When it comes to the world of coffee, espresso stands out as a small but mighty beverage that packs a punch.

Originating in Italy, espresso has gained global popularity for its intense flavor and rich aroma. While the classic espresso shot remains a staple, there are several variations that showcase the versatility and artistry of this beloved beverage. Let’s start a delightful journey as you explore five distinct types of espresso, each with its unique characteristics and preparation methods.

Single Shot Espresso:

The single shot espresso, often referred to as a solo, is the fundamental building block of all espresso-based beverages. Crafted using a finely ground coffee dose of around 7 grams, this small but concentrated shot is extracted using approximately 30 milliliters of water under high pressure. The result is a robust and full-bodied brew, characterized by a rich crema and a bold flavor profile. Single shot espresso is perfect for those who appreciate the pure essence of coffee in its most potent form.

Double Shot Espresso:

For those seeking an extra jolt of caffeine and a stronger flavor, the double shot espresso, also known as doppio, is the go-to choice. Using twice the amount of coffee grounds and water, a double shot espresso offers a more intense and complex taste experience. The increased volume enhances the richness, bitterness, and aromatic qualities of the brew. Its versatility makes it the foundation of numerous espresso-based drinks, striking the perfect balance between strength and flavor.


Translated from Italian as "restricted," ristretto refers to a shorter and more concentrated version of the espresso shot. By limiting the amount of water used during extraction, a ristretto shot delivers an intense and syrupy espresso experience. The reduced water volume allows for the extraction of the most desirable flavors and oils from the coffee beans, resulting in a strong and bold essence that lingers on the palate. Ristretto shots are favored by espresso purists who crave a condensed yet potent espresso experience.


Contrasting the ristretto, the lungo, meaning "long" in Italian, is an extended espresso shot. Extracted using twice the amount of water and extending the extraction time, a lungo shot yields a larger volume of approximately 60 milliliters. The result is a milder and more diluted flavor profile compared to the traditional espresso shot. The longer extraction process allows for a greater emphasis on the coffee's aromatic qualities, resulting in a smoother and less intense taste. Lungo shots are ideal for those who prefer a longer and milder espresso experience.


Translating to "stained" or "marked" in Italian, macchiato is a delightful fusion of espresso and a dollop of foamed milk. The macchiato shot is prepared by adding a small amount of steamed milk to a single or double shot of espresso, creating a beautiful contrast between the rich coffee and the creamy foam. The milk "marks" the espresso, enhancing its texture and adding a subtle sweetness. Macchiatos come in two popular variations: the traditional macchiato, which features a minimal amount of milk, and the latte macchiato, which has a greater proportion of milk and is layered in a glass.

Espresso, with its intense flavor and unparalleled depth, offers a world of exploration for coffee aficionados. Whether you prefer the purity of a single shot or the lusciousness of a macchiato, these five distinct types of espresso provide a diverse range of experiences to suit every palate.