TASTE
09/17/2013 06:29 am ET | Updated May 15, 2015

Coffee And Espresso Drinks Explained (PHOTOS)

Flickr: dailyfood

When it comes to getting caffeinated, these days we've got options. Gone are the days of picking only between a cup of decaf or regular. Now we're faced with an array of coffee beans that come from all over the globe, a handful of specialized ways to brew a regular cup of coffee, and enough options of espresso drinks to make your head spin. Coffee has gotten an upgrade. And while we're not complaining, the truth is that getting a cup of joe has gotten a little more complicated.

This new coffee culture only means good things for us caffeine fiends, but it also means that we need to stay on top of what's what. To help you figure out how to order a cup in this coffee-saturated world, read on. We've broken down the best espresso drinks, so that you can always get just the shot of caffeine you're looking for.

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  • 10 Cappuccino
    Flickr: erickgonzalez50
    One of the most popular espresso drinks, a cappuccino done right should be equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk (about 60 ml each).
  • 9 Mocha
    Flickr: Vancouver Bites!
    With 60 ml of espresso, 60 ml of chocolate and 30 ml of steamed milk, a mocha is a the right choice if you want something sweet.
  • 8 Latte
    Flickr: Ambernectar 13
    The latte gets its name because it's full of milk. It is generally just a 60 ml shot of espresso with 300 ml steamed milk -- and only 2ml foamed milk.
  • 7 Cafe Au Lait
    Flickr: maxehlers
    If you prefer brewed coffee over espresso, cafe au lait is for you. It's just a pampered cup of coffee -- calling for warm, steamed milk in place of cold milk.
  • 6 Americano
    Flickr: r͢ǫbcee̶
    If you like the taste of espresso, but don't like how quickly it goes you'd be happy with an Americano. It's a shot of espresso (30 ml) with twice the amount of water (60 ml).
  • 5 Cafe Noisette
    Flickr: cyclonebill
    The noisette is one step between the machiatto and the latte. It's a big shot of espresso with half of that amount in hot milk.
  • 4 Macchiato
    Flickr: s2art
    With a macchiato you get a shot of espresso (or sometimes two) with just a dot of foamed milk.
  • 3 Doppio
    Flickr: Brian Legate
    Doppio means double in Italian, and that's exactly what you get with espresso. Rather than the expected 30 ml shot of espresso, a doppio gets you a 60 ml shot.
  • 2 Espresso
    Flickr: scottfeldstein
    A small shot of caffeine -- but more than enough to get the job done -- usually about 30 ml.
  • 1 Ristretto
    Flickr: INeedCoffee.com
    A ristretto is the coffee choice for those who like to get straight to the point. It's a very concentrated espresso shot -- only 22 ml.

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