Have you ever heard of piccolo coffee before? If you’re not a seasoned barista in a top coffee shop, chances are you’ve never heard of this drink. It is actually a very popular coffee in Australia, which is where it is rumoured to originate from.
If you want to know all about piccolo coffee and how they are made, then you have come to the right place. We will be covering all the nuts and bolts of piccolo coffee and the simple steps for making them yourself at home.
What Is A Piccolo Coffee?
The word “piccolo” itself means “small” in Italian, so piccolo coffee translates directly to “small coffee”. You can also refer to piccolo coffee as piccolo latte or simply piccolo since all 3 terms can be used interchangeably. To put it simply, piccolo coffee is a ristretto that is served in a 90 ml cup along with steamed milk.
But what is a ristretto shot?
A ristretto is fairly similar to an espresso, the only difference being that a ristretto uses half the amount of water needed to extract a cup of espresso. They tend to have stronger, bold flavours with less caffeine content.
Why Is It Difficult To Find?
You may find it challenging to find piccolo latte on the menu in most coffee shops. This is due to the drink’s low popularity among coffee shops and coffee aficionados alike, as well as its similarity to a cortado (another type of coffee drink) which causes them to often be mistaken for each other.
What Are The Differences Between A Piccolo, Cortado, and Cafe Latte?
Here are the key things that differentiate a piccolo, cortado, and regular cafe latte:
|Coffee||Milk To Coffee Ratio|
|Regular Cafe Latte||One or Two Espresso Shots||More milk than coffee|
|Piccolo||One Ristretto Shot||Less milk than coffee|
|Cortado||Double Ristretto Shots||Equal parts coffee and milk|
How To Make A Piccolo Latte
We have listed the following ingredients and equipment that you will need to prepare before making piccolo latte at home:
- Freshly Ground Coffee
- Espresso Machine
- Steamer / frother if your machine doesn’t have one
Tip: the better the quality of coffee ground and milk you use, the richer and tastier your piccolo latte will be.
Here are the steps you need to follow to make a delicious cup of piccolo coffee:
- Brew 1 ristretto shot using your coffee ground. Make sure your coffee is freshly ground, regardless if you bought it or ground it yourself.
- Steam or froth your milk.
- Pour your ristretto into a 90 ml cup, before then pouring your steamed milk at a coffee to milk ratio of roughly 2:1.
Tips For Making Delicious Piccolo Coffee
- It is highly recommended that you choose quality Arabica coffee with chocolate or caramel “notes” instead of more fruity coffees.
- Full cream milk is the best option for steaming as it provides the best texture and flavour for your coffee. However, if you wish to opt for a non – dairy milk, we recommend oat milk.
- When brewing your ristretto, always use a fine grind and never a fine grind. This is because ristretto extraction is much shorter than regular espresso’s, so your coffee must be fine in texture in order to avoid under extraction.
- Don’t steam or froth your milk too creamy since a piccolo is made of mostly milk and not foam.
- Steam your milk to around 60°C for the best texture.