While you might consider yourself to be a true espresso aficionado, I bet you don’t know just how many espresso-based drinks and variations are out there. So, if you are looking for something beyond a regular espresso shot or a cappuccino, we’ve got you covered!
We put together a detailed guide through more than 20 different drinks that will help you break your day-to-day routine. Keep reading to find out how to make them.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
What Is Espresso?
Espresso is a highly concentrated coffee brew. It is made using high-quality dark roast beans that have a rich flavor. It is served either as a small shot or as a base for other beverages.
Types Of Coffee Beans You Can Use
You can use both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to brew a cup of espresso. Arabica coffee beans are usually preferred because they are dark roast and have less acidity. Also, they are grown on richer grounds and for that reason offer higher quality. Robusta beans are slightly lighter roast and have more earthy tones.
How Do You Make It?
To make an authentic espresso, you need to have an espresso machine. It rushes a highly pressurized hot water through the coffee grounds inside the filter basket and provides you with a thick, rich, and creamy brew with a beautiful crema on the top. For a single shot, you need about 6 to 8 grams of finely ground coffee.
How Much Is One Shot Of Espresso?
A single shot of espresso is only 1 fluid ounce. What is amazing about it is that it contains about 63 mg of caffeine. This means that it is far more concentrated than, for instance, 1 fluid ounce of black coffee.
Different Espresso Shots
First things first, let us cover versatile espresso shots you can find:
A ristretto is a stronger version of espresso. It is made using the same amount of coffee grounds as espresso, but with half the amount of water. It has a highly concentrated and rich flavor and is served as a half an ounce shot. It is also used to make a ristretto Bianco which is a small latte version that instead of espresso, uses ristretto as a base.
Doppio is a fancy name for a double espresso. It is made using double the amount of coffee grounds as well as water. So, to make it properly, you need to use a double shot filter inside the machine’s portafilter.
An americano is made by using a single or a double espresso shot and by combining it with hot water. It has a slightly weaker flavor than espresso (it is quite similar to black coffee). To make a single serving you need to:
- Turn on your espresso machine. It will need some time to heat up to the optimal brewing temperature so it is best to do this as you prepare everything you need. Grind your coffee beans right before the brewing process and pull a double shot of espresso.
- Heat the water you need to dilute the espresso using an electric kettle or a stovetop pot and pour it into your coffee mug.
- Add an espresso shot into the water, and not the other way around. This is to ensure that the top creamy foam from espresso remains on top of your americano. If you pour hot water into espresso you can burn your brew.
Now, a lungo is quite similar to an americano. To make it, you need to pull twice as much pressurized hot water through the amount of coffee you would use to make a regular espresso shot. As a result, you get a much higher coffee extraction and a higher caffeine content.
Blue Eye Coffee
Blue eye coffee is essentially a name for a drink that is made by whipping 3 shots of espresso in a cup.
Quad is a name for a drink made by combining 4 shots of espresso together.
Espresso And Milk Combos
Once you have espresso as a base you can combine it with milk and make:
A cappuccino is made using 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk froth. If you feel like this is a bit too much milk for you, you can opt for a dry cappuccino. Dry cappuccino is made using an espresso shot, a dollop of steamed milk, and a lot of milk froth.
The caffé latte, or latte as you might know it, is made using 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a spoonful of micro-foam. Lattes are usually made using a double shot of espresso. The great thing is that you can spice them up with brown sugar, cinnamon, and even cocoa powder.
“Piccolo” is an Italian phrase for small. So, “piccolo latte” is essentially a small latte. It is served either in an espresso cup or a demitasse cup. It uses a ristretto as a base and is topped with some warm milk.
As its name implies, a triple latte is made by combining steamed milk with three shots of espresso (rather than one as for a regular latte).
Mocha coffee is a sweet drink made by combining espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup (or cocoa powder). The exact ratios are not defined, it all depends on the barista who makes it. If you prefer the sweetness in your brew you can also add peppermint or caramel syrup and top it off using whipped cream.
Espresso macchiato is a well-known and often a favorite espresso-based beverage of many coffee enthusiasts. It is made by combining a single shot of espresso and a dollop of steamed milk.
