Four Popular Espresso Drink Recipes

From stovetop percolators to countertop brewers to the French press, there are lots of ways to make and enjoy coffee.  Of course, a cup of coffee is great, but there really is nothing like a traditional Italian, espresso-based drink.  Typically you would drink these hot—and sometimes with milk—for a rich, earthy—and sometimes creamy—Kafexpress coffee experience.

The ESPRESSO

The simplest of all coffee drinks, the espresso is just a straight shot of strong coffee. To make an espresso (and it is best with an espresso machine, of course) you press one ounce of water through roughly ¼ oz of ground coffee using 9 pounds of pressure, consistently over 30 seconds.  This produces a “shot” of espresso: unfiltered, unadulterated, unaltered coffee richness.  While the intent of an espresso is to drink it straight to enjoy the coffee for its own characteristics, though, you can combine this shot of espresso with other ingredients for more flavor, more sweetness, more variety.

The CAFE LATTE

One such drinks is the cafe latte. To make this you take the very same shot of espresso and pour between 6 and 8 ounces of steamed milk over the top of it.  The two ingredients will mix in the cup. This is the basic latte—which is actually consumed more than brewed coffee, at least in the United States—but American coffee culture now has all kinds of flavors and other options that you can add to a latte.

The CAPPUCCINO

The Cappuccino is to Europe what the Cafe latte is to America.  Indeed, the cappuccino is the most consumed coffee recipe throughout Europe.  The two are very similar but in this case, instead of 6 to 8 oz of steamed milk, you top the 1 oz shot of espresso with about 2 oz of milk foam.

The MACCHIATO

If you are more fond of coffee in its rawest, purest, most beautiful form (a straight shot of espresso) but might wish to cut the acidity a bit, this could be the right drink for you.  Macchiato means “spotted” in Italian and this drink gets this name because it is just a shot of espresso with a single drop of milk—just enough to slightly lighten the drink’s hue.  The goal of this “spot” is that it spreads out across the surface of the espresso for a hint of creaminess. And yes, this is a very “European” way to drink coffee.