14 Types of Espresso Drinks: A Must-Try Tour for Coffee Lovers

If you’re a coffee lover, you cannot miss espresso. This small but mighty shot of concentrated coffee has evolved into a diverse array of beverages that cater to every taste preference. So why limit yourselves to the classic shot?

Join me on a caffeinated journey as we explore the vast and delightful world of espresso drinks. From classic favorites to innovative concoctions, we’ve got 14 types of espresso drinks for you to explore. Grab your favorite mug, because things are about to get deliciously interesting!

Espresso

A quintessential among coffee aficionados, the classic espresso stands as an iconic embodiment of rich and concentrated coffee flavor. This espresso type is the simplest one with just a single shot of espresso.

Cappuccino

Next is cappuccino. It’s one of the most popular types of espresso drinks. The drink is a perfect balance of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, creating a cloud-like layer of foam dancing on top. The thing I like most about this drink is the beautiful patterns on its surface. If you love this drink like me, here’s the traditional cappuccino recipe.

Cappuccino - one of best types of espresso drinks
Espresso mixed with equal parts steamed milk and frothed milk

Latte

A latte, short for caffè latte in Italian, is a beloved and widely enjoyed espresso-based beverage that has become a staple in coffee culture worldwide. If cappuccino is the balance of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, latte is characterized by a higher ratio of steamed milk to espresso. This creates a creamier and milder taste.

The word “latte” itself means milk in Italian, highlighting the prominent role that milk plays in this drink. If you like, you can try different milk types and flavorings, such as vanilla or caramel.

Flat White

Since I already mentioned the latte, let’s talk about the flat white. This type of espresso is more popular in Australia and New Zealand.

Flat white- espresso and steamed milk

While compared to the cousin latte, the flat white boasts a higher coffee-to-milk ratio, offering a bolder espresso flavor without drowning in the froth. It’s like the minimalist’s latte, letting the coffee shine through while still enjoying the luxurious touch of velvety milk. Do you know what’s more interesting? You can create a Flat White Martini from this drink.

Macchiato

The name of this drink means “stained” or “spotted” in Italian, which perfectly captures its essence. A shot of rich, robust espresso is adorned with just a hint of velvety foam or a dollop of steamed milk, creating a delightful contrast of flavors and textures. This type of espresso is perfect for those who appreciate the boldness of espresso but crave a touch of creamy indulgence.

Affogato

Among many types of espresso drinks, affogato is the special one. It’s either a drink or dessert, a delightful dance between hot and cold, bitter and sweet.

Best espresso recipes

Affogato consists of a shot of hot espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream. The contrasting temperatures create a harmonious blend of rich, robust coffee and creamy sweetness, making affogato a luscious treat. The drink is quite easy to make. This is how I made the affogato!

Café au Lait

Café au Lait means “coffee with milk” in French. As its name suggests, the drink is made of equal parts of brewed coffee and steamed milk. If you’re looking for a milder alternative to straight espresso, this espresso type is for you.

Mocha

If you love chocolate, this type of espresso is meant for you. This delightful concoction combines the robust flavor of espresso with rich, velvety chocolate, and creamy steamed milk. It’s a blend of bitter and sweet notes, creating a satisfying and comforting experience for those with a sweet tooth.

Topped with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of cocoa powder, the mocha definitely satisfy you. You can make this drink at home and here’s the easy and simple mocha recipe.

Americano

Americano, like the classic espresso, is one of the most popular types of espresso drinks. This distinctive drink is crafted by diluting a shot of espresso with hot water, resulting in a milder and larger coffee compared to its concentrated counterpart. You can enjoy it black or with added cream and sugar.

Cortado

The next member of the espresso family is cortado. This popular type of espresso is crafted by combining equal measures of rich, intense espresso and delicately steamed milk. What sets the cortado apart is its unique milk preparation—steamed but intentionally lacking the frothy or foamy texture found in other espresso beverages.

Espresso Con Panna

Espresso con panna is a delightful and indulgent type of espresso. The name itself, “con panna,” translates to “with cream” in Italian, and that’s precisely what sets it apart.

Double Espresso Con Panna - espresso with cream
Homemade espresso and cream drink

A shot of robust and concentrated espresso is crowned with a dollop of velvety whipped cream, creating a harmonious blend of intense coffee flavor and creamy richness. Espresso con panna is one of my favorites. And if you’re anything like me, here’s how to make Espresso con panna.

Red Eye and Black Eye

For those who need an extra caffeine kick, these types of espresso drinks might be what you need.

The Red Eye, also known as a Shot in the Dark, is a simple yet powerful creation. It’s made by adding a single shot of espresso to a cup of regular black coffee. On the other hand, the Black Eye takes the caffeine boost to the next level, throwing two shots of espresso into a cup of black coffee.

Ristretto

Ristretto is the bold and concentrated version of espresso. That’s why it’s often referred to as the “restricted” espresso. This short but intense shot is pulled with less water, resulting in a more potent and flavorful extraction.

Espresso drink chart

Here are the 14 different types of espresso drinks, from the bold and robust shots of a classic Espresso to the velvety embrace of a well-crafted Cappuccino. Whether you prefer the simplicity of an Americano, the intricate layers of a Macchiato, or the creativity of Affogato, there is always an espresso variation to satisfy your palate.

Johanna Cleveland
About the author
Kate

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

1 thought on “14 Types of Espresso Drinks: A Must-Try Tour for Coffee Lovers”

  1. 4 stars
    I had no idea there were so many different types of espresso drinks. Can’t wait to try some of these and break away from my usual order.

    Reply

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