An espresso drink is a specialty coffee drink that includes one or more shots of espresso that are “pulled” on an espresso machine (espresso maker) like those from Saeco that uses pressurized extraction in order to force very hot water under very high pressure through a compressed (e.g., compacted, tamped) bed of roasted, ground coffee. Sometimes mistakenly spelled “expresso”.
Don’t have an espresso machine? Don’t sweat it. Most of these espresso recipes can substitute the espresso portion with 4 ounces of strong brewed coffee from a french press, pour over or other drip coffee maker.
Espresso Drink Chart by OrbitVisual.com
Espresso is the Foundation of a Variety of Specialty Coffee Beverages
What few people realize is that any coffee bean can be used to make an espresso shot and therefore used in an espresso-based drink recipe. Espresso is typically a very dark roast, but can also be a medium or regular dark roast. What is important at the end of the day is ensuring you have the right grind for your equipment, which involves selecting an appropriate coffee grinder.
Espresso serves as the foundation for a wide variety of the best specialty coffee drinks, which are commonly known as espresso drinks and are popular in coffee houses around the world.
Some special “espresso blends” make use of single origins that are known to have a bold, dark flavor such as the Sumatra coffee bean, blended with a robusta that is typically seen as a lower quality bean but is known to produce a better crema and contain more caffeine.
The Best Espresso Drinks
The most well-known and best espresso drinks include the Cappuccino, Latte (Caffe Latte), and Mocha (Caffe Mocha), although there are many more, and everyone seems to have their own personal favorite which they like prepared in their own special way (e.g., half-caf, non-fat, extra shot mocha, no whip).
Many people enjoy their espresso drinks with a snack, and the most traditional foods to accompany espresso and espresso-based drinks are biscotti and brioche, perhaps a croissant, or an Italian desert such as gelato, sorbetto, or affogato. Check out recipes for these tasty foods in our Espresso Cuisine section.
Espresso Recipes – Below are detailed instructions on how to prepare the following Espresso Drinks.
AMERICANO / CAFFE AMERICANO
To make an Americano, or Caffe Americano, pulling a single shot of espresso and then add about 6 ounces of hot water—the strength should be similar to drip filter coffee.
Caffe Americano is the Italian way of serving espresso “American style”, ordering a “caffe” in Italy is to order a shot of espresso. Add milk and/or sugar if desired.
BLACK AND WHITE
To make a Black and White, pour one-half of an ounce of milk or vanilla schnapps into a shot glass and then pour one-half ounce of coffee liquor atop the drink.
To make a Black Eye pull two shots of espresso and add them to a cup of brewed coffee. Also see Red Eye; Dead Eye.
BLACK RUSSIAN (alcohol)
To prepare a Black Russian fill a glass with crushed ice and then add 1.5 ounces of coffee liqueur and 1.5 ounces of vodka.