An americano is a simple beverage to make, requiring only espresso shots and water. To make a 12-ounce Americano, simply pull two shots of espresso into the mug, and add 10 ounces of hot water. This drink can be made hot or iced, and resembles brewed coffee.
A cappuccino is a very traditional espresso beverages, composed of a big pillow of foam, and a double shot of espresso. To make a traditional cappuccino, pull two shots of espresso into a small mug, and steam enough milk to create 4 ounces of dense foam to top it. Modern variations twist the standard recipe a bit, and use more steamed milk and foam to fill a larger cup.
Another classic espresso beverage is the latte, being made with espresso and whichever type of milk is desired. To make a 12-ounce latte, simply pull two shots of espresso into the cup, and steam around 8 ounces of milk; aerating for 2-3 seconds for perfect microfoam. Once the milk is done, pour it into the mug, and serve. Lattes are a great base drink for other drinks, such as a vanilla latte or a mocha, and can be served hot or iced.
Mochas are the perfect espresso based beverage for any chocolate lover, or someone craving something sweet. A mocha is made much like a standard latte, but chocolate syrup or powder is added to give the drink a smooth and pleasant sweetness. The type of chocolate powder or syrup added is personal choice, and can range from white chocolate, to milk chocolate, and even dark chocolate. Whip cream is oftentimes added on top, and cinnamon as a garnish.
A breve is pretty much just a standard latte made with half and half, or breve, instead of regular 2% or whole milk. Using this higher fat content milk creates a much more dense and thick drink, which some people absolutely love.
A cafe au lait is yet another very traditional espresso drink, and is usually served in a small glass known as a demitasse. This drink consists of a double shot of espresso, and a tiny amount of steamed milk. Unlike other espresso drinks, the cafe au lait does not get a foam topping; the milk is poured in such a way that the foam does not go into the demitasse.
A macchiato is a lot like a cafe au lait, but instead of being topped with a little bit of steamed milk, a small dollop of foam is placed, or poured, on top of the espresso. To make one, pull two shots of espresso into a demitasse, or any small glass, and then top it with a kiss of foam. The macchiato has a higher ratio of espresso to milk than any other beverages, meaning it uses the least milk of all espresso drinks that use milk.
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