IMG_20131012_115043_677Let’s take a coffee quiz before you enjoy the rest of this edition of Sip Tips:

#1: Does espresso have more caffeine than brewed coffee?

#2: Is a macchiato really full of vanilla syrup, steamed milk and drizzled with caramel syrup?

#3: Can you get a large or “venti” cappuccino?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then grab your favorite cup of joe and read on because you are about to learn a few things …

Coffee is a delicious wake-me-up enjoyed by over half of the United States population (accounting only for coffee consumers over the age of 18 years old) – that is 107 million daily drinkers! About 20 million of those drinkers enjoy specialty or espresso based beverages – that is over 7 billion earthy, foamy and chocolaty rich beverages consumed a year.

From cappuccinos, to mochas, to the macchiato, espresso has been prevalent in the United States for years and things don’t look like they’re going to change any time soon.

Espressos machines are making their appearances at restaurants all over town! Try some espresso beverages with your Sunday brunch or after your delicious Friday date night meal (How else are you going to stay up for the movie flick?). Using a Restaurant.com certificate is a great way to upgrade your normal ole coffee with an espresso beverage! Plus, after reading this edition of Sip Tips – you will be fully educated on which espresso drink to order.

richardYou are curious about the answers to the quiz, let’s see how you scored. The answer to question #1:

Typically, brewed coffee will have anywhere from 175 mg to 330 mg of caffeine per 16 oz serving. On the flip side, a shot of espresso will have around 75 mg of caffeine. Most espresso drinks will have one to two shots, keeping the caffeine levels in check but still having enough to perk you up for Monday morning meetings or helping you get through Classroom duty with the kids! Espresso doesn’t have so much caffeine to where you’re on a caffeine “buzz”!

The answer to question #2:

We love the caramel macchiato … we really do. It’s steamy and sweet and perfect for these chilly fall days. But a true macchiato does not have any steamed milk. It is espresso with a very small dollop of milky foam. We will keep drinking the latte“other” version of the macchiato because we grew up with that delicious beverage. But when you want a little espresso kick, cut with just a little bit of foam, get the real macchiato. Let’s say you want a little bit of steamed milk in there … then order it “wet”. Your barista will happily add some steamed milk. You can get one shot of espresso (solo) or two shots of espresso and that is called a doppio (doh-pee-oh) macchiato. We love these options; it has the richness of the espresso but does not have as much milk as a cappuccino! This saves you a few calories as well.

Which brings us to … the answer to question #3:

A venti or large cappuccino, unless you put a large amount of espresso, just doesn’t work with the proportions. A true cappuccino is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam. Some baristas might attest that a cappuccino comes in one size only: 6 ounces. That’s 2 ounces of espresso, 2 ounces of steamed milk and 2 ounces of velvety foam. Yum!

After your next delicious meal, why don’t order up some of these delicious espresso drinks instead of dessert (Espresso – it’s not just for breakfast!)

Mocha – Espresso, steamed milk and rich, decadent chocolate syrup.shutterstock_151708913
Caffe Affogato – Vanilla Ice Cream and drizzled with espresso.
Or one of these sweetened whipped cream espresso drinks: a Viennois – 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot milk and 1/3 sweetened whipped cream & a Con Panna – which is espresso with sweetened whipped cream.

Did you pass our quiz? What are your favorite espresso drinks?