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A Beginner's Guide to Espresso Drinks

Dec 12

An espresso drink is a special coffee drink that includes one or more shots of espresso that are "pulled" out of an espresso machine.

The most popular espresso drinks are the Cappuccino (Caffe Latte), Mocha (Caffe Mocha), but there are many other options and everybody is likely to have a particular favourite.

Here's a listing of the most well-known types of espresso drinks that we've compiled for you. You can choose from the traditional latte or the exquisite macchiato, and even an espresso cocktail. You may have to refresh your knowledge about different coffee drink varieties. But if you're looking to make these at home, you can click the recipe to learn more. These recipes are part of our Barista Series where we teach you how to make coffeehouse-quality drinks at home. Are you ready to start drinking?


The main ingredient of each drink below, let's begin by definining espresso. Espresso is the process for making coffee. This is a technique of making coffee by using a small amount (or close to boiling) of water as well as very finely ground coffee under pressure.

To prepare for brewing, coffee is finely ground into a portafilter basket, tamped down into an elongated "puck," and secured to the espresso machine. The machine is engaged and releases water at a highly stable temperature via a mechanical pump. The space that is above the flat coffee puck fills with water. Then, the espresso machine applies nine bars of pressure to push water through the coffee.

The essence of the perfect shot of espresso is intended to be enjoyed on its own. How is the taste? The flavor? The espresso shot should not only be strong , but also have a balanced flavor and a distinct flavor profile beneath the shiny crema.


A latte could be described as a coffee drink consisting of espresso, steamed milk and a layer foam. It's got 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed , topped with a an incredibly thin layer of foam over the top.

A latte should have the right type of foam. The milk should have a texture that is almost like microfoam. It's not easy to achieve that texture without a steamer. We'll demonstrate how to achieve it with different tools available to you.


An Americano Also known as a Caffe Americano, is an espresso drink that is made using hot espresso and water. It is made with just one or two shots espresso and different ratios of water. The robust espresso roast is diluted to make drip coffee. This could be the reason for the name. Although it is not clear what the origins of the word are however, it is believed to have been created during the 1970s. "Americano" means American in Italian or Spanish, referring to its strength being closer to the American-style drip coffee.

Does an Americano have milk? Never. A true Americano does not include milk like a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato. It is possible to add milk if it's your preference but it's not the real version of this drink.

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso macchiato, or caffe macchiato, is a shot of espresso, decorated with frothed crème. The word "macchiato" refers to "stained" in Italian, meaning that espresso that is dark is stained due to the foam of milk on top. Some sources claim that the macchiato was invented as a way to drink espresso into the afternoon.

The other type of macchiato, also known as a latté macchiato. The latte macchiato is steam-cooked milk stained by espresso flecks added to the top.


Cappuccino is an espresso drink made up of milk foam that has been steamed, milk, and espresso. It is, however, very like a caffe latte (cafe-latte) the ratio of steaming milk in a cafe-latte is different. Here's the breakdown of cappuccino and latte

Cappuccino is made with equal amounts of espresso, steamed milk, and foam ( 1/3 each).

A latte is made up of 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with a thin layer of foam over it. This chart will assist you in understanding the concept!

The flavor and distinctions in the beverages are subtle.

According to the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano, the institution that regulates espresso, the ideal cappuccino cup has an elliptical bottom, with thick walls and is made of porcelain. The bottom of the cup is made of thicker material to improve heat retention. The traditional color of the cup is bright white for aesthetic reasons. The best cappuccino cups, however, are made from either porcelain, or from double wall tempered glass.

Flat White

Flat whites are coffee drink made with espresso, steam milk, and a layer of foam over it. This is similar to a cappuccino or latte, however it has a thicker layer on top. Modern coffee shops can have small differences between these three drinks of coffee and, often, the lines blur. Generally, the major differences between a flat white vs latte vs cappuccino: are

Flat White has a 1/4 inch of foam at its top. The steaming milk can be stretched between 20 and 25 percent.

Medium frothy Latte with 3/8" of microfoam over the top. The milk that is steamed is stretched between 25 and 35 percent.

Cappuccino is supposed to be creamy, however, it should not be foamy. It should contain about 1 inch of microfoam on top. The steamed milk is stretched the most than the other three, at 30 to 50%..

Mocha Latte

Mocha, also known as mocha latte sometimes referred to mocha, is a mocha-like beverage which is made using espresso and steam milk. It is usually flavoured with chocolate syrup. Baristas can create a variety of variations on what constitutes a mocha. It is possible to make this drink with different levels of espresso shots, different amounts of steamed milk , and various amounts of chocolate syrup. Starbucks culture has seen the mocha rise in popularity since the 1980s.

Red Eye Coffee

Red eye coffee is a mix of drip coffee as well as two shots espresso. The name likely refers to having an "red eye flight" an airline flight that's overnight, causing the passengers to feel tired and tired eyes.

There are a few variations on the names of this drink which are referring to the number of espresso shots. For example, red eye is one shot Black eye is two shots and dead eye, or green eye is 3 shots. But if you're ordering from an espresso bar, you'll be able to simply order a "red eye coffee" and indicate the amount of espresso shots that you'd like. Once again, this coffee is made up of drip coffee and 1, 2 or 3 espresso shots, depending on the strength you'd like to have.