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Espresso Drink Recipes for barista-quality Coffees at Home

Dave Carter

August 19, 2020

Espresso-based drinks are a specialty coffee drink that contains a single shot of espresso or more that are 'pulled' on an espresso maker that uses pressurized extraction to force boiling water under high pressure through a compact bed of freshly roasted coffee grounds. There are plenty of Espresso Drink Recipes that you can do at home, and if you don't have a standard espresso maker, you can also use a French press, pour-over, or drip coffee makers.

It serves as the foundation of an array of some of the best specialty coffee drinks, known as espresso drinks in popular coffee chains around the world. Here are the different espresso recipes you can easily do to achieve the ultimate gourmet coffee experience at home.

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Espresso Drinks Recipes​

Espresso is a highly concentrated, bittersweet coffee that originated from Italy. The flavors of a single shot or two of espresso will depend on the coffee with espresso, including the quality of the coffee grounds, the roast, and the technique used to brew the beverage. A well-made espresso shot typically boasts a full body, creamy texture, and a unique bittersweet taste. You can use grounds or the Best Nespresso Compatible Capsules when making espressos at home.

Each recipe's main difference includes the proportions of the espresso, milk foam, and steamed milk used for the beverage. Here are some standard espresso with coffee recipes you can do at home.

  • Short Black Espresso 

This drink is the 25 to 30 ml extraction of whole beans ground for the espresso maker with a pour time of 15 to 30 seconds. It's the foundation of all espressos and only contains the grounds and is traditionally served in a preheated, tiny ceramic cup.

  • Double Shot Espresso (Doppio)

The double shot espresso or doppio contains two short double shots of espresso, and it's a potent beverage perfect for coffee lovers that prefer more robust brews. A double shot of espresso served in a ceramic cup is also known as a standard double.

  • Macchiato

A trendy variation of the caffeinated drink is the macchiato, and it usually contains a single shot of espresso topped off with a generous amount of milk foam. The bottom layer of the beverage represents the espresso shot, the middle layer mixes the brew and a dollop of steamed milk, and the top layer consists of the milk foam.

  • Ristretto 

A ristretto is a potent brew ideal for hardcore coffee drinkers. It contains half the amount of a standard shot of espresso coffee and half the amount of hot water.

  • Americano (Long Black)

This drink contains a single shot of espresso topped with hot water. You need to boil 200 ml of water and extract one espresso shot and combine the two.

  • Latte (Café Latte)

Another trendy variation of the caffeinated drink that features several versions. It's an espresso-based beverage with steamed milk that follows a 1:3 or 1:5 ratio with minimal milk foam added. To make a traditional latte, add a single shot of espresso coffee to a cup, add the steamed milk, and place the milk foam on top of the scalding milk.

  • Cappuccino

Cappuccino espressos are similar to lattes and made with hot milk and milk foam. The main difference between the two drinks is that a cappuccino is served in a ceramic cappuccino cup instead of a tall glass, and it also contains more foam. To make a classic cappuccino, you need to extract a single shot of espresso into a cup, add steamed milk, top it off a generous amount of milk foam, and sprinkle chocolate powder on top of the coffee.

  • Mocha (Cafe Mocha)

This drink is similar to a regular cafe latte; the only difference is that a mocha contains hot chocolate syrup. Make a deliciously creamy serving of mocha, pour one espresso shot into a ceramic cup, add a spoonful of cocoa powder or chocolate syrup in the drink and stir, add scalding milk, and top it off with milk foam.

What are the Ingredients in an Espresso?​

The ingredients of a classic espresso drink consist of fresh coffee beans and water. The appropriate amount of coffee grounds used to create espressos ranges from 7 to 9 grams of coffee, but it will depend on the quality of the beans. Other variations of the drink contain scalding milk and milk foam, which adds a creamier texture and taste to the potent brew.

The best type of coffees you can use when making espressos include Ethiopian coffee for people that prefer fruity and sweeter brews and Indonesian coffee beans for individuals that like strong coffee. If you're not sure what type of coffee you want to use for your hot espressos, you can always choose blends with more than two origins to explore the coffee possibilities. However, if you want the best of the best, Italian blends are a perfect choice.

Types of Espresso Drinks

Delicious, robust, and perfect for getting anyone up in the morning, espressos are an indispensable part of most people's daily regimes. After getting the best automatic espresso machine, you may want to try and create variations of the popular drink to expand your coffee palate and delight your taste buds. The following are the different types of espresso drink recipes you can make at home or get at your local coffeehouse.


