The espresso coffee menu is often overwhelming, from the crowd’s favorite Cappuccino to macchiato. There are plenty of espresso-based drinks, and it’s difficult to understand the difference between them and what to order. In this guide, we have compiled the 15 most popular espresso coffee drinks, so you get familiar with them and order with confidence.
Different espresso Coffee Drinks
Most espresso coffee drinks contain espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. However, you can add additional toppings to each coffee type based on your preferences. The base of every espresso-based drink is a shot of espresso, but you can go beyond the espresso shot and create different kinds of espresso drinks. Read on to learn about different types of espresso coffee from all around the world.
1- Flat White
Recipe: Shot of espresso + steamed milk + very little or no milk foam
Flat white comes from Australia or New Zealand that gets its name from the milk’s texture used in the recipe, i.e., milk with a little foam. Known as a mini latte, it tends to be smaller than a traditional latte and has a strong coffee-to-milk ratio. Glossy steamed milk is used in flat white that has no airy foam. It is usually served in a ceramic coffee cup with a saucer.
Recipe: Two shots of espresso with a large amount of ground coffee+ water
Doppio refers to the two shots of espresso, and it means double in Italian. As you need to pull a double shot of espresso, it means it has double the amount of caffeine compared to a single shot of espresso. It is served in a cappuccino cup or an oversized demitasse cup. Its taste is like an espresso coffee but with a concentrated aroma and coffee taste. However, flavor notes are earthy, sweet, and nutty that depends on the beans you use to make doppio.
Recipe: Single shot of espresso + hot water
Invented in Italy, Americano is a single or double shot of espresso mixed with 6 oz. or 8 oz. hot water. Hot water softens the strong flavor of espresso and makes it more sippable than a regular espresso. You can serve it with cream or sugar. It can be customized with milk, flavoring syrup, or a topping like cinnamon. Unlike espresso, Americano is served in the standard coffee cup. As Americano is all about diluting the shot of espresso with hot water, the strength of coffee varies based on the water added to the espresso.
Recipe: Single shot of espresso + frothed milk
In Italian, macchiato means ‘stained,’ which is equal parts of espresso and frothed milk. It is similar to the classic Cappuccino and latte but contains less milk. The sweet taste of the latte comes from the higher concentration of milk, but equal parts of milk and espresso coffee give the macchiato a bolder taste. It is served in a small cup with a dollop of milk foam.
Recipe: Espresso with chocolate + steamed milk + a dollop of whipped cream.
The mocha is considered the most popular type of espresso coffee because it is chocolaty and rich. So you can expect dinking chocolate pudding while consuming it. This sweet coffee drink has an espresso shot with chocolate, steamed milk, and a dollop of whipped cream on top. Cocoa powder can be used instead of chocolate syrup. You can also add caramel syrup if you like your coffee sweet. Though it is not a drink with you want to start your day. This espresso coffee drink is usually served with dessert or at the end of the meal.
Recipe: Espresso+ steamed milk+ milk foam
A cup of rich and foamy Cappuccino is enough to treat your taste buds. You can make barista-quality Cappuccino in the comfort of your home. However, this recipe will take some practice as you may not get your foam perfect on the maiden try. So arm yourself with patience before making creamy microfoam. The traditional Cappuccino recipe call for 1/3 espresso coffee, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 micro foam.
Recipe: Espresso shot + steamed milk + a thin layer of micro-foam
If you like smooth and sweet coffee, a latte is for you. In Italian, Latte means ‘milk’, and it is often made with 1/3 or one or two shots of espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and topped with micro foam. You can also top it with cocoa powder and cinnamon. This silky beverage has endless versions, like a caramel latte, dirty chai latte, vanilla latte, iced latte, and many more.
7- Iced espresso
Recipe: Espresso+ ice
Iced coffee is the most popular summer drink in the USA and Canada. Iced espresso is one of the best pick-me-up coffee drinks in summer, made by pouring espresso into an ice-filled glass. Unlike iced coffee, it uses a shot of espresso instead of brewed coffee. Espresso-based drinks are usually heavy on milk and sugar, but iced espresso has a low-calorie count. However, you can add milk, sugar, and cream if you like your coffee sweet. If you pour the hot espresso over the ice, it may end up diluted. So it is better to chill the shot of espresso before pouring it into the iced-filled glass. Alternatively, you can pull a shot of espresso and freeze it into cubes. Once the cubes melt, it is all chilled coffee with no dilution.
