Espresso Drinks

Espresso and espresso drinks have grown in popularity in recent years, and specialty coffee shops have sprung up seemingly on almost every street corner.

Espresso is a concentrated coffee beverage brewed in special machines (see illustration) from dark-roast, finely ground beans. For each drink, the ground coffee is packed into a small metal filter, which is then firmly attached to the machine.Water is forced through the grounds under high steam pressure,making a small cup of strong beverage topped with a layer of rich foam called the crema.A shot of espresso is about 2 fluid ounces (55 mL), and it is usually served in a tiny cup or as a double shot in a standard coffee cup.

In addition, the following drinks are made with brewed espresso:

Cappuccino (cap oo chee no): equal parts espresso and frothy steamed milk.

Latte (lah tay): short for caffe latte,or "coffee milk."One part espresso to two (or more) parts steamed milk, without the layer of foam found on cappuccino.The French café au lait (cah fay oh lay; meaning "coffee with milk") is basically the same as a latte, but it may be made with strong regular dark roast coffee rather than espresso.

Macchiato (mah kee ah toe): espresso topped with a little frothed milk.

Americano: espresso diluted with hot water.

Breve (bray vay): espresso with steamed half-and-half.

Mocha (moh kah): espresso mixed with hot chocolate or cocoa, topped with whipped cream.

Specialty coffee shops also sell a great variety of flavored espresso coffee drinks, hot and cold, using flavored syrups such as caramel, vanilla, and mint.

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