Espresso Romano Recipe Featured

How to Make an Espresso Romano: A Fresh Twist on Your Morning Coffee Routine 

Are you tired of the same old boring coffee flavors? Craving for something different?

Well, I’ve got a unique espresso recipe that will awaken your taste buds. Revamp your morning brew with my Espresso Romano recipe – an easy-to-make coffee drink that combines the bold flavor of espresso with zesty lemon juice.

Get ready to brew a tangy and fresh twist on traditional espresso that will invigorate your senses.

What is an Espresso Romano? 

Espresso Romano is essentially a shot or two of espresso and lemon. The addition can be in the form of lemon juice, lemon peel, or a slice of lemon on the side.

There is no clear evidence that this fun twist on classic espresso originated in Italy, despite the “Romano” in its name. There are talks that it was an American’s way to cover up the unsavory flavors from a badly pulled espresso shot. Others also say it started in Italy, maybe in Rome, but only gained popularity in the US.

One thing is clear despite its name and a split opinion on its origins. Espresso Romano has a loyal following of people looking for something well-balanced but with unconventional flavor pairings, which most specialty coffee lacks.

Espresso Romano Recipe

What does it taste like?

Espresso romano adds a tangy freshness to a normal espresso. You don’t want to go overboard with how much lemon juice you use, a few drops is generally enough. Especially if you are adding lemon zest into the cup as well.

I have always been a coffee lover, but I thought a bitter and sour flavor profile would never match. I was wrong. What I love about Espresso Romano is how the lemon juice cuts through the bitterness often found in traditional dark roast espresso drinks, creating a refreshingly sweet and sour beverage. Using lemon zest as a garnish also adds an extra burst of citrus aroma, which can really perk you up on a summer day.

Just make sure you don’t use light-roast coffee beans for this one.

Equipment and Ingredients for an Espresso Romano

Here’s everything you’ll need to create this fun twist on a classic drink:

  • Espresso machine – for pulling espresso shots.
  • Lemon – You will use a bit of lemon juice, a wedge, and even lemon zest if you like. If the later, make sure you buy organic lemons, as their outer skin is treated differently than the non-organic ones.
  • Zester (optional) – for zesting the lemon wedge.
  • 18-20 g of medium or dark-roast coffee beans – yields 50-60g double shot of espresso.

What kind of cup should an Espresso Romano be served in?

Espresso Romano, just like most espresso-based beverages, is served in a glass demitasse cup. The smaller size allows the coffee to maintain the concentration of the flavors. Here’s my guide on the best demitasse cups of 2024.

Glass Espresso Cup Demitasse

Step-by-step Guide to Making an Espresso Romano at Home

It doesn’t get any simpler.

1. Prepare a double shot of espresso 

Here’s a short summary of making espresso with an espresso machine.

  • Place your ground coffee beans into the portafilter and tamp it down. You want to see a flat coffee bed, so use just enough pressure.
  • Lock the portafilter into the machine with an upward and twist motion.
  • Place a clear glass espresso cup under the spout.
  • The espresso should be ready in 25-30 seconds.

Barista Tip: If you’re using a moka pot, you can check out my guide on how to use it.

2. Adding the lemon into the cup

There are several ways you can add the lemon to your espresso:

  1. Cut the lemon and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the cup. Don’t add too much juice though, it will become acidic and overpower the espresso.
  2. Put an organic lemon wedge into the coffee.
  3. Rub the lemon wedge around the cup’s rim, so you smell and taste it when you put the cup to your mouth.

3. Sprinkle some lemon zest on top of the drink as a garnish

With a zester, add some lemon zest to enhance the drink’s overall taste, aroma, and aesthetic appeal.

Espresso Romano Recipe Featured

Espresso Romano Recipe 

This Espresso Romano recipe combines the bold taste of espresso with tangy lemon juice, creating a refreshing coffee drink.
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Coffee Recipes
Servings 1 servings


  • 18 g medium-roast coffee beans
  • 1 piece lemon


  • Prepare a double shot of espresso.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon wedge, or lemon zest
  • Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of the cup



  • Ripe lemons that have a bit of sweetness are best
  • Some even integrate oranges into this recipe.

The espresso romano puts an interesting lemony twist on your normal coffee, so why not give it a try?

Don’t forget to let me know how yours turns out in the comments section below – happy brewing.

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