This classic brew is as simple as it gets. The recipe involves one shot of espresso prepared with 7 to 9 grams of grounds in a single portafilter. The drink originated from Italy and is a highly concentrated and potent coffee that exhibits bitter and sweet notes.

Double Shot Espresso 

The brew contains two shots of espresso with 14 grams of grounds in a double portafilter. It's more concentrated, thick, and exhibits rich crema than a standard espresso shot. The double shot espresso is ideal for individuals that want an even stronger cup to start their mornings right.

Espresso Macchiato

This beverage contains mostly espresso and stained with milk foam. Macchiato means spotted or stained in Italian. It's perfect for drinkers that love a rich and bold taste.


A classic cappuccino brew is made in thirds, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 milk foam, and 1/3 espresso. The milk used for a cappuccino should appear glassy, shiny, smooth, and contains no visible bubbles. The milk and microfoam in the drink should be blended or mixed to give patrons a thick and creamy texture.

Cafe Latte

Lattes are the most versatile drinks in the world of espresso. You can add syrups, whipped cream, and other sweeteners to the beverage. However, a classic caffe latte consists of 1/3 espresso, 2/3 hot milk, and a thin layer of milk foam. It should have the same glossy finish as a traditional cappuccino.

Gibraltar (Cortado)

Cortado means 'the cut' in Italian, and it refers to the milk cutting through the espresso. It's the perfect afternoon drink that contains 1/2 espresso and 1/2 scalding milk foam. The Cortado is in between a cafe latte and a macchiato.


The beverage is also known as 'long black.' It consists of a touch hot water and a double shot of espresso, creating an excellent bold and robust coffee taste. It's the perfect brew for hardcore coffee lovers that like potent blends.

Espresso Con Panna

A Con Panna is one shot of espresso with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream. The drink can be tailored to your preference, meaning it can be further sweetened or stick with a single blob of whipped cream. Panna means cream in Italian, and the whipped cream balances out the strong taste of espresso.

Cafe Mocha

It's one of the most popular espressos worldwide and contains 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk, 1/6 cocoa powder, and 1/6 milk foam. It's the ideal brew for drinkers with a bit of a sweet tooth, and you can add as much as cocoa you want.

Flat White

A flat white is sometimes referred to as the 'Australian latte.' It contains 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, and a thin layer of milk foam. The lighter the foam is, the better for this drink. It provides a glossy or velvety consistency, giving you a creamy brew in one tiny cup.

What is a Coffee with an Espresso Shot Called?​

A serving of American-style drip coffee with one espresso shot is called the red-eye or the eye-opener. It's a potent brew that consists of regular brewed coffee topped with a shot of espresso. The drink was named the 'red-eye' because the extra caffeinated buzz provides people to stay up through an overnight 'red eye' flight from the West Coast to New York. You can make red-eye from home using the best espresso machine under 1000 or any method you prefer.

Before double shots of espresso became the conventional espresso pull, the red-eye contained one shot while its variation, the 'black eye' contained two. Another version of the drink is called the 'dead eye,' which includes three espresso shots.


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How to Make Espresso Drinks​

With all the rave surrounding the drink, you may wonder how to make espresso? Making excellent espressos can be a handy skill. Whether you want to indulge in a robust brew for better mornings, cut your coffee budget by making your favorite specialty espresso-based drinks at home, or serve creamy cappuccinos to your guests.

Here are different ways you can make a great espresso drink at home.


  1. Grind the fresh coffee beans you want to use for your shot. Ensure you use around 7 grams of the beans for the best results. Grind the coffee beans until they are uniformly fine.
  2. Full the water tank of your espresso maker with water.
  3. Turn the machine on and wait for the water to heat up.
  4. Place the fresh grounds on the portafilter and tamp them down until the surface is flat.
  5. Place the portafilter in the machine and place a cup under its spout.
  6. Set the water to 'espresso' or 'cafe' and turn it on to start brewing your espresso shot.
  7. Start pulling. A single shot can give you one to two ounces of the brew.


