Try these espresso-based coffee drinks.

vanilla latte in tall glass

If you like those great coffee drinks you get at coffee shops and want to make them at home, here is where you’ll find out how to make them.

Of course, you will need an espresso machine, as the base for all these drinks is a shot of espresso.

If you don’t have an espresso machine, check out our home espresso machine page.

If you do, drive right in and try one or all of the following.

With each recipe you will first be making a shot of espresso and will then be steaming milk in a jug. Once steamed, the jug with have froth on the top and the hot, steamed milk underneath.

In case you're just starting out, let's begin with a picture of a single shot of espresso, with a nice crema on top.


A single shot of espresso, with a nice crema on top.

And now for the espresso-based drinks themselves, in no particular order.


Cup of Cappuccino.
Lavazza cappuccinoCappuccino is often served with a lot less milk froth on the top.

Equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. If you like, sprinkle with ground chocolate, cinnamon or nutmeg.

Caffé Latté

Cafe Latte served on an outdoor terrace after lunch

Caffé Latté is similar to the cappuccino but with less foam and more of the steamed milk. A latté is made by holding back the foam with a spoon while pouring the frothed milk from the steaming pitcher. The caffé latté is completed by being topped with a small amount of foam.

Caffé Mocha

Caffe Mocha

A caffé mocha is made by adding powdered or chocolate syrup to a hot shot of espresso and blended. Steamed milk is then be added to the mixture and topped with whipped cream.

Espresso Macchiato

Cup of Espresso Macchiato.

The Espresso Macchiato starts with a shot of espresso and then a small amount of foamed milk is spooned over the shot. Macchiato is Italian for "marked," meaning the espresso is marked with foam.

Cafe Cortado

Cafe Cortado

The cortado is common in Spain and Portugal, as well as in various Latin American countries. You make it with a shot of espresso that is cut with approximately an equal part of hot milk. A cortado is usually served in a small glass with very little, if any, froth. 

Espresso Con Panna

Espresso Con Panna

This is a shot or double shot of espresso with whipped cream instead of the usual steamed milk you get with other espresso-based drinks. It gets its name Con Panna which means "with cream."

Caffé Americano

Caffe Americano with milk on the side

The Caffé Americano is similar to regular brewed coffee. It is made with a single or double shot of espresso combined with 6 to 8 ounces of hot water out of an espresso machine.

Cafe au Lait

Similar to Caffe Latte, except that an au lait is made with brewed coffee instead of espresso. Additionally, the ratio of milk to coffee is 1:1, making for a much less intense taste.

The Gibraltar

Cafe Gibraltar

Named after the glass it is served in - not the rock - the Gibraltar is a double shot of espresso with a little frothed milk. The milk is frothed in the same way as for a latte. It's taller than a macchiato and shorter than a cappuccino. Ideal for a quick shot of caffeine when you're in a hurry.

More coffee drinks and related topics...

9 Amazing alcoholic coffee drinks.

Alcoholic coffee drinks recipes for after-dinner treats. If you have the liqueurs and the coffee, we have the recipes.

Hot winter coffee drinks.

Try some of these hot winter coffee drinks recipes for those long Fall and Winter days. Find them here...

maestri frother 115

The Maestri House Detachable Milk Frother

The Maestri House Detachable Milk Frother is a great piece of coffee gear for making cappuccino or a latte at home. Good for hot chocolate too! Our review...

More coffee drinks ideas...

3 Espresso based coffee drinksFrom the bottom left... a Macchiato, Latte, and Cappuccino.

Best espresso coffee drink recipes

Before you go, sign up to receive the Coffee Detective Newsletter...

Sign up for occasional newsletters about the best coffees and brewing equipment. Plus special updates from the Coffee Detective Coffee Store…