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21 Different Types of Espresso Drinks

different types of espresso drinks

You may think you already know the types of espresso drinks, but there are quite a few variations, including drinks from all over the world. Starting with a basic espresso shot, you can create all kinds of drinks. If you’re looking to go beyond the simple espresso shot or caffé latte, we’re here to help.

We put together this guide to the 21 different types of espresso drinks to help you go beyond lattes and cappuccinos and order a multitude of espresso drinks with confidence. Keep reading to learn all about espresso and the different types available.

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What is espresso?

An espresso shot is made by pushing hot, pressurized water through finely-ground, tightly packed coffee beans. The result is a full-flavored, rich cup of strong, dark coffee.

A single shot of espresso is only one ounce of liquid but contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine. This means it’s a lot more concentrated than black coffee, which averages around 12.5 milligrams per ounce.

Espresso is typically served in small, demitasse cups, which hold about two to four ounces of liquid. It’s also the basic element of all espresso drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes, and Americanos.

What are the different types of espresso drinks?

Essential Espresso Drinks

1. Espresso

The simplest espresso drink is a single shot of espresso. To make one, you use a single shot filter and about six to eight grams of finely-ground coffee.

What is espresso?

2. Ristretto

A ristretto is a stronger shot of espresso, made using finer coffee grounds and half the amount of water.

3. Doppio

This is another word for a double shot, made with a larger amount of coffee grounds. These espresso shots are pulled using a double shot filter inside the portafilter.

4. Cappuccino

A cappuccino is made with a ratio of one-third espresso, one-third hot milk, and one-third milk foam. For a version with less milk, try ordering a dry cappuccino.


5. Caffé Latte

A caffé latte, often shortened to latte, is made of one-third espresso, two-thirds hot milk, and a topping of micro-foam. These are often made with double shots of espresso and may be topped with cinnamon, brown sugar, or cocoa powder.

6. Piccolo Latte

“Piccolo” means small in Italian, so this is a small latte, often served in an espresso cup or demitasse. A piccolo latte is a ristretto shot of espresso topped with warm milk.

7. Mocha

This is a sweet coffee drink, consisting of a latte with chocolate syrup or cocoa powder added. If you like your coffee sweet, you may also want to try adding caramel or peppermint syrup.

How to make a mocha latte

8. Espresso Macchiato

An espresso macchiato is made by adding a small amount of steamed milk and foam a shot of espresso.

9. Latte Macchiato

This is a variation on the espresso version, involving more milk. To make a latte macchiato, you pour a third to a half a cup of steamed milk into a glass and then add a shot of espresso on top.

10. Americano

An Americano has a similar strength to a cup of regular black coffee but is made by adding hot water to a single or double shot of espresso. This results in a different flavor from traditional black coffee.

Americano coffee

11. Lungo

To make a lungo, you pull twice as much water through the same amount of coffee grounds. This results in higher caffeine content and a higher level of coffee extraction. This drink looks similar to an Americano but is prepared differently and will have a different flavor.

12. Flat white

Flat whites are popular in Australia and New Zealand. These drinks are similar to cappuccinos, but with a higher coffee-to-milk ratio and prepared without milk foam.

13. Cortado

Cortados are made using equal amounts of espresso and steamed milk. The milk is steamed but not foamy or frothy as in other drinks.

Cortado coffee with animal crackers
Image: Bex Walton, Flickr, CC 2.0

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Espresso and Coffee Drinks

14. Red eye

A red eye is a strong, highly caffeinated drink. To make one, brew a cup of black coffee and top it with a single shot of espresso.

15. Black eye

A black eye is an even stronger variation of a red eye. To make it, add a double shot of espresso to a cup of hot black coffee.

black coffee

16. Dripped eye

A dripped eye is the strongest of the three, made by adding three shots of espresso to a cup of black coffee.

17. Lazy eye

The lazy eye is a less-caffeinated option. It’s made by adding two shots of espresso to a cup of decaffeinated black coffee.

Other Espresso Drinks

18. Black tie

A black tie is made using Thai tea as a base, rather than black coffee. To make it, add a double shot of espresso to a cup of hot Thai tea.

19. Affogato

An affogato is more of a dessert than a drink. This delicious dessert is made by pouring a shot of espresso over a scoop of ice cream.

affogato ice cream with espresso

20. Espresso con panna

In Italian, “espresso con panna” means espresso with cream. To make one, add whipped cream to a single or double shot of espresso.

21. Galão

This Portuguese drink consists of a quarter espresso and three-quarters milk foam.

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Now that you’ve read our list of the 21 types of espresso drinks, you can order or brew with confidence. We hope this comprehensive list has shown you a wide range of espresso drinks available. And if you don’t see your ideal flavor combination, why not experiment and invent a new one?

Still looking for your new favorite drink? Take a look at our guide to 22 different of coffee drinks.

Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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