27 Types of Espresso Drinks – Know Your Cravings

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Poulami Ganguly

Most Popular Types of Espresso Drinks

Looking for detailed espresso classification? Well, this high-in-caffeine coffee beverage has a lot of variations, and in this post, we will tell you about the 27 types of espresso drinks that are popular. Keep reading and pick up the one you love the most!

Espresso is undoubtedly the unchallenged ruler of the coffee verse, and its favoritism is not only limited to its delectability. The love for espresso has compelled humankind to find out more ways to make the most out of its palatability. 

In 2020, a team of researchers, including Dr. Jemy Foster, a mathematician (University of Portsmouth), took a unique step ahead to challenge the traditional espresso wisdom. They carried out research that found when you ground fewer coffee beans coarsely, it adds more to espresso’s strength. 

The reason that I introduced you to this evidential espresso fact is that I just wanted to give you a glance at the seriousness which revolves around this avant-garde form of coffee. I am sure that you are curiously rolling your eyes through this post because you are among those millions of espresso admirers (just like me😉) who are never done with their quest for finding out new ways to prepare extraordinary espresso-froward drinks at home. 

Indeed, this pressurized preparation of coffee (espresso, obviously) has introduced the world to a new degree of the versatility offered by mere coffee beans. From quick single shots to rich, milky, and velvety deserts – espresso-infused beverages are more vibrant than your imagination. In this post, I have penned down 27 of the most loved espresso types that you can explore and cherish. Let’s dig deeper! 

The Mandatory Prologue – Espresso 101

The term espresso is double entendre – it refers to both a specific coffee preparatory method and a specialty coffee beverage. In other words, when you utter ‘espresso,’ you define both the process and its result. Confused? 

Let me help you with the clarification – the process of brewing coffee by forcing hot water through coffee grounds through a pressurized chamber is called espresso brewing. It works on a straightforward methodology – the heat and pressure make the extraction agile, making espresso the fastest coffee brewing method to date. The drink you retain using the espresso brewing method is known as espresso coffee. 

In the world of coffee, espresso holds a gold standard. It’s popular, highly admired, and widely demanded. To master the espresso magic, all you need is freshly ground dark roast coffee beans and a functional espresso machine (automatics are the best picks; however, manuals can also finely serve the purpose).

Making the way to Espresso Varieties

Now when you know the well-explored fact associated with espresso, let’s get into the topic directly. You must have come across this well-known phrase – “necessity is the mother of invention,” and when it comes to espressos, the need for achieving the utmost delectability and the highest degree of perfection is invariably intense.

This never-ending trial of preparing the world’s best cups of espresso has awarded the drink a different level of versatility. Though there’s no definitive classification of espressos, it’s found in different forms in different corners of the globe. From among this extensive espresso variation, here come the 27 most talked-about espresso types. Let’s check them out!

Here goes the graphical version –

27 Types of Espresso Drinks

27 Types of Espresso Drinks – Most Popular Picks

1. Ristretto

Intensely concentrated flavors and faster extraction time – this is what makes Ristretto. The literal meaning of Ristretto is restricted, which is perfectly justified by the shorter shot and agile preparation of this espresso-forward drink. Ristretto grounds to joe weight ratio is 1:1, which makes a shot of 20-25 ml. A Ristretto is typically citrus, bitter, and bold.

2. Americano

An Americano is all about a shot of joe with water. In other words, it is an espresso topped with hot water. The story of Americano dates back to 1942. It’s said that when American soldiers were deployed in Italy during the second world war, the stronger flavor of the espresso drunk by the natives won over their heart, and they adapted the style of brewing and modified it according to their own preferences, which gave birth to the historic Americano. Americanos are milk-free, bitter, and absolutely bold. 

3. Espresso Macchiato 

Wait before you reach a conclusion – I’m not talking about the classic cafe macchiato with steamed milk. Here our superhero is the evergreen espresso macchiato which is a marked joe that uses a thin topping of milk foam that differentiates it from conventional espresso shots. Macchiatos’ texture is thick and velvety, while it tastes more like dark chocolate. With espresso macchiato, you can enjoy the liberty of sweetening your cup.

