A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of Espresso-Based Coffee Drinks and RecipesNews

    From the classic latte to the elevated cappuccino, espresso is an integral part of your coffee favorites. In fact, the concentrated dose of caffeine has become so popular that it has created a dozen different types of espresso coffee drinks. These drinks are ubiquitous in the coffee industry and have become fast favorites for many coffee lovers.

    Whether you’re a newbie familiarizing yourself with the different espresso drinks or a connoisseur searching for a new favorite, there’s a ton of espresso based coffee recipes to choose from. Can’t seem to tell the difference? No worries–we’ve got you covered!

    Check out this comprehensive list of the different types of espresso coffee drinks to try:

    Essential Espresso Drinks

    If you’ve got your very own home coffee station, then you probably know just how present and versatile espresso is in the coffee recipes. In fact, there’s a high chance that your favorite drinks use espresso as a base! But just how many espresso-based coffee drinks and recipes are out there?

    We break down some of the most common espresso-based drinks to answer this question!


    One of the most recognizable drinks worldwide, the classic latte starts this list. It is one of the best introductory drinks for newer coffee lovers and remains a classic to this day. Its rich and sweet flavor comes from the delicate balance between espresso shots, steamed milk, and foam.

    A latte is usually made with a 1:1:1 ratio of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Of course, as time and preferences evolved, many coffee drinkers tweaked and adjusted the base recipe to their preferences. Today, lattes differ in terms of number of shots, syrups used, and even milk types.


    The cappuccino is a classic drink that’s associated with espresso because of its robust taste. A popular item in any Italian cafe and artisan coffee shops, the drink is best known for its creamy texture and strong flavor. It’s a crowd favorite among coffee lovers too!

    Cappuccinos are made with a shot of espresso and topped off with steamed milk. Its most notable difference is the lack of foam. For the best flavor, use a shot of pure espresso to bring out a strong flavor that melds perfectly with the milk.


    It may seem crazy to add ristretto as one of the many types of espresso and coffee drinks, but it truly is! This drink is absolutely not for the faint of heart. With a ristretto, you’re basically drinking a single shot of carefully brewed espresso–and that’s bound to pack a punch.

    If you’re looking for a strong, yet complex flavor or an altered taste to the classic espresso, then this drink is the way to go. Just keep in mind that it might be a very intense flavor. For this reason, it is recommended that you drink water in between sips to fully appreciate the taste of ristretto.


    Looking for a stronger version of a latte? Then the macchiato might be for you! A richer and more robust brew, this coffee drink is another popular espresso-based concoction.

    To make a macchiato, you’ll need equal parts espresso and steamed milk. The key difference between a macchiato and a latte is the milk to espresso shot ratio. Since both components are incorporated equally, the espresso shot is more pronounced, leading to a richer and bolder flavor.


    The americano is the classic wake-me-up drink we see in films and television. It’s a well-earned reputation too! After all, the americano is a diluted ristretto.

    If you’ve got a personal coffee machine that brews espresso, then making an americano is easy. Simply combine around two shots of espresso with hot water. While the coffee to water ratio for americano is usually 2:1, some recipes adjust the ratios a bit. Since the water is meant to temper the flavor of espresso, you can play around with adjustments until you find the perfect balance for you.


    For coffee lovers with a sweet tooth, mocha is a choice espresso-based drink. A beautiful combination of sweetness–or in this case, chocolate–and coffee never goes bad. With a mocha, this point is solidified.

    To brew a mocha coffee drink, you’ll need espresso, chocolate, and steamed milk. The usual espresso-based coffee recipe calls for a single shot, combined with an equal amount of chocolate. Steamed milk is also added at a lesser concentration. Variations on this recipe include adding foam or even whipped cream at the top.

    Red Eye

    Are you searching for a particularly strong drink? Your top contender will definitely be the red eye. If you thought ristretto was strong, then the red eye is probably a hardcore concoction.

    A red eye is essentially espresso on coffee. If you’re planning on brewing this especially strong drink, you’ll need to top off a delicious drip coffee with a single shot of espresso. The epitome of a quick-fix, this espresso drink is  the perfect energy-giving recipe.

    Unique Espresso-Based Coffee Drinks

    With so many types of espresso coffee drinks, it doesn’t come as a surprise that more unconventional recipes have arised. Today, espresso isn’t just a drink–it’s also a wonderful addition to desserts, food, and even tea! That’s why coffee connoisseurs and gourmands alike place importance on espresso machine maintenance and recipe experimentation.

    For this list, we lay down some of the most interesting espresso drinks and recipes that will tickle your taste buds:


    Coffee and ice cream sound like a match made in heaven–and that’s exactly what affogato is! This wonderful dessert is made by pouring a shot of espresso over ice cream. It’s that easy and is something you can definitely do at home.

    Espresso Con Panna

    In Italian, espresso con panna translates to “espresso with cream”. This translation is absolutely spot-on as this espresso drink calls for cream and espresso in its recipe. To create espresso con panna, simply add a thick layer of whipped cream to a single or double shot of espresso.

    Dirty Chai Latte

    Who says you have to choose between coffee and tea? The dirty chai latte says otherwise. For this recipe, you add a single shot of espresso to your masala chai and experience a richer and bolder flavor. Rich and robust, this drink is perfect for those who want to explore something completely new.

    Choose Your Espresso Shot!

    Espresso is ubiquitous, both in the culinary world and the coffee industry. Its versatility, intensity, and signature flavor easily elevates almost any taste. Whether it’s for eating or drinking, finding the best espresso-based coffee drink and food recipes is sure to be a pleasure.

    What are you waiting for? Take that espresso shot and find your favorite drink and recipe now!