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Hot Coffee Drinks Guide!

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It’s finally beginning to feel like fall where I live. That means that many people are drinking more hot coffee than they do the rest of the year. Being a small coffee shop owner, I get to see this first-hand every day. Many times people are confused about what the differences are between various coffee drinks, especially hot coffee drinks.

I see these people settle for something they know they like, and that’s fine, but I know some of them would love to try something new if they understood what it was.

One thing that makes people more comfortable to try new things is knowing what they are getting. Let’s clear up some of that confusion, and learn what you need to make these drinks at home in your own kitchen anytime you want!

Espresso

Does your coffee experience look the same every day? Do you every wander your next favorite coffee drink is hiding behind a name on the menu at your local coffee shop? Afraid to try something new because you don’t know what’s in it? Embarrassed to ask and look ignorant? Worry no more! This guide will help you find your next favorite hot coffee drink! | www.thebakeristalife.com

Espresso is the coffee component of most coffee shop beverages. Espresso is coffee which is selected, roasted, and prepared in a specific way to be classified as espresso. To make espresso you must be able to generate nine bars of pressure in order to send hot water through the fine grind.

Not only is espresso the base for many coffee beverages, it is increasingly in the United States enjoyed as a stand-alone drink. If you’re not used to drinking it, for most, it is an acquired taste. I had never tried straight espresso until a few years ago, but I had been drinking straight black coffee for a long time. I do occasionally drink espresso as a stand alone quick coffee treat, but most often I add a double short shot to my dark roast coffee, making a “Red Eye”. More on that in just a moment…

Make it at Home

In order to make coffee shop-style drinks at home, you’ll need a way to make espresso. As was stated above you need a way to generate nine bars of pressure. A home espresso machine is a very effective way to do this, and there are many to choose from. Check out this post to compare some of the best home espresso machines. One advantage to using an espresso machine is that most machines offer the ability not only to pull espresso shots, but also to steam milk.

Steaming milk does take some practice to get right (trust me, I do this for a living), but the results are better than you will get from an automatic steaming method. You just have to decide if you want to steam your milk manually, or leave the work to a machine. There’s not really a right or wrong way to go with that decision, it really is all about what you want.

Another way to make espresso at home is using a manual espresso maker like the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker. This is an espresso maker only, so you will need a way to steam milk in order to make most of the drinks that you would enjoy from your local coffee shop at home. This Breville Stainless Steel Milk Frother offers an automatic way to make hot steamed and frothed milk at home.

You can also check out our full espresso guide part one, full espresso guide part two, and our full milk-steaming guide for lots more how-to type information!

The Red Eye

A Red Eye is, in the broadest sense of the term, a black coffee with espresso added. Any Coffee Shop can make a Red Eye. Many call it by different names. We have a couple of red eye variations we serve at Sourdough Cuppa Joe. These all fall under the “Red Eye” category.

If you like black coffee and want to branch out and learn to love espresso, the red eye is a great first step. You can start with adding a small amount of espresso. A single ristretto shot (one side of a double short shot) is a good starting point. You may find that your pallet grows to love the smoothness and warmth the espresso adds to the flavor of the black coffee.

Make it at Home

Simply brew a fresh cup of coffee using your favorite brewing method and add some espresso. That’s it! If you like cream in your coffee, you may also want some in your Red Eye.

The Americano

An Americano is simply espresso poured into hot water. This espresso drink is made to mimic brewed coffee. If you prefer the flavor and attributes of espresso to brewed coffee, you may indeed enjoy an Americano more than a brewed cup of coffee.

Make it at Home

Bring water to just under boil and pull espresso shots. Pour the espresso shots through the hot water in your mug. Add cream if you wish, but try it without it first so you can experience the drink in its purest form.

The Cappuccino

Does your coffee experience look the same every day? Do you every wander your next favorite coffee drink is hiding behind a name on the menu at your local coffee shop? Afraid to try something new because you don’t know what’s in it? Embarrassed to ask and look ignorant? Worry no more! This guide will help you find your next favorite hot coffee drink! | www.thebakeristalife.com

Cappuccinos are made with espresso and steamed milk. The texture of the milk is very airy, velvety, and smooth. Traditionally, a cappuccino is served in a demitasse, which is about an 8 oz mug. Milk for cappuccinos has more air steamed into it than milk for lattes.

