Who knew coffee grounds could be so versatile in a pressurized machine?
Espresso drinks range from a short single shot through to dessert-like coffee we wish was limitless.
But what’s the actual difference between one coffee drink and another?
Below, we’ve penciled down 25 of the most popular different types of espresso drinks for you to explore. But first, let’s get acquainted with the basics:
Espresso Coffee 101
An espresso is a drink and a brew method.
It’s a process where hot water is forced through coffee grounds in a pressurized chamber, aka the brewer. The heat and pressure speed up extraction, resulting in the fastest brewing method to date.
Faster extraction means lower caffeine content. But you barely wait for your cup here.
Most of us are familiar with the usual espresso, cappuccino, and latte. Below we’ll explore the others, including the real macchiato versus a latte macchiato, a ristretto, the red eye, and many other types of espresso drinks.
25 Different Type of Espresso Drinks Popular In 2021
On its own, it’s a small coffee with a wide range of flavors. A shot of espresso can be taken as is, or serve as the base of many different types of espresso drinks.
The usual recipe of the traditional espresso shot is within 30-40ml in volume.
The ratio is about 1:2 (until 1:1.5) coffee grounds-to-extracted coffee. When done right, a cup of espresso is balanced with a pleasant, lingering finish.
“doppio” means double. Therefore, it is simply a double shot of espresso. Most cafes use double shots of espresso in their coffee recipes.
“lungo” means long. A lungo is basically a long spro.
In terms of weight, it’s heavier than your traditional single espresso. This means that it also takes longer to make.
The usual ratio of a lungo is 1:3. That’s 1 part finely ground coffee and 3 parts spro weight. On average, that’s around 50-60ml. It’s thinner than your usual cup with more bitterness.
“ristretto” means restricted. It’s a shorter shot of espresso. This means faster extraction time and more concentrated flavors.
Ristrettos use a 1:1 ratio of grounds-to-spro weight. This results in a 20-25ml shot. It’s a lot less bitter in terms of taste than the traditional shot of espresso and the lungo. It can be sweeter or more citrusy in flavor.
5. Espresso Macchiato
The “espresso macchiato” is a marked espresso cup.
Contrary to current popular versions of this drink, it doesn’t contain steamed milk. It’s a “marked” spro using microfoam (or milk foam) to separate it from traditional shots of espresso. This adds a bit of texture to your cup.
You’ll find different iterations of this coffee beverage around the world.
Some are simply 1:1 ratios of steamed milk and spro. In other places, they use 1 part espresso to 2 parts steamed milk and foam with a sprinkle of sugar.
Wherever you end up trying the cortado, remember that it exists to make espressos easier to drink.
An Americano, like the long black, is just a shot of spro with water.
The difference? You put the spro on top of the water with the long black. With the Americano, you put the shot of espresso in first and the water second.
Breve means short. That’s probably because it consists of spro and a mixture of milk and cream proportional to the size of the spro.
You get a short drink packed with body, sweetness, and foamy milk.
A corretto is one of the alcoholic types of espresso drinks. It usually consists of a double or single shot with brandy.
10. Espresso Con Panna
“espresso con panna” literally means coffee with cream.
The cream is meant to balance out the flavor of the double shot of espresso. It’s used to add texture to your coffee.
A cappuccino is 1 part spro and four parts steamed milk in content. However, it’s also the espresso drink with the most foam.
The brew is enjoyed around the world for its texture. A more simple and comforting kind of espresso drink.
The espresso Romano is among the more delightfully complex espresso drinks.
It’s a double or single shot of espresso with a slice of lemon. The brightness of the citrusy flavors works well to balance out your cup.
13. Caffé Latte
A Caffé latte is one of the most famous espresso drinks.
There are so many existing variations. But, the traditional Caffé latte is 1 part spro and five parts milk.
14. Flat White
The flat white is often a cafe best-seller. It’s 1 part spro and 4 parts milk.
Perfect for those who want strong coffee flavors in their cup. The milky component is lightly steamed so you only need to get through a thin foamy layer to taste your coffee.
A cafe mocha latte is a chocolate flavored latte. It can contain a single shot of espresso (up to two sometimes).
The marocchino is one of the more interesting types of espresso drinks.
It’s made of spro, milk foam, and cocoa powder.
But, modern versions are made with chocolate syrup. One variation even uses local chocolate in their drinks.
A variant similar to the mocha, this one uses equal parts shots of espresso, chocolate, and cream.
In case your chocolate isn’t sweet enough, you can add sugar. Your preference should be your guide when it comes to espresso drinks.
18. Raf Coffee
You’d think more coffees would be named after regular customers by now.
“Raf” coffee is said to be one of those types of coffee drinks. It’s a mix of spro, vanilla, sugar, and cream. The result is a thick, comforting latte.
19. Red Eye
This cup is good for caffeine junkies.
The red eye is a single shot of espresso over brewed coffee. If you want to up the caffeine content, add another shot of espresso and make it a black eye.
20. Mead Coffee
This is simply honey, coffee (try cold brew), water, and yeast.
I prefer to use cold brew over espresso drinks because it’s less acidic. Less acidity will give the yeast more optimal conditions for growth and reproduction.
The resulting brew is unlike any of the aforementioned types of espresso (and coffee drinks) above.
21. Vienna Coffee
The traditional Viennese coffee is a double shot of espresso in an espresso cup with cream.
The cream helps with texture and sweetness. It’s one of the thicker latte drinks on this list.
22. Latte Machiatto
This iteration of “marked coffee” is closer to what is so popular in coffee chains these days.
It’s a big cup of coffee, iced or hot. It uses shots of spro, milk, and different flavorings in most cases.
23. Espresso Laccino
The ultimate cold coffee beverage. As the beverage sits, it slowly morphs into an iced Americano (if it sits long enough).
“affogato” means drowned. This dessert coffee is ice cream (vanilla) drowned in a double shot of espresso.
A Freddo is 2 espresso shots with some sugar syrup (to taste).
Add the coffee and sugar mixture in a shaker with some ice cubes. Shake vigorously in quick but small motions to create a simulation of milk foam without any actual milk.
One of the more refreshing drinks on this list!