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It can sometimes be daunting walking into a coffee house and seeing the long list of coffee varieties and drinks on the menu. What’s the difference between a latte and an Au lait? How does a cappuccino differ from an Americano?
We’ll try to make it all clear for you below:
Americano: A single shot of espresso with about 7 ounces of hot water added to the mix. The name for this coffee drink stemmed from an insult to ‘uncouth’ Americans who weren’t up to drinking full espressos.
A Shot in the Dark: See ‘Hammerhead’.
Black coffee: A drip brew, percolated or French press style coffee served straight, with no milk.
Cafe au Lait: Similar to Caffe Latte, except that an au lait is made with brewed coffee instead of espresso. Additionally, the ratio of milk to coffee is 1:1, making for a much less intense taste.
Cafe Breva: A cappuccino made with half and half milk, instead of whole milk. The theory is that the mix gives a richer, creamier flavor. You should be aware, before trying this for yourself, that half and half is much harder to foam.
Caffe Latte: Essentially, a single shot of espresso in steamed (not frothed) milk. The ratio of milk to coffee should be about 3:1, but you should be aware that latte in Italian means ‘milk’, so be careful ordering one when in Rome. Click here for how to make Caffe Latte at home
Cafe Macchiato: A shot of espresso with steamed milk added. The ratio of coffee to milk is approximately 4:1.
Cappuccino: Usually equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, often with cinnamon or flaked chocolate sprinkled on top. Some coffee shops will add more milk than that so that the customer will get a bigger drink out of the deal, but that makes the coffee itself far weaker. Click here for how to make Cappuccino
Double, or Double Shot: Just as it sounds, this is two shots of espresso mixed in with the regular amount of additional ingredients. So, for example, if you were going to make a double hammerhead, you would put two shots of espresso into a coffee cup, and fill it with the drip blend, rather than the usual single espresso shot.
Dry Cappuccino: A regular cappuccino, only with a smaller amount of foam, and no steamed milk at all.