Espresso based coffees you can make at home that taste just like you bought them from the coffeehouse
How frustrating is it to look at the coffee shop’s menu and see loads of different coffee drinks with weird sounding names, and only recognize a couple of them?
So you probably just order what you know, right? Espresso, cappuccino, latte…nothing wrong with that.
But you’re now going to discover how to make other types of coffee drinks at home using your espresso machine.
So let’s start with the coffee of all coffees…the espresso.
Espresso coffee and its wonderful coffee creations
Espresso coffee is one of the most popular types of coffee drinks and if made in an espresso machine gives you a great cup each and every time.
The machine uses pressure to force a small volume of hot water (a shot) through finely ground coffee beans producing a luxurious coffee.
Click here to get a good idea of what to look for in an espresso machine (coming soon).
The shot is generally around 30g for a single and entices your sense of smell with its delicious aromas. Espresso coffee is a dark roasted coffee that mainly has a bittersweet taste to it.
Espresso coffee is also the basis for the following different and best coffee drinks you can make at home.
Or just Americano.
So what is americano coffee?
Legend has it that the first americano was made in WWII by American GIs.
Not used to the strong coffee Europeans were drinking, Americans wanted a cup of Joe like the one they were used to back home. So they diluted espresso coffee with hot water and the americano came into existence.
What’s in americano coffee and how can I make it?
- it’s a shot of 30g of espresso coffee (2 tablespoons) with 4 fl. Oz (120ml) of hot water (filtered if possible) added to the shot in a large mug. That’s it, simple really.
- taste it, if too strong dilute slightly with hot water to get it to just to how you want it.
You will most definitely have tried a latte as it’s very popular and served throughout North America and the UK.
What is a Latte?
A latte is an extracted single shot of espresso (30g) either into a latte glass or mug, which will vary from 6-7 fl. oz (170-220 ml), then topped with frothy velvety milk and a half inch or so of foam.
How to make a latte at home
- hold the mug at a slight tilt, pour in the velvety frothy milk at the highest part of the tilt.
- the milky coffee will hit the shallow end of the coffee first and then slide underneath the crema.
- start to move the milk pitcher closer to the top of the mug so it fills to ⅓ full.
- start to tilt the mug back to its upright position, at the same time gently moving the pitcher from side to side whilst the frothy milk is moving down the inside of the mug.
- a fern-like pattern now starts to form (this may take a few attempts to get right, but you’ll soon get the hang of it). Immediately finish the pattern by moving the steam up and away from the mug leaving you with a wonderful latte coffee.
Tip: if you find the espresso in your latte too strong, again just dilute slightly until the taste suits you. Enjoy.
What is a piccolo latte?
It’s a strong mini version of the latte and made in the same way, but with a coffee to milk ratio of 1:1, so one part espresso to one part steamed milk, with a thin layer of foam resting on top.
How to make a piccolo latte at home
- again as above, a single espresso shot (30g) layered with steamed milk and milky foam that does not disappoint.
- it’s usually served in a small espresso cup or demitasse (small latte glass).
What is a doppio?
In Italian doppio means double, so you guessed it, doppio coffee is pulling two shots (60g) from the espresso machine.
A doppio coffee also known as a standard double espresso is served in a larger demitasse or a cappuccino cup.
So to make it at home, you just need to follow the instructions for making an espresso but adjust for the double.
What is a cortado?
Cortado coffee is actually Portuguese but it is a Spanish favorite.
A small amount of steamed milk is added after the espresso making this a great tasting coffee.
How to make a cortado at home
- single shot of espresso with milk to coffee ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 depending on how strong you want it.
- steamed milk is used instead of foam as it limits the coffee’s acidity.
A cortado is usually served in a glass with a metal base and handle.
What is macchiato coffee?
It’s pronounced mah-key-ah-toh and translates from Italian meaning ‘marked’ or ‘spotted’.
How to make a macchiato at home
- a single shot of espresso, or depending on your choice, can be two shots;
- it’s topped off with a light covering of steamed milk to just mark or spot the espresso.
It can also be made the opposite way around by pouring steamed milk into the cup first, then the espresso is slowly dripped on top to make the mark.
Everyone has probably ordered a cappuccino at a coffee shop, so you’ve got some idea of what it is.
What is a cappuccino and how do I make it?
- traditionally made using a single espresso shot with velvety frothy milk and steamed foam in a ratio of 1:1:1.
- if it’s made using this ratio then it will be stronger than a latte. Of course, other variations exist though.
- should be served in a porcelain cup and poured at an angle, the same way you would a latte.
- to finish, just add a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder on top of the frothy milk.
A cappuccino differs from a latte in that it is made with less milk.
What is a long black and how is it made?
It is a popular coffee drink in Australia and New Zealand.
- pour hot water into a cup first, either directly from your espresso machine or the kettle.
- add a small amount of cold water to bring the temperature down slightly.
- the volume of hot water you pour will really depend on how strong you like it.
- add a double shot of espresso to the hot water so the crema – the creamy layer on top is retained.
- don’t pull the shot for longer than 30 seconds as over-extraction occurs which will leave you with a burnt tasting coffee.
A long black is usually served in a tall cup or mug and is just basically an americano reversed.
What is a ristretto?
In Italian it means ‘restricted’. It is also known as a short black in Australia and New Zealand.
As you’ve gathered it’s a short shot of espresso, or half a single shot of espresso and with less water.
How do I make this coffee drink at home?
- firmly pack espresso coffee into the portafilter, so there’s enough for a double shot, but only a single is pulled.
- this process is cut off before blonding occurs (which just means as water passes through the coffee it starts off dark in color, as the water continues extraction it starts turning a lighter color. So you want to end it before this occurs).
- serve in a demitasse, but if it’s diluted with water or milk then serve in a larger cup.
Making your ristretto this way means most of the oil from the coffee beans is in your cup, and that’s a good thing because you get that fantastic aroma of fresh coffee as well as a great taste.
What’s a flat white coffee?
It’s a coffee that’s really gaining popularity in North America but hails originally from New Zealand and Australia back in the 1980s.
A flat white simply means flat (no foam) and white (with milk).
It started out as a trend so there are several variations of this antipodean beverage.
How do I make the flat white at home?
- a shot of espresso.
- although a flat white means no foam, there is actually a very thin layer of foam that gives a slightly creamy texture.
- as you would a latte, pour in the blended micro-foam but do this carefully so you don’t get a layer of thick foam.
- stop pouring when it hits just under the cup’s rim.
- down under a flat white is served in a 180-210ml wide brimmed up.
A flat white is stronger than a latte because of the espresso to milk ratio, and also because it has very little foam.
Hopefully you’ve now got a better idea of today’s different coffee drinks found in coffeehouses, and how you can make these at home using your espresso machine.
You can start with the milkier variations or just go straight in and get the buzz from that bold espresso on its own. The beauty of making these at home is that you have the basic foundations for each drink, and you can alter each of them to make your perfect cup of coffee.
Go experiment and enjoy!