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How many types of espresso drinks are there you ask! Well, there are a few actually.
Like you today, I was confused about all the coffee options offered to me when I went to coffee shops.
It took me a while to memorize the characteristics of every single drink. But once I did, I felt like a complete coffee connoisseur!
So today, I will focus on the most common type of coffee: espresso as well as its variations.
The most common way to enjoy espresso is in an Espresso shot.
This means you are just drinking one shot of espresso, not mixed with any other kind of drink.
There are many types of espresso drinks that involve mixing the espresso with something else like milk or water or some other type of beverage.
There are many different drinks that can be created from this one common drink. With knowledge, you can order and enjoy all of them.
What is an Espresso?
An espresso is a concentrated coffee in which very hot water is pumped through ground coffee in an espresso machine to extract the rich, dark flavors of the beans.
From this, you get a drink that is strong yet subtle.
The flavor of coffee can be extracted in this simple process, leaving you with a full flavor cup of goodness in a few seconds.
How To Make Espresso Shot?
An espresso shot can be made in only two quick and easy steps:
- Brewing Method
Espresso is brewed in a special espresso machine. The most important part of brewing is the pressure that the water is under.
As mentioned, the water used for espressos must be under a lot of pressure. This forces it through the coffee grounds and causes the extraction of flavors from the grounds.
It also causes caramelization, which adds to the darkness of this beverage.
- Espresso preparation
Espresso preparation is just as easy as brewing.
You can blend a shot of espresso directly from the cup if you prefer. But for more control over flavor, use a spoon to stir the coffee before drinking.
These steps are discussed below:
Brew coffee from ground coffee beans in an espresso machine. There are many different types of machines.
The main steps in brewing include:
Step 1: Brew coffee grounds using water at high pressure.
Step 2: Leave the brewed coffee grounds in the filter of the espresso machine.
Step 3: Place a cup under the filter spout to collect the espresso shot.
- Pour-Over Method
This method of preparing a shot of espresso is a bit more time-consuming but yields better control over flavor intensity and color.
Step 1: Fill the filter basket with ground coffee. The grounds should be fine, but not too coarse.
If they are too coarse, it will take longer for the water to make contact with them and extract the taste of espresso.
Step 2: Grate a small amount of chocolate to use in your shot or stir 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder into your shot. This will add a lovely texture and strong chocolate flavor to the espresso.
Step 3: Heat your water to start. The water should be about 195 degrees Fahrenheit or less if you are using a home machine. The hotter the water, the more bitter the coffee shot will be.
Step 4: Pour hot water into paddle on top of grounds in filter basket.
Step 5: Wait 30 seconds for brew to finish dripping into cup. Then add milk or sugar.
Step 6: Stir the ground coffee with a spoon to separate the grounds from any water remaining in the filter basket.
Stir for a few seconds until all the grounds have broken up and sink to the bottom of your cup.
Step 7: Slowly pour hot water from the drip tray into the bottom of the cup. This will create a strong stream of water that will force hot air from within the espresso machine into your cup.
This creates a creamy texture in your espresso from the condensed milk that rises to the top of the espresso when hot air is forced into it.
What Are The Different Types Of Espresso Drinks?
There are different types of espresso coffee drinks, each with a different flavor profile. They are:
A cappuccino is a classic espresso drink made with espresso, hot frothy milk. It is basically a latte without the foam.
In coffee shops, it is usually served either in a small cup or a large glass, topped by small bubbles of creamy, rich foam.
Traditionally made with a shot of espresso, now people are experimenting with the coffee by using different types of syrups or milk to put into their cappuccino.
A Macchiato is an espresso shot with a small amount of foam, usually served in a shot glass.
This drink is not as strong as classic espresso, but still retains its unique flavor.
It can be flavored with cinnamon or cocoa powder for an extra kick.
An Americano is espresso topped with hot water to dilute its intensity.
Americanos have less caffeine than regular espressos or cappuccinos, but they’re still a good pick-me up.
Americanos are often served in a glass, but the traditional way is to drink it black in a shot glass.
A latte is espresso and hot foamy milk with enough foam to cover the top of the drink.
Lattes have less caffeine than regular espressos.
They’re usually served in a tall glass holding about 10 ounces of drink and topped by small bubbles of creamy, rich foam.
