The Complete Guide to Espresso Drinks

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An Espresso is a base for many drinks. Its recipe might look simple but one mistake and your cup will be ruined. Due to the number of variables that we have control over when making an espresso, the final taste of the coffee can be tweaked according to our needs.

In this guide, we are going to share the different types of Espresso drinks. If you are a coffee lover then you should have an idea of all the different espresso drinks.

The 14 Most Popular Espresso Drinks

Espresso

An espresso drink is made by passing hot water with high pressure through ground coffee. Espresso is the base or foundation of many popular specialty coffee drinks. Any coffee beans can be used to make espresso coffee. Espresso is served in shots and mostly two shots(also known as Doppio) are served.

Doppio

Doppio is an Italian word meaning double. Doppio is a double shot of espresso. Most coffee houses use a double shot as the common size. A doppio is more concentrated and has a thicker crema.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino is one of the most popular espresso drinks. You will find it in almost every part of the world, which should tell you about its popularity. A cappuccino is made using ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk and ⅓ foam. This drink is served hot. Due to the foam on top of the drink, it can maintain its warmth for a longer period.

Latte

Famous for the Latte Art, this drink is popular among people who like their coffee smooth and sweet. Latte is an Italian word for milk. A Latte is made using ⅓ espresso, ⅔ steamed milk and topped with a thin layer of microfoam.

Mocha

Also known as Cafe Mocha, mocha is a very popular drink famous for the chocolate syrup in it. It is a variation of the Latte drink. Made using ⅓ espresso, ⅙ cocoa or chocolate syrup, ⅓ milk and ⅙ foam. If you are a chocolate lover then this drink is made for you.

Flat White

Popularly known as the Australian Latte, this drink has few differences from a Latte drink. It uses the same amount of espresso as a Latte but uses less milk. This makes the drink stronger. Stretched milk is used instead of regular milk. 

A flat white is made using ⅓ espresso, ⅔ steamed milk and a very thin layer of foam on the top. Using the right ratio of milk to espresso is very important.

Macchiato

Macchiato is an Italian word meaning stained. Macchiato is an espresso drink with only a small amount of milk or foam on top of a single or double shot of espresso. The milk is added to moderate the espresso taste.

Americano

This drink got its name due to being the preference of American soldiers during World War 2. An americano is made by diluting the espresso shot with hot water. Whereas the strength of the coffee varies according to the amount of water added to the espresso shot. But it helps to give the coffee a different flavor than other drinks.

This drink got its name due to being the preference of American soldiers during World War 2. An americano is made by diluting the espresso shot with hot water. Whereas the strength of the coffee varies according to the amount of water added to the espresso shot. But it helps to give the coffee a different flavor than other drinks.

Ristretto

Ristretto is an espresso short shot made using half the water but with the same amount of coffee. Due to the shot being pulled in the first half of the extraction, it has a more concentrated flavor.

Lungo

A lungo is the opposite of a ristretto drink. Lungo is an Italian word meaning long. A lungo shot is made using the same amount of coffee but doubling the amount of time to pull the shot. Due to the longer time, the volume of the shot will be larger and it will have a bitter and weaker taste.

Long Black

This coffee drink is famous in Australia and New Zealand. It is quite similar to Americano with the main difference being how it is mixed with hot water. For making a long black coffee a double shot of espresso is poured over hot water. This also helps retain the crema on top of the coffee. This drink has a strong aroma and taste in comparison to the Americano.

Cortado

If you want a strong coffee but don’t want too much bitterness then you should try Cortado. Made using ½ espresso and ½ steamed milk, it has the same smooth texture as many espresso drinks.

Breve

Also known as half and half, the name breve means short and concise. This coffee drink is made using espresso and half whole milk and half cream. A breve is also known as being an American version of a latte.

Affogato

Often categorized as a dessert, this Italian beverage is made using a scoop of vanilla gelato with a shot of hot espresso poured over it.

Few things you should know about espresso drinks:

  • Crema is important:

You can tell a lot about how your espresso is going to taste just by looking at the crema on top of your espresso drink. Crema is brown and has a thick airy layer to it.

  • Espresso:

Espresso is an Italian word meaning something being forced out. In this case, it is referring to the hot water being forced through the coffee.

  • Espresso drink is meant to be drunk quickly:

An espresso drink is meant to be drunk while the crema is still on the top. The crema acts as a lid and helps keep all the aromas of a coffee in.

  • A cappuccino should be avoided after breakfast:

Espresso can be had any time of the day but a cappuccino after breakfast is frowned upon in Italy. In Italy, milk-based coffee drinks are reserved for the mornings only.

  • Espresso is not a coffee bean or a type of roast:

Many people confuse espresso as being a type of coffee bean or roast. Espresso is a coffee brewing method that uses pressure to brew the coffee.

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