Coffee House Vocab Part I – a guide to those words you’ve always wondered about

May 05, 2022


Aug 17, 2016

Coffee House Vocab – a guide to those words you’ve always wondered about

Ever since the method for forcing steam through finely ground coffee was perfected, espresso has been the foundation for a vast number of drinks. Here are five ways to enjoy it  that you may – or may not – have heard of!





Ristretto – espresso extracted with half the amount of water. Different flavor components extract at various points during extraction, and at different water ratios, so ristretto is a thicker, tarter version of the standard espresso shot.

Perfect for: People who like to smack their tastebuds with stunning flavor without having to sip more than once. People who like tiny cups.




Longo – espresso extracted with twice the amount of water. The resulting drink tips the balance toward the flavor and aroma compounds that take more time to extract, and is thinner, more bitter, and more caffeinated than espresso.

Perfect for: Those who want to explore espresso’s dark heart.




Cubano – espresso brewed with raw or brown sugar.

Perfect for: People who love the citrus brightness of espresso, but want it tempered with an earthy sweetness.




Macchiato – two ounces of espresso, topped with two ounces of steamed milk, or a dollop of milk foam. From the Italian word for “marked,” macchiato describes the visual effect of milk marking a shot or two of espresso.

Perfect for: Those who crave a smoothed-out and slightly richer version of expresso. If espresso neat is too sharp for you, this is your drink.




Cortado – one part espresso to two parts steamed milk, in a drink that’s halfway between the macchiato and the cappuccino.

Perfect for: People who want to fully enjoy espresso flavors, but also want a drink that’s just big enough to nurse for a little while.


Which one sounds most delicious to you? Adventure with espresso this week at your local specialty coffee shop!