An Introduction to Espresso for Beginners

The 6 most common types of Italian coffee vary in taste, caffeine content, and method of preparation. If you’re interested in buying an espresso machine or want to get educated on methods of caffeine and coffee preparation more advanced, this is an excellent place to start.


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In its most basic definition, espresso is pressurized coffee. Espresso is made by forcing water at a high pressure through finely grounded coffee, using an espresso machine and coffee maker. The result is richly flavored coffee with a high caffeine content.


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An Americano is an espresso topped with hot water. It’s a popular type of coffee that weighs down some of the full-bodied, rich flavor of the espresso. It’s akin to having a diluted espresso. Americano has an intense, deep coffee flavor, 80 mg of caffeine per cup on average, and is similar or identical to what’s considered a long black.


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A macchiato is a combination of espresso and steamed milk, usually with a very strong flavor. Caloric-speaking, it’s under 100 calories so you’re not taking too much in. The amount of milk to be used is small in comparison with the espresso. If you do not like the strength of any typical espresso, the macchiato won’t be a drink you enjoy.


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A latte is a shot of espresso topped with creamy foamed milk. Contrary to other drinks on this list, lattes are the most milk-based and creamy. The caloric content depends a lot on the milk used, ranging from 130 to as high as 300. The ratio is generally 2 shots of espresso, up to 8 ounces of steamed milk, and a layer of milk foam, meaning about 1:4:1.


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A cappuccino is essentially an espresso with steamed milk and milk foam. Its flavor is strong with some creaminess. Caloric content is 75 calories if you use non-fat milk and jumps to 120 when whole milk is used. In preparing a cappuccino, you want to stick to a 1:1:1 ratio of all components. Though the cappuccino uses the same ingredients as a latte, the portions are very different.


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A mochaccino, sometimes shortened to just ‘mocha’, is a mix of espresso, chocolate syrup, and steamed whipped cream. These extra ingredients which are used to sweeten it up increase calories to 300 or above depending on what’s been added, how much, and more. It really pampers the tastebuds and is a great introduction to more complex coffee-based drinks for anyone who’s not a huge fan of the taste. are huge coffee fans, and we are proud of our espresso machines, temp control, electric coffee grinder and other coffee blending products. Drop by today to see more into how you can elevate your home coffee making and espresso making cups.

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  1. The above list is succinct and in my long history of making them, spot on. They also formed the core menu at Starbucks when I started with them in 1990. It brings back memories of being on the espresso bar on a Saturday morning for 3 hours and making hundreds of them. Thanks for the time travel….!


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