Written by: J. Vigotsky
For many people, the day hasn’t started until they’ve had their hot beverage of choice. While coffee is the traditional option, drinks like espressos, cappuccino, mochas, and lattes are winning over more fans by the day. Although these are four distinct drinks, you’ll need an espresso machine to make any of them. This post will explore the differences between the four delicious beverages and how to make the steamed milk that some of them require.
Served as a 1.5 oz. shot rather in a cup, espresso packs an energy punch and is perfect for people who don’t want to carry around a cup of coffee. The shot is topped off with a layer of foam that many deem the best part. Even though an espresso shot is relatively small compared to a cup of coffee, it still boasts 60-70% of the caffeine. Espresso’s strong taste is not for the faint of the heart, but those who like their coffee dark will love it.
A latte is simply a shot of espresso mixed in steamed milk and topped off with a layer of milk foam. It’s basically a larger, milkier version of an espresso. Although about 2/3 of the drink is traditionally steamed milk, it’s common for customers to request double shots of espresso to give the latte an extra kick.
Made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk, a cappuccino is perfect for customers who find the bold taste of an espresso shot a bit overwhelming. There’s also a dry cappuccino, which leaves out the steamed milk and strikes a nice balance between a classic espresso shot and an ordinary cup of cappuccino.
If there’s a drink on this list for chocolate lovers, the mocha is it. Combining espresso, milk, and a dab of chocolate flavoring, mochas are sweet treats that can be enjoyed early in the morning or during dessert. The chocolate taste is usually achieved by use of either hot chocolate or chocolate syrup. And while there is such thing as a Mocha bean, it usually isn’t used in a mocha recipe.
How to Steam Milk
Properly steaming milk is essential when it comes to properly making these espresso-based beverages. The best way to do so is by filling a restaurant creamer with milk and exposing that milk to the high-pressure steam emitted by your espresso machine. There’s an art to this process and also a bit of a learning curve, so don’t be discouraged if you make a few mistakes.