Coffee terminology

Often mis-spelled Expresso, an espresso has nothing to do with quickness. The name is actually derived from the Italian/Latin phrase "expresere" that means "that which is pressed or to press out".

Espresso is a strong, thick, satisfying, smooth full-bodied coffee served in a tasse (small cup), it should be topped with a hazelnut coloured "crema". This crema comprises of thousands of microscopic oil bubbles giving a thick, foamy cream which can remain on the coffee for some minutes.

It is normally a one-ounce shot of intense, rich black coffee. A pump-driven machine forces hot water or steam through fine grounds at around nine atmospheres of pressure.

From your basic espresso can also come the following derivative drinks:

  • Espresso Breve: Espresso with light cream..
  • Espresso Lungo: A shot that is pulled long for a bit of extra espresso while many believe that this maximises the caffeine, in most shops it merely produces a bitter cup.
  • Espresso Macchiato: Espresso with a minimal amount of steamed milk on top.
  • Espresso can Panna: A shot of coffee topped with whipped cream.
  • Espresso Ristretto: Literally "restricted" espresso. A shorter draw. The goal being a thicker and more flavourful espresso.

A scoop of vanilla ice cream served in a regular size glass with a shot of espresso coffee.

A shot or two of espresso that has been poured into a glass filled with hot water.

Named after the colour of the Capuchin monk´s habit, which is light/darkish brown with a white hood. In fact the word for hood, "cappuccio" is also often used.

A cappuccino is shot of coffee, followed by less than half a cup of steamed milk and a head of foamed milk spooned on to contain the warmth. The proportion of espresso to steamed and frothed milk for a good cappuccino is typically ½ espresso, ¼ steamed milk and ¼ frothed milk on top.

A double shot of espresso, sometimes wrongly known as a long black.

Flat white
A shot of espresso in a normal size coffee cup topped up with hot milk.

An iced coffee often made with a double shot of espresso, chilled milk, ice, sugar. Sometimes cream or ice cream are added and either shaken like a cocktail or blended in a food processor.

A shot of coffee, with a healthy covering of hot steamed milk and up to a quarter of inch of foamed milk on top.

The Italian word for "marked". Straight espresso marked with a dollop of warm froth.

Chocolate syrup on the bottom of the cup, topped with espresso, steamed milk and often whipped cream and sprinkled with cocoa or grated chocolate.

Not to be confused with the above 'mocha'. Moka is the type of coffee/espresso obtained when a moka is used: a stove top espresso maker.

This is the strongest and most concentrated espresso drink. It is made with about half the amount of water but the same amount of coffee as a regular espresso. It is pure and intense. Ristretto comes from the Italian word meaning "restricted".