There are many espresso drinks, including cappuccino, latte, and flat white, but Espresso con Panna is even more indulgent. That’s because it combines espresso with whipped cream to make a beverage that works beautifully either as an alternative to your usual choice of drink or as a dessert coffee.
But how easy is it to make at home? Can you use an alternative to espresso if you don’t have an espresso machine? Also, can you add other ingredients?
This article answers those questions and provides a recipe for authentic Espresso con Panna so that you can try making one at home.
What Is Espresso Con Panna?
Espresso Con Panna is an Italian term that translates as “espresso with cream” – a coffee beverage consisting of espresso and whipped cream.
The coffee drink is traditionally served in a small glass or a demitasse cup with a spoon. The spoon allows you to scoop the whipped cream with the espresso to enjoy a balanced flavor throughout.
Typically, you’ll find traditional Espresso con Panna brewed with dark roasts because the whipped cream offsets the espresso’s bitterness. As a result, it’s unusual to see it served with lighter roasts or modern specialty coffee.
The presence of whipped cream in the drink means you’ll often see the beverage on a menu as a dessert. Indeed, some baristas even adorn the whipped cream with walnuts, cocoa, or other sweet ingredients.
Depending on your location, Espresso con Panna’s name may differ. For example, in the United Kingdom and France, the drink is called Café Viennois. Meanwhile, in Australia, you’ll find a similar beverage called Café Vienna. However, the latter is served in a glass or cup the same size as a latte or a cappuccino.
The beverage is particularly popular in Europe. However, it’s now available in many US coffee shops, including Starbucks.
How To Make Espresso Con Panna At Home
Because the drink only has two main ingredients – espresso and whipped cream – it’s relatively easy to make, providing you have the necessary equipment. Let’s take a look at an authentic Espresso con Panna recipe.
- 14-22g espresso coffee grinds for a double espresso shot
- Whipped cream (to make it from scratch, you’ll need heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, or other flavorings. However, canned whipped cream is fine too)
- Espresso machine
- Coffee grinder
- Electric mixer or whisk
Step One: Prepare The Whipped Cream
You can either use canned whipped cream or make it from scratch. However, If you use canned cream, its lighter consistency means it won’t stay separated from the espresso as well.
Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and any additional flavorings to a clean bowl to make real whipped cream. Whisk the mixture using either a manual or electric whisk. Do this until you get stiff peaks. Your aim is for the cream to double in size.
Step Two: Pull A Shot Of Espresso
Grind your dark roasted beans to a fine espresso grind size. Pour the grounds into your filter basket and tamp them. Attach the portafilter to the brew head and pull an espresso shot with an espresso machine. You can pull a single or double-shot espresso, depending on your preference.
Step Three: Add Whipped Cream To Espresso
You can place the whipped cream on top of the espresso using one or two spoonfuls, or you can prepare the cream in a whipped cream dispenser for more sweetness and a creamier mouthfeel. Start pressing the cream on the side of the cup, then rotate the cup until you have enough cream on the espresso.
Finally, add any topping you like, including cinnamon powder, chocolate powder, or walnuts.
Coffee Con Panna
Con Panna is Italian for “with cream,” so if you are brewing coffee instead of espresso in the beverage, you get Coffee con Panna. This is an excellent option if you want to try the drink but don’t have an espresso machine at home.
There are many ways you can brew coffee, and French press, Moka pot, and AeroPress are among the least expensive. Of those options, the Moka pot is the best because its coffee is robust and particularly close to espresso. However, AeroPress is also an excellent alternative too.
If you use a different brewing method than espresso, follow the same steps as the earlier recipe to make delicious Coffee con Panna at home.
Espresso con Panna vs Vienna Coffee
There are similarities with both drinks, the most prominent being that they each use coffee or espresso topped with whipped cream. However, baristas often pour milk into the coffee before adding the whipped cream with Vienna coffee. Meanwhile, Vienna coffee is often topped with cinnamon or chocolate for decoration. Espresso con Panna is usually more straightforward, with just espresso and a dollop of whipping cream.
The other key difference is that while you’d typically serve Espresso con Panna in a small espresso cup, Vienna Coffee is usually the same size as a cappuccino or a latte.
Espresso con Panna is a delicious option if you desire a drink that balances the strong flavor of espresso with the sweetness of whipped cream.
Indeed, it’s particularly delicious as an after-dinner treat, satisfying your caffeine craving with the indulgent mouthfeel and sweetness of a dessert.
The beverage is relatively simple to make at home, provided you have an espresso machine. However, even if you don’t, you can still make a Coffee con Panna using less expensive equipment for a similar result.
Finally, you can customize your Espresso con Panna to suit your tastes. So, feel free to either use canned whipped cream or make your own, and don’t be afraid to add whatever toppings you like to bring your personality to a simple yet delectable drink.
Espresso Con Panna
- Espresso Machine (Or you can brew coffee with other brewers)
- Coffee Grinder (Or you can use ground coffee)
- Electric mixer or whisk
- 18 grams ground coffee Espresso grind size
- 1 tbsp Whipped cream Make it from scratch or use canned whipped cream
Prepare The Whipped Cream
- You can either use canned whipped cream. If you want to make it from scratch, mix 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 tbsp of sugar and any flavorings you like. Whisk the mixture until you get the stiff peaks.
Pull A Shot Of Espresso
- Use your espresso machine to pull a single or double shot of espresso.
Add Whipped Cream To Espresso
- Add a spoon of whipped cream on top of the espresso, or press as much as you like with a dispenser.
Espresso con Panna FAQ:
This depends on how much whipped cream you use. This site details the nutrition facts of whipped cream:
For the canned whipped cream, check the calorie content on the label.
Keep in mind that any toppings or flavors you add will also increase the calorie content of the drink.
Espresso con Panna is available at Starbucks, but it’s not on the menu. So, instead, ask the barista for an Espresso con Panna, and you’ll receive a straight espresso shot topped with whipped cream. Afterall, they have delicious whipping cream for other coffee recipes.