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8 Popular Espresso Drinks - A Beginner's Guide

Dec 11

An espresso drink is a specialized coffee drink that includes several 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 everybody has a personal preferred.

Here's a list of some of the most well-known types of espresso drinks we've put together for you. We've got everything from the classic latte through to the sophisticated macchiato-and even the espresso cocktail thrown in. Maybe you need a refresher on your coffee drink types...but If you're looking to make them yourself visit the recipe to find out more! The recipes form part of our Barista Series where we teach the art of making coffeehouse-style drinks at home. Are you ready to begin drinking?


Let's begin by discussing espresso, which is the primary ingredient in all drinks below. Espresso is a method of brewing coffee. It's a way of making coffee in which a tiny amount of nearly boiling water is forced through finely ground coffee under pressure.

Coffee is ground to a fine powder and then made into a "puck" prior to being placed in the espresso maker. When the machine is engaged, it delivers water with a high stability temperature using a mechanical pump. In order to force the coffee through the machine, it utilizes 9 bars pressure to fill the space over the espresso puck.

In essence, an exquisitely balanced shot espresso is meant to sip by itself. The taste? Strong, of course--the ratio of coffee: water is considerably less dilute than a standard cup of filter coffee (closer to a 1:15 ratio). Along with being strong an espresso shot must have a distinctive and balanced flavor profile under 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.


A latte can be described as a cup of coffee that includes espresso, steamed or steamed milk and a layer of foam. It has 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with the foam layered over the top.

The most important thing to remember about one of the most popular latte drinks is the kind of foam you're looking to obtain. The milk must have a texture that appears like microfoam. It's a challenge to get to that texture without a steamer. So, we'll show you how you can create it using various tools that you may have at the go.


An Americano is an espresso drink made using hot coffee and water. It is also called a Caffe Americano. The drink can be made by using either one or two shots of espresso, as well as varying amounts of water. Making the espresso's dark and strong roast makes it more similar to a drip coffee: This could be the reason for the name! The exact origin of the name is a mystery however it is believed to have originated in the 1970s. The coffee's strength is closer than the strength of drip coffees.

Does an Americano permitted to consume milk? Never. A true Americano does not include milk like a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato. While you can add milk, it is not the original form of the drink.

Espresso Macchiato

Caffe macchiato, also known as espresso macchiato is an espresso shot made of espresso that is topped with frothed milk. The term "macchiato" means "stained" in Italian which means that the dark espresso is stained due to the foam of milk placed on the top. Some sources claim that the macchiato was designed as a method of drinking espresso into the afternoon.

The other type of macchiato is known as a latte macchiato. The latte macchiato contains steaming milk stained with a little espresso.


A cappuccino is an espresso drink which is made of steamed milk and foam from the milk, and espresso. While it's very like a caffe latte (cafe-latte), the ratio of steamed milk in a cappuccino is different. Here's a comparison of an espresso and a latte.

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

A latte is 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with a light layer of foam on top. Here's a chart to break it down!

The distinctions between these two drinks are fairly subtle, as is the taste.

Flat White

A flat white is a coffee drink with espresso, steamed milk and a layer foam on top. It's similar to cappuccino and lattes, but it is a bit thinner over it. Modern coffee shops have very minor differences between these three drinks of coffee in which the lines blur. The main differences between a flat white vs latte vs cappuccino: are

Flat White has a 1/4 inch of microfoam on its top. The steamed milk is stretched between 20 and 25 percent.

Medium-frothy Latte, with 3/8 inches of microfoam on top. The milk that has been steamed is stretched between 25 and 35 percent.

Cappuccino is not frothy, but it is foamy. It's got about an inch of microfoam in the top. The milk that is steamed of 30 to 50 percent, is by far the most stretched of all three.

Mocha Latte

A mocha or mocha latte drink is made with espresso and steamed milk that's colored by chocolate syrup. The barista can make many variants of what constitutes a mocha. Mochas can be created using varying levels of espresso shots, amounts of steamed milk, and quantities of chocolate syrup. The mocha rose to popularity with Starbucks culture in the 1980's in America.

Red Eye Coffee

Red eye coffee is a drink that combines drip coffee and two or three shots of espresso. The name likely refers to the experience of taking an "red eye flight" an airline flight that's overnight, causing the passengers to have tired red eyes.

There are a few variations to the name of this drink that are referring to the number of espresso shots. The red eye is 1 shot, black eye is 2 shots and dead eye or green eye is three shots. If you're at the coffee shop, you'll be able simply to request a "red eye coffee" and indicate the number of espresso shots that you'd like to have. The coffee is comprised of drip coffee, one to three espresso shots, depending upon the strength you want.