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The popular latte, with a cap of frothy, soothing milk. Photo by Christian Kitazume | SXC.




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October 2006
Last Updated October 2014

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Coffee

Types Of Espresso

Part IV: Espresso Glossary D To Z


This is Page 4 of a four-page article; here, types of espresso. Click on the black links below to read the other pages. You can find general coffee terms in our Coffee Glossary, and tons of great food information in our other food glossaries.


Espresso Glossary, D To Z

After you’ve had your fill of espresso, take a look at our other food glossaries—an easy way to get up to speed on more than 50 different food categories.

Click on a letter to go to the appropriate glossary section.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

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A cup that holds a traditional shot of espresso is called a demitasse, 3 ounces or smaller. Thick porcelain is the preferred material for its ability to hold heat, although demitasses can be made of delicate porcelain, ceramic, glass or stainless steel.


More than double the typical one ounce pour. A double is usually between 2.5 and 3 ounces of espresso.

A cappuccino with a small amount of foam and no steamed milk.

The coffee beverage produced by an espresso machine. Technically, espresso is a beverage made from 7 grams of finely ground dark roast coffee, that produces 1.5 ounces of extracted beverage under 9 bars of brewing pressure at brewing temperatures of around 190°F to 200°F, over a period of 25 to 30 seconds of brew time. In Italy, people don’t order an espresso; rather, they order “un cafe,” which is de facto an espresso brew.


An espresso shot pulled “long” to maximize caffeine.

A demitasse of espresso. Photo courtesy SXC.


An espresso shot with whipped cream.

Same as caffe macchiato.

A double shot of espresso; doppio is Italian for “double.”


A colloquial (and incorrect) spelling of espresso.

The act of forcing hot water though ground coffee. This “extracts” flavors, oils, colloids, lipids and other elements that turn water into brewed coffee.

See caffe latte.

A cup or glass of steamed milk into which an espresso shot is poured; the top of the milk is marked with a brown dot.

Espresso and hot water in equal parts.  See also caffe americano.

Have a caffe latte, or latte for short. Photo by Eduoard Muoy | SXC.

An extra long pull (over-extracted shot), about 2 to 3 ounces, that allows approximately twice as much water through the same amount of coffee normally used for a single shot.

See latte macchiato, above.

A multigrain “latte” drink introduced to the U.S. by the Korean coffee house chain Cafe Bene. High in protein, it’s a a healthful drink made from a fresh-ground or pre-packaged powder of barley, black sesame seed, black rice and brown. The flavor is nutty, with flavor nuances of oatmea and peanut butter. The texture is grainy.

Originally a manual, stovetop method for making strong coffee, although today electric versions exist—many of the inexpensive ($50 to $100) consumer “espresso machines” are essentially steam pressure moka pots. Often referred to as an “espresso machine,” it is not one because it does not use high-pressure steam technology (a typical moka pot brews using 1.5 atmospheres or bars of pressure, modern espresso machines use roughly 9 atmospheres). A traditional moka pot brews by forcing hot water through a bed of coffee using the pressure of steam that builds through hot water boiling in the lower half of the pot. Here’s more information plus the history of the moka pot.

  Moka Pot
A moka pot. Photo courtesy SXC.

Espresso that tastes bitter or burnt, as a result of the ground coffee being exposed to the brew water for too long. Send it back!

A term used to describe brewing a shot of espresso: pulling an espresso, pulling a shot, espresso pull, et al. Its derivation is the action used to prepare espresso in machines from the 1950s and beyond, where the barista pulls on a lever to cock a spring in a piston group on an espresso machine.

Pulling an espresso. Photo by Mark Prince | Wikimedia.

A shot of espresso in a coffee cup that is then filled with drip coffee. Also called an Eye Opener, Depth Charge, Hammerhead and Shot In The Dark. A Dead Eye, also called a Blue Eye, has three shots of espresso. A Crazy Eye has four shots. A Blind Eye has five or more shots. Also see black eye.

RISTRETTO An espresso shot pulled short to produce a richer, more intense espresso. The term literally means a “restricted” shot. Most double espresso shots are 2.5 to 3 ounces and use 14 or more grams of coffee grounds. A ristretto uses the same amount of coffee but creates only 1.5 ounces of espresso in the normal brewing period of 25 to 30 seconds. This is hard to do, and requires a very skilled barista. In France, this is known as café serré.

A term for a brewed espresso.

A single shot of espresso, 1 to 1.5 ounces of coffee (a double is 2.5 to 3 ounces).

A shot of espresso, also known as a single. Photo courtesy CBTL.

Espresso shots combined with equal parts steamed milk and steamed sweetened condensed milk (instead of all steamed milk).

UNDER-EXTRACTED A coffee bed that has not been exposed to enough passing water. The resulting brew is often weak and thin-bodied.

Latte sweetened with vanilla syrup.


Go To Page 1: History Of Espresso

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