Toronto's The Language of Espresso
Good espresso is the pinnacle of coffee drinking. Because the beans are ground and brewed immediately before serving, the drinker gets a fresh burst of flavor. The drink is served in a small cup, and not design to be savored slowly. A typical espresso is 2 ounces, plus any added foam. It is literally a "shot" of caffeine.
Here are some important Espresso terms:
- Caffe Latte
- In France and Italy, this is a breakfast drink. Includes a shot of espresso plus hot steamed milk, with or without foam.
- This drink is named for the "cap" of foam on top, looking a bit like the hooded robe of the Roman Catholic Capuchin friars. This drink is the mainstay of Italian coffee culture. A proper cappuccino is about 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot steamed milk, and 1/3 foamed milk. You add sugar to suit your taste.
- A milk drink may be prepared "chiaro" (clear) by adding more milk, or scuro (dark) by adding a little less. Pure steamed milk is a popular late-night drink with espresso machine owners. It can be flavored with almond syrup or a dusting of chocolate.
- Espresso Con Panna
- Espresso served with a dollop of whipped cream on top, similar to an Espresso Macchiato
- Espresso Macchiato
- Espresso macchiato is espresso "marked" with a dollop of milk foam, while a latte macchiato is a cup of steamed milk "marked" with a spot of espresso.
- Espresso Ristretto
- Espresso Ristretto ("restricted" or "narrow")is a very short pour (less than one ounce) of espresso, accomplished by closing the pump a little faster than normal. In Italy, they say "poco ma buono" (small but good).
- Espresso Doppio
- A "double" shot of espresso
- Chocolate sauce, syrups or sweetened cocoa mixtures may be added to any espresso drink, as may certain spirits and liqueurs (for a "special espresso").