How to Order an Espresso Like a Pro? [A Step-by-step Guide]

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Embarking on the journey of ordering your first espresso can be an overwhelming experience, filled with coffee jargon and expected etiquette. The question of “how to order an espresso” can leave you feeling unprepared and even a bit intimidated.

But rest assured, this guide will transform your apprehension into confidence, making your next espresso ordering experience a caffeinated breeze. Dare to uncover the art of ordering espresso, and fuel your coffee conversations with newfound knowledge and understanding.

How To Order An Espresso Like A Pro?


Here are some tips for ordering an espresso when you’re at a local coffee shop:

  1. Know What You Want: Before you step foot in a café, know what type of espresso you want. An espresso is a concentrated form of coffee served in small, strong amounts. You can order a single (solo) or double (doppio) shot.
  2. Understand the Menu: Cafés may have different types of espresso-based beverages. Some of the common ones include an Americano (espresso with water), a Macchiato (espresso with a spot of frothed milk), or a Cappuccino (equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk).
  3. Speak the Language: When you know what you want, order in the coffee language. For a plain espresso, simply say “Espresso, please”. For a double, say “Doppio, please”. Remember, coffee sizes in authentic cafés are usually smaller than in commercial ones.
  4. Customize Your Order: If you like your espresso in a certain way, don’t hesitate to specify. You could ask for a “Ristretto” if you want a shorter, more concentrated espresso shot, or a “Lungo” for a longer shot.
  5. Pay and Tip: Once your order is placed, make sure to pay and leave a tip if it’s customary in your culture. It’s a nice way to appreciate the barista’s expertise.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t worry if you get a few words wrong on your first few tries. You’ll be ordering like a pro in no time.

How Do You Order One Shot of Espresso?

Ordering a single shot of espresso is simple and straightforward. Simply approach the counter at your coffee shop of choice and ask for “a single espresso shot, please.” Baristas are well-versed in espresso shots and will understand your request right away.

In some places, you might hear it referred to as a ‘solo’ espresso. This term is also universally understood among coffee professionals. If you have any particular preferences, such as a ristretto (short shot) or lungo (long shot), make sure that you know the difference between them and then mention it when you place your order.

How to Order an Espresso at Starbucks?


Ever wondered “How to order an espresso at Starbucks?” without fumbling your words or freezing at the counter? Stick around as we spill the beans on mastering the art of espresso ordering at Starbucks, ensuring your next visit is as smooth as your favorite brew.

  1. Step into a Starbucks: Locate a nearby Starbucks and step inside. If you prefer, you can also use the Starbucks mobile app to place your order.
  2. Get in line: Upon entering, you will typically find a line of customers waiting to place their orders. Join the queue and patiently wait for your turn.
  3. Choose your espresso: While waiting, decide on the type of espresso you want. You can choose from a single or double shot, and specify whether you want it hot or iced.
  4. Place your order: When you reach the front of the line, greet the barista and place your order. Clearly state that you would like an espresso. If you have any specific preferences, such as adding a flavor shot, make sure to mention it now.
  5. Make the payment: After placing your order, you will be asked to pay. Starbucks accepts several payment methods, including cash, credit/debit cards, and Starbucks gift cards.
  6. Await your order: Once you’ve paid, move to the designated area to wait for your order. Starbucks baristas are quite efficient, so you will rarely have to wait long for your espresso.
  7. Enjoy your espresso: Upon receiving your espresso, ensure the order is correct. Now, find a comfortable spot, sit back and enjoy your Starbucks espresso.

What Are The Different Types Of Espresso Drinks You Can Order?


When ordering an espresso, it’s important to be aware of the different types of drinks that can be made with this coffee. Here are a few of the most popular espresso-based drinks:

Latte: A latte is a coffee drink that consists of espresso and steamed milk. It’s typically topped with foam and served in a tall glass.

Cappuccino: A cappuccino is a coffee drink that consists of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. The foam should be thick and creamy, making up one-third of the drink.

Macchiato: A macchiato is a drink made with a single shot of espresso and topped with foamed milk.

Americano: An Americano is a coffee drink with espresso and hot water. It’s similar to an iced latte, except it uses espresso instead of coffee.

What Should You Look for When Ordering Different Types of Espresso Drinks?


Now that you know more about the different types of espresso-based drinks, let’s look at what to look for when ordering them. Here are some tips:

Latte: When ordering a latte, you’ll want to ask for “latte art.” Latte art is when the barista draws designs or pictures on the foam on top of your latte. It’s not essential, but it does make for a prettier drink.

Cappuccino: When ordering a cappuccino, you’ll want to ask for “wet” or “dry.” A wet cappuccino contains more milk than foam, while a dry cappuccino has more foam than milk (check out this article to find which one is good for you).

Macchiato: When ordering a macchiato, you’ll want to ask for it “ristretto.” Ristretto means “restricted,” so your macchiato will have less coffee and more milk than a traditional macchiato.

Americano: When ordering an Americano, you’ll want to ask for it “sweetened” or “unsweetened.” The barista will add sugar to your Americano if you want it sweetened.

What Do You Get When You Order an Espresso?


When you order an espresso, you receive a small drink containing a concentrated form of coffee, usually served in a 1 to 2 Oz demitasse cup. The espresso boasts a layer of creamy ‘crema’ on top, resulting from the coffee’s oils emulsifying under the pressure of brewing. This crema enhances the rich flavor and aroma of the espresso.

The drink is characterized by its robust flavor and full body, which are more intense than that of standard coffee due to the concentrated brewing method. The strength and flavor of the espresso can also vary depending on the type of coffee beans used and the level of roasting.

Wrapping Up

In wrapping up, mastering “how to order an espresso” drastically enriches your appreciation for the art of coffee making. Each espresso shot tells a story of carefully sourced beans, hours of roasting, and the barista’s skill in brewing.

With this knowledge, you are not just ordering a beverage but participating in a culture that celebrates quality and craftsmanship. So, the next time you step into a coffee shop, remember that understanding how to order an espresso is your passport to a world of robust and distinct flavors.

Some Frequently Asked Questions About How To Order Espresso

Can I customize my espresso?

Yes, you can customize your espresso by adding milk, sugar, or flavors according to your taste.

How should I order an espresso if I want it with milk?

You can order a “café latte” if you want a lot of milk or a “cappuccino” if you want equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and froth.

Can I ask for a double shot of espresso?

Absolutely, just ask for a “Doppio” which is Italian for double.

Is it okay to ask for a decaffeinated espresso?

Yes, most coffee shops offer decaffeinated espresso. Just specify that you want your drink decaf.

What’s the difference between an espresso and a ristretto?

An espresso is a standard shot of coffee whereas a ristretto is a shorter shot that uses less water and is more concentrated. It also has less acidity and a fuller body than an espresso.

Is there a way to make my espresso drink sweeter?

Yes, you can add sugar or syrup to your espresso drink for sweetness. You can also ask for flavored syrups if you want something more exotic.

Can I get an iced espresso in the summer?

Yes, you can get an iced espresso in the summer. Just ask for a “shaken” espresso if you want it served chilled or “on the rocks” if you want it over ice. You can also add milk and sugar as desired to customize your drink.

Can I order an espresso shot without any milk or sugar?

Yes, you can order an espresso shot without any additions. This will give you the purest flavor of espresso. However, it may be too strong for some people so if that’s the case, just ask your barista to add milk or sugar to dilute the taste.

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