The Blend

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Blog

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10 Espresso-Based Drinks and What They Mean

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

10 Espresso-Based Drinks and What They Mean


Not sure what espresso is, other than a really concentrated dose of flavor and caffeine? You’re in luck! We’ve already covered the basics of differentiating espresso and other types of coffee on our previous espresso blog . Give that a quick read to become a pseudo-savvy expert in minutes.


Knowing the essentials can still cause you to freeze up at gourmet coffee houses — the confusing lingo and abundance of options can leave espresso lovers at a loss. While the menu at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is designed with our customers in mind, we figured we’d spill the tea, err… beans on how to order espresso drinks with confidence.


  • Shot - A “shot” of espresso is a single serving of espresso served at standard strength. Nothing too crazy or advanced here.
  • Doppio - Italian for “double,” doppio is a double shot of espresso and is the gold standard. Most coffee shops serve a doppio, or double shot, as the default order when you ask for an espresso.
  • Lungo - Italian for “long,” lungo is a long pull of espresso that uses the same amount of grounds but twice the amount of hot water as a single shot. While most espressos are about an ounce per serving a lungo is, understandably, about two ounces per serving. The long pull creates a stronger, more bitter taste that can become metallic if extracted for too long.
  • Ristretto - This is a smaller and more concentrated shot of espresso that translates to more intense flavor and less bitterness. A single shot of ristretto is about 0.75 ounces per serving, while a double shot is about 1.5 ounces.
  • Red Eye - Not the type of flight, but ordering a red eye would keep you awake through one. A red eye is a typical cup of drip coffee with a shot of espresso added in. Order a “black eye” if you want two shots added in and refuse the comforts of sleep.
  • Café Americano - This now-classic beverage is one of the more confusing ways to order espresso for beginners. An americano is simply a shot of espresso mixed with enough hot water to make a six-ounce drink. This drink was purportedly invented in Europe during World War II to appeal to Americans and their love of drip coffee.
  • Café Latte - This drink is reimagined and tweaked endlessly, but the basic recipe is a double shot of espresso in a heated cup combined with steamed milk and garnished with froth. The typical ratio for steamed milk to espresso is around 2-to-1. If the coffee shop is vying for likes on Instagram your latte will come with latte art crafted into the froth.
  • Flavored Latte - This is simply a café latte with flavoring powders or syrups blended in to create unique flavors. These are increasingly popular in America and draw many people to coffee shops. We have many flavor options for our lattes, including mocha, hazelnut, caramel, vanilla, and white chocolate.
  • Cappuccino - A cappuccino is comprised equally of three parts: one shot of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk (also called foam) in a 1-to-1-to-1 ratio. This blend creates a rich, velvety texture. Cappuccinos are typically served in a bowl-shaped cup.
  • Flat White - A flat white is a double shot of espresso carefully combined with aerated milk to produce little to no foam. We flavor our flat whites with one of our signature powders for a creamier, richer beverages. On our blog you can learn everything about flat whites .


Now that you’re well-versed in what espresso drinks mean you can pick the ones that sound appealing to you, changing up your order until you find the perfect beverage to fuel your dreams. Stop by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® today and try an espresso-based drink you’ve never tasted. It’s a day for new beginnings!