Know Your Latte From Your Americano

Know Your Latte From Your Americano

Go into any coffee shop now and you will be overwhelmed by the choice in front of you. So let’s clarify what they all mean so you don’t get confused between your latte and cappuccino.

Caffe Latte                             

This literally means ‘coffee with milk’ and is comprised of espresso, steamed milk and milk froth. It is very popular here in the UK but not so popular with Italians who don’t always get the taking of espresso with milk! It’s great if you want to temper the intensity of your espresso and also provides a great base for adding syrups and flavours.

Making The Perfect Latte

Once you’ve made the espresso pour about 300ml of milk into a pitcher, steam and froth. Then pour the milk on the espresso getting a good mix of milk and foam, you can even practice your latte art.

Creating The Perfect Latte ‘Leaf’

Slowly pour the milk onto your espresso, when the cup is nearly full start gently shaking the pitcher from side to side while slowly moving it backwards. You will see a leaf pattern starting to emerge-remember practice makes perfect!


Ideally a great cappuccino is a three way balance between espresso, milk and foam, topped off with chocolate or cinnamon sprinkles. The name comes from the robes of the Capuchin monks who wore red brown vestments. The challenge comes in the pouring of the milk.

Making The Perfect Cappuccino

Once you have made your espresso and frothed your milk you are ready to pour. You are aiming for a ratio of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam.


The macchiato is a tricky customer! Sounds easy but you are aiming for a tiny quantity of steamed milk onto an espresso. Macchiato literally means ‘marked’ describing how the espresso has only been slightly touched by the milk, not overly indulged as in the latte.

Creating The Perfect Macchiato

Once you have made your espresso you need to steam the milk to get plenty of froth. You are trying to get a dense layer of foam but be careful not to over steam as you will curdle the milk. Quickly add the froth to the espresso, pour it into the centre of the espresso and remember you only need a small amount.


It is thought that the Americano gets its name from the way American GI’s drank their coffee in the battlefields of World War II. Essentially it is espresso infused with hot water. It is similar to a coffee drink called the ‘Long Black’, the difference is that the long black involves the coffee being added to hot water rather than hot water being added to the coffee.

Creating The Perfect Americano

Make a shot of espresso. Pour hot water in, the ratio is 1:1. Don’t apply that ratio too strictly some people may want a milder taste in which case simply add more hot water,




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