I remember my excitement when I bought my first espresso machine. I drank waaay too many cappuccinos in my first few days!
Excitement turned to daily pleasure as I enjoyed my mid-afternoon cappuccino every day, but secretly I longed for the dizzy heights of those first few days!
So now I love to shake things up and switch drinks whenever I want to spice it up!
Here are some of the espresso based drinks I enjoy making:
A ristretto is a half-shot of espresso.
“Oh wow, a half-shot. That’s really interesting…” I hear you saying. But hold your horses – it really is interesting. A ristretto actually tastes different than an espresso since it’s made of the faster-extracting coffee compounds.
As you’ve noticed when you’ve pulled your espresso, the first part of the flow is darker in color and thicker than the tail end of your espresso. This is partly due to different coffee compounds being present at different stages.
What you end up with is a half-shot of coffee with a different composition to an espresso. A double ristretto fills up the same volume as one espresso shot.
A lungo is a double shot of espresso – where twice as much water passes through the coffee puck.
At first glance, this seems like a watered down espresso, but like the ristretto it has a different flavor profile.
The extra water makes it taste weaker than an espresso, but it also makes it taste more bitter since the extra water passing through the coffee grounds causes over-extraction.
It also contains a greater volume of slower-extracting coffee compounds, again making it taste differently to an espresso or a ristretto.
An Americano is an espresso shot poured into a mug, and topped up with hot water.
It is the Italian version of Americas drip-style coffee, and has a flavor along the same lines.
A macchiato is an espresso with a ‘spot’ of milk – Caffè macchiato literally means stained coffee, the stain referring to the little dash of milk.
The milk added can either be hot (steamed but not foamy) called a macchiato caldo, or cold, called a macchiato freddo.
A cappuccino is a shot of espresso with steamed milk, topped with milk foam. The espresso, milk and foam make up 6 oz altogether.
You can also try a dry cappuccino, where the milk added is all froth.
A latte is a shot of espresso with 6-12 oz of steamed milk, and is traditionally a breakfast drink only.
A mocha is like a latte but with added chocolate. After the milk is steamed, add a scoop of cocoa powder to it and mix well before adding the espresso shot.
It can then be topped with a sprinkling of cocoa powder, with or without whipped cream (not traditional, but luxuriously sweet!).
Coffee and Espresso
A red eye is a cup of drip coffee with a shot of espresso. Not for the faint of heart!
It you’re feeling brave, you can try a Black Eye, which is with two espresso shots, or a Dead Eye, which is with three shots of espresso.
How do you like your espresso? Let me know in the comments!