Espresso is brewed by using an espresso machine to force a small amount of nearly boiling water and steam – about 86 to 95 °C (187 to 203 °F) – under pressure through finely ground and compacted coffee. The espresso machine was patented in 1901 from an earlier 1884 machine, and developed in Italy; with the invention of the Gaggia machine, espresso spread in popularity to the UK in the 1950s where it was more often drunk with milk as cappuccino due to the influence of the British milk bars, then America in the 1980s where again it was mainly drunk with milk, and then via coffeehouse chains it spread worldwide. Espresso is generally denser than coffee brewed by other methods, having a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids; it generally has a creamy foam on top termed "crema"
A latte is an espresso and steamed milk, generally in a 1:3 to 1:5 ratio of espresso to milk, with a little foam on top.
In Italy it is called caffè latte or caffelatte, which means "coffee and milk". In northern Europe and Scandinavia the term 'café au lait' has traditionally been used for the combination of espresso and milk, but this term is used in the US for brewed coffee and scalded milk. In France, 'caffè latte' is mostly known from American coffee chains; a combination of espresso and steamed milk equivalent to a 'latte' is in French called 'grand crème' and in German 'Milchkaffee' or 'Melange'.
Flat white is an espresso with a similar proportion of coffee to milk as a latte and a cappuccino, the main difference being the texture of the milk and (in some regions) the number of espresso shots.
The drink originated in Australia in the early 1980s as an alternative to the frothier cappuccino. It became popular in New Zealand in the late 1980s and has since spread to the UK, where it was first served at independent cafes in London such as Department of Coffee and Social Affairs and Speak Easy where owners and staff from Australia and New Zealand brought the style of coffee into the UK before being adopted by chains Costa Coffee and Starbucks. Available in the form of a 12 oz. double latte from Starbucks in the US since January 6, 2015, it is rarely found in continental Europe.
Cappuccino is a coffee-based drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk foam. A cappuccino differs from a caffè latte in that it is prepared with much less steamed or textured milk than the caffè latte with the total of espresso and milk/foam making up between approximately 150 and 180 millilitres (5 and 6 US fluid ounces). A cappuccino usually exceeds the height of the cup, making the foam visible above the side of the cup. A cappuccino is traditionally served in a porcelain cup, which has far better heat retention characteristics than glass or paper. The foam on top of the cappuccino acts as an insulator and helps retain the heat of the liquid, allowing it to stay hotter longer
Espresso con panna, which means "espresso with cream" in Italian, is a single or double shot of espresso topped with whipped cream. In the United States it may also be called café Vienne. In France and in the United Kingdom it's called café Viennois.
Historically served in a demitasse cup, it is perhaps a more old fashioned drink than a latte or cappuccino, though still very popular, whichever name it receives, at Coffeehouses in Budapest and Vienna.
Caffè Americano or simply Americano (the name is also spelled with varying capitalization and use of diacritics: e.g. Café Americano, Cafe Americano, etc.) is a style of coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso, giving a similar strength to but different flavor from brewed coffee. The drink consists of a single or double-shot of espresso combined with between 1 and 16 fluid ounces (30–470 ml) of hot water. The strength of an Americano varies with the number of shots of espresso added. In the United States, "Americano" is used broadly to mean combining hot water and espresso in either order.
Macchiato, meaning "stained", is an espresso with a dash of foamed milk. At first sight it resembles a small cappuccino, but even if the ingredients are the same as those used for cappuccino, a macchiato has a much stronger and aromatic taste. The milk is foamed directly into the espresso cup, which is then put under the coffee outlet. The espresso is then drawn into the cup. Cocoa is sometimes sprinkled over the drink. Often the process is reversed and milk foam is floated on top of extracted coffee. A long macchiato will have two shots of espresso and a small amount of hot water (as per long black). A short macchiato will usually have one shot of coffee and less water (as per short black).
A café mocha is a variant of a caffè latte. Like a latte, it is typically one third espresso and two thirds steamed milk, but a portion of chocolate is added, typically in the form of a chocolate syrup, although other vending systems use instant chocolate powder. Mochas can contain dark or milk chocolate.