Espresso & Co: espresso-based coffee drinks explained simply

Available for sale on clothes, posters, framed prints, canvas prints, postcards, greeting cards, iPad cases, smartphone cases, laptop skins, mugs, stickers, pillows and tote bags. Where to buy


To those delighting the various textures and aromas of coffee in all of its glorious forms; to those trying out different cafes seeking the perfect blend to make the start of a working day enjoyable or to savour with breakfast on a lazy weekend morning; to those who can never get tired of experimenting with the vast variety of flavours coming from the unique types of coffee beans, places where the plants are grown, different roasts, grindings, brewing techniques and recipes; to those traveling the world, exploring culture and history through their passion for coffee; to those for whom making coffee means art, chemistry and alchemy put together; to those who know that coffee should only be consumed for pleasure... To the true coffee lovers!

The Designer’s Challenge

To create a beautiful and simple graphical guide that would serve as a visual explanation how different coffee drinks based on espresso are made and what the difference is. Barista’s knowledge at a glance! :-)

Some information about coffee drinks based on espresso

Espresso is a beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans; hence the name espresso. These days, it is typically made by using a special espresso machine. Espresso is a relatively thick and concentrated coffee drink and very often used as the base for other drinks. On its own, it is usually brewed into and served in a small ceramic cup — demitasse (30 mL – single shot of espresso; 60 mL – double shot).

Caffè latte is typically prepared in a 240 mL glass or cup with a standard shot of espresso and filled with steamed milk with about 1 cm layer of wet milk foam on the top. Wet foam, or microfoam, is steamed milk — as a result of frothing and mixing — has thick, shiny and runny texture and lots of very small, uniform bubbles; often used in latte art.

Cappuccino is made of espresso poured into the bottom third of the cup, followed by a similar amount of hot milk, and the top third is about 2 cm layer of thick dry milk foam; usually served in 150–180 mL cups. Dry foam, or macrofoam, has visibly large bubbles; it results from a more extensive frothing than is used for wet foam, and, instead of being a runny uniformed mix of foam and milk, dry foam is lighter and at the end of frothing there is a layer of liquid milk underneath.

Latte macchiato is prepared by extensive milk frothing with significant amount of light dry foam, pouring it into a glass, and adding a bit of espresso. It features a lot of foam, rather than simply hot milk, and is a layered drink, with espresso poured on the top of liquid milk through the dry foam. Unlike caffè latte where the emphasis is on coffee, in latte macchiato the emphasis is on the milk.

Caffè macchiato, or espresso macchiato, is espresso stained with a small amount of milk added on top. The milk may be microfoamed. “Macchiato” means “spotted” or “stained” in Italian.

Caffè mocha (or mocaccino) is one third espresso and two thirds steamed milk with a portion of chocolate added, typically in the form of sweet cocoa powder or chocolate syrup, with a layer of milk froth on top, or, sometimes with whipped cream instead. May be topped with a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder.

Caffè americano is created by adding 30–470 mL of hot water to a single or double shot of espresso.

Long black is an espresso shot added over hot water. A relatively popular drink in Australia and New Zealand. Unlike caffè americano, in long black espresso is added last and therefore the crema (espresso coffee foam) is preserved. Long black is served in smaller cups than americano, which makes it more flavoured.

Flat white is prepared by pouring microfoam over a single or double shot of espresso. It is very similar to caffè latte, and the belief is that the only difference between the two drinks is the vessel in which they are served: flat white is served in a ceramic cup, while caffè latte traditionally comes in a glass.

Cortado (“cortar” means “cut” in Spanish) is an espresso “cut” with the same or a half amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity; usually served in a special glass and metal glass holder.

Caffè breve is an American variation of caffè latte where a steamed half-and-half (a 50:50 mixture of milk and cream) is added to espresso, served in large cups about 350 mL.

Espresso con panna, which means “espresso with cream” in Italian, is made of a single or double shot of espresso topped with whipped cream.

Tired of reading? Already confused what goes where? Don’t worry. We all know that one picture is worth a thousand words, and therefore an illustrated Espresso Drinks Guide may be a much better way to sort and present the information.

The Solution

In this guide, the simple diagrams of the drinks are rendered with great attention to details about how the drinks are made, which ingredients are used, it what proportions, how big the servings are, what the difference between the drinks is and how they are served. All this is combined in one elegant picture.

  • The ingredients are colour-coded and placed in the cups in the order the recipes require.
  • The proportions of ingredients are depicted accurately.
  • The cups, mugs and glasses are depicted in the styles traditionally used for each type of drink and in accurate relative scale.
  • The drinks are artistically arranged in a rectangular shape.

The Result

The result became one of the most famous and loved espresso designs, much to my joy and pride! :-)

Espresso coffee drinks and beverages diagram - illustrated guide with coffee cups and ingredients
Espresso-based coffee drinks illustrated guide. Pin the Espresso Guide
Espresso T-shirts with coffee drinks
Espresso T-shirts for coffee lovers

Where to Buy

The “Espresso Guide” design is available for sale on clothes, posters, framed prints, canvas prints, postcards, greeting cards, iPad cases, smartphone cases, laptop skins, mugs, stickers, pillows and tote bags via

Espresso coffee drinks poster
Espresso drinks guide poster. Buy via
T-shirt with espresso coffee for barista or cafe worker
A perfect T-shirt for a cafe team. Buy from
Espresso coffee educational mug
Espresso coffee educational mug. Buy via
Espresso coffee drinks sticker
Espresso coffee sticker. Buy from
Espresso coffee drinks guide iPad case
iPad cases for coffee connoisseurs. Buy via

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