Ever wondered how your favourite coffee is made? Often not too sure of what to order or try from the menu board? It’s easy! All coffee based drinks start with a shot of coffee. We’ll look at the shots of coffee first and then look at the make up of the individual drinks.



The shots of coffee, which are prepared by forcing pressurised steam through ground roasted coffee beans are as follows:


Espresso: Espresso is an extraction of 30mL of pressured steam for approximately 25-30 seconds. The extraction should appear as honey like, with the crema  having a light brown/straw uniform colour. The amount of coffee used should be 7g to 9g.


Ristretto: Ristretto is an extraction of 15mL of pressured steam for approximately 12 - 15 seconds. The amount of coffee used is the same as the espresso. A Ristretto captures a concentration of the bean oils and flavor and thus produces a ‘stronger’  or bolder and fuller coffee.


Doppio: Doppio (in Italian meaning ‘double’) is simply a double shot (Espresso (60mL); Ristretto (30mL)).


Decaf: Decaf is simply using decaffeinated coffee for the shot extraction.


Skinny: Skinny refers to the skim or no/low fat milk used in the coffee drink.



Now we have the basis for the drinks worked out, it’s time to find out what else we need to make your favourite coffee drink or even discover a new coffee drink (and impress your friends)! Before we do that, it is worth noting that the milk temperature should be between 55oC and 65oC and no warmer (milk will boil at around 80oC and you risk ‘burning’ the milk and ruining the flavour). Let’s now discover  the menu board at your local cafe:


Affogato: Affogato (in Italian meaning ‘drowned’) is simply a shot of espresso poured over vanilla ice cream. As a dessert coffee, flavoured syrups (hazelnut, caramel, chocolate etc) or liqueurs may also be added afterwards or to the side.


Latte: A Cafe Latte (in Italian meaning ‘Coffee with Milk’ or cafe au lait) is a shot of espresso, served with steamed milk in a classic Duralex glass with 1cm of milk foam.


Mocha: A Cafe Mocha is a Cafe Latte with a shot of either chocolate syrup or a measure of chocolate powder. Usually served in a porcelain/china cup with a handle.


Vienna: A Cafe Mocha with cream garnishing on the top of the cup.


Cappuccino: A Cappuccino is an espresso based coffee, comprising generally of an espresso shot, steamed milk and milk foam in equal proportions (ie 1/3 each). Usually served in a porcelain/china cup with a handle. Chocolate powder is usually sprinkled on top of the milk foam. The most popular espresso based beverage.


Flat White: A Flat White is an espresso based coffee, with steam milk only (no froth) served in a porcelain/china cup.


Macchiatto: Macchiatto (in Italian meaning ‘stained’) is an espresso shot with a dash of milk foam on top of the crema. Served in a small demitasse cup.


Piccolo Latte: A Piccolo Latte (in Italian meaning ‘Small Coffee’) is a ristretto shot, served with steamed milk and a small layer of froth, served in a small shot glass. A smaller version of the Caffe Latte.


Freddo: A Freddo (in Italian meaning ‘Cold’) is an espresso shot that either has been cooled down with ice cubes or a refrigerator or has cold milk added to it.


Long Black: A Long Black is an espresso shot poured into a porcelain/china cup holding near boiling water.


Short Black: A Short Black is an espresso shot served in a demitasse cup. Also known as an espresso.


Now you’re ready to embark on your journey as a coffee aficionado amongst your friends! Remember, all these drinks are better with Scuro coffee.