How to make Classic Coffees with Nespresso & Dolce Gusto Pods | Plus the history behind their names.

The world of coffee is more than just black, or with cream and sugar. It’s a whole LOT more than that. There’s Americano, Irish coffee, Long Black, Cortado, Flat White. But what are they? And most importantly, how can you prepare them at home with your Coffee pods? Let’s begin with our list of coffee drinks par excellence. Click any of the Pod names to be transported to the Pod you need to make your Favourite Classic Coffee.


1. Americano

Other items:

  • Heat resistant glass or cup
  • Filtered or high quality water
  • Ice optional for cold variation

Let’s start with this classic go-to beverage. Also known as a “long black” there are two theories as to this coffee’s origins. Some theories suggest it was a term coined in the 70’s in either Latin America or Italy; a more popular theory is it was named after the American soldiers stationed in Italy during WWII. The story goes that the soldiers would dilute the espresso they were served with water to be more akin to the coffee back home.

This drink is simple but great, all you need to do is pull a single shot of espresso and add roughly 6 ounces or 177 ml of hot water to a cup and enjoy. Some variations include an iced Americano, where cold water and ice are swapped in as well. Feel free to add some extra shots, I always do!

For Nespresso, Costa Rica is an excellent pod to use for Americano due to its bold taste. As for Dolce Gusto fans, the Barista Italiano Intense Lungo is also a great choice for a staunch drink.




2. Latte

Other items:

  • Cup, bowl, mug or heat resistant glass
  • Milk foam (Nespresso Milk Frother)
  • Hot milk (Barista Italiano milk Pod)
  • Spoon

Latte has a storied origin. Going back to the 1700’s in Italy and Austria where it was often enjoyed for breakfast or at coffeehouses. Like Americano it is another classic staple coffee beverage. And here is how you can make one at home!

First, pull 1-2 espresso shots into your chosen cup or mug. Next, add your hot or steamed milk. You can microwave some in a microwave safe cup or mug for this steam. Third, use your spoon to add your foam to the top. You can make foam by whipping the hot milk or shaking some in a protein shaker.




3. Cappuccino

Other items:

  • Mug or cup
  • Steamed milk
  • Foam

All aspiring baristas should know how to make a good cappuccino! This drink is so thoroughly Italian and yet, actually has its origins in the 1700’s as the Viennese coffee house beverage known as kapuziner. Let’s take a look at how we can prepare a cappuccino at home.

The ratio for this drink is up for debate, with some asserting it should be 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam. Other’s suggesting it should be half espresso, with 25% milk and 25% foam. We encourage you to experiment with this one to get a perfect cappuccino at home!

First, add 1-2 espresso shots into your cup. Next, add your steamed milk. Once again, use a spoon to cover the remaining top with foam. The cappuccino differs from a latte in regards to its milk ratio. Latte has much more milk, while cappuccino has equal or more parts espresso. Feel free to add some cinnamon or other spices to the top!

We think our Napoletano gives an authentic Italian feel to this drink for Nespresso and Dolce Gusto lovers.




4. Espresso

Other Items:

  • Mug or cup, demitasse is best!

The espresso machine was invented in Turin Italy by Angelo Moriondo. This changed the world of coffee forever. And it introduced a whole host of new ways to enjoy the regal coffee bean. This one is a great standard drink for first thing in the morning or an after lunch boost. We will be introducing the Classic Espresso, but a whole bevy of great espresso styles do exist!

First, preheat your cup or mug. This keeps your espresso hot when it hits the cup. Next, pull a shot into your cup or mug. Finally, enjoy. Though it sounds simple, the experience of enjoying a straight shot of espresso is incredible.

Nespresso family may enjoy the vivaciousness of the Café Joe Costa Rica. Dolce Gusto crew may find the Barista Italiano Delicate Arabica a pleasant espresso choice. We opted for some less intense flavours for a general audience as this is a drink that isn’t tempered by other ingredients. For the adventurous try swapping in Café Joe Extra Strong, or Barista Italiano Intense Lungo.




