"4M" is something that I have been heard of as a requirement set for tasty espresso.

What are these four important quality factors that affect the flavor of final espresso cup?

  • Working on the knowledge base of the site and getting a generic answer out? Well done!
    – Stephie
    Oct 22, 2016 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


4M is a term mainly used among Italians for espresso. It is a placeholder for four words that start with "M" in Italian that affects espresso preparation. Some information can be found here.

These M's are:

  • Miscela: The coffee-blend; it covers the selection and blending of the beans as well as proper roasting.
  • Macinazione: The grinder; proper grinding of the given blend and its usage when its still fresh.
  • Macchina: The espresso-machine; usage of the given grounds with a proper espresso-machine.
  • Mano: Skill of the barista; usage of all above with skill.

Some people add the fifth M, referring to "Maintenance" (keeping equipment clean, espresso machine descaled, having burrs in the grinder regularly replaced etc.)

  • Mostly, I count the (quality & blend of) beans and the roast as separate. But never thought of this. Nice point.
    – MTSan
    Oct 30, 2016 at 0:10

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