A Coffee Sommelier’s Guide to Caffeinated Beverages


To make a latte, you need two main components: espresso and steamed milk. The word “latte” comes from the Italian “caffè latte”. Lattes typically contain 1/3 espresso, 2/3 milk, and a thin layer of microfoam on the surface. The best part about Lattes is the customization options, you can easily decorate with seasoning like pumpkin spice or even use different types of milk. 


A cortado is a popular smaller-sized hot coffee drink that contains espresso and is usually served with warm steamed milk. The ratio of espresso to milk is usually 1:1 (about half espresso, half milk). This amount of milk serves primarily to cut down on the bitterness of the espresso. In certain places, Cortados are served with water on the side to help cleanse the palate after each sip. 


The cappuccino is a popular hot beverage that is loved by many. There is a reputation built on its thick layer of milk microfoam, which is espresso-based. Almost six ounces of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam go into each cappuccino. The ratio is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk foam, leading to a size that is a little smaller than the average latte. Many of the fans enjoy the cappuccino because of if its flexible ratio. 


A macchiato is a nice middle ground between an espresso and a cappuccino. Despite not being as powerful as an espresso shot this is still more effective than your regular cappuccino. In this drink, the espresso is somewhat moderated or subdued by the addition of milk. On the scale of espresso to milk, the macchiato leans more towards espresso than any other espresso-based drink.


Mocha means “mocha latte” or “Caffe mocha,” which is just a regular latte with chocolate syrup added. The mocha is a prime example of how you can customize a latte, which is why many coffee lovers enjoy them so much. In terms of ingredients and size, there are anywhere from 1 to 4 pumps of chocolate syrup, 2 to 4 shots of espresso, and a splash of steamed milk with a little bit of milk foam.   


Since Americanos usually do not contain milk, they stand out among their espresso cousins. Americanos with milk or dairy alternatives are unlikely to be served in this form unless you explicitly ask the barista to use it. Aside from that, the americano can also be iced, the process remains the same with one change. instead of hot water, cold water is used, an optional extra would be to add a few ice cubes to further cool the drink.

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