Espresso was pioneered in Italy, and you can still see that history in coffee menus, where Italian is more prevalent than English. Here's a handy glossary of the most common drinks. Don't be shy, order something new with confidence.
The Espresso Menu
Espresso is coffee. It's a drink derived from the coffee bean. So it's just coffee. But it's not your grandma's diner swill. And in case Grandma was a cowgirl, espresso is definitely not that bittercup she downed on the prairie. Espresso is drawn from a finely tuned machine preferably, a handsome European one. The following drinks all begin with a shot of espresso.
Espresso ("a shot")
Intense, super-concentrated coffee. The grounds are packed in tight and brewed under high pressure to extract all the flavor.
- Espresso Con Panna
Espresso + a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Con panna means "with cream" in Italian.
Espresso + a tiny bit of steamed milk. Literally, macchiato means "marked" with milk.
Espresso + 6-8 ounces of steamed milk on top. The milk is steamed until it's creamy and sweet with a fine froth all the way through.
Espresso + 12-16 ounces of steamed milk. It's like a milkier cappuccino.
Espresso + steamed half-and-half. Like a latte but much richer.
Espresso + steamed milk and chocolate. It's extra-tasty with a swirl of whipped cream on top.
Espresso + 8-16 ounces of hot water. It ends up being about the same strength as brewed coffee, but it's made fresh to order.
Other Coffee Drinks
Not feeling “mucho espresso” today? It's okay, try these.
- Brewed Coffee
The oldest trick in the book — hot water poured through fresh coffee grounds under the normal pressure that gravity provides.
- Cafe au Lait
Two-thirds brewed coffee + one-third steamed milk. It's the classic French breakfast drink.