Cafe favorites

The following recipes are available in most cafes. But there's no need to visit a cafe to have one of these, as I've spilled the metaphorical (coffee) beans for you on this very page.


All of these recipes contain dairy products. To learn how to steam and froth (aka foam) milk, check out the page on steaming and frothing milk. If you'd rather, feel free to substitute soy milk, it should work fine.

Cafe latte / Au Lait: Steam one part milk per one part espresso. Make a thin layer of froth while you're at it. Pour espresso in a heated glass, and pour the milk down the side (not in the middle) while holding the froth in place with a spoon. Now spoon the frothed milk on top, and you're done. Flavor with syrup if you want to. Lattes are traditionally served in a tall glass, but can also be served in a mug.

Cappuccino: A cappuccino is simply one part espresso per one part frothed milk. Allow the frothed milk to gel a bit by putting it down and not touching it for at least half a minute. Since frothed milk doesn’t pour, you have to spoon it on top of the espresso. Alternatively, you could use one part espresso, one part steamed milk, and one part frothed milk. It's up to you.

Mocha: Every chocoholic's favorite. A mocha is just a latte with chocolate milk. You can add however much chocolate you want — in either syrup or powdered form — to the milk before or after you steam and froth it. It's your choice.

Espresso macchiato: Place a spoonful or two of frothed milk on top of a shot of espresso.

Affogato: Pour a shot of espresso over a large scoop of ice cream (or gelato.)

Thanks to Nick Clydsdale for reminding me to add one of my favorite recipes here.

Espresso con panna: Top a shot of espresso with a spoonful of whipped cream.

Espresso breve: Mix half and half (or other light cream) into a shot of espresso.

Red Eye: Add a shot of espresso to a cup of drip coffee. Guaranteed to keep you awake! It’s known by many other names, including: “sledgehammer,” “suicide,” and “depth charge.”

Wafflatte: Steam a tablespoon or so of maple syrup into a latte (or mocha.) It’s like a sweet and yummy waffle in beverage form. For best results, sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the espresso before pouring in the milk.

Have a recipe or two you think I should add? Send it to me!