Why is Espresso served with Sparkling water?

Have you ever been to some fancy espresso restaurant where they serve sparkling water or mineral water with Espresso?

You might be wondering what’s the purpose of serving sparkling water with Espresso?

Well, the main reason for serving water with Espresso is to make your taste buds ready to accept the rich flavors of Espresso. Water cleans your palate and removes the aftertaste of anything you have eaten before.

So, it’s customary to drink a sip of water as it will help to experience the real taste of Espresso.

FIVE DIFFERENT REASONS for serving Espresso with water

Espresso is one of the most intense and robust coffee drink with a rich and satisfying aroma. Espresso is usually served with sparkling water at restaurants around the World.

There are five different theories to answer the question of why is Espresso with water. Every theory has its supporters and critics. Let us discuss each theory in detail.

Why is espresso served with water

1. For cleansing of Palate

Cleansing the palate or refreshing the taste buds is the most widely accepted reason for serving water with Espresso. 

And that’s why Baristas around the World serve water with Espresso to give you the most satisfying experience.

According to Italians, Espresso is a holy coffee drink, and it is an insult to Espresso if you drink it without discarding any aftertaste from your mouth before having it.

Having a sip of water before Espresso actually makes a difference. Espresso tastes different when you don’t have any flavor already present in your mouth. I have experienced the most prosperous and unique flavors of Espresso by doing it.   

This is the main reason Italians serve water with Espresso

2. To avoid dehydration

We know that coffee contains caffeine and all caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect which tends to dehydrate your body.

So, it might be the reason for serving water with Espresso to rehydrate your body after having Espresso, as water is the best drink to keep your body hydrated. 

But coffee only has a mild diuretic effect, and many experts claim that it is not necessary to drink water after having a cup of coffee unless you are drinking too much coffee.

In hot and humid areas, it is recommended to drink water after or before having a cup of coffee because it is essential to keep your body hydrated at higher temperatures.

Read more: How long does an Espresso Shot last or does it get expired over time

3. To avoid bad Breath

bad breath

If you like to have a shot of Espresso after breakfast in the morning. Then having water after it might help you to avoid bad Breath.

Does Espresso really cause bad Breath?

Yes, Espresso contains sulfur and caffeine, which tends to dehydrate your body and slows the production of saliva in your mouth, which causes bad Breath.

Espresso is a rich drink containing many oils that remain stuck in your mouth for a very long period. Sipping water washes away those oils and continues the production of saliva, which helps you in avoiding bad Breath.

But if you like the aftertaste of Espresso in your mouth and you are not going to interact with other people, you may not want to have water after drinking it. And it’s completely fine.

4. To avoid irritation in the stomach

Espresso is acidic

And it might irritate your stomach. But it does not happen to everyone. It only happens if your body is too much sensitive to coffee acids.

If you drink Espresso with an empty stomach, it will surely hurt your stomach. So, it’s always recommended to have Espresso after breakfast.

Drinking water after Espresso nullifies the effect of coffee acids on the stomach and prevents irritation.

5. To eliminate the crash of caffeine 

The caffeine crash usually happens after two to three hours of having Espresso or any type of coffee. The crash of caffeine causes headaches and tiredness and makes you sleepy.

When we are tired our brain releases the adenosine hormone. When we have a cup of coffee, the caffeine present in coffee blocks this adenosine hormone. 

But at the same time, the brain does not stop producing adenosine, so when the caffeine gets off the body, we suddenly start feeling very tired and sleepy.

It is commonly believed that having water after a coffee cup helps eliminate the effect of the crash of caffeine. 

Read a guide on: How much Espresso is too much

Mineral water or sparkling water with Espresso | What you should prefer?

In sparkling water, carbon dioxide is infused under pressure to make it slightly acidic. You may have noticed small carbon dioxide bubbles in a glass of sparkling water.

Sparkling is slightly acidic, and it helps to nullify the sour taste of Espresso and cleanse your palate.

So, if you are like me and hate the sour taste of Espresso, you should drink sparkling water before having Espresso.

There is not much difference between sparkling water and mineral water; they both work fine to clean your taste buds.

But if you are drinking water for the sole purpose of cleaning your taste buds then in my opinion sparkling water is better.

Read a guide on benefits of the Espresso

How do real Italians drink espresso?

First, let me tell you I am not Italian and this is not the way all Italian drinks Espresso. One of my Italian friend, who is well-versed in espresso, gave me some tips on how to enjoy it to the fullest.

1- Take a sip of water: Start with taking a sip of water to clean your palate.

2- Feel the Aroma: Feeling the aroma of espresso before taking the first sip is an important part of the espresso-drinking experience.

3- Shake or stir the Espresso: To enjoy the balanced flavor of the Espresso shot it’s important to give it a few shakes or stir it with a spoon. However, some people absolutely hate this practice.

4- Finish the drink in three sips: In traditional Italian culture, it is common to drink espresso in three small sips. However, some people like to finish it with just one sip.

Can you add water to Espresso?

Yeah, you can add water to Espresso. 

As Espresso is very rich and intense in taste. You can add water to make the flavor less intense, and the resulting drink is called Americano or long black.

In Americano, water is added over the freshly brewed Espresso. The ratio of water to Espresso is usually 2 to 1. And in Long Black, a double shot of Espresso is poured over 100 to 150 ml of water.

Long black is a popular drink in Australia and New Zealand. While Americano is popular in Europe and the Americas. 

Adding water reduces the bitterness and intensity in the taste of Espresso while maintaining the rich and flavorful notes of Espresso.

If you are looking for an affordable Espresso machine. Check out these reviews

Final thoughts

I definitely recommend you drink water before having a cup of Espresso. Because if you have eaten something sweet or something strong in flavor before drinking Espresso. It will ruin your experience with this delicious coffee drink.

 So next time when you are about to have a cup of Espresso, just take a sip of water to clean your palate. You will surely notice the difference in taste and experience the most unique Espresso flavors.

Besides cleaning your palate, water also keeps you hydrated. So, if you live in a place where the temperature remains high, it will help a lot.

If you are wondering why espresso machines are so expensive. You may like to check our article on Why espresso machines are so expensive?


Can you brew Espresso with sparkling water?

As the water gets heated in the espresso machine the gases and carbon dioxide present in the sparkling water will get lost.
And then there will be no difference between sparkling water and normal water. So it will not make that much difference.

Why is espresso served with Lemon?

Espresso is basically served with lemon rind at some restaurants also known as Espresso Romano. Lemon rinds are quite useful if you don’t like bitterness in the taste of your coffee.
Just put the lemon rind at the top of your cup for a few seconds and it will soak up the entire bitterness from your cup.
But we all know that some amount of bitterness is the essence of espresso. This tip is only for those who are entirely against bitterness.

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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.