“Latte” comes from latticino, which is Italian for “milk.
It is simply an espresso with a shorter amount of hot water, generally about 20mL.
A ristretto is a concentrated version of a regular single or double shot of espresso.
It uses the same amount of ground coffee but less water, producing less brewed coffee per volume when compared to a regular espresso shot.
This can be served in a small cup or an espresso cup called a ristretto cup.
A doppio is an Italian word for “double”, it’s the same as a double shot of espresso.
A doppio is usually a double shot of espresso in one glass.
The word comes from Turkish, meaning “milk coffee.” It’s an espresso with hot foamy milk and cocoa powder.
The drink is sometimes topped by small bubbles of creamy, rich foam.
A Lungo is simply an espresso drink with extra water added to it.
A regular shot of espresso is usually around 25-30ml, whereas a Lungo has around 50ml.
A typical Lungo would then have around 15-40 calories of water added to it, depending on how strong you want it.
A flat white is a caffeinated drink consisting of espresso and milk/foam.
The word “flat” in the name simply refers to the lack of a layer of foam on top.
So, if you’re thinking “hey this sounds like a latte” then you’re right! This drink is just a smaller and less frothy version.
The Red Eye Coffee is a caffeinated drink made up of espresso and usually a regular drip coffee. It can be made hot or cold and is usually served in a tall glass or mug.
The term red eye has nothing to do with the drink itself, but rather the aftereffects of the drink.
The red eye coffee got its name because it’s said that once you’ve had one you’re likely to have to “sleep with one eye open” because the caffeine contained in it gives people energy and thus helps them stay awake.
The Espresso macchiato is usually a double caffè macchiato.
In Italian, macchiato means “marked”. In this case, the mark on the surface is from milk foam that is gently poured into the espresso drink.
Espresso macchiato can be ordered as a single shot of espresso with a crown of milk foam or as a double shot of espresso with a thick layer of milk foam.
A cortado is a type of espresso created with an equal amount of steamed milk and shot of coffee that is poured over the bottom edge of the cup.
The “cortado” name comes from the Spanish word for “cut”. The steamed milk is poured over the espresso shot to cut the bitterness of the coffee.
A latte macchiato is a tall glass of steamed milk topped with 1 or 2 shots of espresso.
The latte macchiato is usually served in a tall glass, with three layers; the top layer being a rich foamy milk, the middle layer is espresso, and the bottom layer is steamed milk.
Café con Leche
It is an espresso with hot milk as opposed to frothed milk as used in cappuccinos or lattes.
In Spanish, leche means “milk”. Café con leche is sometimes ordered as café colada, meaning “coffee and milk”.
Café con leche is sometimes served in a glass, which is then called a tumbler.
What Are The Best Espresso Drinks?
As you can see, there is a wide range espresso drinks available out there.
Whether you’re a fan of regular coffee or a regular coffee drinker looking to branch out, there is an espresso drink for everyone.
According to coffee experts, the best coffee drinks are Espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato, Americano, doppio (double), and cortado.
Of course, the taste of the espresso based drinks will ultimately depend on the type of coffee beans that are used in the preparation.
To make a good shot of espresso, which is the foundation, you need the right tools.
There are different types of presses, coffee grinders, and groups that affect the taste of an espresso.
Knowing what these are can help you decide which espresso drink that appeals to you the most.
You can click here to read more about the different methods to make your espresso drinks at home without any fancy machine.
But If you want to invest in a good espresso machine without breaking the bank, I have a review on the Best Espresso Machine Under 500.
A great espresso drink should be prepared with care.
It should be made using quality espresso, fresh milk, and the right type of coffee bean.
A good espresso drink should not only please you but also give you a boost of energy.
Final Thoughts On Types Of Espresso Drinks
I hope this post has helped you understand the many different types of espresso drinks that you can choose from.
You should now be able to understand what your options are and what each type of drink is like.
Whether you want to learn how to make your own espresso at home or whether you want to order one at a café, I hope you can now make an informed decision based on this post.
My personal favorite espresso based drink has been and will always be the mocchaccino.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that I always crave chocolate or just the sound of it that makes me drool.
Like me, I hope you give these drinks listed above a try and find which one treats your tastebuds!