You might like – How to Make Espresso Macchiato

4. Cappuccino

Yes, I know that this devil! However, when it comes to framing the names of the world’s most popular espresso drinks, the mention of cappuccino is no less than a ritual. It’s said that cappuccino is the foamiest espresso drink which is tremendously loved in the coffee community because of its sweetish mouthfeel and rich texture. A cappuccino essentially holds one shot of espresso generously topped with steamed milk and a bit of milk foam. Cappuccinos are rejuvenating, milk, and milk. 

5. Raf coffee

It may lack popularity in the espresso race; however, this amazingly charismatic espresso variation is capable of stealing your heart. You can simply call it a fine blend of joe, sugar, cream, and vanilla. The drink is quite identical to the latte; in fact, some coffee experts call it a thicker and more comfortable version of a cafe latte. 

6. Freddo

When you add coffee and sugar syrup in a shaker with a few ice cubes and start shaking vigorously in quick and small motions, that results in cuppa Freddo. The vigorous shaking produces a simulation of milk foam, producing a creamy, smooth, and refreshing ice variation of espresso. Remember, while making Freddo, you should essentially use two shots of espresso – neither less nor more.

7. Marocchino

It may be less popular, but indeed it’s more interesting. Made up of milk foam, espresso, and cocoa powder, Marocchino is a magical espresso-forward drink that can turn your gloomy evenings into vibrational ones. Some contemporary versions of Marocchino use chocolate syrup or even homemade chocolates. 

8. Romano

If it’s about naming an awe-inspiringly complex yet delectable espresso drink, romano is gonna top the list. This bright espresso beverage contains a single or double shot of espresso and a lemon slice. Balanced taste and bright and citrus flavors make romano stand out in miles. 

9. Cortado

This espresso drink can be found in different iterations across the globe. While some of them are 1:1 ratios of coffee and steamed milk, others are all about ¼ espresso and ⅓ steamed milk with a lot of foam and a sprinkle of sugar. In the espresso community, it’s one of such beverages that comes with a complicated brewing method. 

10. Lungo

This barely known variation of the espresso is gradually earning worldwide recognition. The reason is its intensely nuanced tasting notes and larger size. Lungo is an Italian word that refers to long. It is made with a long pull of espresso and more than usual water. Some coffee experts call it espresso’s intimate cousin. However, its DNA is not all different from espresso – finely ground coffee beans, an espresso machine, and water; that’s what you need to make lungo. 

In Australia and France, lungo is more known by its nickname – long black. A well-made lungo shot can help you enjoy the complex coffee flavors in an enhanced way. From bitterness to caffeine hit, lungo scores a lot in each parameter that defines the robustness of your drink. 

11. Latte

Probably, the Latte is the world’s most famous espresso drink. 1⁄4th espresso and ¾th steamed milk make a cup of latte. The popularity of this drink has helped it to adopt numerous forms like iced latte, chocolate latte, latte with caramel, and many more. A latte is typically sweeter, milky, and rejuvenating.

Also Read – How to make Latte at home

12. Mocha

This espresso has a separate fanbase. Some call it a chocolaty version of a traditional latte. Mocha contains a single shot of espresso, steamed and foamed milk, and a topping of chocolate shavings or whipped cream. 

Also Read – How to Make Mocha at home

13. Espresso Con Panna 

Espresso con Panna’s English translation will look something like coffee with cream. Its brewing methodology is quite simple – double shot espresso topped with a thick layer of cream makes a cup of espresso con Panna. The cream aims to balance out the bitter and stronger flavor of double-shot espresso. 

14. Flat White

Though people call it a small latte, a flat white is comparatively stronger than a conventional latte. Made up of ⅓ rd espresso and ⅔ rd steamed milk, a flat white is an ideal beverage that can help you satisfy your caffeine craving without compromising the milky after notes. 

15. Vienna

One of the oldest versions of espresso, Vienna coffee is all about two shots of espresso topped with a thick layer of whipped cream. The cream brings a unique texture and enjoyable sweetness to your cup. In some parts of the world, Viennese coffee is known as a thick latte because of its artistic design and out-of-the-box presentation. 

16. Breve

Breve’s literal meaning is short. Cafe breve is an espresso-infused drink that contains half-and-half steamed milk. You can describe this as an Americanized version of the classic cafe latte. The only difference is that the Latte is essentially milk-based, while the breve is all about espresso and half-and-half. Cafe breve is typically served as a dessert beverage; however, some exceptionalist coffee buffs like it as their morning caffeine fix. Cafe breve can be topped with a little sweetener or flavored syrup to bring a little twist to its authenticity. 

