Many people hold the misconception that espresso is a dark, bitter to burnt-flavored roast of coffee. In fact, espresso is not a roast at all; it is a method of preparing coffee.
Espresso coffee is often blended from several roasts and varietals to form a bold – not bitter flavor. The finely ground coffee is tightly packed or tamped into a “portafilter”; high-pressure water is then forced through the grounds and extracted in small, concentrated amounts. Intensity is the key here. Why do you think they call it a “shot?”
Espresso – A straight shot with crema on top (literally cream, a creamy foam on the surface of the coffee). Espresso is also the base for other drinks such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, caffè mocha, flat white, or caffè Americano.
Doppio – a double shot. This results in 60 ml of drink, double the amount of a single shot espresso. More commonly called a standard double. Doppio is Italian, meaning “double”.
Cortado – An espresso with a small amount of warm milk. The ratio of milk to coffee is between 1:1 and 1:2, and the milk is added after the espresso. The word cortado is the past participle of the Spanish verb cortar (to cut).
Ristretto (Restricted Shot) – Shot pulled short of Espresso coffee. It is traditionally a short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water. The opposite of a ristretto is a lungo, which is typically double the shot volume. Ristretto means “limited” or “restricted” in Italian whereas lungo means “long.” The French equivalent of ristretto is café serré.
Lungo – Italian for ‘long’, and refers to the coffee beverage made by using an espresso machine to make an espresso (single or double dose or shot) with much more water (generally twice as much), resulting in a stretched espresso, a lungo.
Macchiato – Straight espresso shot with a dollop of steamed milk.
Espresso Con Panna – Straight shot with a dollop of whipped cream.
Cappuccino – Traditionally made with 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 Milk and 1/3 Foam.
Flat White – It is somewhat similar to the Latte although smaller in volume, therefore having a higher proportion of coffee to milk, and milk that is more velvety in consistency.