How to make espresso con Panna at home

How to make espresso con Panna at home

If you are a coffee lover, you will definitely prefer coffee over dessert despite enjoying it to your heart’s content. But what would you do when you have both by making an innovative yet delicious espresso con Panna. The versatility that it offers will make your coffee drinking experience more special.   

Are you wondering what is con Panna? When a single or double shot of espresso meets with whipped cream, it is named as espresso con Panna. In Italian, it is translated as ‘espresso with cream.

This delicious beverage is quite popular all over the world, especially in Europe. If you are an espresso lover and want to do something innovative with a shot of espresso, read this guide to learn how to make Starbucks espresso con Panna at home.

espresso con Panna
espresso con Panna

What is espresso con panna? 

Espresso con Panna is one of the most delicious espresso coffees out there. It is a shot (single or double) of espresso with whipped cream floating on top. In simple words, it is just a shot of espresso with cream on top. It is a delicious coffee drink that not only satisfies your coffee and sweet cravings at once.

The other name of espresso con panna is caffee con panna. The bitterness that espresso offers against the contract of whipped heavy cream offers you a great coffee drinking experience.

The taste of coffee con Panna comes from coffee beans that you use for making espresso and whipped cream. If you want to enjoy incredibly delicious espresso con Panna, make sure to use high-quality whole beans and grind them. 

It has a close resemblance to a Vienna coffee due to its similar serving method and ingredients. It has different names in different regions, and for instance, people call it by different names in Europe and North America. 

In the United States and Canada, it may be called café Vienne, while in France and the UK, a similar drink is called café Viennois. 

Where does it come from?

The origin of this coffee drink is not clearly known. However, its name has some clues of Italian origin. That’s why people assume that it is Italian. Moreover, Espresso, the key ingredient of this drink, originated in Italy. So it is a fair chance that it comes from Italy.

It is also older than other espresso-based drinks, i.e., cappuccino. Despite all these facts, it has a vague history, and it may have traced back to Turkey because it is usually served in demitasse cups that are linked to Turkish coffee.

How to make espresso con Panna at home?

As mentioned above, espresso con Panna has not too many ingredients. Only two ingredients are required to make this drink.

Ingredients you need

Coffee beans to make Espresso

The taste of this popular drink depends on the high-quality espresso. To make a straight-up great shot of espresso, use the espresso roast, as it offers low acidity and a smooth aftertaste. You can use short espresso or long espresso to make espresso con Panna.

A coarser grind is used to make long espresso which increases the flow of espresso while decreasing the dose. Normally, ground coffee beans are used to create espresso shots. 

It is better to grind the whole beans yourself than purchase ground coffee beans, and freshly ground coffee beans contribute a lot to better taste. Moreover, you will also ensure that you get the grind size for the espresso machine.

Equipment you need:

  • You’ll need a clean bowl and whisk to make the espresso con Panna.
  • Espresso machine and electric mixer
  • A demitasse cup and small glass

Whipped cream:

A dollop of whipped cream is what makes your coffee as dessert. Use heavy cream. Store-bought whipped cream doesn’t bring the desired results. The ready-to-go whipped cream is not heavy enough to mix in with the shot of espresso like the homemade whipped cream does.

Use cow’s milk heavy cream with 20% milkfat to get good results. It will add flavor but is thick enough to sit on top. However, if you are vegan, use the casher-based cream. Two tablespoons of whipped cream are used for coffee con Panna.

Steps to make espresso con Panna

There are three steps to make this two-ingredient coffee drink: whipping the cream, pulling a shot of espresso, and topping it with cream.

Whip the cream

You can whip the heavy cream by hand or use an electric mixer. Traditionally, an electric mixer is not used for this purpose, and a hand mixer is used to whip the cream.

When you use an electric mixer, it will make the process easier and produce the same results as a hand mixer does. It is your choice whether you want to whisk the cream by hand mixer or an electric mixer. Whip it for about one minute until it is fluffy.

When you whisk the cream, the key is to get the right consistency. The more you practice, the more you get better results. When the cream starts making well-defined peaks, then stop whipping the cream. To make it extra special, you can add vanilla essence.

You can sweeten it with maple syrup and sugar to add a unique twist. If you want to enjoy the delicious espresso con Panna, don’t use the ready-to-go heavy cream, especially the low-fat cream.  

Pull your espresso shot.

