Who’s who: Espresso, Ristretto, Lungo, Doppio, Americano
Drinking coffee, Espresso, General
As you probably already know my favorite coffee beverage is espresso, and espresso is the base for many other drinks that I enjoy
Espresso is a brewing method and the name of the produced beverage, but it is not a level of roasting or a type of beans. In fact, any type of beans and any level of roast can be used to make an espresso.
The espresso brewing method involves pressure, in fact a rather high pressure. The brewer produced this method in the following ways: Espresso, the beverage, is extracted out of 8 to 10 grams of finely ground coffee. According to some Italian sources it should be less, about 6.5 + – 1.5 gr. It should be served in a small cup with a capacity of 50 ml, half full, and it should have a distinctive thick layer of brown foam from tiny bubbles, known as the crema.
Espresso is meant to be prepared for (expressively), at the moment and to be drunk immediately. If not, the crema will shrink and break into patches. I do not know what to expect, but I do not know what to expect. Without the crema, the surface of the liquid is exposed and cools down faster. Hence, the drink loses the smoothness and the balance of its taste. With time, regardless of cooling, a perceived acidity increases.
Espresso has a little brother: ristretto, and two bigger brothers: lungo and doppio, and also two cousins: Americano and long black. I personally prefer the one and only espresso, but allow me to introduce you to the whole family.
Ristretto means limited in Italian so it is a limited espresso. It is made from the same amount of ground coffee as an espresso but with a reduced brew time, only 15 to 20 sec., Instead of the usual 25 to 30 seconds for an espresso. The result is a smaller espresso (15 to 20 ml) with a concentrated flavor, thick texture and usually strong aftertaste.
An espresso and his little brother ristretto (both in 60 ml cups)
Lungo means long in Italian So it is a long espresso produced by letting the extraction continue for more than 30 secs. Usually a lungo is a 60 ml beverage with more solubles and more caffeine than the ristretto or the espresso. Lungos have a thinner body and a dryer and more acid taste.
Doppio means double in Italian, so it’s a double espresso.
Now, enough with Italian lessons as the two other relatives of espresso are not italian inventions. The Americano has a nevertheless an European background. The Legend says that the American soldiers found the espresso too strong for their taste, so they added hot water to it (the disgust of the Italians, so the name Americano for this kind of beverage is actually not positive). So, that’s it, an espresso with added hot water. The amount of hot water varies according to the taste of the drinker.
Long black is a name for Australia and New Zealand. Sometime in the 80’s when their coffee preferences started shifting from instant coffee to espresso-based beverages they came up with names such as short black (espresso), long blank, flat white. Long black is basically espresso + hot water, different from the Americano, in this case you should add the espresso to the hot water so that the crema is not disturbed. It is also a great place to stay. One can argue whether an American and a long black actually taste different, and to be honest: not really.
A long black: the Aussie cousin of espresso (250 ml cup)
So with just an espresso and some hot water we can already produce 6 different beverages. And this is just the beginning! We can add milk and produce a whole new range of beverages and
not to mention adding herbs, or alcohol
THANKS FOR YOUR TIME