Sunday, December 3, 2023

Europe’s Nightly Espresso Habit

by Mads

Europe’s Nightly Espresso Habit: An Exploration of Why Europeans Drink Espresso at Night

If you’ve ever traveled to Europe and found yourself walking around town late at night, you may have noticed something peculiar. Many cafes and restaurants are still open, and they are serving coffee – specifically, espresso. So, why do Europeans drink espresso at night? In this article, we’ll explore this question and dive into the fascinating world of Europe’s nightly espresso habit.

Why do Europeans drink espresso at night?

To understand why Europeans drink espresso at night, we have to understand a bit about the culture. In Europe, dinner is typically a late affair, and the meal often lasts for several hours. After dinner, people enjoy a leisurely stroll around town, catching up with friends and family. Since it’s already late, they may want a small pick-me-up before heading home, and that’s where espresso comes in.


Espresso is the perfect after-dinner drink. It’s strong enough to provide a jolt of energy, but small enough not to interfere with sleep. It’s also a way to prolong the evening and continue to enjoy the company of friends and family.

The history of espresso in Europe

Although espresso originated in Italy, it quickly spread throughout Europe in the 20th century. The invention of the espresso machine in the early 1900s revolutionized the way coffee was brewed, making it faster and more efficient. By the 1930s, espresso bars were becoming a common sight in cities across Europe.

Today, espresso is a staple in many European countries. It’s served in cafes and restaurants, but also in homes and offices. In fact, the espresso machine is a common appliance in European kitchens, and many people make their own espresso drinks at home.

The culture of cafes in Europe

Another reason why Europeans drink espresso at night is the culture of cafes. In Europe, cafes are more than just places to grab a cup of coffee – they are social gathering places. People go to cafes to meet with friends, read the newspaper, and people-watch. In fact, cafes are often the center of social life in many European towns and cities.


The atmosphere of a cafe is conducive to relaxation and enjoyment. The dim lighting, comfortable chairs, and cozy atmosphere create a sense of intimacy and warmth. It’s the perfect environment to savor a small cup of espresso and chat with friends.


The importance of quality coffee in Europe

One notable aspect of Europe’s nightly espresso habit is the emphasis on quality coffee. In Europe, coffee is taken seriously, and people are willing to pay more for a good cup of coffee. That’s why you’ll often see cafes and restaurants serving specialty coffee drinks made with high-quality beans.

This focus on quality extends to the preparation of espresso as well. In Europe, espresso is not just a quick shot of caffeine – it’s an art form. Baristas are highly trained and skilled at preparing the perfect espresso shot, taking into account factors like the roast level of the beans, the water temperature, and the pressure of the shot.

The health benefits of espresso

While drinking espresso at night may seem counterintuitive, there are actually some health benefits to this practice. Studies have shown that moderate caffeine consumption – about 300 milligrams per day – can provide numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

Additionally, drinking espresso at night can help improve sleep. While it’s true that caffeine can interfere with sleep, a small amount consumed several hours before bedtime is unlikely to cause problems. In fact, the stimulating effect of caffeine may actually help some people fall asleep faster.



In conclusion, Europeans drink espresso at night for a variety of reasons, including the culture of cafes, the importance of quality coffee, and the health benefits of moderate caffeine consumption. Whether you’re a coffee lover or not, it’s hard not to appreciate the rich history and culture surrounding Europe’s nightly espresso habit. So, the next time you find yourself in Europe and tempted by a small cup of espresso after dinner, go ahead and indulge – you’re participating in a longstanding tradition.


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