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The espresso con panna is the tastiest yet most forgotten about espresso drink

espresso cup
Chevanon Photography / Pexels

Are you looking for something different to order on your next coffee shop run? A shot of espresso is a perfect choice when you’re in the mood for something strong and rich to start your day. If you head to your go-to coffee shop, chances are you’ll see the classic espresso drinks on the menu, such as lattes, cappuccinos, and americanos. But if you’re looking for something new to try, consider the delicious (and often forgotten) espresso con panna.

What is an espresso con panna?

An espresso con panna is a simple drink that consists simply of shots of espresso topped with whipped cream. In Italian, “espresso con panna” literally means espresso with whipped cream. It can be ordered with a single or double espresso shot. Depending on where you order it, you may also have the option to opt for a decaf espresso con panna (if decaf espresso shots are available). This drink is similar to a macchiato but differs in that the espresso is topped with whipped cream instead of a dollop of steamed milk.

This drink is small but mighty! Unlike an americano, which contains more liquid because water is added, the espresso con panna does not contain added water or milk. Instead of cream, the addition of whipped cream on top adds a slight creaminess to the drink and a touch of sweetness. What makes this drink so good is the texture of the whipped cream in each sip. Plus, you’ll get a fast dose of caffeine without having to drink an entire cup of coffee. Also, the espresso con panna is low in sugar and perfect for a ketogenic diet.

The espresso con panna drink is more of a specialty espresso drink, so you might not be able to find it everywhere. Some national coffee chains like Starbucks offer an espresso con panna; however, it is not offered at Dunkin’ or Panera. If you’re traveling abroad to England or France, you may see this espresso drink under another name as a “café vennois.”

Making an espresso con panna at home

Coffee cup on a surface
santarina81 / Pixabay

All you’ll need to make an espresso con panna at home is an espresso maker! Here’s how to whip up this delicious espresso drink at home.


  • Freshly brewed espresso
  • Whipped cream or heavy whipping cream
  • Vanilla syrup (optional) or other sweetener


  1. Start by brewing one or two shots of your favorite espresso roast.
  2. Top with one or two TBSP of whipped cream or heavy whipping cream.
  3. Add sweetener or syrup if desired. Sugar alternatives such as stevia leaf or monk fruit can add a slight touch of sweetness without adding additional sugar to your espresso drink.

If you’re dairy-intolerant, you can also substitute the heavy whipping cream or whipped cream for dairy-alternative whipped cream such as coconut milk whipped cream or almond whipped cream.

Emily Caldwell
Emily is a freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She holds a B.S…
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