  1. Make a single shot of espresso.
  2. Pour 6 to 12 ounces of milk in a pitcher.
  3. Hold the pitcher towards the steam wand and place the wand inside the container. Ensure it's completely immersed.
  4. Turn on the steam wand using the steam knob and wait for the amount of the steam to increase.
  5. Heat the milk gradually by moving the pitcher up and down.
  6. Turn the knob off and pour the steamed milk into an empty cup. Hold back the milk foam using a spoon to save it for the top.
  7. Pour the brew into the scalding milk.


  1. Make a single shot of espresso and pour it into a serving glass.
  2. Fill the rest of the glass with hot water.
  3. This combination should give you taste and appearance similar to regular brewed coffee.

What do you do with an Espresso Shot?​

After buying the best commercial espresso machine and creating your first ever espresso drink, you may wonder, what do I do know? You can enjoy your beverage like an Italian by warming your cup first, sip a bit of sparkling water, skim the crema away by stirring, and finally enjoy the drink. The sparkling or carbonated water acts as a palate cleanser, allowing you to enjoy the brew better. You can also adjust the beverage to your preference, but most enjoy a shot or double espresso, while others like to add sugar and other sweeteners.

What Drinks Can I Make with an Espresso Machine?​

Many people know about the conventional espresso coffee and trendy lattes, but did you know you can do more with your handy espresso maker? There are countless possibilities that you can make before work or after dinner each day of the week. No drink is challenging to create once you have the basics of brewing espresso down. If you master that skill, you can make anything with your brewers.

Here are the different drinks you can make using your espresso makers, inspiring you to explore more.


If you're buying an espresso maker, you want to make espressos. You can make classic shots of espressos with the machine, giving you robust coffee enough to provide you with that much-needed caffeine buzz to get through the day.


An Americano or long black is a shot of espresso watered down with equal parts of water. It dilutes the brew, leaving you with a bit of space to add milk, cream, sugar, or other sweeteners to lighten the drink.


It's one of the most popular coffee drinks globally and can be complicated to make at home. But it's not impossible! Start by pouring the espresso inside a cup, steam, and froth the milk, and arrange it accordingly, from the espresso, milk, to the foam.


Lattes are relatively easy to make and are one of the most versatile drinks. Start by creating your espressos, froth up the milk, and pour the scalding milk and espresso in a tall glass.


The real variation of macchiato is different from what you can get at popular coffee chains. It's a simple drink that consists of lesser volumes but is still delicious and robust. Start by making shots of espressos, steam a small amount of milk, and spoon a bit of the foam on top.


If you love espressos, a ristretto can do wonders for your taste buds. It's a more robust version of your favorite espressos containing half the ground and water that standard espressos use.

How to Enjoy Espresso Beverages​

The best way to enjoy your espressos is by drinking it like how the creators did. Start by warming your espresso cup, drink a bit of sparkling water, stir the drink to skim away the crema or foam, sip and enjoy. Sipping on sparkling water before drinking the brew helps clean your palate, allowing you to enjoy it more.

Other traditional methods to enjoy the drink is by sprinkling a bit of sugar on top without disturbing the crema or enjoy it with a slice of lemon peel after eating. You can also enjoy other variations, including cappuccinos, lattes, ristrettos, and the classic espresso shots by pairing them with traditional Italian treats like biscotti.

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Popular Espresso Based Drinks​

It's no secret that espresso is fantastic, and you can now make several beverages from a single espresso shot. No matter what variation, you always get a full coffee taste, fragrance, and robust blends. From the classic Americano to trendy lattes, people love espressos.

Here are some of the most popular espresso-based drinks.

  • Espressos (Double Shot) - This beverage is a default for most coffee shops.
  • Americano - It's perfect for individuals that love drip coffee and big servings of their favorite caffeinated drinks.
  • Latte - It's the trendiest espresso beverage that's perfect for casual and avid coffee drinkers.
  • Cappuccino - It's one of the most renowned drinks in America, and this creamy brew is loved by many.
  • Flat White - This drink originated from Australia. It provides a sweet and creamy finish while maintaining the original strength of espressos.
  • Macchiato - It balances the intensity of espressos and sweetness, giving you a perfect indulgent cup.
  • Cortado - It's steadily rising the ranks of coffee popularity, and it's a potent brew that typically contains less milk than macchiatos.

Espresso is typically the foundation for different specialty coffee drinks that are loved and appreciated globally. It has found its way to a wide variety of established coffee chains in the world. You can now make your favorite espresso beverages by following any of the espresso drink recipes we mentioned above. So turn on your espresso maker and get brewing for the best gourmet coffee experience at home.


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