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The Most Popular Espresso Drinks - A Beginner's Guide

Dec 22

Espresso drinks are specialty coffee drinks that contain at least one or two shots of espresso "pulled" from an espresso maker.

The most popular espresso drinks are the Cappuccino (Caffe Latte), Mocha (Caffe Mocha), but there are many others and everybody seems to have a personal preferred.

We've come up with a list of the most popular kinds of espresso drinks. We've got everything from the classic latte to the elegant macchiato, and even an espresso drink thrown into. Maybe you need an update on your coffee drink types...but in case you'd like to make them yourself head over to the recipe and learn more! These recipes are part of our Barista Series where we teach you how to make high-quality coffeehouse drinks at home. Ready to get drinking?


The main ingredient of all drinks below, let's begin by defining espresso. First and foremost, Espresso is the method of brewing coffee. This is a technique of making coffee by using a small amount (or close to boiling) of water, and the finely ground coffee that is pressured.

To prepare for the brewing process, coffee is ground into a basket for portafilters that is then tamped down to form a flat "puck," and secured in the espresso machine. When the machine is activated with water, it is delivered with a high stability temperature through a mechanical pump. The space that is above the flat coffee puck fills with water, and the espresso machine applies 9 bar of pressure to push water into the coffee.

An espresso shot that is perfectly balanced is something that you must sip. The taste? The flavor? Along with being strong the espresso shot is expected to have a rich and balanced flavor profile under the shiny crema 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.


A cappuccino drink is made consisting of steamed milk, foam from the milk, and espresso. While it's very similar to a caffe-latte (cafe-latte) the ratio of steamed milk in a cappuccino is different. Here's a breakdown of latte vs cappuccino:

A cappuccino contains equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foam ( 1/3 each).

1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk and a thin layer foam are the key ingredients of the perfect latte. This chart can help you understand it!

The differences between these drinks are pretty subtle, and the same goes for the taste.

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 can be described as a coffee drink that contains espresso, steamed milk , and an ice cream layer on top. It contains 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with an incredibly thin layer of foam 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 achieve. The milk should have a texture that looks like microfoam. It can be difficult to achieve that texture without the steamer. This article will show you how to achieve it with various tools you may have.

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

Flat whites are coffee drink with espresso, steamed milk, and a layer of foam over it. It's similar to a cappuccino and latte but features a thicker layer of foam over it. Modern coffee shops offer 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 may be stretched between 20 and 25 percent.

Latte is medium-frothy with 3/8-inch of microfoam at the top. Spread the milk out 25-35 percent.

Cappuccino should be frothy, however, it should not be foamy. It should be topped with about 1 inch of microfoam on the top. The milk that has been steamed is stretched out the most than the other three, at around 30-50%..


An Americano or Caffe Americano, also known as Caffe Americano, is an espresso drink made from hot espresso and hot water. The drink is made with one or two shots of espresso, and varying ratios of water. Diluting the strong dark espresso roast will bring the taste closer to drip coffee, this could be the place where the name originated! The exact origin of the name is a mystery and is believed to have come into existence in the 1970's. The strength of the coffee is similar to the characteristics of drip coffees.

Does an Americano include milk? Never. A true Americano does not include milk like a latte, cappuccino, or macchiato. Although you can add milk, it is not the original version of this drink.

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso macchiato, also known as caffe macchiato, a shot that is made using espresso and served with frothed cream. Italian for "stained" macchiato translates to "stained". This refers to the milk foam added to the espresso. According to some sources, the macchiato was created to help drink espresso in the afternoon.

A latte macchiato is, on the other hand is a macchiato. A latte macchiato is basically steaming milk that's stained with an espresso droplet over the top.

Mocha Latte

Mocha, also known as mocha latte, is a drink that is made from espresso and steamed milk that is flavoring with chocolate syrup. Baristas can create a variety of variants of what constitutes a mocha. You can make this drink with different levels of espresso shots, various amounts of steamed milk and different quantities of chocolate syrup. Starbucks culture has seen mocha rise in popularity since the 1980s.

Red Eye Coffee

Red eye coffee is a coffee drink that combines drip coffee and two or more shots of espresso. The name could be used to describe a flight known as "red eye," which is an overnight flight on an airline that causes passengers to have tired eyes.

The number of espresso shots used in the drink is determined according to the title: Red eye is one shot, while Black Eye is two shots and Dead Eye , or Green Eye is three shots. But if you're ordering from an espresso bar, you'll be able to simply order the "red eye coffee" and specify the amount of espresso shots you'd like. Once again, this coffee has drip coffee, and two or three espresso shots, depending on the strength you want.