Latte macchiato is basically an espresso macchiato with more steamed milk. To make it, you pour 1/3 or 1/2 a cup of steamed milk into your glass and then pour a shot of espresso over it.
Flat white brews are the most popular beverage in New Zealand and Australia. It is very similar to a cappuccino and a latte. To make it, you need to combine 1 part espresso and 4 parts steamed milk. There is no milk foam.
A cortado is made by combining espresso and steamed milk in a 1:1 ratio with almost no milk froth. If you already heard of a cortado, you might know about cortadito too. A cortadito is a Cuban espresso-based drink combined with sweet condensed milk instead of fresh milk. To make a Cortado you want to:
- Grind your coffee beans. Do this right before you start the brewing process to ensure that your coffee does not go stale.
- Add the grounds to the portafilter and tamp them down. This is to ensure the maximum contact between water and coffee.
- Prepare your glass. Warm it up by pouring some hot water into it. A Gibraltar glass is the best for a Cortado.
- Now, make a single or a double shot of espresso – depending on how big of a Cortado you want to make. Place the filter basket into its position and turn the handle counterclockwise to lock it in its position. Dispose of the water in the glass and place it beneath the spout. Once you have everything in position, turn the machine on.
- As your coffee is dripping out, steam the milk using the steam wand. Add about a third of milk to your frothing pitcher and insert the steamer into the center. Submerge it down into the milk and keep it that way until you notice that the pitcher is getting warm to the touch.
- Pour the steamed milk into the glass with espresso in a 1:1 ratio. That is it. Once you complete all these steps, serve cortado immediately while it is still hot.
Dirty coffee is made by combining cold milk (or a mixture of milk and cream) with a shot of dark espresso or ristretto. What you need to do is pour coffee over the milk to make the messy art form to which it owes its name.
To make a Gibraltar coffee you need to combine equal parts of espresso and steamed milk. As a result, you get to enjoy a robust flavor of espresso and the creaminess of the milk – a perfect balance.
Espresso And Coffee Combos
While this thought might not even have crossed your mind, you can combine espresso with black coffee too:
- The first thing you want to do is brew a cup of regular (black) coffee using your favorite brewing method: a French press, pour-over, AeroPress, etc.
- Once you have it ready, pull a double shot of espresso using your espresso machine.
- Finally, pour the brewed espresso straight into the coffee and enjoy.
Now, this one is for the caffeine “addicts”. It is made by combining a cup of black coffee and a shot of espresso. While it might be a bit too much for every day, it can come in very handy when you need to stay awake for a longer time.
The first thing you want to do is brew a cup of regular (black) coffee using your favorite brewing method: a French press, pour-over, AeroPress, etc.
If you through that Red Eye espresso is strong, think again. A black eye is an even stronger version. To make it at home you need to pull a double shot of espresso and pour it over a cup of freshly brewed black coffee.
Out of all the three “Eyes”, the dripped eye is the strongest brew. It is made by combining 3 shots of espresso and a cup of black coffee.
If you like the “eye” combinations but are looking for something with a bit less caffeine, this one might be the one for you. To make the lazy eye, you need to combine two shots of espresso with a cup of decaffeinated black coffee. You will still get the kick you need from espresso but it won’t be as strong.
Other Combinations Worth Trying
Apart from milk and black coffee, you can mix espresso with cream, tea, ice cream, and alcohol:
Are you a fan of Thai tea? Black tie brew uses Thai tea as a base. To get a perfect cup simply combine a cup of hot tea with a double shot of espresso.
Can you enjoy espresso as a desert? Yes, you can. Affogato is made by pouring a shot of freshly brewed espresso over a scoop of your favorite ice cream (usually vanilla).
Espresso Con Panna
“Espresso con Panna” is Italian for espresso with cream. The beverage is very easy to make. Everything you need to do is add some whipped cream either to a single or a double shot of espresso.
Galão is a Portugese beverage. It is made by combining a 1/4 espresso with 3/4 foamed milk and is served in a tall glass. The good news for those who do not enjoy large servings is that there is also a garoto – a small version of Galão served in a demitasse cup.
