Usually when we walk into our local coffee shop, we order our coffee by size and flavor. Essentially, we see coffee as just that; nothing more, nothing less. But the truth is that our favorite morning beverage and energy drink goes beyond the simple word “coffee”. There are four main types that I will be covering: American, Espresso, Lungo, and Ristretto.
One thing that these all have in common is that they are espresso based. If you want to learn more about your standard cup of Joe, take a look at my post on different coffee roasts.
American coffee, in simpler terms, is referred to as an Americano. You may recall hearing customers in front of you ordering this beverage at your local coffee shop. So what is this exquisite sounding drink? Well, it is nothing more than espresso and water, and is simply prepared by brewing espresso over boiling water.
We all are familiar with the term “espresso”. Most of us probably associate that word with the strength of the coffee we are drinking, but what does it actually mean? Espresso contains all the caffeine that we so desperately need to wake up on an almost daily basis. The process of brewing espresso is fairly easy. It essentially forces a small amount of hot water, at high pressure, through finely ground coffee beans.
Now we have our Ristretto and Lungo. These are both forms of espresso shots, but here in the United States, but more specifically your local coffee chain, you are more likely to find a Ristretto shot available than a Lungo. Ristretto shots are produced the same way as your standard espresso but with about half the amount of water, resulting in a more bold flavor. Lungo shots are the opposite of Ristretto in that these beverages are made with less espresso and double the amount of water.
In regards to levels of caffeine, it all depends on the type of espresso and the amount put in the beverage. But as a standard guideline, American and straight Espresso contain the most amount of caffeine while Lungo and Ristrettos contain the least.