Espresso, or traditional Italian coffee, is made from half the water and twice the coffee of a regular cup of drip coffee. Traditionally served in 1 to 1.5 oz shots with a fine layer of foam or cream on top, espresso is also used as the foundation for other coffee beverages.
Cappuccino and café latte are popular espresso-based beverages that are a cinch to prepare. To make cappuccino, add 2.5 ounces of frothed milk and 2.5 ounces of steamed milk to 2.5 ounces of espresso, and spice up with chocolate, vanilla, or hazelnut syrup. Cafe latte, or "coffee with milk", is made by adding 5 ounces of steamed milk to 2.5 ounces of espresso, then stirring in your favorite flavored syrup.
Here are a few additional espresso drink recipes that are simple to prepare:
Café Macchiato: Top 2.5 ounces of espresso with a dollop of frothed milk. Serve in a demitasse cup.
Café Brevia: Starting with 2.5 ounces of espresso, add 3 ounces of steamed half and half and 3 ounces of frothed half and half.
Iced Latte: To make, fill a 12-ounce cup with crushed ice, then pour in espresso and 3 ounces of flavored syrup. Fill the glass the rest of the way with cold milk and stir well.
Café Mocha: Add 6 ounces of steamed milk to 2.5 ounces of espresso, and stir in .5 ounce of chocolate syrup. Top with whipped cream and add a drizzle of chocolate sauce or sprinkles.
This is just a sampling of a few of the most popular espresso recipes. After mastering a few of these, start experimenting with different flavorings and sauces to develop your own signature coffee beverage.