The Best Espresso Coffee Drink Recipes

espresso brewing

Most of our favorite drinks are made with espresso. This concentrated coffee style makes a caffeine boost fast and easy. It originated in Italy, gaining its name from how ‘express’ or fast the brewing process was. This speed also makes for some simple and enjoyable coffee beverages. Most espresso drinks you may already know and order often. Whether it is a macchiato or a latte, espresso is on your mind in some shape or form. Yet, there are some of the best espresso coffee drink recipes that can be easily enjoyed at home!

Owning an espresso machine is a fabulous investment that is not always costly. You do not have to purchase a giant fancy machine to enjoy an espresso at home. Luckily, there are many simple espresso machines to purchase out there. These can help you change up your espresso game. It also helps with a busy morning or for a quick afternoon break between meetings.

Here is a list of the best espresso coffee drink recipes you never tried before. Make them as a treat for a busy morning or a lazy Sunday afternoon. You won’t regret it!

Tiramisu Affogato

No wonder tiramisu means ‘pick me up!’ This is a quick and fun spin on the all-star Italian dessert. An affogato alone is a tremendously tasty way to enhance a couple of shots of espresso. Who doesn’t love gelato? It gets even better with the addition of the classic ladyfingers and whipped cream. This plays on the traditional layers of tiramisu. This creates a wonderful coffee for dessert that also comes with a killer caffeine boost!

What you’ll need:
  • 2 shots espresso
  • 2 scoops of vanilla gelato*
  • 3 savoiardi cookies or ladyfingers
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • Cocoa powder and chocolate shavings for garnish
  • Brew espresso
  • As espresso brews, scoop gelato into a clear glass. 
  • Break ladyfingers into multiple pieces. Scatter on top of the gelato.
  • Pour espresso over the ladyfingers and gelato.
  • Cover entirely with whipped cream
  • Garnish with cocoa powder, then ample amounts of chocolate shavings
  • Enjoy immediately, before your gelato melts! 
Viennese Coffee

This is the signature coffee of Austria. This drink has been consumed in Viennese coffee houses for centuries. It is simple and delicious. A Viennese coffee substitutes milk with equal parts of fresh cream. You can make this drink with regular whipped cream, but chantilly cream makes this coffee a little more indulgent. This is fresh whipped cream that is a little less sweet but much more flavorful because of the addition of vanilla bean or extract.

What you’ll need:
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Hefty pinch of chocolate shavings
  • Electric or handheld mixer
  • First, prepare your chantilly cream. Beat heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar together until the cream just begins to stiffen. Set aside.
  • Brew espresso into a tall glass mug or cappuccino cup.
  • Add in about ⅓ cup of chantilly cream. Save the rest in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 1 week.
  • Top coffee with chocolate shavings!

This is a truly unique treat for chocolate lovers. It is an espresso-based beverage hails from Torino, a city in North-Western Italy. This is major chocolate producing city in Italy and is particularly famous as the birthplace of the chocolate-hazelnut spread gianduja. This is basically the ‘original’ Nutella. Bicerin means ‘little glass’ in the local Piemontese dialect. It dates all the way back to the 18th century. Although small, bicerin is abundant in espresso and creamy chocolate flavor. This makes it the perfect beverage for any time of day!

What you’ll need:
  • 2 shots espresso
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate
  • Whipped cream
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  • A small clear glass of choice (around 5-6 oz)
  • Heat milk in a saucepan over a moderate flame. Add in the chocolate and whisk.
  • Continue to whisk until the mixture boils and becomes frothy. Remove from heat.
  • Brew espresso. Add sugar if desired and stir well into the espresso.
  • Pour newly created hot chocolate into the glass. Then, add your espresso.
  • Top with fresh whipped cream and cocoa powder!
Coconut-Caramel Cappuccino
Photo credit: Jamie Anne

Don’t tell the Italians we tried this. This cappuccino is a fragrant take on a classic. Caramel lends an incredible sweetness to the bitterness of the espresso. This drink gets even fancier with a toasted coconut rim. The rim adds a bit of texture along with coconut flavor to your cappuccino. This makes for a dynamic and satisfying coffee. In this recipe, we suggest the Yemen Harazi roast. It is a brilliant medium roast that blends perfectly with the milky caramel combination. 

