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What Sabrina Carpenter's "Espresso" Is Really About

The "Feather" singer has a hit on her hands, thanks to its caffeinated beat.

By Elizabeth Logan

If you can't stop humming Sabrina Carpenter's new song "Espresso," you're not alone. The bop has been climbing the charts since its release date of April 11, 2024 — barely a month ahead of her debut as Musical Guest for the Saturday Night Live Season 49 finale with Host Jake Gyllenhaal.

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It's ridiculously catchy and so upbeat, making it the perfect song for beach parties and your morning mood-lift (and then there's that viral "I'm working late, 'cause I'm a singer" lyric). But what exactly does "that's that me espresso" mean? 

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Sabrina Carpenter attends a red carpet for 2023 Spotify Best New Artist Party

What Sabrina Carpenter's new song "Espresso" means

Espresso is an Italian coffee drink made by forcing boiling water through tightly packed coffee grounds to create a dense and highly caffeinated beverage. It's essentially a "shot" of pure coffee, as undiluted by water as possible.

Carpenter is singing that her "me espresso" is the effect she has on boys: They can't sleep because they're up all night thinking about her. Instead, they lie awake moving it "up, down, left, right," as in a Nintendo Switch game.

Later in the song, she also compares herself to Mountain Dew, a caffeinated soda.

Sabrina Carpenter on the red carpet for the 2024 Met Gala

The pop star explained to Apple Music that the song is all about feeling good and not taking things too seriously. 

Carpenter said she began writing then song during "one of those times in my life where it was just like, I just thought I was the sh-- in the moment. And I think you don't always feel that way, so you kind of have to capture those moments that you do."

She added, "For me, equating it to caffeine and that addiction was really fun and I definitely have a caffeine addiction as it is. So it really ends up being a full circle for me."

RELATED: The Real Meaning of Miley Cyrus' "Flowers" and Its Connection to Virginia Woolf

The lyrics to "Espresso" by Sabrina Carpenter

Written by Sabrina Carpenter, Amy Allen, Steph Jones, and Julian Bunetta.

Now he's thinkin' 'bout me every night, oh
Is it that sweet? I guess so
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso
Move it up, down, left, right, oh
Switch it up like Nintendo
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso

I can't relate to desperation
My "give a f-cks" are on vacation
And I got this one boy and he won't stop calling
When they act this way, I know I got 'em

Too bad your ex don't do it for ya
Walked in and dream-came-trued it for ya
Soft skin and I perfumed it for ya (yes)
I know I Mountain Dew it for ya (yes)
That morning coffee, brewed it for ya (yes)
One touch and I brand-newed it for ya

Now he's thinkin' 'bout me every night, oh
Is it that sweet? I guess so
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso
Move it up, down, left, right, oh
Switch it up like Nintendo
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso

Holy shit
Is it that sweet? I guess so

I'm working late 'cause I'm a singer
Oh, he looks so cute wrapped 'round my finger
My twisted humor make him laugh so often
My honeybee, come and get this pollen

Too bad your ex don't do it for ya
Walked in and dream-came-trued it for ya
Soft skin and I perfumed it for ya (yes)
I know I Mountain Dew it for ya (yes)
That morning coffee, brewed it for ya (yes)
One touch and I brand-newed it for ya (stupid)

Now he's thinkin' 'bout me every night, oh
Is it that sweet? I guess so
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso
Move it up, down, left, right, oh
Switch it up like Nintendo
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso (yes)
Thinkin' 'bout me every night, oh
Is it that sweet? I guess so (yes)
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso (yes)
Move it up, down, left, right, oh
Switch it up like Nintendo (yes)
Say you can't sleep, baby, I know
That's that me, espresso

Is it that sweet? I guess so
Mm, that's that me, espresso