Espresso Lingo

In this post, we go over popular espresso lingo you may hear when you visit your local coffee shop.


Espresso shots

Espresso is strong #blackcoffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans.


The coffee grounds used to make espresso are typically very fine and compact (powdery consistency). In comparison to traditional brewed coffee, espresso is generally thicker and forms a crema on top.


Below are a few terms used to describe the amount of espresso in a given drink:

  • Ristretto (short shot) - the first 3/4oz of espresso in an extraction

  • Single Shot - 1oz of espresso

  • Lungo (long shot) - 1.5oz of espresso

  • Double Shot - 2oz of espresso that uses twice the amount of coffee in comparison to the other shots

Espresso can be ordered and consumed as listed above. However, espresso is typically used as the base of many popular drinks you see at your local coffee shop. Below are descriptions of a few popular drinks.

  • Espresso Macchiato - shot of espresso with a layer of foamed milk

  • Espresso con Panna - shot of espresso with a layer of whipped cream

  • Cafe Breve - shot of espresso with steamed half and half (light cream)

  • Cappuccino - shot of espresso with steamed, wet milk

  • Flat White - shot of espresso with 6oz to 8oz of steamed milk

  • Cafe Latte - shot of espresso with 6oz to 8oz of steamed milk, then topped with milk foam

  • Cafe Americano - shot of espresso with 6oz to 8oz of hot water

  • Flavored Espresso Drinks - the drinks with flavored syrups added somewhere in the process (for example, cafe mocha is simply a latte with chocolate syrup with the steamed milk)

So there you have it, you are now equipped to walk into your local coffee shop and order like a professional. :)


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