What are some basic espresso drinks?

What are some basic espresso drinks? 

Espresso is the base of many coffee drinks, but that doesn’t mean every coffee drink is the same. Where coffee goes, a new way of enjoying this beverage is born. But only the best ones are able to become part of the worldwide coffee menu; those drinks which are prepared and enjoyed the world around.

Today, we’re going to be taking a close look at three of these drinks; the cappuccino, the latte, and the americano and what their ingredients are.


The cappuccino dates back to the first half of the 20th century. It’s widely recognized that cappuccino’s predecessor is Viennese coffee, made with one shot of espresso and whipped cream on top. However, with the arrival of machines that could steam milk and produce rich foam, the Italians invented their own, better version; the cappuccino.

Characteristics of a cappuccino:

  • Around 180ml (6 ounces) in total volume.
  • 1 shot of espresso, textured milk, and foam.
  • Foam layer on top should be 1-2 centimeters deep.
  • Served in a coffee cup.

This makes the cappuccino substantially smaller than a latte or an americano.

The cappuccino is one of the hardest coffee drinks to master. The creation of microfoam and the skill to be able to pour a thick layer of it while maintaining a certain aesthetic.


The latte is arguably the most popular coffee drink in the world. Particularly in countries where bitterness in coffee is widely disliked, the latte has functioned as the perfect coffee drink to introduce coffee to those countries. While there are written records in different European countries, it’s thought that the latte was created by an Italian American in California.

Characteristics of a latte:

  • Around 240ml (8 ounces) in total volume.
  • 1 shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a thin layer of foamed milk.
  • Adorned with latte art.
  • Sweetened

One of the most recognizable things about the latte is latte art; this is achieved by skillfully pouring milk into the cup. Controlling the combination of coffee and foamed milk at the very top of the drink, one is able to create certain shapes and forms.

Contrary to the cappuccino or the americano, the latte is sweetened in the vast majority of cases. It can also be accompanied by spices, such as cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and chai mix.

Latte can be served both in a glass or a cup. There are also special café au lait coffee cups, which can hold as much as 500ml.


The American way of drinking black coffee is popular the world around. The word Americano comes from World War II meaning “American Coffee.” The GI did not like the strong taste of espresso, so Italians would dilute the espresso with water to make it more palatable.  In most countries outside of the USA, an americano will yield the same type of coffee, while you might have to order a “Long Black” or “Short Black.” The americano is, at its core, a watered-down espresso.

Characteristics of an americano

  • Around 340ml (12 ounces) of total volume.
  • In the USA it comes in a lot of sizes.
  • 1-2 shots of espresso, hot water.
  • Can be prepared by pouring hot water first or after pulling the espresso shot.

 The Americano does have an incredible amount of variations out there, with different amounts of water depending on where you order it. There exist “short americanos”, which use half the water that you would normally use, resulting in a stronger coffee.

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