What you’ll need:
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • ½ cup of milk of choice (we suggest whole or coconut milk)
  • 2 teaspoons of caramel sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • First, prepare the coconut rim. Lightly rub honey onto the rim of your cup.
  • Pour coconut flakes evenly onto a small plate. Then, rub cup edges into flakes to coat the entire rim
  • Now, brew espresso. Begin to froth milk as espresso brews, making sure there are around 2 inches of foam.
  • Pour espresso into a coconut rimmed cup. Then, add caramel directly into espresso and mix evenly.
  • Then, add in hot milk foam. Garnish with a light drizzle of caramel sauce.
Mocha Shakerato

The shakerato is the cocktail of the espresso drinks. You actually prepare it in a martini shaker! This makes the shakerato an especially impressive coffee for parties. In this case, you can always customize the flavors for guests. Nonetheless, this recipe features the always delicious mocha. With just the perfect amount of chocolate, everyone is pleased. This shakerato can refresh you on all occasions, morning or night. And, do not forget to serve it in a chilled martini glass, Italian style!

What you’ll need:
  • 2 shots of espresso 
  • 1 ounce of dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of cane sugar
  • Martini shaker
  • Martini glass
  • A few dark chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)
  • Brew espresso
  • Immediately after espresso brews, gently add in chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  • Fill the shaker with ice. Pour in espresso and sugar. Cover and shake until sugar dissolves.
  • Add a few new ice cubes to the martini glass. Pour mocha into the glass. Garnish with a few chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Frozen Vanilla Almond Cappuccino

A frozen cappuccino? Is that even possible? Absolutely! The chilled version of the classic cappuccino is a brilliant innovation that changes up your iced coffee routine. When you blend coffee just right, it creates a chilled foam, similar to your favorite cappuccino. This recipe incorporates the tasty combination of vanilla and almond. These flavors fool you into believing that your coffee might be dessert in disguise. The sugar in this recipe can be modified to your liking as well.

What you’ll need:
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • ½ cup milk of choice (we suggest whole or almond)
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A cup of ice
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Brew espresso
  • Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend on medium-high speed until smooth and foamy
  • Pour into a glass. Garnish with cinnamon 
Iced Horchata Latte

This heavenly drink is like no other. Horchata is an iconic beverage across Spain and Latin America. It is made from rice and spices soaked in milk. Traditionally, it is served by itself over ice. Yet, our recipe takes it a bit further by incorporating some caffeine. Our recipe focuses on Mexican horchata and all its cinnamon goodness. Espresso pairs excellently with cinnamon spice. This horchata mix can be made ahead as well. It can also be made without nuts if you do have any allergy.

The horchata mix itself contains about 3-4 servings.

What you’ll need:
  • ½ cup of white or brown rice
  • ½ cup of sugar or honey
  • ⅓ cup of chopped almonds
  • 2 cinnamon stick (one for garnish)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 5 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • Mesh strainer
  • To make the horchata, soak rice, almonds, and cinnamon in water overnight. This will soften the rice and release the spice aromas.
  • Strain out the water from the rice, almond, and cinnamon mixture. Pour mixture into a blender with the condensed milk. Blend until the rice and almonds are smooth.
  • Strain out the liquid into a large pitcher or carafe. Discard leftover rice and almond mixture.
  • Add in sweetener, vanilla, and milk. Then, add water. Taste for desired sweetness. 
  • Now, brew your espresso.
  • Fill a tall water glass with ice. Pour espresso over cubes. 
  • Fill the remaining portion of the glass with horchata.
  • Serve with a cinnamon stick for garnish. Store the remaining horchata mix in a covered container for 7-10 days.

Craving coffee yet? You do not need to always stick with the traditional to enjoy espresso. Hopefully one of these delicious and unique espresso drinks caught your eye. There is an espresso drink for all cravings and preferences! And, you can play around with roasts too. You do not need to just use an ‘espresso roast.’ We suggest trying out all medium and dark roasts, to keep the depth and body of your espresso. Check out our selection of premium and sustainable quality coffee roasts here!

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