Delicious espresso drink recipes are easy to achieve when you have a firm understanding of the 4 M’s of espresso theory. While many espresso cafes mix a little espresso with their syrupy sweet mixtures, you and I on the other hand get the finest espresso blends and want the flavor to shine through.
The espresso drink recipes below will let the coffee taste shine through. Even in the flavored latte drink recipes below, the “coffee” taste comes through clean and smooth!
Speaking of the flavored latte drinks, you can use espresso shot glasses to measure the proper amount of syrup I use the bottle pump shown. For consistency, cleanup and ease of use I suggest you do too.
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These espresso drink recipes are “tried and true” and have stood the test of time. All of our study, training and effort will be richly rewarded when culminating in the recipes below. Enjoy!
Basic Espresso Drink Recipes
Espresso – Extracted shot(s) pulled directly and served in a 4oz demitasse cup. Espresso should have a thick layer of rust-colored crema on top. (total volume per shot should equal 1oz).
Espresso Ristretto – An espresso equaling a total volume of 3/4oz per shot.
Espresso Macchiato – Extract shot(s) directly into demitasse, top with a rich layer of perfectly texturized milk. (Macchiato means “to mark,” in Italian!)
Espresso Con Panna – Extract shot(s) directly into demitasse, top with a small amount of whipped cream.
Caffé Americano – Fill cup to 1” from the top with hot water from espresso machine, add shot(s) of espresso
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Cappuccino – Espresso coffee combined with velvety textured milk foam. (Pour frothed milk immediately upon conclusion of steaming!)
Caffé Latte – Pour steamed & texturized milk over espresso in cup while allowing milk to flow freely.
Caffé Mocha – Add chocolate sauce to the cup, stir in shots of espresso to melt the chocolate sauce. Pour texturized milk freely into cup, and top with whipped cream (optional).
Breve – Fill cup halfway with drip coffee, top with steamed and texturized milk
Sauce & Syrup Portioning for Espresso Drink Recipes
Espresso Definitions and Terminology:
Barista: (from the Italian word for “bartender”) is a person, usually a coffee-house employee, who prepares and serve espresso based coffee drinks.
Crema: is one of the sure signs of a properly brewed shot of espresso (in non crema-enhancing machines) and is created by the dispersion of gases – air and carbon dioxide – in liquid at a high pressure. The liquid contains emulsified oils, and forms a dark golden brown layer resembling foam on top of an espresso shot.
Espresso: Espresso can be described in two ways. One is a “drink or shot” made of finely ground coffee generally produced through an espresso machine. Espresso can also be described as a “method” of producing the coffee beverage by forcing very hot water through finely ground coffee under high pressure.
Extraction: is the act of forcing hot water from the boiler though ground coffee, which in turn “extracts” flavors, oils, colloids, lipids and other elements that turn water into brewed coffee or espresso.
Filter Basket: is a metal, flat bottomed “bowl” shaped insert that fits inside a portafilter. The filter basket holds your bed of ground coffee and has a multitude of tiny holes in the bottom to allow the extracted beverage to seep through and pour into a demitasse cup or other receptacle. Most espresso machines include two filter baskets, a single basket and a double basket, though some machines feature convertible baskets that allow either a single or double shot of espresso to be produced from the same basket.
Grinder: A device for crushing coffee beans into grains or a powder. A quality “burr” grinder is often considered the missing ingredient for consistently excellent espresso based drinks.
Knockbox: a bin or box with a rubber or wooden bar across the opening. Used to dispose of espresso puck after brewing an espresso shot. The portafilter is “knocked” against the bar and the spent puck falls into the box.
Lungo: an espresso shot that is purposely poured “long” or for extra volume. Where a normal single espresso shot is approximately 1.5 ounces of brew, the lungo may be 2 or 3 ounces per shot.
Over Extracted: term used to describe coffee or espresso that has had brew water exposed to ground coffee for too long. Over extracted espresso and coffee can taste bitter or burnt.
Portafilter: The device that holds a filter basket and finely ground coffee. The Portafilter has a handle, one or two spouts that allow the espresso to pour into shot glasses or a cup.
Pre Infusion: the act of pre-wetting the bed of ground coffee inside an espresso machine before actually commencing the brew. Some espresso machines do this by using the pump; water is pumped to the coffee for a second or two, then halted for another second or two. After this pause, the pump activates again, and continues brewing the shot. Super automatics and some automatic machines use this pre-infusion
Ristretto: A “restricted” shot. Most double espresso shots are 2, 2.5 or even 3 ounces using 14 grams of coffee grounds. A ristretto uses the same of grinds, extracted over the same 25-30 seconds but the volume is restricted to about 1.5 ounces of espresso. A ristretto is a richer beverage, sweeter and more intense drink.
Tamper: the device used to tamp a bed of loose, finely ground coffee in a portafilter, in preparation for brewing espresso. Most espresso machines include a plastic tamper as an accessory, and after market tampers can be bought. They are measured in millimeter sizes, corresponding with the filter basket internal diameter of your espresso machine. Most commercial, prosumer, and high end consumer espresso machines use a 58mm tamper; other common sizes are 49mm, 53mm, and 57mm.
Thermometer: In coffee and espresso it is a device with a circular top and long needle to measure milk steam temperatures.
Timer: Used to countdown the time needed to extract the desired amount of espresso into a shot glass or cup. Normally a digital clock with seconds that can countdown from 30 seconds is ideal for our needs.
Under Extracted: in coffee and espresso terminology this refers to a bed of coffee that has not been exposed to enough passing water. The resulting brew is often weak and thin bodied.