Calling all coffee lovers! Ready to step up your coffee game? It's time to get a little fancy with your coffee routine. Let's talk about the world of espresso drinks.
Espresso is the foundation of all fancy coffee drinks. In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of espresso drinks, so you can confidently walk into a coffee shop - or whip up your delicious creations at home.
What Is An Espresso?
Simply put, espresso is a concentrated shot of coffee made by forcing pressurized hot water through finely ground, compacted coffee beans.
This process results in a thicker, creamier texture and a stronger flavor profile. The rich, intense brew forms the base for many hot (and cold) coffee-based drinks.
My personal favorite is the classic double espresso shots (doppio). Just a double-shot of pure caffeine and nothing else. This is for those who like to keep it simple or are in a hurry but still need that caffeine hit. It will give you the caffeine kick you need to power through your day.
But what can else you do with it? Let's get into the fun stuffs.
Types Of Espresso Shots
There are 3 types of espresso shots – ristretto (meaning "restricted") and lungo (meaning "long"), and doppio (meaning "double").
1. A Ristretto
A ristretto shot is a shorter shot of espresso that is made with less water, resulting in a stronger and more intense flavor. It’s perfect for those who want a quick jolt of caffeine and a burst of flavor.
2. A Lungo
A lungo shot, on the other hand, is made with more water, resulting in a milder flavor. It’s a good option for those who like a little more coffee taste in their espresso drinks.
3. A Doppio
Doppio is the term for a double-shot espresso. It’s two shots of espresso in one cup, making it stronger than a single shot. This is great for those who need an extra boost of energy or want to make their espressos more flavorful.
Types Of Espresso Drinks
So, what can you make with these espresso shots? Let’s talk about types of espresso drinks. The most popular are the cappuccino and the latte; however, there are more variations to choose from.
1. A Cappuccino
A cappuccino is similar to a latte, but with more foam than milk. It’s typically served in a smaller cup, making it perfect for a morning pick-me-up.
Some even sprinkle cinnamon or cocoa powder on top for extra flavor. Or you could go for a flavored Cappuccino like Hazelnut or French Vanilla.
Making a cappuccino - The ratio: one shot of espresso to 1 shot of steamed milk and 1 part of the foam.
2. A Latte
This creamy coffee drink is less intense than a cappuccino, making it the perfect way to start your day. If you're looking for something with a bit of decadence and indulgence, then the latte is the perfect option for you.
You can also add flavors like caramel, mocha, lavender, or pumpkin spice, making this a seasonal favorite.
Making a latte - The ratio: 2 parts steamed milk to 1 part espresso, and topped with 1/2 part of the foam or latte art.
3. A Flat White
Flat whites are similar to lattes but with a bit more espresso and less foam. This makes the texture smoother, giving it a silky finish and a slightly stronger taste. It’s perfect for those who want a creamy espresso without all the foam.
Making a flat white - The ratio: 1 espresso, two-thirds steamed milk, and just a hint of foam.
4. A Mocha
For those who want a more luxurious experience, try a mocha. A mocha is made by adding chocolate syrup or cocoa powder to a latte. It’s like having coffee and dessert all in one cup.
For an added sweet kick, you can add vanilla or caramel syrup. An addition of whipped cream, and chocolate shavings on top will make your mocha a delightful treat.
Making a mocha - The ratio: one shot of espresso, two shots of steamed milk, and a generous chocolate sauce.
5. A Macchiato
Last but not least, we have the macchiato. This is an espresso shot with a dollop of foam on top. It’s perfect for those who want a strong espresso flavor without the added sweetness. Latte Macchiato is the opposite, with a larger amount of steamed milk and just a shot of espresso.
Making a macchiato - The ratio: one shot of espresso with just a hint of foam.
6. A Cortado
A Cortado is an espresso shot with a dash of steamed milk. It’s great for those who want a milder espresso flavor without any added sweetness.
Making a cortado - The ratio: one shot of espresso with a small amount of steamed milk.
This is a fun and unique espresso drink that combines an espresso shot with whipped cream. It's creamy, sweet, and indulgent – perfect for those who want to indulge in something special.
Making an espresso con panna - The ratio: one shot of espresso topped with a generous helping of whipped cream.
8. An Americano
An Americano is an espresso shot with hot water added. It’s perfect for those who want a milder espresso flavor without any bitterness.
Making an americano - The ratio: one shot of espresso and hot water, with optional cream and sugar added.
9. A Red Eye
The red eye is for those who want to supercharge their espresso. It combines an espresso shot with a large cup of drip coffee. This makes for a strong, flavorful, and energizing drink – perfect for early mornings or long days.
Making a red eye coffee - The ratio: one shot of espresso plus a large cup of drip coffee.
10. A Black Eye
If you’re looking for an even stronger kick, try the black eye. This combines an espresso shot with double the amount of drip coffee. It’s like having a double espresso but without the bitterness or acidity that comes with it.
Making a black eye coffee - The ratio: one shot of espresso plus two shots of dripped coffee.
11. A Dead Eye
The dead eye is for those who want an extra jolt of energy. It’s a triple shot of espresso with drip coffee added. This makes for a strong and intense drink that will give you the boost you need to get through your day.
Making a dead eye coffee - The ratio: three shots of espresso plus one cup of drip coffee.
12. An Affogato
Finally, we come to the affogato – a sweet and indulgent treat perfect for those with an insatiable sweet tooth. An affogato is a scoop of ice cream or gelato topped with a hot espresso shot. The combination of hot and cold make it a unique and delicious dessert.
Making an affogato - The ratio: one shot of espresso and one scoop of ice cream or gelato.
Tips & Tricks
- Freshly ground espresso beans will give you the best flavor.
- If you want a less bitter espresso, try adding more steamed milk to your drink.
- For a sweeter espresso, add some sugar or syrup.
- Experiment with different types of syrups and flavors to find your perfect combination.
- For a stronger espresso, add an extra shot.
- With a little practice and experimentation, you'll be able to master each type of espresso drink.
Now that you know what espresso is, and the different types of espresso drinks, you can make your delicious creations. Watch further the video tutorial below!
There you have it, espresso lovers! Whether you prefer a straight shot of caffeine or a creamy, frothy delight, something that is strong, creamy, sweet, or simple, we're sure you'll find something in this guide that'll make your taste rejoice.
Need a quality coffee gadget to master your barista skills? Check out our picks of best espresso machines under 1,000 USD and find your brewing tool today!
Try different flavor combinations and make your signature drink. Happy brewing!