How To Make Espresso Drinks

Do you wish you could make espresso drinks at home like the experienced baristas at your favorite café? With a little practice and a good espresso machine, it is possible. Here's how to make espresso drinks:

Ingredients and supplies:

  • Steaming pitcher
  • Milk thermometer
  • Clean kitchen towel
  • Coffee scoop
  • Coffee tamper
  • Large spoon
  • Espresso machine
  • Cup or mug for the finished espresso drink
  • Coffee beans, ground for your machine (either steam-driven or pump-driven)
  • Flavoring (optional)
  • Milk

Steps and Procedures:

  1. Determine the drink you want. Even if you order the same thing every day from the same coffee shop, you may not know exactly what goes into your order. First, determine what drink you want. Some common examples include macchiato, latte, Americano, mocha, and cappuccino, though of course there are countless others. Most espresso drinks include some combination of espresso shots, steamed milk, and foam. There are also countless flavor varieties, usually utilizing flavored syrups.
  2. Read the owner's manual. If you are new to the world of espresso, read the manual for your espresso machine. Each machine operates differently; learn how to use the model you own before trying to create your own espresso drinks.
  3. Steam the milk. To steam milk, fill the milk pitcher only halfway full with milk. Then submerge the steam wand in the milk. Turn on the steam wand, and guide the steam wand so that it is just below the surface of the milk, creating a layer of foam on top, but not blowing big bubbles into the milk. Once a foam layer has formed, continue steaming the rest of the milk until it reaches 145-165 degrees. Be very careful when steaming milk, especially if you're new to making espresso drinks, because the milk becomes very hot.
  4. Understand the espresso shot itself. The crema is the layer on the top of the shot. It is very sweet, and should be a thin, light golden-brown layer. The body makes up most of the shot; it should be caramel-brown. The bottom layer, called the heart, is a little bitter to balance the crema's sweetness, and should be a deep, rich brown color.
  5. Pull the shot. Add espresso to your machine, tamp it down, and then pull two shots, according to your specific espresso machine's instructions.
  6. Assemble the drink. In your cup or mug, assemble your chosen espresso drink. The assembly depends on the type of espresso drink you have chosen. For best results, heat the cup before pouring the espresso drink; this will make it stay hotter for longer.

Making espresso drinks can take some practice, but it is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it. These delicious espresso drinks can provide a great start to your morning, and are often much less expensive than making a daily coffee run.


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