8-Espresso con pana
Recipe: Espresso + heavy cream
If you want to take dessert and coffee at once, Espresso con pana is what you need to satisfy your taste buds. In Italian, espresso con pana is for espresso with cream. This espresso-based drink is a shot of espresso with a generous amount (usually a tablespoon) of whipped cream. It is not too heavy because of the combination of sweet cream and the rich flavors of espresso. You can serve it after a meal. Unlike other espresso drinks, it is not too sugary. Heavy cream melts and infuses the shot of espresso. The bitterness of espresso compliments the sweetness of heavy cream.
Recipe: Espresso + water
Lungo means ‘long’ in Italian which is the opposite of a ristretto and bigger than a regular shot of espresso. It is made with a larger amount of water than a regular espresso, resulting in a longer and more diluted coffee. Due to the longer extraction time, lungo will have a weaker and bitter taste. A double amount of water runs through the coffee grounds, which results in a higher extraction level and caffeine content. The double amount of water amplifies the roast flavors. The other variations of this drink include lungo con leche and lungo macchiato.
10- Long Black:
Recipe: Hot water + coffee
This espresso drink is commonly found in New Zealand and Australia. It is made by pouring a single shot of espresso over hot water. This helps the velvety crema sits on the surface. It looks like Americano, but it is made in reverse- add hot water into the cup first and then pour coffee. The resulting drink has a strong taste and aroma compared to Americano. Unlike Americano, it is prepared with less amount of water, making it more concentrated. It means it has more pronounced flavors of espresso. Its unique preparation method gives it a heavy body and distinct mouthfeel. The long black coffee with ice and, using ristretto instead of espresso, the addition of milk and sugar are some variations you can try.
11- Red eye:
Recipe: Brewed coffee + espresso
If you need a little more energy to power through the day, red eye is what you need, which is highly caffeinated and strong. Its high caffeine content will surely leave you red-eyed. Combine drip coffee with a single or double shot of espresso to make red eye. Depending on your need, you can make it with a single or double shot of espresso. Its flavor is a mix between the bitter strength of espresso and the mild sweetness of brewed coffee. However, the flavor of this espresso drink will depend on what coffee roast you brew. You will experience a fruity taste if you use light roast coffee beans to brew coffee.
Recipe: Espresso + vanilla ice cream or gelato
It is the most delectable dessert from Italy, adding a fun twist to the coffee menu. This delicious coffee dessert is made with a double shot of espresso and two scoops of gelato or vanilla ice cream. The shot of espresso is poured over a scoop of gelato or vanilla ice cream to make this sweet treat. It gives you double pleasure: spoonable drowning ice cream sauced with espresso. The bitterness of coffee and the sweetness of gelato don’t overtake each other. Whether you want to boost your energy or satisfy your sweet tooth, this Italian delicacy is the best option for you.
13- Iced Vanilla Latte
Recipe: Espresso+ milk+ vanilla syrup
Iced vanilla lattes are one of the most popular coffee drinks, like a regular latte. One sip of this iced coffee is enough to tell you why. This recipe is the ideal balance of sweet, bitter, and creamy. You need brewed espresso, vanilla syrup, and whole milk to make this delicious drink. You can try dairy-free milk to make it a vegan dink if you are vegan. Almond milk is the best option for dairy-free milk.
Recipe: Espresso+ cold water+ ice
Iced Americano is a refreshing spin on the classic Americano for all espresso lovers. The bold espresso is diluted with hot water to make Americano. On the other hand, iced Americano is made by pouring cold water into the iced-filled glass, followed by espresso shots. It has the same bold flavors your love from the classic hot drink.
15- Iced Cappuccino
Recipe: Espresso+ milk+ ice+ cold foam
Let’s finish off the list of coffee drinks made with espresso with another iced drink: an iced cappuccino.
You might wonder how to add ice to a cappuccino, as it is all about milk foam. But it works, and the iced cappuccino recipe is proof. It is creamy, sweet, and foamy. When it comes to iced coffee drinks, dissolving sugar can be tricky, but you can mix it with hot espresso shots. Combine a shot of espresso with milk with ice, and then top it off with cold foam. This frothing topping mimics the micro-foam in a classic cappuccino. It offers strong coffee flavors and gives each sip a sweet and airy lift.
You have read our list of the 15 most popular espresso coffee drinks, and we hope these drinks gave you some ideas on new and ultra-refreshing espresso drinks to try. Depending on how much caffeine you want in your cup of coffee, you can use one or two shots of espresso for most of these drinks. If you don’t see your favorite flavor combination, why not become a scientist in your kitchen and invent a new one?