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          Home  >>  Blog  >>  Coffees  >>  Espresso-Based Drinks: A Primer      




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        Espresso drink   Espresso-Based Drinks: A Primer      
          October 12, 2010      

As the weather begins to cool down, it's time to turn up the heat in your coffee cup. A great espresso-based drink carefully prepared by a seasoned barista is the perfect way to usher in the fall season. Unless you frequent espresso bars, though, it's easy to become intimidated by the range of choices on the menu board. Which one has fewer calories, provides more steamed milk than foam, or comes with half-and-half instead of milk? One option is to ask the barista, but the line of customers behind youanxious to be on their wayconfirms that a long chat with the barista isn't going to endear you to anyone.  

The diagram below provides a handy reference tool for nine of the most common espresso drinks. The illustration was created by Lokesh Dhakar, a designer from Baltimore. His graphic takes the guesswork out of all things espresso and offers a visual rendition of each drink to help you master the basics. Keep in mind that these drinks may vary from one coffee shop to next. Just the same, a little bit of knowlege goes a long way. The next time you're in line for an espresso drink, you'll be able to place your order like a pro.

Espresso drink diagram
If you're interested in brewing up these drinks at home, the diagram is a great place to start. From straight and direct to creamy and chocolaty, there's a drink to satisfy every craving. Keeping in mind that a single shot of espresso equals 1-2 ounces, each illustration suggests an approximate ratio for the remaining ingredients. Otherwise, check out espresso recipes on our site or others for more precise measurements.

Can you identify the espresso drink that appears in the top lefthand corner of this blog? It's an Espresso con Panna (espresso with whipped cream)!

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