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Why Your Espresso Is Served With Sparkling Water

Espresso served with sparkling water is mainly done for two reasons: To cleanse your palate before & after drinking espresso, and to stay hydrated. Some people also prefer to change their espresso into a sparkling Americano.

Have you ever wondered why you’re being served water next to your espresso? Surely I have and it took me a while to realize why that is.

It will make a lot more sense after reading this article and you might even learn more than you anticipated.

Let’s get started.

Why Espresso is Served With Sparkling Water

Espresso served with sparkling water originally comes from Italy, where it’s still popular today.

There are a few reasons why they do this:

  • To cleanse the palate before and after drinking espresso
  • To stay hydrated
  • To make it into a sparkling americano

Cleansing The Palate Before and After Drinking Espresso

Cleansing your palate is the most common option why they serve sparkling water with your espresso.

When you drink sparkling water before drinking espresso, it kind of “resets” your taste and smell. This makes sure you’ll get to experience the most decadent and flavorful taste of espresso since previous aftertastes can play with the taste of espresso. This method is also used in perfume stores with coffee beans.

But why are you supposed to drink sparkling water after drinking your espresso?

Well, for the same reason. Espresso has a strong aftertaste that also alters the taste of other drinks or meals.

A lot of people in Italy like to start with an espresso before having other meals or drinks, and when they drink sparkling water after their espresso, it rinses their palate for the next meal.

It Helps You To Stay Hydrated

The water served also helps while you sip on your espresso. Coffee, especially espresso, dehydrates your body massively since it’s super concentrated coffee.

This is why it’s popular in Middle Eastern countries as well. It reminds you to stay hydrated, as these people can get very unpleasantly high temperatures.

But, that’s not the only thing.

Remember how coffee is a diuretic? The combination of heat and diuretics can be dangerous. This can cause people to urinate more than normal and thus lead to lower levels of potassium in the body.

When outdoor temperatures are high and patients sweat more, they can lose too much potassium.

So, serving an espresso without sparkling water in these circumstances would be quite thoughtless and uncaring.

Note: Just a reminder that these two options are the most common way why they serve sparkling water with your espresso.

Making it Into A Sparkling Americano

Believe it or not, some people prefer to evolve their beautiful espresso into a sparkling americano. The thought alone twists my nerves thinking about it.

But I do like this at home when it’s served with ice. I’ll get to that later, with an easy recipe as well if you’d like to try it!

Anyway, this is done by pouring your espresso into the sparkling water or vice versa if you want to control the water ratio.

I’ve tried this once and besides the people watching me like I was a psychopath, I felt like one too.

Now, let’s get to making one at home.

What Do You Need to Make An Iced Sparkling Americano

You’ll need a few things to make this work but you should have almost all of them at home, these are:

  • Coffee or finely ground beans
  • Espresso Machine
  • Sparkling Water
  • Ice
  • Additives


Of course, you will need a quality espresso shot. Make sure to use whole beans for the best quality, if not then ground coffee will do as well.

If you’re looking for a coffee grinder that can grind finely for espresso then I recommend this Electric Burr Coffee Grinder From Cuisinart.

Espresso Machine

Having an espresso machine is a must as you will have to make, well, espresso.

If you don’t have an espresso machine then I recommend the Breville Barista Express. I love this thing, it has never let me down, and can do anything I want.

Sparkling Water

Another necessity is sparkling water, of course. You can get bottles in your local supermarket or get a SodaStream Sparkling Jet if you drink sparkling water often.


Most people have ice at home, simply get an ice cube tray out of the freezer or buy it in a convenience store.


This is optional but many recipes include a slice of orange, vanilla, or lemon. I personally prefer a slice of orange.

Now, let’s get to making an iced sparkling Americano.

How To Make An Iced Sparkling Americano At Home

  1. Grind your beans.
  1. Get a glass and fill it with ice cubes.
  1. Pull your espresso shot over the ice.
  1. Fill the rest of your glass with sparkling water.
  1. Add any other additives as a slice of orange.
  1. Optionally, you can pour everything over more ice, this will make the drink ice cold instead of lukewarm.
  1. Enjoy!

Here’s a quick video of the summary if prefer to watch it:

@majedmta What you wanna see next?👀 #espresso #americano #sparklingamericano #espressosoda #espresoda ♬ Booty Swing – Parov Stelar

The Bottom Line

That’s a wrap! Espresso served with sparkling water is done mainly for two reasons: To cleanse your palate before & after drinking espresso and to stay hydrated.

Some people prefer to make their espresso into a sparkling Americano but I recommend making your own iced sparkling Americano at home which is much more pleasant.

Happy caffeinating!


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