Piccolo Coffee – Everything You Need To Know!

Ever heard of a Piccolo? Over the last 10 years, we see the interest in Piccolo latte growing. Though you can’t find it in most coffee houses, it is still trending. Before we talk more about this milk-based coffee, let’s answer the most obvious question.

What is a Piccolo coffee? A Piccolo latte is made with 1 part Ristretto shot and 3 to 4 parts of steamed milk. It is usually served in a 3 to 4oz (~114ml) glass making it a small-sized latte as its name suggests. A Piccolo is a lot stronger in flavor when compared to a Latte and is best suited for seasoned palates.

How To Make A Good Piccolo Coffee?

Okay, reading about Piccolo latte has piqued your interest but you can’t find it in your local coffee shop?

Don’t worry. You can make one right in the comfort of your home. 

First, make sure you have a 4oz cup ready.

Next, make a shot of Ristretto using your espresso machine. Use the same amount of coffee as you would for an espresso shot, but use only half the amount of water. Your Ristretto shot should be around 15 to 20ml. Pour that into your 4oz cup.

Now, you have to make your steamed milk. You will be needing around 85ml of steamed milk to go on top of your Ristretto shot. Once your warm milk is ready, slowly add it on top of your Ristretto shot. 

Do add a small layer of foamed milk or milk foam to make it look beautiful.

If you have a 4oz glass, then that would make it even better. 

This Piccolo recipe is not the only way to make Piccolo coffee. The basics are the same so don’t hesitate to make improvisations as you might end up with a better Piccolo on your hands.

Also Read: Is Chai Latte Coffee?

Piccolo Coffee vs Cortado

A Cortado is a drink that is mostly confused with a Piccolo. If you order a Piccolo in a restaurant, there is a good chance that you’re going to end up with a Cortado.

What is the difference between a Piccolo coffee and a Cortado? A Piccolo coffee comes with 1 part Ristretto with 3 to 4 parts of steamed milk whereas a Cortado comes with 1 part espresso with 1 part of steamed milk. A Cortado can have even 2 shots of espresso but should also have equal parts of steamed milk.

In terms of coffee strength, a Cortado is stronger than a Piccolo latte. This is because the amount of milk in a Cortado is smaller than in a Piccolo.

Which is the better one? We’ll leave that to you as both are excellent coffee drinks that will treat you well with the right amount of coffee hit. 

Piccolo Coffee vs Regular Latte

What is the difference between a Piccolo coffee and a regular Latte? A Latte comes with 1 part espresso and 3 to 4 parts steamed milk with a layer of foam on top whereas a Piccolo latte comes with 1 part Ristretto and 3 parts of steamed milk. Sometimes, a latte can even have 2 shots of espresso which will lead to a very milk-heavy coffee.

For the calorie-conscious, a Latte is a no-go. A Piccolo is a stronger drink when compared to a Latte. But if you’re taking the amount of caffeine into consideration, then a 2-espresso shot Latte will win over a Piccolo coffee.

Also Read: Is A Latte Stronger Than A Regular Coffee?

Piccolo Coffee vs Macchiato

What is the difference between a Piccolo coffee and a Macchiato? A Macchiato comes with an espresso shot and a splash of milk. It is a lot stronger than a Piccolo coffee as it comes with a Ristretto shot and thrice the amount of milk. A Piccolo is weaker than a Macchiato but is stronger than a Cappuccino.

A Macchiato is right in the middle between an espresso shot and a cappuccino. If you’re looking to cut down on calories, a Macchiato is a better option than a Piccolo latte. Be warned that a Macchiato can be a lot stronger in flavor.

Piccolo Coffee vs Flat White

What is the difference between a Piccolo coffee and a Flat White? A flat white comes with two shots of espresso and 100ml of frothed milk. When compared with a Piccolo, it comes with an extra shot of espresso and a lot more milk. If you’re looking for a Piccolo-like drink with more milk content, then a flat white is your drink of choice.

But if you’re looking for a drink with minimum milk in it, then you should go for a Piccolo. 

