I have a confession to make: I have never had a Starbucks coffee.
I have never been in an American coffee shop and, if I were to go into one, I would have no idea what to order.
In my defense, every cafe, restaurant, truck stop, gas station and any other place that sells coffee on this side of the pond has one of these and a person quite adept at using it.
Maybe we don’t need Starbucks…..
Ordering coffee here is simple: in the morning one has a café au lait in France or a café con leche in Spain, coffee with hot milk. One can get a cappuccino later in the day but the locals would have a café Americano, black coffee, or an espresso, the same in both France and Spain – the 2 countries I have enjoyed the most coffee in….
After a meal one would have an espresso or, my personal favorite which is an espresso cut with milk, a café noisette (for the color of a noisette or hazel nut) in France or the same, called a cortado, in Spain.
That is the sum of my coffee knowledge.
Read on to learn, along with me, the difference between a flat white and a latte.
7 Delightfully Rich Espresso Drink Recipes
Latte, cappuccino, espresso, Americano – there are so many types and names of coffee that a not-so-avid coffee drinker will be confused about picking their drink. If you have only been brewing your coffee at home, you might find it challenging to choose the right coffee when you go to the barista. There are more than 12 espresso drinks, all made using a cappuccino or espresso machine, and they have three common ingredients; steamed milk, espresso, and foam.
The difference in the different types of espresso drink recipes is the proportions of the ingredients and the added toppings that complete the beverages. You might find toppings such as chocolate on cappuccino to enhance the flavor. Some favorites can be made with one touch of the cappuccino machine.
Before you learn the different espresso drinks you can make, learn to differentiate between espresso (short black) and a double espresso.
Espresso/Short Black refers to a single shot of espresso in an espresso cup. A double espresso is also referred to as Doppio and refers to two shots of espresso in one cup.
- Short Macchiato
A short macchiato is made almost the same way as an espresso, but a dollop of steamed milk is added to mask the bitter taste of an espresso. There are different ways of making short macchiato in different parts of the world. However, the easiest way of preparing a macchiato is making one shot of espresso in an espresso cup and then adding steamed milk and foam on top of the already made espresso.
When making your cup of macchiato, you need to stick to the rule of thirds with your cup having three colored layers. The bottom layer is dark from the espresso, the middle layer should have a mix of milk and espresso, and the top layer should have only milk and some foam.
- Long Macchiato
Long macchiato is made the same way as a short macchiato. However, instead of a single shot of espresso, you use two shots of espresso. In the long macchiato, the rule of thirds still applies. You will have two shots of espresso in a cup, a dollop of steamed milk, and foam to form three distinct layers.
To have three perfect layers, place the steamed milk and foam on top of the espresso, and then turn the cup slowly in a clockwise direction to mix the espresso and the milk.
A ristretto is an excellent cup of coffee when you need a more concentrated espresso drink. It is extracted from the same coffee amount but with half the amount of water to produce a more concentrated and darker espresso. To make ristretto, you only need to extract a standard espresso with half the amount of water. You can also make a ristretto by turning off the normal espresso extraction before it starts to blonde.
Americano is also known as a long black. It is the easiest coffee recipe as all you need is hot water and a shot of espresso. It is a shot of espresso extracted on top of hot water. To make this cup of coffee, fill a cup to 2/3 with hot water, and extract a single shot of espresso on top of the hot water.
Before making a long black, backwash your portafilter to ensure there are no coffee grinds from your grinder floating on your cup of coffee.
- Café Latte
Café latter is commonly referred to as latte. It is an espresso drink with steamed milk, and micro-foam on top of the drink. Unlike other drinks that might have the bitter taste of espresso, café latte is sweeter since it has more steamed milk. The drink is easy to make as all you need is one shot of espresso in a glass, steamed milk on top of the espresso, and 1cm of micro-foam on top of the steamed milk.
Most baristas will use a cup instead of a glass tumbler to serve the café latte.
A cappuccino is made the same way as a latte. However, on top of the espresso, a cappuccino has more foam, and there is a dash of chocolate sprinkled on top of the drink to enhance the flavor and taste of the cappuccino. Make cappuccino in a cup and not a tumbler glass.
After adding the espresso and the steamed milk, you will need to add between 2 and 3cm of foam on top and then sprinkle chocolate on top of the drink.
- Flat White
Flat White is an espresso drink common in Australia and New Zealand. The drink is made the same way as a cappuccino, but it lacks foam and chocolate on top of the steamed milk. You will use one shot of espresso in a cup then add steamed milk with no foam.
Other Espresso Drinks You Can Make at Home
There are many more espresso drinks that you can make at home. One of these other drinks is a piccolo latte, which is a café latte that you make in an espresso cup. The drink is strong but tastes great thanks to the steamed milk and the microfoam that you use. You can make a piccolo latte either with one shot of espresso or with one shot of ristretto, steamed milk, and a small amount of microfoam.
Another espresso drink is mocha which is a mix of hot chocolate and cappuccino. To make mocha, mix one shot of espresso with chocolate powder, add steamed milk, and microfoam in an espresso cup. You can use one spoon of chocolate powder and a shot of espresso. Add 2cm or 3cm of microfoam and then sprinkle chocolate powder on top.
Affogato is taken as a dessert coffee. It is easy to make and very sweet. To make this drink, you can use a single or a double shot of espresso and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You first put the ice cream into a cup and then add a shot or two of espresso. You can also add Frangelico liqueur into the drink to give it an Italian flavor.
There…. Now you know.
Does anyone drink decaf anymore?