The most common way...
the world of spelling espresso is "espresso." This
is shortened from the original Italian name of "caffe
English language dictionaries list "expresso" a variant
spelling. This is does not mean that it is an equally
common spelling. The spelling "expresso" is in existence,
but is found to be far less common than the spelling,
spelling "espresso" is the form used by the New York
Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, The Wine Spectator, The
Wall St. Journal, The LA Times, Time, Newsweek, and
just about every other major or minor newspaper or
magazine, general or food related, in the English
In 1994 there was a great debate over "espresso vs.
expresso." During this it was pointed out that the
Italian Alphabet does not contain the letter "X,"
which is not true. It has, however, been pointed out
that there are two Italian alphabets. One (il tradizionale)
with no X, Y or Z, and another with all the letters
of the English alphabet.
It was also discovered that at least three dictionaries
contained incorrect definitions of the word "espresso."
American Heritage Dictionary: "A strong coffee
brewed by forcing steam under pressure through darkly
roasted powdered coffee beans."
The Oxford English Dictionary: "Coffee
brewed by forcing steam through powdered coffee beans."
The Webster New World Dictionary" "Coffee
prepared in a special machine from finely ground coffee
beans through which steam is forced"
is in fact a strong coffee brewed by quickly forcing
hot water through darkly roasted, finely ground coffee
espresso machines do use steam, but only to force
the hot water through the ground coffee. The steam
never touches the coffee. Most espresso machines use
no steam at all; instead they use either a pump or
a piston to force the hot water through the coffee.