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What is the plural of "Espresso"? Some places, especially in Europe spell it "Espressi", some ask for two espresso's. It seems that in Italy, the masculine plural of a noun generally does end with -i so Espressi may be the correct way in Italy, and as "Espresso" does derive from Italy, should we use their spelling? Then again, in France or other places it may be more common to ask for two espresso's or a double espresso.

The different options I've come across are:

  • Two Espressi
  • Two Espressos
  • Two Espresso's
  • Double Espresso

Which is correct? (Or if none of these are right, what is the grammatically correct way to refer to more than one espresso in England?

closed as off-topic by tchrist Mar 27 '17 at 11:22

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  • Given that this is generally a verbal request, how are you arriving at the conclusion there is an apostrophe? What role in the apostrophe fulfilling? My own habit, in Scotland, is to order 'two espresso' (TBH usually 'two double espresso'). – Spagirl Mar 27 '17 at 9:51
  • There are many times when it needs to be written - on a menu-board, on training documents, on a blog post and so on. Although it is a verbal request, there still must be a grammatically correct way (or ways) to convey the request on paper in various circumstances. – 5Diraptor Mar 27 '17 at 9:55
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    I would also add that espresso is not a proper noun, so the capital letter is inappropriate, but in signages and menus I suppose the rules of capitalization and punctuation are more lenient. – Mari-Lou A Mar 27 '17 at 10:19
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    Obligatory referen'ce for tho'se using apostrophe's to denote plural's - apostrophe.org.uk – Chenmunka Mar 27 '17 at 10:59
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    To find answers like this, look in a dictionary. As noted in an answer, you will find only epressos for the plural. – GEdgar Mar 27 '17 at 11:15
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Since you are an english speaker, it would be more natural to say espressos rather than espressi. In fact, espressi doesn't even feature in the British National Corpus, whereas espressos does.

Also, it seems like the Italian is not always espressi:

In Italy, if you want, say, two cups of espresso, you order "due caffè espresso" ("espresso" in this instance is an adjective modifying "caffè", which is both the singular and plural noun for "coffee") (Home Barista)

Although Mari-Lou A says Italian purists say due espressi, which is apparently more gramatically correct.

Espresso's is wrong, because it is a plural, which shouldn't have an apostrophe. The only time you'd say Espresso's is in the example:

The espresso's flavour

A double espresso is not the same as multiple espressi/espresso. It is how much coffee grinds are used.

The size can be a single, double, or triple, using a proportional amount of ground coffee. (Wikipedia)

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    "A double espresso is not the same as multiple espressi/espresso. It is how much coffee grinds are used" - sorry but that's not correct: a single espresso is always a 25-30ml shot of intense coffee. There is nothing different in the way either is made. A typical espresso machine can make either 1 or 2 shots at a time, if more shots are required, the process is repeated to give the desired quantity of shots. The quantity of coffee grounds and water per shot of espresso remains the same. – 5Diraptor Mar 27 '17 at 10:36
  • I fear I may have injected the 'double espresso' red herring into the discussion, when all I mean to do was confess the degree of my addiction. Fpr clarity, a 'double espresso' is two standard espresso shots in one cup. – Spagirl Mar 27 '17 at 10:39
  • @Tomy-rex I thought a double espresso is made by having both spouts over one cup, rather than just one. Yes, the basket is still filled with the same amount of coffee, but technically half is used for 1 shot. Coffee Geek agrees with me, as does Home Barista: A single is a 0.6 to 1 ounce espresso made from 6 to 10 grams of coffee; a double is a 1.2 to 2 ounce espresso made from 12 to 20 grams of coffee – marcellothearcane Mar 27 '17 at 15:35

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