Espresso con Panna is a delicious cafe drink that goes by many names. It is sometimes referred to as chantilly cream or Wiener Melange.
This luxuriously rich and creamy drink is made from a double shot of espresso that has been topped with freshly made whipped cream.
As you can probably guess, having only two ingredients means that the quality of the espresso and the whipped cream matter a great deal.
This is not the type of drink that can be substituted with regular coffee and a spray bottle of whipped cream.
That being said, when an espresso con Panna is brewed correctly, it tastes divine. The deep and rich chocolate flavors of the espresso pair perfectly with the thick vanilla cream. This coffee is so good, it should count as a dessert.
What is the best espresso to use for an espresso con Panna?
Traditionally, a doppio is used to make an espresso con Panna, but single shots are just as acceptable. This type of drink tastes best using espresso machine coffee because of its rich flavor.
For an espresso machine, I recommend using 18 g of finely ground coffee in a double shot. While there has been much debate over how long the shot should be, ultimately it seems that no one can agree.
Using a long, medium, or short shots will all make a great espresso con Panna.
Can I use a Nespresso machine to brew espresso con Panna?
Nespresso machines are absolute lifesavers on busy days when you just need some fast espresso to wake you up.
The Nespresso’s push of a button technology can brew a latte or americano faster than any espresso machine.
Luckily for us, they can also be used to brew mouth-wateringly good espresso con Panna. Your Nespresso machine can only pull one shot at a time, however, so the wait might be a little bit longer for your espresso con Panna than it would be for a latte. After trying this drink once, I can definitely say that it is worth that extra wait time.
Can I use a Moka pot to brew espresso con Panna?
Moka pots are perfect for espresso lovers who can’t afford a fancy espresso machine for their home. They are relatively inexpensive and can yield the same aromatic flavor as an espresso machine if used correctly.
Moka pots require a bit more technique than a regular coffee brewer, but once you get the hang of it, you will be brewing rich espresso every day.
Moka pots are unusual because the finely ground coffee is pressurized by the rising steam that comes from the bottom compartment.
The steam from the bottom compartment pushed on the espresso grounds above it, which eventually condense into a deliciously frothy espresso-like liquid at the top of the Moka pot.
Due to the steam’s pressure, Moka pot coffee has a crema layer just like espresso. Moka pot espresso is a wonderful contribution to espresso con Panna.
How to make whipped cream for espresso con Panna
Espresso con Panna is simply plain espresso without its deliciously fluffy whipped cream topping. If you are a big coffee drinker, you probably love espresso regardless of what it is served with, but for espresso con Panna, whipped cream is a must!
I do not recommend using store-bought whipped cream. The kind you get from a canister sure looks pretty, but the taste is fundamentally different (and not in a good way). Honestly, canister whipped cream just makes the whole drink taste cheap.
If you are looking for the rich and creamy espresso con Panna that has been served in hundreds of cafes worldwide, you need to make the whipped cream yourself. But do not worry, making whipped cream at home is incredibly cheap and easy.
There are only two ingredients needed to make whipped cream, but more flavors can be added to suit your tastes.
For a basic whipped cream, all you need is heavy whipping cream and sugar. These ingredients are combined with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Yum!
You can achieve whipped cream by whisking the heavy whipping cream very fast for a few minutes, but doing this takes a lot of arm strength.
It probably will not turn out as stiff as shaped as whipped cream made with an electric mixer, but just because it doesn’t look as pretty does not mean it tastes any different!
To take your whipped cream to the next level, try adding some flavored extracts. For espresso, I wouldn’t go too crazy experimenting with flavors. A dash of vanilla extract can really accentuate the dark taste of the espresso in a beautiful way.
If you prefer, you can also add flavored syrups to your whipped cream. Hazelnut Syrup is one of my absolute favorites, and after trying it with espresso con Panna, I think I am addicted!
How to serve espresso con panna
Espresso con Panna is a small drink when compared to regular coffee sizes. The smallest American coffee drink is usually 12 oz. That is huge compared to the demitasse cup that espresso con Panna is traditionally served in.
A demitasse cup is a 2-3 fluid oz mug that is often referred to as a half cup. Despite its nickname, a demitasse is much smaller in size than half a cup. Espresso con Panna is also often served on a saucer, which adds to the whole aesthetic.
If you are a heavy espresso drinker like I am, I recommend purchasing the whole demitasse set. It will often come with a miniature spoon to stir your heavenly whipped cream into the bitter espresso. Having the whole set makes espresso con Panna seem more like a treat.
How to pull the perfect espresso shot for espresso con Panna
Any espresso shot will make a good-tasting espresso con Panna, but to take this drink to the next level, some espresso technique adjustments will need to be made.
It is recommended to use 18 g of finely ground espresso-grade coffee beans for a double shot of espresso.
Tightly pack the espresso into the machine’s portafilter, When filling the portafilter, round the grounds slightly so they will pack tighter.
This will brew a more flavorful espresso shot. Lightly tap the portafilter on the counter to settle the grounds.
Using 30 lbs of pressure, pack the grounds into the portafilter with a tamping rod. Give the tamping rod a twist to catch any grinds that might not have been packed and lock the portafilter into the espresso machine.
Next, simply pull the espresso shot following the directions specific to your espresso machine. There are many types of espresso machines out there, so I highly recommend using the instruction manual for the best results.
How to Easy and Delicious Espresso con Panna with Recipe
Espresso con Panna is a heavenly drink. It is made from delightfully sweet homemade whipped cream that cuts the bitterness of the dark espresso. It is quite the treat.
Because there are only two ingredients, it is important that both the espresso and the whipped cream are high in quality. Serve it in a demitasse cup and enjoy this beautiful coffee!
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar, vanilla syrup, vanilla extract, or maple syrup
Espresso con Panna
- 2 oz espresso (or a doppio)
- 3 tablespoons freshly made whipped cream
- Combine the heavy whipping cream and the sugar or syrup in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, combine the ingredients until stiff peaks form and set them aside.
- Use 18 g finely ground espresso to brew a doppio. Pour the espresso into a demitasse cup.
- Dollop 3 tablespoons of whipped cream on top of the doppio.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Espresso con Panna is a beautiful traditional Italian coffee drink. It is the perfect treat for espresso lovers who also have a sweet tooth.
The sweet basicity of the whipped cream perfectly counters the espresso’s bitter acidity, enhancing its natural chocolate flavors.
Although espresso con Panna looks and tastes elegant, it is incredibly simple and easy to brew. It can be ordered at nearly any cafe because it contains two very common ingredients. Espresso con Panna is low in calories, making it a guilt-free treat.
On top of that, it is a cheap drink compared to many other gourmet coffees and packs a big caffeine punch. Next time you are at your favorite coffee house, try ordering espresso con Panna. Or just make it at home!