This drink is perfect for the hot evenings if you love espresso. It is made by combining a single shot of espresso, coffee liqueur, vodka, and sweet syrup. It is additionally garnished with coffee beans.
You Might Be Wondering…
We hope that we provided enough details about every brew type. However, here is some additional information in case you might be wondering:
Is Latte Sweet?
Yes, it is. This is due to the flavor of steamed milk in the brew.
Are Lattes Sweeter Than Cappuccinos?
Yes, they are, even without any additional sweeteners. This is because steamed milk on its own has a slightly sweet flavor.
What Is Sweeter, A Macchiato Or A Cappuccino?
In this case, cappuccino takes the crown. This is again because of the steamed milk. Macchiato has only a dollop of milk while a cappuccino has both steamed and frothed milk.
What Is The Difference…
We know that a lot of these beverages sound quite familiar so here is a bit more about their differences:
…Between An Espresso And A Latte?
Espresso does not contain any milk whereas a latte is mostly made out of steamed milk.
…Between A Flat White And Macchiato?
Macchiato is an espresso-based beverage combined with only a few teaspoons of milk which makes it a perfect pick-me-up. On the other hand, a flat white has much more milk in it.
…Between A Macchiato & A Latte Macchiato?
A macchiato is only “marked” with a bit of steamed milk whereas latte macchiato is mostly steamed milk “marked” with a shot of espresso. The latter is a much creamier version made for those who enjoy steamed milk.
…Between A Macchiato And A Latte?
The main difference between the two is in the espresso to milk ratio. Macchiato is made by adding a dollop of hot milk to espresso whereas a latte is made by combining a shot of espresso with double the amount of steamed milk and is topped with milk froth. Due to the smaller milk part, a macchiato is much stronger.
…Between A Cappuccino & A Latte?
A cappuccino has the same amount of espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth, whereas a latte has much more steamed milk and only a thin layer of milk foam. Also, a cappuccino is distinctly layered in a cup. For a latte, the espresso and the steamed milk are combined together.
…Between A Cappuccino And Mocha?
A cappuccino has a bit more rounded flavor whereas mocha has a chocolaty taste.
…Between A Flat White And A Latte?
The difference again is in the milk. A flat white is only topped with a flat (thin) layer of steamed milk and nothing else (hence its name) whereas a latte is served with steamed milk and a 5mm layer of microfoam.
…Between A Mocha & A Latte?
Mocha gives you a bit of a stronger flavor because it has dark chocolate undertones. A latte, on the other hand, is made for those who love the creaminess of the brew.
…Between Americano And A Latte?
Americano is essentially made by diluting espresso with hot water whereas latte contains a lot of steamed milk.
…Between Americano And A Macchiato
Americano has no milk and is essentially an espresso shot diluted with more hot water. Macchiato, on the other hand, is a strong espresso shot with a bit of milk.
Which Is Stronger?
Now that we covered the differences between the brews, let us discuss the differences in their strength:
Espresso Vs. Double Espresso
A double espresso is made with double the amount of coffee and double the amount of water. While a single shot has about 63 mg of caffeine a double version has about 126 mg of caffeine.
Ristretto Vs. Espresso
Ristretto is actually stronger than espresso. This is because it is brewed using the same amount of coffee as espresso but with half an amount of water.
Macchiato Vs. Mocha
These two beverages have very two different flavor profiles, but generally, a macchiato is stronger due to the less milk.
Macchiato Vs. Cappuccino
Macchiato has 85 mg of caffeine in a 2-ounce serving whereas a cappuccino has 173 mg of caffeine in a 16-ounce shot.
Latte Vs. Mocha?
Mocha is noticeably stronger because it has way less milk than a latte.
To Wrap It Up
Now that you know all about the versatile espresso-based beverages you can order, we hope that you will try and order some of them with confidence. Most of them are well-known worldwide and you can find them in most professional coffee shops. Your only job is to order one, a barista will do the rest.
If you did not find a brew you like on our list, try and make your own flavor combination. After all, that is how orange juice espresso was invented!