been around for hundreds of years, this is not the same for espresso. Espresso, on the other hand, is essentially a more concentrated cup of coffee. There are many reasons why espresso is loved more than any other coffee and perhaps the reason that it is enjoyed by so many people throughout the world is because it really does have quite a different nature than other coffees! But not only is espresso a more concentrated cup of coffee, but the taste is very different as well and may account for some of the reason why espresso is usually liked more than coffee.

The Nature of Espresso

Espresso originated in Milan, Italy in the early 19th Century. Many Italians call espresso a romantic kind of coffee and it’s easy to see why. The nature of espresso is such that it doesn’t take a whole lot to fill you up. But to define espresso involves accounting for the different ingredients that it’s made of. Espresso is essentially finely ground coffee beans that are tightly packed together and placed in an espresso machine. Machines are the easiest way to make espresso nowadays, which is why they are put into the machine in the first place. But nevertheless, they are placed in the machine and hot water creates steam. That steam is forced up to heat the coffee beans and produce a thick, drippy liquid called espresso. The thickness of espresso is also a defining feature because it is almost three to four times the consistency of regular black coffee.

Another one of espresso’s defining characteristics which will help you to understand exactly what espresso looks like is the crema. The crema is a reddish-brown substance that floats on the top of the espresso itself. But the crema is actually the main part of the espresso that many people like because it also has a foamy substance attached to it. Of course on top of the crema is where many people sprinkle cinnamon, put a dollop of whipped cream, as well as sprinkle that with chocolate shavings. Even though it seems like espresso is a large drink considering all of the defining characteristics of it, espresso is actually consumed by the 1-ounce shot glasses. If made right, espresso can be the ultimate beverage of a lifetime!

Espresso is also the base for which many other drinks are made. Whether you want to make a latte, mocha chill, or another version of the espresso drink then it all relies on the espresso coffee drink which so many people love! In fact, there are probably over a hundred different ways that espresso can be used; it is actually used for desserts, evening drinks, morning wake-up drinks, as well as for a whole variety of other drinks. If you have ever run into a coffee shop that sells espresso then chances are that you’ve heard just about all the beverage names that can be made from it. This shows just how truly popular an espresso drink can be!

When "Free" Is Rejected

As I have stated before in earlier blogs, customers can not always be satisfied or easily pleased. Case in point, on the 4th of July, my work decided to give out free cups of tall freshly brewed coffee. Most customers were very grateful and appreciative of this small gesture (especially the ones that came by our kiosk between 5am to 7am).
But to other customers, trying to give away a free cup of coffee was like trying to pull wisdom teeth on them. I find it hard to comprehend sometimes on why a person would wait in a very long line to buy something and then say that they don’t like coffee. 99.99% of what we make and sell is coffee or some sort of coffee based product. Whe we told them that we would give them a free cup of coffee and their response was – I dont like coffee; I stand stunned for a few seconds and wonder why they are at a coffee cafe.
Then there are the abosolutly rude ones that come to the counter and say that want a medium cup of coffee and when we tell them if they want a small cup of coffee, we would give it to them for free; they look at us and say – If we wanted a small cup of coffee we would have asked for one. My response is that when you get a medium, you are paying for the whole cup (which is only 3 oz larger than the small one). Why pay over $2 when you can get one for free?
Some people are just too set in their ways to change. But I also find it that some people are just plain upset with life. They cannot find any peace in the kindness in a world that just wants to make life a little easier on them.
As for me, I will take all the free things that life has to offer, even if it is just one free act of kindness.


Respect Regardless Of Age

It never ceases to amaze me at my job, the lack of respect that customers have for people in the food and beverage industry. Grant you that we are there to provide a service to the customers but let’s remember that the people providing this service are human beings and not dogs.

During the hard recession that we just had in the last 2 years has left many older American with fewer choices for employment. Many of us that held corporate jobs, have had to take employment and jobs at a much lower pay scale. A hefty number of these jobs are in the food and beverage industry.  As a result, the over 40 age group was left to take these jobs. Mind you, it is not a glorious one either. Long hours, standing for long periods of time, bosses/supervisors in their 20’s and the disrespect from customers.

I, personally, find it difficult to just stand there and “take it” when someone treats this 50 year old like a 12 year old kid. Getting yelled at and getting talked down to is not my idea of a good working environment. I have had kids and teenagers talk to me as if I were not worth the shoes that I wore. It is like I am being degraded.

I might be a food and beverage employee, but at least give me the respect I deserve for being on this earth for over 45+ years. As I was taught as a child, always treat your elders with respect. That is all I ask for. Respect!