Coffee Preparation

From lattes to flat whites, when you enter a coffee shop it can be difficult to know which coffee to choose. However, most coffees are made from the same basic ingredients, it’s just the sizes and quantities that are different. When making a coffee, the most important part is the espresso base. It’s all in the right blend, with different coffee beans creating a different effect, from strong to mellow. Here’s how to make some of the most popular barista drinks.

Short coffee drinks

True connoisseurs of coffee might want to simply opt for an espresso; one shot in a small cup. A Doppio is a double espresso, while a short macchiato is an espresso with a dollop of steamed milk and foam, giving this short drink a layered look. A long macchiato is the same, but has two shots of espresso, so it’s usually served in a coffee glass.

If you like your coffee extremely strong, opt for a ristretto. Popular in Italy, it’s made using the same amount of coffee as an espresso, but half the water, for a more concentrated blend.

Take your time

Long coffee drinks

Perhaps the simplest long coffee drink is the americano. A cup is filled with 2/3rds of water, and a single shot of espresso is added. For a white americano, a splash of milk or cream can be added, ensuring a strong, flavourful blend.

Lattes are perhaps the most popular coffee drink found in modern coffee shops. Usually served in a coffee glass, a shot of espresso is added to the bottom, and then steamed milk is added until 1cm from the top. A small amount of foam tops off this drink, with some baristas creating latte art designs. The milk makes the coffee sweeter, so gives it a milder taste. In some shops, you might also see a piccolo latte on the menu, which is served in an espresso cup. With only a small amount of milk, it has a strong yet mellow flavour.

Cappuccinos are made a similar way, but in a wide round cup, and using foamed milk rather than steam. They’re usually sprinkled with cocoa powder. You might also see a flat white on the menu, which is made a similar way to cappuccinos, but with steamed milk, no foam, and no cocoa on top.

Coffee and chocolate are a great blend of flavours, so try making a mocha. Chocolate powder is mixed with an espresso shot, before being topped with steamed milk and micro-foam. Those with a sweet tooth might also enjoy an affogato, where a scoop of vanilla ice cream is added to a shot of espresso, with liquor sometimes added for an extra treat.

Whether you like it long or short, hot or cold, there are so many ways to have your coffee. Next time you go to a coffee shop, why not try something new instead of your usual order?