Some people prefer french press espresso, and some use a Moka pot or espresso machine to brew it. No matter what machine you use to brew espresso, you need a good single or double shot of espresso to make it a heavenly drink.

Espresso is the heart of the coffee con Panna, and it means a good or bad shot of espresso can affect the taste.

To get the best results, use the espresso machine. Use freshly-grind dark roasted beans and pour them into the filter basket. Now tamp the grounds, attach your portafilter to the group, and pull your espresso shot. 

Top the espresso with whipped cream

Pour a single shot of espresso into the cup and garnish it with cream on top. An espresso cup or traditional demitasse cup can be used for serving. One to two tablespoons of whipped cream are enough to garnish it. You can make it in the glass or mug. Sugar and other sweeteners are not added to this drink traditionally. To add extra sweetness or a little aesthetic, sprinkle cinnamon or cocoa powder on the cream layer. Boom, it’s time to enjoy your delicious beverage. When you break through the whipped cream layer, you will get a delectable rush of coffee.

The secret weapon to make delicious espresso con Panna

Well-made espresso is the secret weapon to making good espresso con Panna at home. The taste of this bittersweet coffee depends on many factors, such as coffee beans, how you roast the coffee, the quality of the grind, and which technique you use to brew the espresso.

So make sure to take into account these things when you’re going to make this drink at home.


How much caffeine is in an espresso con Panna?

1.5 fluid ounces of espresso con Panna has about 150mg of caffeine. You can cut the caffeine amount in half if you only use one espresso shot in your drink.

How many calories does espresso con Panna has?

Espresso con Panna has 35 calories, but if you’re on a diet, you can limit the amount of whipped cream to make it a healthier drink. You can also add only one French press espresso shot if you’re limiting your caffeine intake.

Espresso con Panna vs Vienna Coffee:

Espresso con Panna and Vienna Coffee are two branches from the same tree, where the only difference between the two drinks is their serving method. The former is served in an espresso cup, while the latter is often poured into a latte cup. It is important to note that the size of both drinks is usually the same, and they feature a similar espresso with cream recipe.

espresso con Panna

How to drink it?

Since the whipped cream sits on top of Espresso con Panna, you may find it challenging to sip through it. You can use a mixer to merge the coffee with the whipped cream for a silky texture that’s joyful yet unique. If you want espresso with whipped cream on top, use a straw to sip delicious coffee with ease.

How Does It Taste?

Like many other popular espresso coffees, Espresso con Panna is a light concoction that doesn’t have any overpowering ingredients. It is the perfect amalgamation of bitter and sweet flavors which merge perfectly to deliver a joy-filled coffee drink that you can enjoy throughout the day.

To fully enjoy the ambiance of this luscious beverage, mix the whipped cream with the coffee using a spoon. The bitter flavor of the coffee will complement the creamy sweetness and vice versa.

What is the difference between espresso con Panna and espresso macchiato?

Many people often mistake espresso con Panna for espresso macchiato due to their similar texture. However, they both are separate drinks made from different components.

Espresso con Panna is made using espresso shots topped with whipped cream, while macchiato has espresso shots with a dollop of steamed milk. Regardless of which drink you choose, you’re in for a treat you’ll remember for a long time.

Do you mix espresso con panna?

Yes. The ideal way of drinking espresso con Panna is by mixing the whipped cream with the drink using a stirring tool. Of course, you can also let the cream sit on top while you sip the coffee through it (preferably through a straw).

Fortunately, you won’t be able to make this drink any less delicious however you consume it. Although if a barista gives you the evil eye while you sip espresso con Panna through a straw, it is best to mix your drink or run for your life.

How much caffeine is in an espresso con Panna

Bottom Line:

Espresso con Panna is admired all over the world as it offers an ample amount of deliciousness. The sweetness of whipped cream with the strong flavor of freshly brewed espresso is what every coffee lover needs.

Considered coffee as dessert, this drink is a great option for an after-dinner treat to satisfy your coffee craving. 

The best thing about espresso con Panna is that you do not need to go to Starbucks to enjoy it. You can easily make it at home with just two ingredients.

If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can still make it using a Moka pot or Nespresso machine. Moreover, you can customize it by toping the cream with chocolate powder or cinnamon to enhance its taste.

Have you ever made espresso con Panna at home? Share your experience with us in the comment box!

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