Make it at Home

Steam your milk with plenty of air, but keep the texture smooth and velvety. You are going for no large bubbles, but plenty of microfoam. Set your milk aside and pull a double ristretto shot into an 8 oz mug. If you are using a larger mug, just don’t fill it all the way. Pour your steamed milk into the espresso and enjoy your cappuccino.

The Latte

Does your coffee experience look the same every day? Do you every wander your next favorite coffee drink is hiding behind a name on the menu at your local coffee shop? Afraid to try something new because you don’t know what’s in it? Embarrassed to ask and look ignorant? Worry no more! This guide will help you find your next favorite hot coffee drink! | www.thebakeristalife.com

The term “Latte” covers a large selection of drinks at your local coffee shop. Most of the drink selections that make up the menu at your coffee shop are some form of latte.

A Latte in its purest form is steamed milk poured into a double ristretto espresso shot. The milk can be substituted for half and half or heavy cream. This is referred to as a Breve Latte. Flavor can be added to make a flavored latte. There are countless flavor options available… see some of the links below.

A Cortado is just a smaller latte. These are usually made with the same amount of espresso as a larger latte, but much less steamed milk so the espresso to milk ratio is much more leaning toward the espresso.

The Mocha

Does your coffee experience look the same every day? Do you every wander your next favorite coffee drink is hiding behind a name on the menu at your local coffee shop? Afraid to try something new because you don’t know what’s in it? Embarrassed to ask and look ignorant? Worry no more! This guide will help you find your next favorite hot coffee drink! | www.thebakeristalife.com

A Mocha is just a latte with chocolate (or white chocolate) sauce added as the flavor. Mochas are traditionally served with whipped cream topping but they are very tasty without it as well.

Regular fine-granular spices and herbs also make for great flavoring for lattes, especially if you want the flavor without adding a lot of sugar. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to a honey latte and you have a tasty Miel. Add some cayenne to a Mocha and you have a Mexican Mocha.

Make it at Home

Steam your milk and set it aside, then pull your shots. Add flavor if desired to your espresso and stir. Then pour your steamed milk into the espresso and enjoy! Top your latte or mocha with freshly-made whipped cream for an extra-special treat.

Monin makes a very wide selection of flavored syrups.

Ghirardelli offers the finest in Chocolate Sauce, White Chocolate Sauce, and Caramel Sauce.

With a Cream Whipper you can make whipped cream on demand, right in your kitchen! You will also need some chargers.

The Cafe Au Lait

This drink is made with brewed coffee and steamed milk. The ratio of coffee to milk is roughly 50/50. Think of it like a latte with a higher coffee-to-milk ratio. If you’re a brewed coffee drinker and you’re thinking of trying a latte, this might be a good entry point for you.

Make it at Home

Pour half a cup of brewed coffee in your mug and finish the cup with steamed milk. That’s it! You just made a cafe au lait!

The Flat White

There is a ton of differing information out there about this drink, and how it should be made. Generally speaking, it is commonly made like a latte, with espresso and steamed milk, but with a higher espresso to steamed milk ratio.

Also known as the Australian latte, the flat white is a great drink for latte drinkers that like their drink a little more slanted toward the espresso side. At Sourdough Cuppa Joe we make the flat white with an extra single ristretto shot, which accomplishes the goal of a more espresso-leaning drink. Some people also say that the drink should be made with the espresso poured into the milk, adding it last, rather than pouring the milk into the espresso, like a latte.

Make it at Home

Like the latte, steam your milk and set it aside. Extract your shots, making a total of 1 double ristretto shot and 1 single ristretto shot. Pour the espresso through the milk and enjoy!

Try Something New

Just remember, espresso and steamed milk are the basics for lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites and cortados. All of these drinks start with the same basic ingredients. They can be flavored with flavoring syrups and/or spices and herbs.

Drinks which are either based on brewed coffee or made to resemble brewed coffee using espresso include red eyes, americanos, and cafe au laits.

Start by trying one of these new (to you) drinks in its purest form, and develop a taste profile for the drink. Then add flavors or sweeteners to your taste. You might discover a new favorite coffee drink!

Did you try it? Comment and let us know! Did you discover something new that you love that is not included here? Comment and share it with everyone!

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