Coffee Drinks - Espresso is Just the Beginning

By Peter J Jordan

This article covers some of the more popular espresso based drinks and what is unique about each one. Espresso is the foundation for many coffee beverages so we will start first with talking about what espresso is. Espresso is a concentrated coffee drink that is made by forcing hot water through finely ground dark roasted coffee beans. Espresso usually has half of the water and twice the coffee as a regular cup of drip coffee. A good espresso will have a fine layer of foam, called crema, on the top of the drink. Single shots of espresso come in 1 to 1.5 ounce serving sizes.

There are a couple of variations to the core shot. Espresso Romano is an espresso with a twist of lemon on the side. Espresso Ristrentto, or a short, is an espresso that to cut short with less flow so you end up with a smaller amount of espresso that is denser than normal. Expresso Lungo, or a Long, is an espresso that has approximately twice as much water run through the normal amount of coffee. Last we have Espresso Con Panna which is a shot of espresso mixed with an ounce of heavy cream.

Now that we have covered our foundation of variations, we'll move on to the larger espresso drinks. The first is the very popular Cappuccino. Cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk. A classic cappuccino is made with only espresso topped with frothed milk.

Iced Cappuccino - One shot poured over ice with cold milk added. The flavor of the espresso fades quickly once combined but this makes for a great drink on a hot summer afternoon.

Caffe Latte - a single shot combined with steamed milk at a ratio near three parts milk and one part espresso. Lattes are frequently spiked with Italian syrups. Lattes are topped with frothed milk or a pinch of chocolate powder.

Caffe Mocha - A mocha is the same as a latte with chocolate added either as a powder or as syrup. Whipped cream is a common topper to a mocha as are chocolate flakes.

Americano - A single shot with water added to it. This results in a stronger than average cup of coffee and is often combined with milk and sugar.

There are MANY more espresso based drinks. There are even entire books dedicated to espresso recipes. If you brew your own espresso get creative and experiment to find your own specialty.

Peter enjoys drinking espresso though out the day. He considers making and serving an espresso in espresso cups to be an art form. Visit Peter's web site Best Espresso Cups to learn more!

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