words Alexa Wang
When you choose to use an espresso machine, you’ll likely want to mess around with it and experiment with the types of drinks that you can create. We recommend learning about all the possibilities so that you never run out of fresh ideas and things to try out.
Making espresso is in art form so it’s always great to keep it fun and interesting. Check out these 3 different types of drinks you can make to get started.
Start with a Doppio or Double Espresso Shot
As excellent groups like the Latte Art Guide make clear, you have so many different kinds of drinks to pick from. However, one of our most popular options for you to try out would be the all-powerful Doppio also known as a double shot of espresso.
This is a great starting point because it will get you more familiar with the brewing process compared to a single shot.
If you want, you can even mix and match espresso beans to extract some interesting flavours. You don’t have to do this every time, but it is fun to experiment once in a while.
The first step is to make sure that your grinder is dosed to grind enough for a double shot. Most high quality grinders will have this option. Once you do that, select the appropriate portafilter for a double shot and grind it right into the basket.
Make sure the espresso puck is even and that there are no grinds falling off the side of the portafilter.
Be sure to select double shot on your machine and let it do the rest of the work. If you’re using a lever, just be sure you pull the appropriate amount of water to make a double shot instead of a single.
Pretty simple, but a great way to practice and get started.
Step it up to an Americano
Of course, you might not want to start off with something quite as strong as the Doppio or double shot. In terms of the coffee make-up, it’s one of the strongest drinks that one could make in an espresso machine.
That’s why we recommend trying an Americano if you’re not in the mood for something heavy-hitting. With an Americano, you are using around 1:4 parts espresso/water. This is a nice blend which will also increase the amount of time it takes to finish the drink.
You still get all of the great espresso flavour notes, but the addition of water makes it a bit more toned down and similar to American coffee.
We recommend that you try it out and see if you think it is strong enough. Without the need for any milk to be added, an Americano can be a fantastic drink to start out with.
What about a Cortado?
Of course, we recommend that if you want to make something more advanced then you go to the Cortado. Cortado coffee is a very enjoyable drink, and it’s made with an espresso combined with a minimal addition of milk. Most of the time, the coffee is the overwhelming flavour in the beverage, but the milk tones down the bitterness and acidity a bit.
If you wish to make a proper Cortado, then we recommend that you use as much as 1oz of espresso in a single drink. Then, try and add in around 1-2oz of steamed milk. Try and use some lightly textured milk if you can, as a Cortado should not be especially foamy.
After all, it’s NOT supposed to be a cappuccino.
It’s a great middle ground between something that’s extremely frothy and creamy and a regular espresso shot.
Super automatic espresso machine brand like FRANKE can do all of the work at the push of a button. Unfortunately, these machines are pretty expensive and are usually found only in commercial establishments like coffee shops and bars.
Don’t Forget About Cappuccinos
Don’t forget about the original Italian drink. There are so many different ways to make and enjoy cappuccinos that you can spend months experimenting. For a rich option, use cream instead of milk or even experiment with some high-fat coconut milk for frothing if you’re allergic to dairy.
Unlike the Cortado, make sure that you steam and froth the milk all the way. You want it to be as thick and frothy as possible.
There are lots of different things you can sprinkle on top as well. Cocoa powder, cinnamon, and raw sugar all make great additions to taking your cappuccino to the next level.