Espresso drinks composition infographic

Lokesh Dhakar's "Coffee Drinks Illustrated" is a wonderful, clean, lucid infographic showing the relative composition of a variety of espresso beverages. Link (via Neatorama)


  1. I’ve never had an Americano before, but surely it’s pretty much the same as just making regular coffee isn’t it?

  2. To #1:… from that pic, that actually looks like a very small amount of water, only about 2x the espresso!

    To #2: ‘Americano’ gets its name from the fact that people in other countries didn’t brew ‘drip’ coffee the way we Americans do, and this is a similar drink. However, different brewing methods (espresso vs. drip vs. French press, for instance,) using the very same beands will yield very different flavor profiles and consistency. Also, paper filters (used in drip but not espresso or presses) take away some of the oils that make coffee flavorful.

    #3: I don’t know where the link is.

    Further, in every Mocha I’ve ever made, I’d put the chocolate in first and pour espresso over it.

  3. I think it’s funny the Americano is essentially a watered down espresso. The French must have named it.

  4. I agree w/ #1 about too much water in the Americano.

    Additionally, anybody drinking the amount of chocolate shown there in their Mocha’s is gonna have a hell of a sugar rush to deal with. I give this graphic a thumbs down for being worthless in attempting to draw comparisons between the options.


  5. I believe that Cappuccinos do indeed contain steamed milk.

    The problem these days is that most places use too much milk and foam relative to the espresso.

    A traditional Cappuccino is roughly 5 oz total, I believe (give or take an ounce).

    But a Cappuccino from Starbucks, for example, is served in a 12 oz cup and the cup is usually FULL. Thus, the milk/coffee ratio is way too high and it actually feels and tastes like a latte.

    I prefer my Cappuccinos on the dry side anyway, which is even less steamed milk than shown in the picture.

  6. Agreed. Starbucks is (I’ve read) about 1/7th espresso…why I almost never go to Starbucks.

    Starbucks – Coffee for People who Hate Coffee

  7. Speaking as a barista, this graphic is only useful to give people who have no idea what the various drinks are a general idea of the ingredients. Beyond that, it’s useless. Even if we all could agree that these were the “proper” ratios, every little hole in the wall has their own slightly different versions of the drinks, so if you’re concerned about the details the only way to know is to ask.

  8. I would say that an Americano is still a more robust drink than regular coffee. If you want more of a kick to your coffee but can’t handle straight espresso I recommend an Americano.

  9. Just to nitpick for the sake of nitpicking… :)

    Drip coffee has about 18mg caffeine per oz
    Espresso has 50mg caffeine per oz

    These numbers are obviously rough indicators and can vary a lot by brew strength.

    But as you can see – Espresso is stronger, but you drink much less of it.

    So an 8oz coffee will have slightly more caffeine than a double Americano. And people get at least a 12oz drop (“Tall”), which has a LOT more caffeine than a double Americano.

    That said – I think Americanos TASTE stronger because of the bitterness of the espresso.

  10. Also, the diagram makes it look like water over the espresso. Espresso should be poured over the water to preserve the creama.

  11. Please, please discard any information gleamed off this visually pleasing graphic. Any poor sucker whose spent his life slanging espresso variations will tell you that the saddest thing about corporate coffee is that the barista has been boiled down to simple automated proportions. If you’ve ever been a true fan of the cappuccino you understand that the quality and proportion of the ingredients takes a back seat to how it all comes together in that moment of action. But then again it just goes to show that you nerds can’t learn to do physical things from knowledge in only 2 dimensions. Sorry Guys.

  12. The author added a lot of trash coffees and forgot the better one:
    marocchino, or capuccino with a bit of cocoa powder on top.

    Anyway people should not know what’s in the coffee, it’s up to the barman to know, and he should not bug the customers with unnecessary details

  13. You would need that powers of 10 trick in order to visualise a real Americano. This is the way you make it if the only thing you have is a European drip maker:

    # Brew coffee. Throw it away. Keep the slurry in place.

    # Refill the water tank. Brew again.

    # Dilute with plain water until it tastes like American beer. Dilute again.

    Some other day I’ll tell you how to make creamer from materials legally available in Europe. You’ll get plenty of it, because this whole thing involves a visit to a construction supplier :)

  14. i’ve seen this years ago (like 5-6) used on the menu of an actual coffee shop in Birmingham UK; but with the correct – italian – ratios.

  15. “every little hole in the wall has their own slightly different versions of the drinks”

    That is their bad. Slight variation is inevitable but a purposeful variation should not be called by a classic name (the variation should be noted). The fall of an artform is a sad thing to see.

  16. [I’m the same ‘anonymous’ who posted #4.]

    Say what you will about Starbucks, but as a dude who works for them now, and has worked for an indy shop before, totalling 2 years in the business, here is my conclusions:

    1. Starbucks regular coffee and beans are .excellent. compared to most shops, and also stored in better conditions, brewed more frequently in-store (for freshness,) and they actually are a socially responsible corporation.

    2. Aside from that, if you want a good espresso based drink, go elsewhere. If you want your shitty cappuccino in under 3 minutes from when you walk through the door, go to Sbux. Sbux is low-quality drinks (aside from the regular coffee) made quickly and consistently with superior customer service. That’s why they’re taking over the world. Nobody gives a shit how close to perfect their latte is. Before I worked for Sbux, I’d never have served the latte’s we routinely serve customers.

    However, if I actually make a customer a proper latte, they look at me like I have two retarded heads. No Foam. Evar.

    3. Americanos are stronger than brewed coffee. Try it yourself. Regardless of what those stats say. I don’t know who’s brewing those espresso shots, but they’re doing it wrong.

    4. An espresso shot should use the same amount of coffee (and have the same caffeine) as an 8 oz drip. The water is just forced through, not dropped through. Also, it’s ground much finer.


  17. A comment posted by Lomesh on the entry:

    “Early next week I hope to add another post about the diagrams in which I hope to do a few things:

    * Release the source files under a Creative Commons license so others can extend and localize the diagrams.
    * Offer a PDF that contains all the diagrams.
    * Give a little story about the design process that led to their creation.
    * And possibly offer shirts and mugs through a print-on-demand service, time permitting.”

  18. I despair of this thread figuring out that the point wasn’t the specific percentage of this or that ingredient; it was the way the information was displayed. The data itself can be corrected.

    Have you never stared at a menu and wondered how much shrimp a particular shrimp dish actually contains?

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