17. Bicerin

In the Piemontese dialect, Bicerin means small round glass. This traditional hot espresso drink is native to Toreno. It’s served in its namesake glass, and its three distinctive layers of espresso, hot chocolate, and whipped milk or cream make this Turin coffee version stand out in the crowd. This centuries-old treat has set a standard in terms of delectability, nuance, and mouthfeel. Some coffee experts claim that mocha has been derived by making a little alteration in Bicerin’s preparatory method. 

18. Mead coffee

Have you ever heard of the atypical blend of honey espresso, yeast, and water? Well, it exists in the form of mead coffee. Its unique ingredients make it taste absolutely different from any other coffee beverage. Because of its fermentable elements, it’s often called a honey wine with coffee beans. Its flavors are complementary to the yeast flavor profile, giving it a different degree of delectability. Mead coffee gives you the leverage of replacing espresso with a cold brew for even better results.

19. Espresso Laccino

It’s the ultimate cold coffee beverage that slowly morphs into an Iced Americano (if you keep it sitting for long). Though it’s not that hyped, this cold espresso beverage has a separate fanbase. 

20. Red Eye

A cup of Red Eye is the perfect beverage for caffeine junkies. It’s made up of a single shot of espresso and brewed coffee. It’s bitter and full of intact flavors of the coffee beans used. 

21. Affogato

An affogato is an Italian coffee dessert synonymous with elegance and gorgeousness. Though it has been a popular dessert in Italy for years, it earned more popularity in North America when Starbucks included affogato-style frappuccino on its menu. Made up of gelato or vanilla ice cream and a shot of freshly brewed espresso, affogato is spectacular in terms of flavors and delectable. 

22. Black Eye

Previously, we talked about the Red Eye, and you can turn it into a black eye just by adding one more shot of espresso to freshly brewed coffee. A black eye coffee is the darling of the night shift workers across the globe. 

23. Dead Eye

It’s the big brother of a black eye. When you add three shots of espresso to freshly brewed coffee, you make a cup of dead eye coffee. It’s bitter and extremely high in caffeine. The dead eye is not recommended for those who are suffering from cardiovascular diseases. 

24. Frappuccino

When you combine your joe with a shot of milk and espresso and then blend ice into it, you prepare a lovely cup of frappuccino. It’s one of the ideal beverages that can help you beat the heat with its relaxing outlook. 

25. Cafe Noisette 

Put simply; a Cafe Noisette is an espresso with a splash of hot milk. It comes in hazelnut color, and it renders caramel-tasting notes complemented by milky undertones. Typically, the hot milk is poured into the espresso while serving. However, in some cafes, it can be served in a small pot, and the drinkers can pour it on their own. Cafe Noisette is the French version of the classic Italian Macchiato.

26. Piccolo Latte

Coffee buffs call it a baby latte. It’s made by topping a single espresso shot with a little steamed milk and a bit of froth. It’s typically served in a small demitasse glass of a hundred ml. 

27. Magic Coffee

Very few know about this magical form of espresso except for the Australian pro baristas. It’s served in the cafes of the coffee capital of Australia – Melbourne. Made up of double ristretto and steamed milk, this secret espresso beverage is served in a five oz. cup. The secret to its popularity lies in its milk to coffee “sweet spot” ratio.

Wrapping up

Types of espresso drinks? Deciphered! Case closed! Go ahead and try them out – order them when you visit a cafe or brew them at home…just ensure that you don’t compromise with their delectability. Keep sipping!

Does espresso have milk?

Yes, espresso can definitely be milky. For example, you can take mocha, macchiato, latte, flat white, cappuccino, etc. 

What is the strongest espresso?

Ristretto is considered the most concentrated type of espresso, which evidences its robustness. Put simply, if you want to cherish the ultimate robustness of your espresso, you may go for a cup of ristretto. 

How to identify a good espresso?

A perfect espresso can be identified with its crema, aroma, and flavor. If your cup is dark brown with an intense and strong aroma, then you can say that it passes the test. A bittersweet aftertaste adds more to its appeal. Besides, brightness is another element that you need to take care of. 

What is espresso with water called?

An espresso with water is called americano or long black. 

What is espresso with a cream called?

Espresso with cream refers to espresso con Panna, and it’s recognized by the signature thick whipped cream topping. 

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