What is Cafe Romano | (Espresso with Lemon)

Do you think that Cafe Romano is a coffee shop or similar cafe offering a distinct and refreshing take on the classic espresso? If so, you are wrong. Alright, let me clarify what is actually a Cafe Romano.

Café Romano also known as Espresso Romano is a wonderful drink made with a shot of espresso, a tart lemon slice or lemon juice, and a teaspoon of sugar. Just squeeze or drop the lemon slice into the coffee to make it. Often, for an extra sweet touch, a candied slice is also added.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” may be a common saying, but when you receive fresh Meyer lemons from a friend’s garden, you can create something even more special.

The fact that there are so many different ways to enjoy this adaptable beverage is its best feature! According to your preferences, you can drink it hot, iced, with or without milk. The Espresso Romano is a distinctive blend of sweet and sour flavors that is pleasant and refreshing at any time of day.

The History of Espresso Romano

Espresso Romano is a relatively modern coffee drink that originated in Italy. But there is no solid evidence to support the assertion that this drink originated in Italy or Rome, despite the name’s implication of a Roman origin.

There are contradictory stories about where the beverage was first invented, and its history is buried in mystery.

Some think it was invented in America and others think it was invented in Europe.

However, it is not entirely implausible that Espresso Romano has Italian roots. Coffee consumption has a long history in Italy, with them using Moka pots and espresso machines for decades.

The espresso machine was invented in Italy in the early 20th century, and modern machines were developed in the 1930s.

Due to import restrictions from the First and Second World Wars, Italians were forced to drink inexpensive, subpar instant coffee in the early 20th century. Some Italians began putting lemon in their coffee to enhance the flavor, which helped cover up the instant coffee’s taste.

According to another rumor, the connection between Espresso Romano and Italy dates back to the Second World War water shortage. It is reported that Italians used lemon to clean their cups and tableware during the crisis. And as a result, the flavors of lemon get mixed in the Espresso shots.

It became a well-liked beverage in various Italian coffee houses, and coffee drinkers continue to enjoy it today worldwide.

Well! Whatever the history is it doesn’t matter now! Let’s look at how you can prepare Espresso Romano.


Here is the recipe for Lemon Espresso. Let's have a look.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Johny Morrisson


  • 1 Espresso machine


  • 1 slice Lemon
  • Single shot Espresso
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Honey or Sugar (Optional)


  • Brew a Shot of Espresso: To make a delicious Lemon Espresso, start by brewing one shot of espresso using your espresso machine.
  • Mix Lemon and Honey: While the espresso is brewing, mix fresh lemon juice and honey in a small cup or bowl. Adjust the amount of honey or sugar to suit your preferred level of sweetness.
  • Mix: Once the espresso is ready, pour it into the cup with the lemon and honey mixture and stir well.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Add a slice of lemon to the cup as a garnish for extra flavor and presentation.
    This recipe is versatile, and you can customize it to your liking. If you prefer a creamier drink, add a splash of milk or cream. You can also experiment with different sweeteners or garnishes, such as a sprig of fresh mint or a dash of cinnamon.

Also read: 30 different varieties of Espresso drinks

What does espresso Romano taste like?

The pairing of espresso and lemon may seem unusual at first. Still, the espresso’s bitterness is balanced perfectly by the acidity of the lemon, resulting in a harmonious and well-rounded flavor profile.

Additionally, the oils in the lemon rind infuses with the espresso to create a unique taste experience and provide added health benefits, such as antioxidants and Vitamin C.

The ideal Espresso Romano requires fresh, fragrant lemons and top-notch coffee beans.

In addition, Some drinkers think this drink also helps lessen the effects of a hangover. This is because caffeine naturally reduces discomfort from headaches by constricting blood vessels, while lemon’s essential oils promote metabolism and aid digestion.

Overall, Espresso Romano is a wonderful and cool way to get the health benefits of both coffee and lemon in a single tasty beverage.

Read a detailed guide on the benefits of Espresso

Final thoughts on Lemon Espresso

Espresso with fresh lemon flavor is a novel and mouthwatering way to enjoy the robust flavor of espresso. It has the ideal amount of acidity and bitterness, and the oils from the lemon peel add flavor and health advantages.

I must say that the Lemon Espresso is undoubtedly worth a try, whether you’re searching for a delectable and distinctive way to start your day or a revitalizing afternoon pick-me-up. Remember to use premium coffee beans and tasty, fresh lemons for the finest flavor.

I am not a big fan of Espresso Romano but I like to have it once in a while!

Also, read the recipe for other Espresso based drinks


Can Espresso Romano Be Made With Decaf Coffee?

Yes, you can use Decaf coffee beans for preparing Espresso Romano. Since it is simply a shot of espresso with a slice of lemon, the type of coffee bean used is not critical to the recipe.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Espresso Romano?

Here are Some common misconceptions about Espresso Romano include:
It’s a type of coffee bean: It is not a type of coffee bean, but rather a specific way of serving espresso that involves adding a piece of lemon peel to the cup.
It’s too bitter: Adding lemon peel can balance the bitterness of espresso, resulting in a harmonious and well-rounded flavor.
It’s only enjoyed in Italy: While it is a popular beverage in Italy, it is enjoyed by coffee lovers worldwide.
It’s not for everyone: While the combination of espresso and lemon may seem unusual, Espresso Romano is a unique and refreshing beverage that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their coffee preferences.

Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.

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