Espresso Drinks, Explained

Espresso Drinks, Explained

By C+S Crew

Espresso Drinks, Explained
Have you ever felt overwhelmed or confused by the endless espresso drink options, but were too afraid to ask? We are always happy to answer questions without judgement  (we all gotta learn somehow!), but if you prefer to self-educate on your own, we've got visuals to help along the way. 


Starting with the basics, an espresso is made by pushing hot water through finely ground coffee at a high pressure, resulting in about two ounces of a strong, thick coffee. 


A macchiato, which directly translates to "marked" in Italian, is an espresso that is "marked" with the microfoam of steamed milk. This drink contains a small amount of steamed milk incorporated into the espresso, with the focus primarily on just a bit of microfoam on top. 


A cortado is half espresso, half steamed milk, at approximately 4 ounces total.


A cappuccino is espresso, steamed milk, and a good amount of microfoam, at about 6-8 ounces total. Cappuccinos can be a little controversial, as some believe it should contain espresso and microfoam only, with little to no steamed milk (like a cup of fluff). Our style is to even it all out, but we understand the range of preferences. You can always ask for a cappuccino "dry" if you prefer more fluff, meaning more microfoam than milk. 

Flat White

The flat white originated from Australia or New Zealand - it's an ongoing argument that we won't get involved with - and is made of espresso, mostly steamed milk, and the smallest amount of microfoam on top at about 6-8 ounces total. If you like the size of a cappuccino, but want less microfoam, a flat white might be your best friend. 


An americano is just espresso and water at about 10-12 ounces, meant to mimic the American style drip coffee. Drip coffee isn't the norm in many European countries, so to accommodate tourists, they created the americano. 


Last but not least we have the most popular espresso drink in America: the latte! Lattes are about 12 ounces are are made of espresso, a majority steamed milk, and microfoam. A mocha is a variation of a latte, which includes chocolate.


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