Why is Espresso served with water? 5 Amazing theories!

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 recommended to drink one or two sips of water before Espresso if you want to experience the real taste of Espresso.

Why is Espresso served with sparkling water? | five different theories

Espresso is one of the most intense and robust coffee drinks 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. To avoid dehydration

We know that coffee contains caffeine and all caffeinated drinks are diuretic 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

2. For cleansing of Palate

Cleansing the palate or refreshening 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 some people, Espresso is a holy coffee drink, and it is an insult to Espresso if you drink without discarding any aftertastes from your mouth before having it.

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

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 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, tiredness and makes you sleepy.

When you are tired 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 brain does not stop producing adenosine, so when the caffeine gets off from 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. 

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

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.

How are you supposed to drink Espresso?

You can drink Espresso casually, but to experience the unique flavor profiles of Espresso, you have to follow these steps.

  • The first step is to prepare a warm cup of Espresso or order Espresso if you are at some restaurant.
  • Take a sip of sparkling or simple water to clean your plate. While this step is optional, but Baristas and coffee professionals highly recommend it. If you want to experience rich and hidden flavors of Espresso, your palate must be clean.
  • Now stir the cup slowly to unify the flavors of Espresso. If you don’t do this, heavier oils will sink to the bottom, lighter flavors will move up, and then you will not be able to enjoy the consistent flavors of Espresso.
  • Now smell the fresh aroma of Espresso to make your mind ready for this heavenly drink. Take sips slowly and enjoy the rich flavors of Espresso.
  • If the taste of Espresso was not up to mark or you want to avoid bad Breath and after taste of Espresso. Again, take a sip of water to clean your palate.

If you are looking for the perfect Espresso machine for beginners. Then check out our review on Delonghi ECP3420

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.

Final thoughts

I definitely recommend you to drink water before having a cup of Espresso. Because if you have eaten something sweet or something strong in flavors 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.

Or if you don’t like the strong taste of Espresso. You can add a small amount of water to it. It will reduce the intensity while keeping it flavorful. 


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.
But you can make cold coffee by adding some amount of sparkling water and some ice cubes to the espresso. It will give you a very refreshing experience especially in summers.

Why is espresso served with Lemon?

Espresso is basically served with lemon rind at some restaurants. 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.