The Anatomy of Coffee Drinks

The basic component to any Italian coffee drink is a shot of espresso. The perfect shot should be a rich, dark brown color with a layer of caramel-colored, reddish-brown foam on the top, called crema.

Espresso can be drunk by itself, or with sweeteners, since the shot of espresso has a strong, bitter taste.

Types of espresso:

The cappuccino is one of the most basic coffee drinks, but can be one of the most complex to make. The drink calls for a shot of espresso, plus one part steamed milk to one part foamed milk. The foamed milk can be either dry or wet, depending on the taste of the person, although wet cappuccinos are usually sweeter. Cappuccinos are an art, and some experienced baristas can make shapes such as leaves, hearts and rosettes, demonstrated in the video clip below.

The latte is similar to a cappuccino, but in a larger cup. It calls for one shot of espresso filled with steamed milk and only a spoonful of thick, velvety foamed milk.