5. Flat White

Other Items:

  • Cup, mug, heat resistant glass
  • Hot milk, our Barista Italiano milk Pod is a great resource for this

The Flat white was invented in Australia back in the 80’s. Other theories claim it was invented in New Zealand after a failed cappuccino attempt. The Flat White differs from the Latte by its milk content. Latte milk tends to be foamier and frothier. There is also usually more milk than coffee compared to a flat white.

To begin, pull 1-2 shots of espresso into your preheated mug or cup. Next, add your steamed or hot milk. Our Barista Italiano milk Pod serves to assist with the milk portion of this drink really well otherwise microwaved or steamed milk will do the trick.




6. Macchiato

Other items:

  • Cup or mug
  • Foam or steamed milk
  • Spoon          

Invented in Italy, the name means “marked with” to differentiate it from a regular espresso. The ratio of espresso to milk is the highest of any other espresso and milk beverage.

First, pull a shot of espresso into your mug or cup. Next add just a small dollop of hot milk or foam. The espresso is the main body of this drink and so the foam or milk serves as an accoutrement.

Cafe Joe Caramel makes for a sweet twist on this drink for Nespresso users and Ristretto for the Dolce Gusto gives an authentic Italian flavour.




7. Irish Coffee

Other items:

  • Heat resistant glass
  • Irish whiskey of your choice
  • Cream or whipped hot milk
  • Brown sugar OPTIONAL
  • Whipped cream OPTIONAL

While the precedent for this type of drink exists, once again, in Vienna, the true Irish coffee was invented in either Limerick, Ireland or at Shannon Airport in county Clare, Ireland. This one is alcoholic, but feel free to prepare a non-alcoholic one sans the whiskey.

First, pre-heat your heat resistant glass. Then, add in a shot (or two, we won’t tell anybody) of the Irish whiskey. Next, fill the rest of the glass with coffee, so feel free to be generous with the amount of shots you’d like to pull. Next, use a spoon to crest the top with cream or hot, whipped milk. Some optional choices with this one would be sweetening the coffee with some brown sugar and adding whipped cream in addition to the hot milk or cream at the top.

This one is meant to be sweet and creamy and so for Nespresso and Dolce Gusto we chose Hazelnut to compliment the whiskey


Irish Coffee


8. Long Black

Other items:

  • Cup, glass or mug
  • Filtered water

Another great drink courtesy of Australia and New Zealand. Similar to an Americano, but a bit stronger and with a more pronounced aroma. We wanted to highlight that with our choice of pods, too.

First, fill your heat resistant glass or cup up with water, 100-200 ml is the average, but feel free to modify this. Next, pour two shots, not one, but two, over the hot water. When it comes to cold styles, add the ice and cold water first, and pull the espresso into a cold mug and let it cool a bit so it does not melt all the ice immediately.

This drink is meant to be strong, and so for Nespresso users, we selected Café Joe Extra Strong Espresso, while for dolce gusto owners we chose Barista Italiano Intense Lungo to really pack a couple punches.


Long Black Coffee


9. Cortado

Other items:

  • Cup or mug
  • Hot milk

This Spanish drink is a great beverage to warm up for breakfast or at lunch. The name comes from the Spanish verb, “to cut” referring to the dilution of the espresso with the milk. This beverage differs from the others because the ratios will be half espresso and half milk. And this time the milk won’t be frothed or foamed, just hot or steamed.

To begin, pull two shots of espresso into your pre-warmed mug or cup, a demitasse is perfect. Next, heat up the milk, remember, it should be about equal in volume to the espresso. Finally, add in the hot milk to complete this superb drink.

The Cortado is meant to be enjoyed slowly to fully appreciate the texture and flavours. That is why for Nespresso users we have chosen Café Joe’s Cuban espresso, as the Cortado is also enjoyed in Cuba, while for the Dolce Gusto users we have selected Barista Italiano Delicate Arabica, to give the drink a pleasurable and delectable flavour.



Classic coffee is classy coffee

We hope you are inspired to give one or more of these excellent classic coffee drinks a try. Many of them are simple yet artful, and guaranteed to make for a superb beverage. Try swapping out different flavours of coffee pods to experiment with flavours that are perfectly suited to you and your tastes buds. And most importantly, remember to stay classy.

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