Are you a coffee lover that wants to try all the different types of espresso drinks out there? Here, we'll not only provide you with a list of all the types of espresso drinks, but we'll also teach you how to make each coffee beverage at home.
13 Best Espresso Drinks (Coffee Lovers Need To Know)
Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee that’s typically served in small shots. While it’s crafted from the same finely ground coffee beans as other coffees, it’s stronger and higher in caffeine.
The espresso drink can be enjoyed on their own, but you can also use it as a base for a wide variety of other coffees.
1. Regular Espresso
Let's start this list of espresso drinks with the classic espresso - one of the most basic types of espresso drinks. Regular espresso is essentially a brewed coffee shot that's meant to be slowly savored and not gulped down. Rich in flavor, it's enjoyed by coffee connoisseurs and can be drunk as either a single or double shot of espresso. While it's typically enjoyed on its own, you can add sugar, another sweetener, or even a biscuit, like biscotti.
While espresso is known to have a good amount of caffeine, it really depends on how much you drink. Just a shot of espresso definitely has less caffeine than standard, brewed coffee. Low on calories, each espresso cup only has 3 calories, but 64mg of caffeine - so it's one of the healthiest coffee recipes. If you’re looking for a more refreshing option, you can also have an iced espresso!
Lattes are one of the classic espresso drinks and lattes are enjoyed by individuals that love a creamy finish. Lattes come with a shot of espresso and are topped with steamed milk and foam. It's the milk foam which gives the silky finish, but you can easily customize a latte according to your needs – whether that be switching it out to a different type of milk or adding a sweetener of sorts. You can even mix it up with spices to make it a dirty chai latte!
Sweet and rich, the latte is one of the best types of espresso drinks for any morning. While the calories do differ depending on the size and milk you opt for, a latte is typically about 200 calories or so for a medium-sized cup. You can also enjoy hot or as an iced latte - making it the perfect summer espresso drink!
While cappuccinos are commonly confused with lattes, they’re actually quite different types of coffee. While a cappuccino is made with a shot of espresso (or double espresso if you like it stronger) and topped with steamed milk and one third milk foam - usually finished with a dust of chocolate powder or cocoa powder. Cappuccinos tend to be favored by individuals that want a coffee that isn't as creamy.
Similar to lattes, however, cappuccinos can come in a variety of flavors, and you're more than welcome to use different kinds of hot milk, such as almond milk, oat milk, and more. Calories also differ depending on the milk and size you pick, but it's typically 130 calories for a regular cappuccino.
While it's relatively rare, you can also order an iced cappuccino, and the iced cappuccino recipe is basically the same, but with cold milk!
Are you looking for a robust and delicious espresso drink that isn't a latte or a cappuccino? The Cortado, aka the Gibraltar, is exactly what you need. This Spanish coffee drink is smooth and has the perfect balance of espresso and hot milk. It's great if you're looking for a rich, robust, and silky drink.
So, what exactly is Cortado? It's an espresso drink with equal parts espresso and steamed milk. It's worth noting that you can't order it with a double shot of espresso because you would ruin the balance.
It's definitely the drink of choice if you're looking for something a tad stronger than your regular latte. In terms of calories, it has about 15 calories – which is not much at all compared to other espresso drinks!
5. Flat White
When it comes to espresso drinks, you can’t go wrong with a flat white. While it might seem similar to a latte or cappuccino, there are some differences. It's a coffee drink with espresso brewed coffee, steamed milk, and comes with a foam that’s relatively thin. It has a thinner layer of foam than a latte but more foam than a cappuccino espresso drink.
As the flat white has a thinner layer of foam, baristas in coffee shops commonly use the foam to create some fantastic latte art. It's smooth, silky, creamy, and absolutely delicious. You can also customize the flat white according to your individual preferences. When it comes to calories, it has about 264 calories for a grande size.
Another drink that’s similar to a latte and cappuccino, the macchiato is essentially a shot of espresso that's topped with steamed milk. Compared to the latte and cappuccino, however, a macchiato has far less steamed milk, giving it a bolder taste than a latte. It's popular with individuals that prefer a more intense and robust taste.
When it comes to the macchiato, it comes with a few different customizations, such as the caffe macchiato or espresso macchiato. The espresso macchiato is popular because it is essentially a shot of espresso that's topped with frothed milk - making the espresso macchiato lighter than the regular espresso.
You can also get the latte macchiato which is a cross between the two types of espresso drinks. A latte macchiato is great for anyone who likes creamy, but bold coffees.
The Americano is one of the most basic espresso drinks that's enjoyed around the world. It's a particularly popular drink in the United States and is essentially a shot of espresso that's been topped with hot water. As the hot water helps soften the espresso flavor, it's drunk by individuals who like a strong coffee taste but not one that's as strong as an espresso shot.
Adding hot water to the shot of espresso makes it more sippable and is a great drink to take with you while you’re on the go. In terms of how to make it, an Americano is made with either one or two shots of espresso and varying ratios of water. It’s low in calories and only has about 10 calories in a drink. You can also opt to have the Americano iced if you’d like.
If you're someone that enjoys espresso drinks that are on the sweeter side, then a mocha is precisely what you need. It's made with espresso, chocolate (sometimes chocolate syrup), steamed milk, and whipped cream – what more do you need? Typically drunk at the end of a meal or with a dessert, the mocha is for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth.
