Espresso is a drink of Italian origin, and it is created by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. It is more intense and aromatic than drip coffee. It is also known as a short black. If you don’t own an espresso machine, I personally use and highly recommend the Breville Barista Express; it comes with a built in grinder that makes fresh beans convenient and easy. If you’d like an upgrade, I recommend the Breville Oracle Espresso Machine; it comes with auto-tamping, which makes for easier clean up.
Five Drinks That Use Espresso as a Base
An Americano is a single or double shot of espresso with hot water added to it. The hot water dilutes the strength of the espresso to create a similar, but different, flavor as traditional drip/brewed coffee. An Americano is also known as a long black.
A cappuccino is a single shot of espresso with textured milk. The ratio is 1⁄3 espresso, 1⁄3 steamed milk, and 1⁄3 foamed milk. The milk should be steamed and textured to a temperature of 155–160°F.
Optional garnishes include chocolate and cinnamon.
A latté is a single shot of espresso with textured milk. The ratio is 1⁄6 espresso, 4⁄6 steamed milk, 1⁄6 foamed milk.
An espresso drink that can be served either short or long. Of all the drinks made from milk and espresso, the macchiato has the highest ratio of espresso to milk. The drink consists of mostly espresso, with just a dash of milk, usually foamed, to add sweetness.
A ristretto is an extremely short espresso. When pulling the shot, the same amount of coffee beans are used as a normal shot; however, they are ground more finely. Due to the finer grind, less water makes it’s way through the coffee grounds. The result is a more concentrated shot of espresso with a more intense flavor and aftertaste than a normal shot of espresso.