Why is a glass of water served along with espresso: facts and explanation

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Why is a glass of water served along with espresso: facts and explanation

When you are just getting started with the coffee industry, it may seem strange to you that a barista serves a glass of water for espresso. For what? To get rid of the taste of espresso, dilute the drink in a cup, or prevent dehydration - there are many far-fetched reasons.

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Let's figure out where the tradition of serving coffee along with a glass of water came from and why it is done.

Safety and hospitality: how the tradition of serving water for coffee began

Serving a glass of water with coffee is fairly long. According to the sources, it originated in Turkey. According to legend, water was brought in to protect the Sultan. He dipped his finger into water and then into the coffee. If the cup of coffee is poisoned, the coffee starts to bubble.

Another reason seems most realistic - the traditions of Eastern hospitality. The host served coffee and water to the guest to see if he was hungry or not. If the guest is full, he chose coffee. And if you are hungry - a glass of water.

Over time, the tradition passed to Europe, and this happened after the Battle of Vienna between Turkey and Austria.

The Ottoman army besieged Vienna for two months. The king of Poland, Jan III Sobieski, came to the aid of the Austrians. He liberated the city and kept the equipment and food supplies left by the Turks.

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It is how Franz Georg Koltschitzky looked like, who opened the first coffee shop in Vienna and "taught" Europeans to coffee with water © commons.wikimedia.org


 Among the reserves were coffee beans. The King of Poland presented them to the hero of this battle - Franz Georg Koltschitzky. Franz was previously a prisoner of the Turks, so he knew their customs and the value of coffee beans. He opened the first coffee shop in Vienna. I added cream and sugar to the drink but kept the Turkish tradition of serving coffee with a glass of water. Later they began to do this everywhere.

The modern reason why a barista serves water along with espresso

The barista feeds the espresso to refresh your taste buds. So take a sip of water before drinking your coffee.

If you like the taste of your espresso, then you don't need to drink water afterward. Otherwise, you will not enjoy the drink to the fullest. "If you get a disgusting espresso, feel free to wash it down with water" - a joke in one of the sources.

Other versions of why espresso is serving with water are common among staff and visitors to coffee houses. However, they can hardly be called correct.

For example, the barista separately brings a glass of hot or cold water for the guest to dilute the espresso. This produces a less saturated drink of a larger volume - Americano. Despite the controversy in the specialty industry, it has a fan base. 

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Take a sip of water before drinking your espresso to refresh your taste receptors


Another popular belief is that water is serving to prevent dehydration from drinking coffee. Coffee does not have a pronounced diuretic effect and does not dehydrate the body with moderate consumption of 2-3 cups of espresso.

The main thing

A glass of water with a cup of espresso is serving to freshen up your mouth before sipping your coffee. It will help you get a better feel for the descriptors.

You can experiment and decide for yourself - when do you taste better? With or without a sip of water before coffee. You may enjoy drinking water before each sip of espresso. Some consumers claim that soda freshens the mouth better.

Tell us, what explanation did you come across?

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