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What Kind of Coffee is a Piccolo?

If you’ve ever been intrigued by the term ‘piccolo’ on a coffee menu, you’re not alone. Originating from Australia, a piccolo, or piccolo latte, is a coffee beverage that’s gaining popularity worldwide. Despite its Italian name, which means ‘small,’ the piccolo isn’t a traditional Italian coffee but rather an invention of the modern coffee world.

Piccolo coffee

Section 1: Breaking Down the Piccolo

A piccolo is a ristretto shot (a short shot of espresso) topped with warm, silky milk served in a small glass. Typically, it’s served in a 3-ounce glass demitasse that holds about 20-30 ml of ristretto topped with 40-60 ml of steamed milk, including a thin layer of foam. It’s essentially a miniature latte with a stronger coffee flavor.

Section 2: The Piccolo vs. Other Coffee Drinks

The unique aspect of the piccolo lies in its balance of coffee and milk. While it’s similar to a latte or a cortado in terms of ingredients, the ratios vary significantly.

Piccolo vs. Latte

A latte typically contains a larger amount of milk, resulting in a milkier taste. A piccolo, with its smaller size and higher coffee-to-milk ratio, offers a stronger coffee flavor.

Piccolo vs. Cortado

The Spanish cortado also seeks a balance between espresso and milk, but it uses an equal ratio, whereas the piccolo features a ristretto shot, resulting in a more concentrated coffee flavor.

Section 3: The Appeal of the Piccolo

The piccolo is perfect for those who prefer the creaminess of milk-based coffee drinks but want a stronger coffee flavor. Its smaller size allows for a quick, flavorful coffee hit without the heaviness of larger milk-based beverages. It’s also excellent for tasting single-origin beans, where the unique flavors can shine through the milk.

Section 4: Additional Tips

When ordering a piccolo, remember that the quality of the espresso is crucial due to the coffee-forward nature of this drink. Opt for cafes that use high-quality beans and skilled baristas who can pull a great ristretto shot.

Section 5: Engage With Us!

Have you tried a piccolo latte? What did you think of the coffee-milk balance in this miniature marvel? If you haven’t, are you tempted to? Share your thoughts and experiences. We’d love to hear from you!


In essence, the piccolo is a small, potent coffee that beautifully balances the intensity of a ristretto shot with the creaminess of steamed milk. Its size makes it perfect for a quick coffee break, and its flavor profile appeals to those who appreciate the nuances of good-quality espresso. So, the next time you’re looking for a small but satisfying coffee hit, give the piccolo a try!


Related articles:

How to Make Piccolo Coffee

How Much Coffee Do You Put In a Piccolo?