10 espresso based drinks you can make at home
Buying an espresso machine doesn't limit you to one drink you can make. Once you've mastered the essentials of espresso-making, you have many options. Look at some of the beverages you can make at home using your espresso machine.
The main drink you can make is obviously espresso. But even here, you can experiment and test out variations. A definition for an Italian espresso uses 7g of espresso beans. But if you look at recipes, you will see recipes asking for 14g, 16g, or even 20-24g of coffee.
Single-shot vs. Double-shot
When you make espresso with 16g of expresso, you'll use a larger basket (a double basket ), and as the name says, you make two espressos at once.
If your portafilter comes with a split, you can make two cups simultaneously, each single-shot espressos.
Note that the split double-shot espresso isn't the same as a regular single-shot, but since in most countries, the double-shot is the more common shot, the split shot is what you'll experience the most.
A slight variation of a regular espresso that's not purely based on volume and weight is the "Roman espresso."
It's a dark-roast espresso with a small slice of lemon that lifts the drink's acidity slightly.
In this variation, we limit the amount of water for the cup even further than an espresso. This makes the drink more intense and thicker in texture. You can achieve this by grinding a bit finer than usual, trying to get less coffee extracted at the same time as the espresso.
The Lungo is the opposite of the Ristretto; we don't reduce the amount of water but have more water run through the puck. We achieve this by grinding coarser or diluting the regular espresso with additional hot water.
Latter is a good practice if customers choose how much water they want to be added.
Similar to the second version of the Lungo, an Americano is an espresso diluted with hot water. You fill your coffee mug with hot water and pull your espresso on top.
I go for this option when I feel like having a black coffee but don't want to charge the settings on my grinder.
A nice variation here for the hotter days would be to pull the espresso on a block of ice.
So far, we looked at pure espresso-based black coffee, but with the help of the milk steamer, you can also make great milk-based espresso beverages at home.
5. Espresso macchiato
A classic espresso macchiato is a single shot of espresso with a little bit of foamed milk on top. You'll still be able to taste the coffee clearly, but the foamed milk will add a little sweet note.
Usually, you'll add a ratio of 1:1 for coffee to milk.
A cortado is similar to an espresso macchiato, but usually, there is a slightly higher ratio of milk to coffee. Something around 1:1 to 1:3 even. If I want a smaller version of a latte, I opt for this drink.
The probably most well-known and popular espresso-based beverage is the cappuccino. The drink has a 1:3 to 1:5 ratio of coffee to milk and always has a thick foam layer on top.
8. Flat White
This drink from Australia/New Zealand contrasts the foamy and airy cappuccino. You usually use a double shot of espresso and add 150-180 ml of steamed milk with only a tiny layer of foam on top.
9. Caffe Latte
This is the beverage if you are looking for something light. It's served in a large mug, and you add around 240-300ml of steamed milk.
The last beverage I'm adding here is jumping out of order compared to the others as it's not actually an espresso-based drink but uses an espresso.
It's basically a hot chocolate with a single or double-bot of espresso. You melt the chocolate in the cup, pull your espresso on top and then add the steamed milk.
Unlike the other drinks, the quality of the mocha relies on the hot chocolate quality and less on the espresso itself.
Getting an espresso machine at home doesn't limit you to drinking only espressos but opens up many possibilities to try various black and milk-based beverages.