Wikipedia's page on espresso defines espresso as:

a coffee-brewing method of Italian origin, in which a small amount of nearly boiling water (about 90 °C or 190 °F) is forced under 9–10 bars (900–1,000 kPa; 130–150 psi) of pressure (expressed) through finely-ground coffee beans.

In conversation, many other coffee brew(er)s are sometimes referred to as espresso (machines). For example:

  • Single serve pods: Is Nespresso 'real' espresso?

  • Super-automatic bean-to-cup machines. According to Wikipedia: "Saeco, is an Italian manufacturer of manual, super-automatic and capsule espresso machines"

In both of these examples, the coffee is usually not brewed at the 9+ bars of pressure. While it may be socially acceptable to refer to all low-volume coffee drinks as espresso, our tagging system is aimed at grouping related questions.

In this question I'm looking to draw a distinction between the different brewing methods and related machines so that we can tag questions consistently.

The following tags are less clear (in some cases):

This question may seem to look at two issues:

  • Whether we should do something about the and tags being added to other questions, and
  • Whether the tags we have currently for different brewing methods are confusing. In some cases there is overlap, in other cases new users are inclined to use espresso-related tags because that's how their machines are marketed and referred to in general conversation.

Nevertheless, I think it makes sense to raise this in a single question because it's all about inconsistent tagging in relation to different coffee machines.

Do you think this is a problem that needs to be addressed? Should we have clearer tag guidance? Should we remove some of the (broader) tags (in favor of more specific ones)? Do you think it's not really a problem if questions are tagged inconsistently?

If you don't have an answer but like to discuss this more casually, feel free to ping me / raise some points in chat.

1 Answer 1


The underlying issue is with the tag descriptions.

  • Make the descriptions more precise.
  • Add usage information to the description (e.g.: "do not use for XYZ, use instead").

Then it's a matter of cleaning up bad tag usage when you see it because people often don't read the descriptions. The descriptions become more for reference for content curation.

The downside is that tags get misused because people associate incorrect terminology. It's an unfortunate problem when the technically-correct terminology is different from common usage. Tagging becomes a balance between technical correctness and usability/accessibility of the information.

Traffic is still slow enough that it won't cause questions to be missed on the main page. But correct tagging will come at the price of questions sometimes not being included in a search result if the search doesn't use the right terminology. That can be fixed by dual tagging with the common mistakes (like plus ; not a good solution from a knowledge base perspective, but more user-friendly when a significant portion of visitors are newcomers to the subject matter).

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