You may have your daily espresso on the side or in your favorite drinks like an Americano, Cappuccino, or Latte. However, there are many more drinks that use espresso you may not have tried. Luckily, there are dozens of iced and hot espresso drinks you can potentially enjoy. Some of the ones we have on this list you may not have even heard of before. Depending on your tastes or how much caffeine you want in your drink, you might find a new favorite espresso drink.
Different Espresso Options
There are plenty of espresso drinks out there. You might want to experiment with the different flavors and techniques available. If you’re new to making your own espresso, check out Majestycoffee.com for handy buyer guides.
1. Ristretto – Ristretto originates from Italy. It translates to “restricted” in English. The name of the drink basically describes how you make it. It stands for the short extraction time and water volume used. Ristretto is prepared almost the same as espresso. However, it uses half of the amount of water, the same amount of coffee, but a finer grind to slow the extraction.
Unlike the common espresso, you cut the extraction at 15 seconds instead of 20 to 30 seconds. This results in less caffeine and a thicker texture than an espresso. It will have a different flavor too because the acidity doesn’t get released. Many find the Ristretto easier to drink. The drink isn’t commonly known or as beloved as others. For this reason, some places that sell the drink only offer it in a double or a triple.
2. Lungo – Lungo is the Italian word for “long”. This beverage lives up to its name through the recipe. Normally, you pull a shot of espresso using 30mL of water for around 20 to 30 seconds. Lungo uses twice the amount of water and takes around one minute to pull a shot. Since you increase the water, the shot is larger. When poured into a glass, a lungo is about the same size as a double shot of espresso or doppio. The taste of a lungo will have a bitterness to it because of the added water but won’t lack caffeine. Some even debate it contains more caffeine than a single shot of espresso. However, the kind of coffee beans you use will determine its true strength.
3. Red Eye – Red Eye coffee was named after red-eye flights and the red eyes you might develop when you take one. Depending on the region, it will have slightly different names. For example, the East Coast of the US calls it a “Mondo”. The Pacific Northwest refers to it as a “Shot in the Dark”. Other counties and places might call it the “Hammerhead”.
The Red Eye resembles an Americano except you use brewed coffee instead of water. Some people use the Red Eye to experiment with two different coffee types. First, brew a cup of regular drip coffee. Next, pull a single shot of espresso (some may use two shots which is called a Black Eye). Then, you pour the espresso over the drip coffee and serve.
4. Cortado – Many espresso drinks are based on Italian coffee drinks. However, the cortado is one of the only mainstream espresso drinks that come of Spanish origin. A cortado is a drink that’s made with equal parts milk and espresso. Cortados use two shots of espresso and two ounces of milk. The milk used in a cortado is much thinner and doesn’t have much texture. It resembles a latte.
Cortado is also known as a Gibraltar. Gibraltar refers to the small cup that people commonly use to serve the drink. To make a cortado, pull two shots of espresso and froth four ounces of milk. You won’t use four ounces, but you’ll need the texture of a latte. Pour the espresso in your cup and then two ounces of milk. The milk will cut through the espresso. This is how the drink got its name.
5. Galão – Galão is one of the most popular hot coffee drinks in Portugal. Galão is served in a tall glass. It’s a rich, milky and sweet drink. It’s similar to a latte or cappuccino. The thickness of Portuguese drinks comes from the blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. Many even drink their coffee with a glass of water! It’s typically served at pastry shops or in coffee shops as a breakfast or brunch drink.
Many will enjoy a sweet or savory pastry to drink it down with. The most popular pastry it’s paired with is the pasteis de nata (custard tart). It doesn’t take much to make a Galão. You’ll need a quarter cup of coffee, three-quarters of milk, and sugar. Then, make an espresso. Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan. Once it’s boiled, pour the espresso and milk into the tall glass, and sweeten immediately.
People tend to stick with what they know when it comes to coffee. However, you’re missing out on a variety of espresso drinks you may fall in love with. Some even have more caffeine or less than their typical latte or cappuccino. You might be surprised that many of the drinks on the list you haven’t heard of before. The good news is you can make most of these drinks in the comfort of your own home, so you don’t need to spend extra money at your local coffee shop.