Piccolo Coffee: the baristas’ favourite in Australia

by | Mar 8, 2021 | Brew Guides, Knowledge

Several variations of the most cherished coffee beverage (espresso and vaporized milk) have existed for years. One beverage that has gained significant popularity over the last decade in Australia is Piccolo coffee.

If you are searching for a robustly flavored drink that is deliciously creamy and is incredibly nutritious, this is the best answer to satisfy your coffee cravings. Made up of concentrated espresso shot and frothy milk, this beverage packs full flavor in a small glass.

You might be interested in having a look of our “how to choose the best blend for you” post. It might come in handy if you are looking for the perfect coffee bean selection to create your piccolo.

Origins of Piccolo Coffee

The myths regarding the origins of piccolo coffee highlight that the coffee originated in Sydney, Australia. It was invented when baristas and roasters running tests to investigate how their brews and roasts tasted with milk throughout the day. The beverage gained much more popularity in the last decade because very little goes a long way.

In the Italian Language, the word piccolo means “small.” So, it means that piccolo is a petite version of the latte. In the simplest terms, piccolo coffee is a single espresso shot with steamed milk. You can call it a decadent, flavorful drink that maintains the coffee body without being overpowered by the addition of milk.

Piccolo Coffee Recipe


Here is a list of ingredients that you will need to make Piccolo Coffee from the comfort of your kitchen.

  • Dark roasted coffee beans (finely ground)
  • Milk (2 ounces)

Equipment Needed

  • Espresso maker or Moka Pot
  • Automatic milk frother
  • Small glass

The best option is to use an espresso machine or a portable espresso maker. If it is not available, you can use a Moka pot. Moka pot won’t bring optimal results as it won’t produce a full espresso shot; however, it’s the closest you can get without using a specific machine.

Ristretto shot and its connection with Piccolo Coffee

Ristretto (a concentrated short shot of espresso) is the basis of the piccolo. A ristretto shot is made with the same amount of coffee and almost half the amount of water. It is nearly 20 mm or less than half an ounce. The concentrated flavor may appear bitter to you.

However, if the extraction time is short, the coffee offers a sweet flavor. Adding milk enhances the taste of Piccolo Coffee and serves to be the best creamy little treat.

Making Piccolo Coffee

Here is the complete procedure:

  1. If you use an espresso machine to make piccolo coffee, pull a ristretto shot with a 20-gram dose and 20 to 22-second brew time. Contrarily, if you are using a portable espresso maker, add slightly less water to produce a more concentrated shot. As a last resort, you can use Moka pot to brew a strong cup of coffee.
  2. Using an automatic milk frother, steam and froth the milk. If you don’t have an automatic milk frother, heat the milk over low heat on the stove and whisk it using your hand. Another option is, you can also heat the milk in a jar in the microwave and then shake it vigorously, making foam.
  3. Pour the espresso into a small cup and gradually add milk. That’s it. Your delicious and creamy piccolo coffee is ready. Serve or enjoy.

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