Why is Espresso Served with Lemon Peel? – Learn How to Drink Espresso Romano with Lemon Peel

Espresso with Lemon Peel – Do you really like this idea? I doubt it!

Do you love to drink Espresso Romano and Espresso Italian coffee? If so, you might be wondering why is Espresso usually served with a lemon peel in certain parts of the world.

In this article, I am going to explain the main reason why baristas add a twist of lemon peel on the saucer when serving espresso.

I am also going to share the 4 methods to drink Espresso Romano when it comes with a twist of lemon peel.

Table of Contents

What is the Main Reason Behind Serving Lemon Peel with Espresso Coffee?

If you are wondering about the use of lemon peel in your espresso coffee, then you should know a few facts about lemon properties.

Lemon contains citric acid as well know for a fact. On the other hand, lemon peel contains a type of oil that resides in its skin.

When you twist these lemon peels, it releases the skin oil which is actually an essence of lemon.

If you want to know this for yourself, then just try to twist a lemon peel. You will find that some type of oil coming out of the twisted lemon peel.

Now, most espresso bars or coffee shops serve these lemon peels along with your espresso coffee like Caffe Romano or Espresso Italian, etc.

You can twist these lemon peels and put oil in your coffee or just apply it on the edges of your espresso coffee cup.

A single-serve of Espresso Romano comes with few fresh lemon peels. They can be mainly used to sanitize the coffee cup rim.

Plus, you can consume these lemon peels once you drink your espresso. This helps in cleaning your teeth from coffee stains.

Check out the following video to understand these reasons in more detail.

The Origin or History Behind Using Lemon Peel for Espresso

The actual time of practice when this began is still unknown to many of us.

Some folks believe that it brings good luck to those who rub the lemon peels on the rim of a coffee cup that contains an espresso.

Some believe that the essential oils of lemon peel when combined with espresso, improves your immune system and reduces the chances of illness.

In some instances, when your espresso becomes bitter or over-roasted, the lemon peel can be used to eliminate its bitterness or bad taste.

The original usage of lemon peel in the espresso dates back to the World War 2 era.

It is believed to be started from Italy when American soldiers had to use the only espresso so as to drink their coffee.

Therefore, in order to reduce its bitterness, they started to use lemon peels. Since then it has become a tradition.

Currently, Espresso Romano is a very much popular phenomenon mostly in North America and France.

4 Methods to Drink Espresso Romano Served with Lemon Peel

Method 1: Twist the Lemon Peels inside Your Espresso

You can just twist the lemon peels you get on the saucer in your espresso when you feel that the taste of espresso is not good.

If it tastes bitter, then just follow this method to reduce the bitterness of your espresso.

Method 2: Chew Lemon Peels After Drinking Your Espresso

Some people do like the bitterness of their espresso but don’t like the aftertaste of their drink.

In this case, just chew the lemon peels you got on the saucer once you finish your drink. This will soothe the taste and will also help in cleaning your teeth.

Method 3: Twist Lemon Peels on the Coffee Cup Rim

Some people do like to use lemon peel to twist and apply the oil on the coffee cup rim or edges.

The lemon peel oil acts as a disinfectant and also helps to reduce the bitter taste of your espresso.

If you don’t want to directly put peels inside the coffee, then this method is best for you to try.

Method 4: Leave it as a Non-Consumable Garnish

This should be an ideal method for all espresso lovers.

If the overall flavor of your espresso is great and not so bitter then you won’t have to use lemon peels at all. Just keep them aside as it is and consider them like a non-consumable garnish.


In this article, I have already explained various possible reasons behind serving espresso with lemon peels. This custom or tradition is mainly popular in North America and France region.

It is not at all necessary to serve lemon peel if the espresso is brewed with proper care and guidelines.

If you do get lemon peels along with your espresso coffee, then I recommend trying any one of the 4 methods mentioned above.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top