So, a friend of yours purchased some Spiritus coffee, and can’t stop raving about it. You enjoy coffee now and again, but you’re hardly an expert; everyone’s always talking about Americano this and Latte that. It’s hard to find your favorite style when you don’t know what your options are. You are not alone. So, let’s check it out. Depending on who you consult, there are over 20 different ways to create a coffee drink. But, let’s get to some of the basics.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t say the most basic coffee drink is … well, coffee. Our freshly-roasted coffee is perfect for a cup of drip – put it in a filter and give Mr. Coffee a run for his money. While we encourage you to participate in Ritual, it doesn’t have to be fancy; savoring a cup of coffee at the kitchen table can be every bit as satisfying as lounging on a beach.
The classic base of most coffee drinks: espresso. It’s a concentrated form of coffee that is offered in “shots,” small cups the approximate size of a shot glass. Espresso is made by pressurized hot water forced through very finely groundcoffee. You use the same beans for espresso as you do for your French Press or Mr. Coffee. The difference is that the beans are ground to a finer consistency – and we’ll do the grinding to your preference, if you so desire
Hot lattes are created with espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. Generally, it is one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk topped with a layer of foamed milk. You can enjoy them hot or iced, and many other drinks use the latte as a foundation. If you use half and half instead of milk, you change the latte into a Breve.
What’s a mocha then? It’s yum? Seriously, though, it’s a latte made with chocolate sauce and usually has some whipped cream on top.
And the cappuccino …? You guessed it – more espresso, milk and foam. Here the proportions are generally one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam.
There’s more? Oh, so much more, friend. Same espresso, same milk. But now, we put the steamed milk in first and add the espresso on top. Another difference is that the Latte is mixed together upon serving, while the macchiato presents with more foam on top, served as a layered drink. It is sometimes referred to a Cortado in other countries. Here we know a Cortado as consisting of espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity.
Now, we’re going to take that espresso and make a con Panna. It sounds fancy, but it’s a simple and delicious treat. Take a shot of espresso and put some cream on top. Preferably, heavy whipping cream. We suppose a dollop out of a can will do, but to truly enjoy breaking through the cream to a rich coffee requires a thicker cream. That’s it. That’s con Panna; a delightfully simple drink. (We personally enjoy some cinnamon and a sprinkle of sea salt on ours.)
It’s a late-night flight that can leave one bleary and sluggish. An antidote is the coffee drink named for that very situation. A Red Eye consists of brewed coffee topped off with a shot of espresso. It’s particularly strong, because it starts with the caffeine in a cup of brewed coffee and adds espresso to up to the next level.
An Americano is another simple option – it’s merely espresso with hot water. It brings espresso closer to the drip coffee that Americans have been drinking for years, which might have led to the name Americano. You can vary the shots of espresso and the amount of hot water to your taste.
The frappé was invented in 1957 by a Nescafe representative in Greece. They have become a hallmark of postwar outdoor Greek coffee culture. Derived from French, the name frappe describes a drink chilled with ice. Some are similar to slushes, others are more like iced coffee. Today, they are often make with a milkshake machine, but can also be made using a cocktail shaker. The blend is instant coffee and water (sugar optional) that are blended until a thick foam forms on the top. It’s poured into a glass with ice cubes and cold water, and served with a drinking straw.