I was recently chatting with a friend about ordering espresso in cafes. I said that I used to never order espresso from cafes. Even as I learned about speciality coffee, I preferred to order milky drinks when I was out. I reasoned that if I was in a cafe I would prefer to have a drink that I could sip on. Also, I love milky coffee drinks so I would seize the opportunity to order one. Now, however, I am ordering more espresso at cafes.
It all started after visiting some speciality shops in Edinburgh. I had trust in the cafes I visited so I thought I would make a leap and start ordering espressos. I ordered an espresso with a milk drink which meant I could have the best of both worlds: a delicious milk drink as well as a taste of espresso. This way of ordering has stuck and now I find myself interested in trying out new espressos.
At first, before I started ordering espressos, I saw espresso as a small drink that could be consumed quickly and then I would be left with nothing else to drink. I now see espresso as just another way to experience coffee. Espresso is much more concentrated than filter coffee and offers a certain texture and flavour profile that one cannot achieve with a filter coffee. Some cafes even offer different coffees on espresso which means you get to taste something new that is not available in a milky drink. This makes sense: some coffees work better with milk than they would with espresso (for instance, a fruit-forward Kenyan might not be as nice as a cappuccino but a dark chocolate tasting note might work really well with the cappuccino).
I am curious about your thoughts on espresso. Do you regularly order espresso from cafes? If so, do you have an espresso on its own or do you prefer to have another drink to accompany the espresso. I'd love to know. Now that I have started ordering espresso at cafes, and have a feel for what to expect, I intend to keep ordering espressos with a coffee. This might be something I just do when I am by myself though rather than when I am with someone!