Coffee has a language all of its own and learning about the different types and how to make them at home is an important step in becoming an aficionado. Many of these coffees were invented in Italy so have Italian names – once you know what they mean, everything will start to fall into place! Because the Italians take their coffee very seriously indeed, there’s little room for variation. You need to master the basics first; only then can you start to experiment with different blends, grinds, flavoured coffees or serving styles.
To help you get to grips with your Ariete coffee machine, we’ve compiled some snippets of information about a handful of the most common types of coffee, their history and tips on how to produce the perfect cup. We’ve also created a useful photo guide for six of the most classic styles of Italian coffee: ristretto, single espresso, double espresso, macchiato, americano and cappuccino.
An Italian term for a short “restricted” shot of espresso that tastes stronger because there is less water to dilute the coffee flavour. A serious drink, far removed from the “frivolous” world of lattes, cappuccinos and steamed milk!
Use a finely ground coffee and filtered water if possible.
Brew the coffee for around 15-20 seconds.
Produces a coffee around 15-20ml rather than 25-35ml for an expresso.
A delicious staple in its own right or the basis for countless other varieties of coffee. The sign of a good espresso is its crema, a dense top layer that will coat your lip.
Traditionally, a single (solo) shot of espresso uses 7g of fine coffee grounds to yield about 30ml of coffee.
Don’t forget to grind your coffee fresh. Coffee can go stale very quickly.
Flush water through the head for 2-3 seconds before inserting the filter.
In terms of flavour, there is minimal difference between a single and a double espresso.
A standard double (doppio) espresso is 60ml of coffee.
Double shots are now the standard in America and many other countries.
A macchiato can be made from either a single or double espresso topped with a couple of teaspoons of freshly steamed milk.
During World War II, American GI soldiers in Italy found traditional espressos too strong and preferred a water-down version similar to the drip coffee they were used to back home.
Use finely ground beans to make a double espresso.
Heat the water to 160-170˚C and mix one part coffee to two parts water.
Opinions vary as to whether the coffee should be added to the water or the water to the coffee…
In Italy, a cappuccinois only drunk first thing in the morning or with breakfast, and never after a big meal.
Always make sure you heat your cup in advance.
The perfect temperature for cappuccino milk is 60-65˚C.
Bring your steam up to 130˚C and insert the wand just under the surface of the milk.