Here at Buongusto we’re big fans of coffee (can’t you tell?), but we know there is so much out there that it can all get a bit confusing. Here’s a handy guide to some of the most classic coffee-based beverages:
espresso — This is the purest form of coffee and the foundation for all of the other variations on this list. An espresso (literally ‘pressed out’*) is made by forcing steam through Arabica or Robusta coffee beans at high pressure. This requires an espresso machine. Once made, the espresso should have a creamy, golden-brown crema (cream/foam) on top. A good crema will be able to hold sugar grains for a few moments before they sink, although be warned: some people think that adding anything to an espresso is akin to putting ketchup on filet mignon.
* There is some debate on this, but considering how an espresso is made, this is the most likely root of the word.
- doppio — Simply a double shot of espresso.
- lungo — A ‘long’ espresso, sometimes referred to as a ‘stretched’ espresso. It is an espresso that is pulled slower, meaning more water is used.
- americano — A single shot of espresso with hot water added on top. Americano — was a term originally coined during World War Two, when American GIs stationed in Italy, unused to the strong taste of Italian coffee beans, asked for their espressos to be diluted with water.
- long black — This is a variation on the americano that originated in Australia/New Zealand. It is (usually) a doppio added to hot water. It may sound exactly like a strong americano but note that the method of adding the coffee second maintains the beautiful crema on top.
- caffe latte/latte — A single shot of espresso with three parts steamed milk added. This is a luscious and velvety white coffee and great for dipping sweet treats in.
- café au lait — This is a brewed coffee (i.e. an americano) with steamed milk added in equal parts (so, a ratio of 1:1). It differs from a white coffee in that the milk is hot. It is basically a weaker form of caffe latte and is also great for dipping!
- cappuccino — This classic is equal parts espresso, steamed milk and milk froth. It is usually sprinkled with cocoa powder or cinnamon. The modern cappuccino is a version of the drink enjoyed in Vienna in the 18th century, known as the ‘Kapuziner’. The name is thought to derive from the colour of the robes worn by the Capuchin monks. If you fancy practising your Italian, try ordering your cappuccino scuro (meaning ‘dark’ — less milk) or chiaro (meaning ‘light’ — more milk).
- flat white — Another innovation from our Australasian cousins, a flat white is an espresso or doppio with an equal part of milk added. it is less frothy than a cappuccino in that only ‘textured milk’ is added. If you’re wondering what ‘textured milk’ is, it is milk that has had hot air steamed through it and then been folded a few times. The milk added to the espresso is from the bottom of the jug, and the frothy milk on top is usually held back with a spoon. This results in a smoother texture.
- macchiato — This word means ‘stained.’ It is an espresso with some foamed milk added, effectively a smaller, stronger version of a cappuccino.
- mocha — This is a cappuccino or a latte with chocolate syrup/powder added. You can add whipped cream to make it more of a treat. This is a great beginner’s drink for someone who wants to ease themselves into the world of coffee.
This is only a handful of the most typical types of coffee readily available anywhere. We hope it has given you a bit of insight into the amazing world of coffee. If you’re craving one, why not check out what we have to offer at:http://www.buongusto.co.uk/collections