Don't know your caffe latte from your lungo? Let us guide you through the varied world of espresso coffee! We promise it's much easier than it sounds.
A few things about the what and the how of an espresso.
The original lever style espresso machine required pulling down a handle attached to a spring-loaded piston, forcing hot water through the coffee at high pressure. Hence the term "pulling" a shot. The size of shot can be a single, double, or triple, using a proportional amount of ground coffee to water, roughly 7, 14, and 21 grams.
The lever style espresso machines are still used but most machines now generate the pressure with an electric pump. Either way the espresso is created by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground, compacted coffee. It is generally thicker and darker than coffee brewed by other methods and has a layer, known as the "crema" that rests on the top, like the head on a Guinness.
A single espresso shot which is 30ml.
Doppio in espresso is a double shot which results in 60ml size coffee. Double shot sizes tend to be served as standard these days.
Translated as long in Italian and very simply is a long drawn espresso. So an espresso that has been run for a little longer so it has a little more volume. Not to be confused with a long black or an Americano.
Hot water topped with a double shot of espresso.
An espresso topped with hot water.
Ristretto on the other hand translates as restricted, in theory a very concentrated version that is roughly half the liquid volume of an espresso.
Equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth. Always to have the warm milk poured into the espresso and hold the milk foam back till the end.
Espresso with milk. Similar to a caffè latte but less milk so smaller in volume and because of the higher proportion of coffee to milk it is the espresso that will dominate the flavour.
Translated as "stained" or "spotted" so an espresso with a spot of milk froth added to the cup before the espresso.
Yes I know that we all just call it a latte but technically latte simply means milk. That aside, a latte is constructed from a glass of steamed milk that has an espresso - often a double - poured into it which is then topped with a teeny-tiny bit of milk foam. Not froth, foam. Quite different.