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The Most Popular Espresso Drinks - A Beginner's Guide

Dec 19

An espresso drink is an exclusive coffee drink which contains one or more shots of espresso which are "pulled" out of the espresso machine.

The most well-known espresso drinks are Cappuccino (Caffe Latte), Mocha (Caffe Mocha), however, there are a variety of other drinks and everyone seems to have a personal favorite.

We've come up with a list of some of the most popular kinds of espresso drinks. We've got everything from traditional latte, to the more sophisticated macchiato with an espresso drink thrown in. You may need to refresh your knowledge about the different types of coffee drinks. But if you're looking to make these drinks at home go to the recipe below to learn more. They are part of the Barista Series, where you will learn to make high-quality coffee at home. Are you ready to begin drinking?


Let's begin by explaining espresso, which is the primary ingredient in all drinks below. First and foremost, Espresso is a coffee brewing method. It's a method of making coffee, where a small amount of near boiling water is pushed through finely ground coffee under pressure.

Coffee is ground to a fine powder and then is tamped to form the shape of a "puck" before being put in the espresso maker. The machine opens and then delivers water at a very stable temperature via a mechanical pump. The space that is above the espresso puck is filled with water and the espresso machine exerts nine bar of pressure to push water through the coffee.

A perfectly balanced espresso shot is something to drink. What's the flavor? A bit strong, but the ratio of coffee: water is significantly less diluted than a standard cup filter coffee (closer to the 1:15 ratio). Apart from being powerful espresso must have a distinctive and balanced flavor profile beneath that glossy crema on the top.

Espresso is served in small cups named demitasses, which holds around 2 -3 fluid ounces, the volume of a double, or a triple espresso shot. The best espresso cups are made from porcelain, or double wall tempered glass. However, double wall tempered glass is a great alternative, that gains more and more popularity.


Cappuccino is an espresso beverage made up of milk foam that has been steamed, milk, and espresso. It's very similar to latte (cafe latte), but the proportion of steamed milk differs. Here is the comparison between the two: a cappuccino and a Latte.

Cappuccino is made from equal quantities of espresso, steamed milk, as well as foam ( 1/3 each).

1/3 espresso, 2/3 steam milk and a thin layer foam are the main ingredients in the Latte. This chart breaks it down!

The flavors and different tastes of the drinks 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.


A latte could be described as a coffee drink that contains espresso, steamed or steamed milk as well as a layer of foam. The latte has 1/3 espresso and 1/3 steamed milk. Also, there's an extremely thin layer of foam on the top.

The latte you choose should be made with a specific type of foam. You want the milk to attain the point of having a "wet-paint" like texture that's what baristas refer to as microfoam. It can be tricky to achieve that look with no steamer, so we'll teach you how to simulate it using the various tools that you have on your desk.

Latte is served in wide cups, which give the barista more space to create the latte art. The wide cup also mitigates the issue with the foamed milk, which is not desirable when creating latte art. The best latte cups for home baristas are made from thick porcelain, or double walled borosilicate glass.

Flat White

A flat white is a coffee drink made with espresso, steam milk and a layer foam on top. It's akin to cappuccino or latte, however it is a bit thinner in foam on top. Modern coffee shops offer small differences between these three coffee drinks in which the lines blur. In general, the main distinctions between a flat white and cappuccino and latte are

Flat White is the least frothy, with about 1/4 inch microfoam at the top. The milk that is steamed is stretched 20-25%.

Medium-frothy Latte, with 3/8 inch of microfoam over the top. It is possible to stretch the milk by 25-35%.

Cappuccino is supposed to be creamy, but not foamy. It should have about 1/2 inch of microfoam the top. The milk that has been steamed is stretched the longest than the other three, at around 30-50%..


An Americano Also known as Caffe Americano, also known as Caffe Americano, is an espresso drink that uses hot espresso and water. The drink can be prepared with one or two shots espresso and different ratios of water. The diluted dark espresso roast can bring the flavor closer to a drip coffee: this could be the place the origin of the name! Although it is not clear what the origins of the word are but it is believed to have originated during the 1970s. The strength of the coffee is more similar to the characteristics of drip coffees.

Does an Americano permitted to drink milk? Never. A true Americano does not include milk like a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato. It is possible to add milk if you like however, it's still not the true form of the drink.

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso macchiato, or caffe macchiato is a shot that is made using espresso and decorated with frothed crème. The word "macchiato" means "stained" in Italian, meaning that the dark espresso gets colored due to the foam of milk placed on top. According to some sources, the macchiato was created to be a method of drinking espresso during the afternoon.

The other kind of macchiato, also known as a latté macchiato. A latte Macchiato is steaming milk that's stained with some espresso on top.

Mocha Latte

A mocha or mocha latte is a drink made with espresso and steamed milk that is flavored with chocolate syrup. There's lots of variation in what is a mocha; it's entirely up to the barista! You can make this drink using different espresso shots, different quantities of steamed milk as well as different quantities of chocolate syrup. The popularity of mochas grew with Starbucks culture from the 1980s in America.

Red Eye Coffee

The coffee known as red eye is a combination of drip coffee, and two or three shots of espresso. The name likely refers to taking the "red eye flight," an air traveler's flight that is over night, causing passengers to experience tired red eyes.

There are several variations to the name of this drink that refer to the quantity of espresso shots. For example, red eye is one shot and black eye has 2 shots and dead eye, or green eye, is 3 shots. If you're at the cafe, you'll be able to order"red eye" or "red eye coffee" and indicate the number of espresso shots you'd like to have. This cup contains drip coffee, and 2 or 3 espresso shots, depending on the strength you'd like to have.