By: Voyager Espresso

   It’s early in the morning, and you find yourself once again in the line of your favorite local coffee shop thinking about everything from what you’re going to wear for tonight’s date to how you are going to make the best out of that meeting you’d rather dodge but are about to walk into, and if you are like I used to be before discovering the exciting and invigorating world of specialty coffee and often find yourself staring at the espresso drinks on the menu, looking at drinks like Cortado and Flat White but sometimes even dedicated coffee drinkers are not sure if they are talking about hot dancing boys or a Netflix’s new “narco series”.

 On the meantime, the line has moved up, and your Barista asks how can he make your morning better before you out of pure habit manage to utter the word “latte” like every morning without giving any thought to the world of possibilities you’re missing out on your quest to that moment of Zen after that first sip so @voyagerespresso we created a descriptive list to help you make a savvy decision without being a “Guru” that will make your morning’s favorite moment more exciting every time.

espresso drinks guide

#1 Espresso Shot 

Don’t we all love shots? (Tons of people doesn’t). But here we’re talking about the Elixir of the gods, the base of an array of delicious and often refreshing drinks. By itself, people tend to find it strong and bitter before developing the required taste to truly enjoy the flavors, aromas, and body of the endless list of coffee beans from around the world.  

In essence espresso machines pour double shot made of

  •  14-18g of coffee finely ground.
  • Placed in a portafilter and compressed with a tamp 
  • Brewed at 9 bars of treasure (130 psi) at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which usually yields approximately 1.5 oz of beverage. 

 Both the brewing method and the beverage itself originated in Italy around 1884 c. It was named implying both the speed to craft and how fast it should be consumed (It most be served quickly after pulling because it will begin to expire after 30 seconds, and it becomes sour and extremely bitter, making it almost undrinkable). 

Espresso shot Nutrition Facts: 

  •  4 mg of caffeine
  •  35mg of potassium
  •  0.1g fat 
  • 3 calories

Although almost every Barista will have their own opinion as to coffee ratios, extraction time, and a world of possibilities that converts it in the art, it is of finding that perfect shot.

#2 Caffé Latte 

(Italian for Coffee & Milk)

Have you not heard of it? Then allow me to welcome you back from the coma you’ve been in for the past decade or two, or your hipster self prevents you from enjoying this crowd-pleaser. The latte a favorite drink at many coffee shops from New York to San Francisco and around the globe served either iced or hot has a milk-to-espresso ratio of 4-1 easing the bitter taste of Espresso. 

A latte consist of 1/3 Espresso and 2/3 frothed milk poured over, leaving a thin layer of foam when served hot or over ice. With the proper barista skills, your drink will be an Instagram snap worthy piece of latte art.

In the case that you are lactose intolerant or simply on a mission to watch the calories you consume, talk to your barista about the milk alternatives available at the shop. We offer a variety of non-dairy creamer like OATLY (oat milk), homemade Almond milk(we add macadamia & dates) and soy milk.

#3 Cappuccino 

A cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee drink that originated in Italy and is traditionally prepared with steamed milk foam served HOT (please don’t EVER ask for an iced cappuccino), or you will get a weird look from me or any other barista in the entire world. 

 It’s made in thirds 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 frothed milk, 1/3 foam. The milk and foam should be mixed appropriately to give it a smooth, thick creamy texture. There is a popular variation of the drink called “dry cappuccino” which is made with more foam to steamed milk ratio.

#4 Espresso Macchiato:

Macchiato stands for “marked” in Italian, so a Caffe Macchiato is a shot (or double shot) of Espresso with a blot of milk foam usually a scoop or two full cutting a bit of the strong taste of coffee while maintaining the rich, bold flavor and adding a touch of the sweetness of the milk.

There’s almost no relation between a traditional Macchiato and what mainstream coffee shops (yes, meaning Starbucks) invented with all kinds of crazy variations. 

#5 Cortado (Gibraltar)

Cortado is an Espresso based drink originated from Spain and Portugal, which consists of 1/2 Espresso 1/2 steamed milk with a thin layer of foam, the milk is heated not foamed as in many Italian drinks. 

Perfect for a coffee drinker who wants something strong but needs a little milk to smooth the Espresso as it goes down. Cortado is the midpoint between a Macchiato and a Latte.

#6 Flat White

Think of it as a mini latte. In essence, it is prepared the same way but with a 3:1 milk to espresso ratio, and it’s usually served in a 6-8 oz cup.

So if you want to get a better grasp at the taste of the beans on your cup while shaping off some of the fat and calorie content in your drink, then a Flat White is the one for you.

#7 Americano

If you are like those brave American soldiers in Italy during WWII, whom according to the New York Times on their 2013 article “The marine’s secret weapon: Coffee” these soldiers raised on drip coffee being unfamiliar with the full-bodied and rich, full flavor of Espresso began to water down the shots giving birth to the now popular drink (sorry to disappoint you but Starbucks didn’t invent it). 

An Americano is a double shot of Espresso poured over hot water with a 2:1 water to espresso ratio on average.

#8 Caffe Mocha (Mochaccino)

This delicious treat takes us back to one of the centres of the early coffee trade to the city of Mocha in Yemen. However, the drink itself was created in Europe and named after the Middle eastern town for its popularity and reputation in the high quality of their coffee.

It is, in essence, a Latte with the difference that it has dark or milk chocolate added to the mix.

You can make use of the power of Espresso to spike up your chai latte, turning it into what we call dirty chai.

So if what you’re looking for a quick energy boost, are a coffee lover and enthusiast looking to satisfy your taste buds or a combination of the two we hope this article has been able to help you at least to have a conversation starter with that cute Barista you have been trying to impress.

And if you are a New Yorker for are visiting the big apple stop by our financial district coffee shop and our baristas would love to chat with you to answer questions and help you sharpen your coffee knowledge and even brewing skills.