Whether you have an at-home espresso machine and are trying things out, or you want to know what you should order at the coffee shop, espresso drinks can be confusing. There are many different espresso-based drinks that a person can order, and sometimes the differences can be quite nuanced. Here are a few of the most popular espresso drinks and what the difference is. They all have a basic espresso base, and the difference is the amount of milk or foam.
When espresso is brewed, it often isn’t taken straight. Instead, an amount of steamed milk is often added. This steamed milk produces both steamed milk and also a thick foam. The amount of espresso, milk, and foam can be controlled by the person making the drink.
- Espresso. Espresso is a type of coffee produced by passing boiling water through finely-ground coffee. It’s powerful. When it’s ordered as just “espresso,” it’s served straight. But some people might still add sugar or flavoring to their espresso to make it a little easier to drink. Taken on its own, espresso is quite bitter.
- Macchiato. A macchiato is made by taking espresso and adding a small amount of steamed milk to it. This is still going to be a very strong drink.
- Cappuccino. A cappuccino is an espresso that has steamed milk poured onto it, along with a cap of white foam.
- Dry cappuccino. This type of cappuccino has more foam than milk, hence being “dry.” But it still has the same amount of espresso.
- Latte. A latte is essentially a cappuccino with more steamed milk and less foam. Often lattes are made flavored with flavored syrups like vanilla or hazelnut, but they can also just be sweetened with simple syrup.
- Americano. An Americano is a coffee-like drink, with boiling water being added to an existing espresso, thereby watering it down. An Americano may be prepared like coffee with sugar and cream.
- Mocha. A mocha is very similar to a regular latte, but it has a little chocolate syrup added.
- Flat white. This is an espresso with just a thin layer of milk, the opposite of a dry cappuccino. This is a rarer type of espresso drink.
Of course, you should remember that espresso and coffee drinks can dehydrate you. It’s a good idea to drink espresso alongside some water. Caffeine, in particular, can cause dehydration when consumed in large amounts — and water is always a smart beverage.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t drink espresso or caffeinated drinks! It just means that having some good bottled water at the same time will help. You can learn more about having the right hydration habits with Tyler Mountain Water.