Espresso Romano: How To Make Espresso with Lemon?

One of the most intriguing coffee-based beverages that a coffee lover may ever come across is the espresso romano. This beverage consists of two shots of espresso added with a slice of lemon.

As strange as it may sound, lemon makes the coffee taste better. It complements the bitterness of espresso, while the espresso reduces the sourness of lemon.

In addition, adding a slice of lemon to your coffee creates a smoother and bolder flavour as the lemon slowly infuses into the cup.

So, if you want to try the goodness of espresso romano yourself, read on as I will teach you how you can make it at home.

espresso romano
Combining double shot espresso with lemon makes the delicious espresso romano.

Espresso Romano: What Exactly Is It?

The espresso romano is a coffee variety that combines two shots of espresso and either a slice of lemon or lemon juice. Some people like to add a teaspoon of sugar and milk into the coffee for a hint of sweetness.

You can enjoy this coffee any time of the day, regardless of how hot or cold the weather is. The reason is that the lemon coffee can be served hot or cold.

If you are looking for an alcohol option, you can add anisette to your coffee. Anisette is a Mediterranean liquor made out of aniseed.

Espresso tastes bitter since you only use a little amount of water when making it. So, adding lemon to it elevates some of the bitterness and add a fresh acidic flavour profile to the beverage.

Making Espresso Romano At Home

espresso romano
Two shots of espresso and a slice of lemon makes up for a unique and zesty coffee experience!

Making this coffee-based beverage only involves a simple process. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, so you can make it even when you are in a rush.

This coffee also needs only a few ingredients, which you can all find in your kitchen.

Here’s how you can make your own espresso romano at home:

What you will need:

  • 18 grams of freshly ground coffee beans
  • A slice of fresh lemon
  • A tablespoon of lemon juice
  • A tablespoon of sugar
  • Milk (optional)

Step 1. Pull two shots of espresso

When making espresso with lemon, the first thing you need to do is to pull two espresso shots. This translates to 2 ounces of espresso, including the crema.

You will need 18 grams of coffee grounds for this amount of espresso, preferably light to medium roast. But if you want your coffee to taste stronger, you can use dark roast grounds.

Step 2. Prepare your cup

While making your espresso, get your coffee cup and preheat it with steam. Then, rub the lemon rind inside the cup so the zest will cling to it.

Rubbing the lemon peel in the cup will allow its flavours to soak into the espresso once you add it. This step also adds a hint of interesting flavour notes to your coffee.

Step 3. Pour your espresso into the cup

Now that your cup is ready, pour your double shot espresso into the cup. At the same time, you can also add one tablespoon of lemon juice.

Adding the lemon juice will reduce the bitterness of your coffee, thus giving it a more zesty taste.

If you do not want to add extra acidity to your espresso, you can skip adding lemon juice. Instead, you can add a slice of lemon to the coffee without squeezing it.

That way, the lemon will slowly infuse into your cup of coffee as you drink it.

Step 4. Add sugar and milk

The last step before you can enjoy your espresso romano is to add sugar if you prefer your drink a little sweet. You can also add milk for a hint of creaminess.

However, you can skip this step if you want your coffee bold.

Some Facts About The Espresso Romano

lemon slices in a jar
The espresso romano has a complex history

Italians used to utilize lemon to sanitize their cutlery when water was scarce

Despite having the word “romano” on its name, there is no confirmation that the espresso romano came from Italy or Rome. In fact, there is no solid story about the origins of this coffee.

Still, some theories connect this coffee to Italy. One of these theories states that when Italy had water scarcity in the mid-90s, people used lemon to sanitize their cutlery.

Ancient Italians also used to add lemon wedges to their water reservoirs to make the water drinkable. As a result, they found out that lemons and espresso go well together.

Lemon does not add much acid to coffee

We all know that lemon is acidic. For this reason, you may think that adding it to your coffee will make it more acidic than it already is.

However, the reality is that coffee has higher acidity than lemon.

Lemon only has an acidity of two, while coffee has a pH level that ranges from 4.85 to 5.10. So, adding a slice of lemon or a tablespoon of lemon juice will not make your coffee too acidic.

You can substitute an espresso machine for a Moka pot for making espresso romano

If you do not have an espresso machine to make your lemon coffee, you can use a Moka pot instead. You will need 20 to 22 grams of coffee beans to strengthen your brew.

While the coffee brewed in the Moka pot will be as good as authentic espresso, it will still taste pretty good when you add lemon to it.

Are There Benefits To Adding Lemon To Coffee?

espresso romano
Coffee and lemon can both bring benefits to one’s health

Dr. Wilton Soares Cardoso, a doctor, and teacher at Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia in Brazil, discussed the benefits one might get from drinking espresso romano.

According to Dr. Cardoso, adding lemon to espresso balances the bitterness and strength of the coffee. Similarly, the espresso reduces the intensity of the lemon.

He added that the espresso romano could alleviate a hangover. On its own, caffeine has vasoconstricting properties, which allows it to mitigate headaches.

The caffeine contained in coffee also increases energy and alertness, as well as improves mood.

In addition, the natural oils found in lemon can help with digestion, thus speeding up one’s metabolic function. Lemon has high amounts of vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron and boost your immune system.

The dietary fiber found in this fruit also contributes to a healthy gut.

But if you have a sensitive stomach, drinking coffee with lemon may not be for you. Both coffee and lemon are acidic, so drinking espresso romano may trigger hyperacidity.

In Summary

The espresso romano is among the unique coffee varieties that you can ever find. Coffee by itself already has acidity, so you may think that adding lemon juice to it will not result in something good.

However, the bitter undertones of the espresso are accentuated when you add fresh lemon to it. It also is fruitier since coffee and lemon compliments each other.

That said, adding lemon to your coffee is a must-try if you are looking for a new way to enjoy your coffee in these hot summer days!