Piccolo Coffee vs Cappuccino

What is the difference between a Piccolo coffee and a Cappuccino? A Piccolo coffee is made from a Ristretto shot (20ml) and steamed milk (60 – 80ml) whereas a Cappuccino is made with a shot of espresso (or two) and steamed milk with a thick foam on top. A Cappuccino is usually 150ml which makes it a heavier drink than the Piccolo.

If you are looking to enjoy the flavors of the coffee, then a Piccolo would be your drink. It can also bring caloric consumption down. With a Cappuccino, you are getting a more filling coffee that has a bit of sweetness to it, thanks to more milk content.

Where Is Piccolo Coffee From?

Piccolo Latte was invented in Sydney. The baristas and roasters wanted to test their brews with milk and as they can’t keep consuming a lot of milk, they decided to add very little milk to each tasting cup. This helped them taste various mixes and also prevent dairy bloating. That’s how Piccolo Coffee was born.

This origin story is the oldest we hear on the interwebs. No evidence proves that this is how things unfolded. But no one seems to have a problem with this story, so that’s the one we are going to stick with.

The Australian coffee culture has embraced the Piccolo more than any other so it is only fair to accept this origin.

How Big Is A Piccolo Latte?

A Piccolo latte is a small and dense coffee drink. It comes with a 15 to 20ml Ristretto shot and 60 to 80 ml of steamed milk. So you are getting a drink that is not more than 100ml in size. This is also one of the least caloric coffees out there.

If someone served you a coffee drink that is more than 100ml, then that is not a Piccolo latte. In the 200ml range, that would become a latte, and in the 150ml range, that might as well be a cappuccino.

Does Starbucks Sell Piccolo Coffee?

Starbucks does not sell Piccolo coffee. But if you are raring to have a Piccolo at Starbucks, then you can ask for a short flat white as it is the closest one as of now. Having said that, you can find Piccolo latte on the menu in Australian Starbucks.

Because Piccolos were done first in Sydney, it is only fair that Starbucks in Australia has them on their menu. I’m sure the coffee fraternity will appreciate it if the other Starbucks (from the rest of the world) follow suit.

What Cup Is A Piccolo Coffee Served In?

A Piccolo coffee is served in a 3 to 4-oz glass. Piccolo stands for small in Italian and as the name suggests, you will end with a coffee that is just shy of 100ml. So getting a 4oz or 114ml cup or glass will be the right pick for serving a piccolo.

If you’re looking for something fashionable, you can go for a demitasse cup that can hold up to 90ml of coffee. Fill your ristretto (20ml) first and fill the rest of the cup with steamed milk. Your Piccolo is ready to serve.

How Many Shots Of Coffee Are There In A Piccolo?

A Piccolo latte comes with a single Ristretto shot which is about 15 to 20ml. The Ristretto shot used here is a condensed form of espresso and carries a stronger coffee flavor.

As for the overall coffee flavor, you get a nice kick of coffee with a Piccolo as it comes with little milk when compared to the likes of a latte. You will drink less milk but also get a strong hit of caffeine.

How Many Calories Are In A Piccolo Coffee?

On average, a piccolo coffee comes with 45 calories. When compared to regular lattes, the piccolo latte is a light drink which makes it a great choice for people who are counting their calories. 

As a purist coffee lover, ignore the instant coffee freaks, if you’re looking for an even more calorie-deficit drink, then the macchiato would be your friend at just 18 to 20 calories.

Closing Thoughts

Piccolo coffee is an easy to make drink.

It comes in a small glass and has a pretty strong flavor profile

If you’re a fan of espresso shots, then there is a good chance that you’ll also like its Australian cousin.

Try to take our Piccolo coffee recipe and include your own spin on it. Make it more joyful or invent a whole new drink and maybe even name it after your dog. Switch regular milk with almond milk or oat milk and see how your coffee fares. Just be sure to maintain the coffee milk ratio.

Some might call if specialty coffee but once you get the knack of it, you can reproduce this small-sized bullet without any issues.

If you’ve tried Piccolo coffee co before and loved the caffeine rush, then do let us know about your experience and tell us if you’d take your friend for a second cup. Didn’t like it? Share that as well!

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