If you needed a definition of ‘real’ coffee, it would sound a lot like Espresso. Virtually owned by Italy after La Pavoni Spa made the first steam-powered espresso machine in 1902, it then was brought to Australia post war. Every bar was filled with people coming together over little cups of coffee and a cigarette in hand. In 1990, the espresso was infiltrated into almost every café, becoming a craze everyone was talking about.
Brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans, an espresso is considered an oily and full-flavoured coffee with slight crema on the surface. This 30 ml shot is now more commonly used for the base of almost all coffees: just add milk for a latte, cappuccino, and flat white.
Amongst many people’s horror and surprise, Italians still haven’t quite understood the term “latte” or “flat white”. Order one of these and you will be given a cup of plain milk along with a confused stare. Tip for your next Italian voyage: Avoid the milky coffee after midday as it is considered an unwritten Italian law, that you must drink your afternoon coffee black.
Espresso Coffee Styles
Short Black/Espresso: A single espresso shot served in a small ceramic cup.
Ristretto: 45ml shot, considered slightly shorter than a short black
Long Black: A cup, two thirds filled with hot water, one third filled with a double espresso shot straight on top.
Latte: The milkiest of coffees, a latte is served in a glass with textured milk, 1-2 centimetres of foam on top, and one shot of coffee.
Flat White: Much like a latte, however in most cases is slightly strong and forms less foam on surface.
Cappuccino: One third coffee, one third milk, and one third foam. This style is served in a cup and is commonly dusted with chocolate.