How to tell your ristretto from your espresso…

From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, there’s only one thing on your mind – coffee ! Breakfast wouldn’t be breakfast without it, and how could you possibly get through the day without those regular pick-me-ups ? Plus there’s nothing better than a real espresso at the end of a good meal. But do you actually know the difference between an espresso, a ristretto and an americano, for example ? Here’s a quick guide…


Cappucino, espresso or latte – which are you ?

Small, black and strong, espresso coffee is drunk all over the world, mainly first thing in the morning and after meals. A typical espresso is made with approximately 7 g of coffee and 30 to 40 ml of water. In Italy and elsewhere, you can also order an espresso macchiato (topped with a dab of steamed milk foam) or an espresso con panna (topped with whipped cream).

Lovers of very strong espresso coffee, such as ristretto, are no doubt horrified at the thought of a cappucino ! A cappuccino is one third espresso, one third milk and one third milk foam, topped with a sprinkling of cocoa powder. It’s practically a dessert in itself, and can be made with either cow’s milk or soya milk, for those who fancy a change. Another variation is mocha coffee – take an espresso, add some sugar and diluted cocoa, and top with milk foam. Absolutely delicious ! And if you like the taste of espresso but love a long drink, opt for an americano. Simply make your espresso, add as much hot water as you like and it’s ready !