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Espresso Drinks (A Verbal & Visual Guide)

An espresso drink is any drink that contains espresso. (A complex and in-depth definition, I know.)

It doesn’t matter if that drink is hot or cold, how much milk or foam it has, or how lost the espresso gets inside it (though, it’s hard to truly lose espresso in other things).

As long as there’s espresso in it, we consider it an espresso drink for our purposes.

Popular Espresso Drinks By Definition

Many espresso drinks are quite similar, only varying in the amount of milk, foam, water, or even coffee used to round them out.

But even small adjustments to espresso produce big changes in flavor, giving us the variety in espresso drinks we see on most coffee shop menus.

Here are the most well-known espresso drinks (as far as we can tell) by their most basic definitions:

Espresso

A single shot (1oz/30ml) of coffee, freshly pulled under pressure

Double Espresso/Doppio

A double-shot (2oz/60ml) of coffee, freshly pulled under pressure

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Ristretto

A short, or restricted, shot (0.5oz/15ml) of coffee pulled under pressure for an abbreviated amount of time

Lungo

A long shot (2oz/60ml) of coffee pulled under pressure for an extended amount of time

Espresso Con Panna

A regular espresso shot topped with whipped cream

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso “marked” with a dash of steamed milk and foam

Cortado

Espresso with an equal amount of lightly steamed, but not frothed, milk

Breve

Espresso with an equal amount of half-and-half (milk and cream), topped with foam

Americano

Espresso with hot water added to it

Cappuccino

Espresso rounded with equal parts steamed milk and foam

Caffé Latte

Espresso rounded with twice as much steamed milk and a thin layer of foam

Latte Macchiato

Steamed foam and milk “marked” with espresso

Caffé Mocha/Mocaccino

A café latte with chocolate

Flat White

Two ristretto shots of espresso with milk steamed into microfoam

Red Eye

Brewed coffee with a shot (or more) of espresso

Visual Guide to Popular Espresso Drinks

Espresso

Doppio

Ristretto

Lungo

Espresso Con Panna

Espresso Macchiato

Cortado

Breve

Americano

Cappuccino

Caffé Latte

Latte Macchiato

Caffé Mocha/Mocaccino

Flat White

Red Eye

Lesser-Known Espresso Drinks

Lesser-known espresso drinks are typically lesser-known because they are regional.

Though, a few of the lesser-knowns are derivatives of other espresso drinks that rarely get their own listings on coffee shop menus.

Here are a few lesser-known espresso drinks that are worthy of note:

Manilo

Espresso with a small amount of milk (less than 3.4 oz/100 ml) steamed into microfoam

Basically, a less milky flat white

Café Zorro

A doppio espresso with an equal amount of hot water

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Piccolo Latte

A small version of a latte served in a demitasse glass

Café Bombon

Espresso with an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk

Popular in: Spain

Café Cubano

Espresso brewed with sugar

Popular in: Florida

The original version of the Cubano is coffee brewed with sugar either by drip or some other form of brewing, not espresso.

Espresso Sara

An espresso rounded with cold water

Popular in: Northern Italy

Cafe Haffuch

Steamed milk topped with espresso and topped with foam

Popular in: Israel

Minato

A doppio espresso with an equal to double amount of lightly steamed milk

Popular in: Kent, UK

Caffé gommosa

Espresso poured over a marshmallow

Popular in: Pacific Northwest (U.S.)

Espresso Freddo

A doppio espresso shaken with ice (and sometimes sugar) to chill it and create foam

Popular in: Greece

Alcoholic Espresso Drinks

These days, plenty of specialty cocktails incorporate espresso.

We don’t really consider these separate espresso drinks because they are all variations of the same basic thing – espresso with liquor in different combinations.

However, there are two well-known alcoholic espresso drinks that stand alone.

Caffé Corretto

Espresso with a dash of liquor

The simple drink that started the espresso + liquor craze.

Espresso Martini

Espresso, sweet coffee liqueur and vodka

Not Quite Espresso Drinks

And, last but not least on our list of espresso drinks, we have a legendary espresso offerings that’s not quite a drink, but can be.

Affogato al Caffe

Vanilla ice cream topped with espresso, with or without a dash of sweet liqueur

Similar to a root beer float, the affogato al caffe is technically a dessert and a drink only in parts, but it definitely becomes a drink if you let it sit long enough.

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Comparing Espresso Drinks

As previously mentioned, a lot of espresso drinks are very much alike, only distinguishable by small adjustments in milk, foam, and dilution, which makes it hard to keep track of what’s what.

For a better understanding of how the most similar of these espresso drinks diverge, check out our espresso drinks verses and general information articles, which aim to put espresso and its most common additions into clearer perspective:

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