The Many, Many Ways to Enjoy Espresso: Types of Espresso Drinks
Espresso is traditionally enjoyed in small servings of about one or two fluid ounces. This is known as a single or double shot of espresso.
But espresso isn’t only a drink to enjoy on its own. In fact, espresso is the foundation of every traditional Italian coffee menu and a range of exceedingly popular coffee drinks, many of which may already be staples of your coffee rotation.
Before learning how to make espresso, it’s helpful to know the types of drinks you can create using this form of coffee. There are dozens of coffee drinks that use espresso as their starting point. Let’s cover the traditional heroes of the espresso menu:
● Americano – The Americano is among the simplest espresso drinks. Essentially, it’s one regular shot of espresso mixed with any amount of hot water. In some cafes, you may also see an Americano prepared similar to a long black—with a double shot and hot water to fill the rest of the cup. This typically results in a 1:3 water-to-coffee ratio. Essentially, this transforms the concentrated strength of espresso into something closer to drip coffee by diluting it.
● Macchiato – Sometimes known as a caffé macchiato, this drink combines espresso with just a bit of milk added to it. The name comes from the Italian word for spotted or stained, in reference to the discoloration that happens when milk is added.
● Cappuccino – A cappuccino is the traditional combination of steamed milk with espresso. Typically this will be done in thirds of espresso, milk, and foam to ensure a balance of flavors.
● Caffé latte – A latte is similar to a cappuccino in that it also incorporates espresso and steamed milk, but generally speaking, a larger proportion of milk to espresso. Those who want to taste their coffee less or add flavor, will typically use a latte as the base.
● Espresso con panna – Adding a bit of whipped cream to a shot of espresso results in a drink known as an espresso con panna, which literally translates to espresso with cream.
● Caffé mocha latte – A traditional latte with a bit of chocolate flavor added is known as a mocha latte. In fact, lattes lend themselves to a variety of popular flavors, like vanilla and pumpkin spice.
● Red eye – For an extra jolt of caffeine, pour a shot of espresso over a cup of brewed coffee for a drink named after the bleary-eyed effect it can have on you.
Espresso is so versatile that the above list only scratches the surface. That’s why the best way to enjoy espresso is at home. With your own home espresso machine, you can experiment with various espresso drinks to your heart’s content.