When it comes to customizations, you can choose to add more toppings to your mocha, such as extra chocolate syrup or sprinkles. Since a mocha is considered to be a dessert drink, it has a higher amount of calories, with about 440 calories in a medium-sized cup. What's great about a mocha is that you can have it hot or as an iced espresso option, and they both taste equally good.
Creamy and decadent, this small coffee drink packs a big punch that’s sure to delight. It's one of the simplest espresso drink recipes; essentially a shot of espresso paired with half and half. An absolute treat, this is an espresso drink that you absolutely can’t go wrong with. As a bonus, it’s also easy to make at home!
Since the Breve is made with half and half instead of regular or steamed milk, it has an extra creamy taste to it that will satisfy coffee drinks that love strong and bold coffee with a silky finish. In terms of calories, it has about 550 calories in a medium-sized cup, making it one of the most calorie-laden espresso drinks of the lot.
10. Espresso Con Panna
If you’ve always wanted to try an espresso drink that passes as a dessert, this is everything you need and more. Simple yet delicious, the espresso con panna is simply a shot of espresso topped with whipped cream. The whipped cream helps to soften out the bitterness of the espresso, and it also comes in the perfect size.
Typically served in a shot, the espresso con panna can come with one shot of espresso or two shots of espresso – depending on what you’re looking for. It’s ideal as an afternoon pick-me-up or even as an after-dinner treat.
Ah, the ristretto. It's essentially a short espresso that's pulled in less time than the standard shot. This means that the same amount of coffee is used, but it's made in less time than a regular shot of espresso.
Generally enjoyed by coffee connoisseurs, the ristretto is rich but also one of the purest ways to enjoy coffee. If you order ristretto in most coffee shops, it's likely that your barista will also serve it with a glass of sparkling water so you can drink it between sips.
The opposite of a ristretto is the lungo. With the lungo, the brew time is increased rather than decreased. What this means is that you've got a more bitter but less intense espresso shot. Like the ristretto, however, you'll be sipping on the lungo and enjoying it straight up on its own.
The lungo is perfect for any time of the day that you’re looking to get an extra dose of caffeine. It also tastes extra good with biscotti as the sweetness helps to balance out the bitterness from the espresso. Since it’s also an espresso shot on its own, the lungo is low on calories – great for individuals that might be wary of the calories in their drink.
Another excellent coffee dessert drink, the affogato is one of the most incredible coffee creations out there. It's essentially a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a single or double espresso poured over it. In terms of the brew, it's typically a dark roast, and the bitterness coupled with the creaminess and sweetness from the vanilla gelato is amazing.
While toppings aren't standard, you can most definitely sprinkle some crushed biscotti over the drink, add chocolate syrup, or even pour over whipped cream! Calorie wise, the affogato has about 240 calories – with most of the calories coming from the gelato itself.
How To Make Coffee Drinks At Home With An Espresso Machine
Are you looking to make some coffee drinks at home? No worries, you can easily do so with an espresso machine. One of the most common espresso drinks to make at home is the latte. It’s a classic drink that’s typically a shot of espresso topped with steamed milk and foam.
Any good latte starts with a great shot of espresso. Here's how you'd go about making an espresso at home with an espresso machine:
- 1Start by grinding and measuring your beans
For a single espresso shot, you'd typically need about 6 to 8 grams of finely ground coffee beans. For a double shot of espresso, about 15 grams of coffee grounds will do. It's always good to measure all of this on a kitchen scale - especially if you're making a strong double shot. Make sure that your coffee grounds are powdery and fine.
- 2Distribute and tamp down your shot
After you've got a good amount of coffee grounds, distribute it evenly on the portafilter before using the tamper to tamp it down. Remember you'll need to use more for two shot of espresso.
- 3Pull your shot
Then, run the machine briefly without the portafilter before locking it in place, positioning it, and starting your shot. If you're making a regular espresso shot, it should be ready after 25 to 30 seconds. Note that this can differ depending on what you like and the machine you're using.
- 4Prepare milk
If you're adding milk to your drink, you'll usually need to create steamed milk or froth milk up. If not, enjoy your espresso drink as it is! If you're drinking your espresso on its own, you're more than welcome to have it hot or cold – whichever you prefer, but you'll need a cooled shot for iced coffee. Each shot of espresso only comes with about 3 calories, making it a great guilt-free drink. You're also more than welcome to drink espresso every day, just don't overindulge and have it in moderation!
Frequently Asked Espresso Coffee Drinks Questions
Are espresso drinks stronger than regular coffee?
Espresso drinks are definitely stronger than regular drip coffee. One ounce has about 63mg of caffeine, while regular coffee has about 12 to 16mg of caffeine in every ounce.
Is there a drink with coffee and espresso?
There's a drink called a red-eye that consists of a typical cup of drip coffee that has a shot of espresso added in. If you'd like something even more potent, you can order a black eye from your local coffee shop – this comes with two shots of espresso instead.
What can you mix espresso shots with?
You can mix it with whatever you'd like! From chocolate to biscotti, coffee, and cake, the options are endless. Single or double espresso shots can also be mixed with alcohol to create tasty concoctions like an espresso martini.
Which coffee drink has the most espresso?
A Ristretto has the most concentrated type of espresso, also making it the strongest. Not only does it have a shorter extraction time, but a Ristretto is made with less hot water.
As seen above, there are plenty of espresso drinks (hot or iced coffee options) for you to try in a coffee shop of at home home. From a Breve to an Americano, the options are endless and you should keep trying until you've found your favorite espresso drinks. Which ones are you planning on trying first?