Coffee Ratios For Every Taste, From Classic To Modern

BY BORIS POVOLOTSKY - 31 Jan 2023

Coffee has been a beloved beverage for centuries, and its popularity has only increased over time. As coffee culture has evolved, so have the ratios of ingredients used in classic and modern coffee beverages. In this article, we’ll explore the classic and modern ratios of a Napolitano espresso, cappuccino, Americano, latte, macchiato, and filter coffee.

History and Tradition

pile of coffee bags

Coffee has a rich history and tradition, and the ratios of ingredients used in coffee beverages have evolved over time. The Napolitano espresso, for example, has been a staple of Italian coffee culture for decades. The Napolitano espresso is usually a dark-roasted blend of arabica and robusta providing an oily, nutty, strong, and chocolatey flavor that is served with water to clean your palette before drinking the shot. The single shot consists of 7-9g of ground coffee yielding about 25ml of espresso, approximately 1:3 ratio.

The traditional cappuccino is also quite different from what many are accustomed to in the US and other western countries. The ratio between espresso, steamed milk, and foam is essential. Moreover, they emphasize the temperature of the milk being within the correct range more than they care for latte art. Cappuccinos sometimes don’t have any art on them, but a large circle of foam, which is beautiful by itself, at least in my opinion.

The Americano, which is made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso, has its roots in World War II when American soldiers would dilute the strong espresso they encountered in Italy to make it more palatable. The latte, which is made with a larger ratio of steamed milk and foam, became popular in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. The macchiato, which features a shot of espresso topped with a small amount of foam, has been a staple of Italian coffee culture for generations.

How People Prefer to Drink Today

Today, people have a wider range of preferences when it comes to coffee beverages. Some prefer a classic Napolitano espresso, while others prefer the more modern and creamy cappuccino. Americanos, lattes, and macchiatos are also popular choices, as are filter coffee and pour-over coffee.

When it comes to roast preferences, dark-roast used to be the “classic” roast traditionally used in Italy. One of the reasons is economics, making coffee cheap and affordable, hence using a higher ratio of Robusta beans. Plenty of local and specialized roasters offer all kinds of light-roasted single origins that have many happy customers supporting them. Light roasts have a brighter and more acidic flavor, while dark roasts have a more robust and full-bodied flavor.

Personally, like many others, I find the balance, well… in the medium-roast range, where flavors are well-balanced, offering some of the chocolatey, bodied flavors along with light notes of fruits. However, some coffees are more acidic than others and while I do enjoy drinking them from time to time, I don’t find them enjoyable as daily drivers. Recently, I’ve been favoring a 75/25 blend as my daily driver both for espresso and cappuccino.

Coffee Ratios

cafe

Here are the classic and modern ratios of popular coffee beverages:

Napolitano Espresso: 7g coffee, 25ml beverage. 1:3 ratio Cappuccino: 1 part espresso, 1 part steamed milk, 1 part foam. 1:1:1 ratio Americano: 1 shot espresso, hot water. You can use 2 shots of espresso, just add more water. Don’t use too much water, it’ll ruin the drink. Latte: 1 part espresso, 3 parts steamed milk, 1 part foam Macchiato: 1 shot espresso, small amount of foam Filter coffee: varies based on personal preference, but typically 1:15 to 1:18 coffee to water ratio

FAQ

  1. How many shots of espresso are in an Americano? An Americano typically contains 1 shot of espresso.

  2. Is an Americano 1 or 2 shots of espresso? An Americano typically contains 1 shot of espresso.

  3. Americano water or espresso first? The espresso is typically poured first and then topped with hot water.

  4. Cappuccino ratio in grams? The cappuccino ratio is typically 1:1:1 for espresso, steamed milk, and foam, but the exact measurements will vary based on the size of the cup being used.

  5. Flat White ratio? The flat white ratio is typically 1 part espresso, 3 parts steamed milk, with minimal foam.

  6. What is the difference between a flat white and a cappuccino? The main difference between a flat white and a cappuccino is the amount of foam. A cappuccino has a more pronounced layer of foam on top, while a flat white has a minimal amount of foam and a more balanced ratio of espresso and steamed milk. Additionally, the texture of the foam in a cappuccino is typically coarser, while the foam in a flat white is smoother and creamier. This difference in foam texture contributes to the difference in flavor and mouthfeel between the two beverages.

In conclusion, the ratios of ingredients used in coffee beverages vary based on tradition and personal preferences. The classic Napolitano espresso is a single shot of espresso, containing 25ml of coffee made from 7-9g of ground coffee. Modern espresso-based beverages, such as cappuccinos, lattes, or flat whites, typically use a double shot of espresso, with a 1:2 ratio of espresso to steamed milk. By understanding the ratios and ingredients used in popular coffee beverages, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Whether you prefer a classic shot of espresso or a modern twist, there is a coffee beverage out there that will satisfy your cravings.


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