Calling all coffee lovers! This coffee romano recipe is an invigorating twist on a traditional espresso drink that combines robust espresso with the bright, citrusy flavors of lemon.
This delightful beverage is easy to make yet boasts complex flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. Read on for the origins of this drink, tips for making it properly, serving suggestions, and how to store any leftovers.
☕️ What is Coffee Romano?
Coffee romano is a versatile drink made by combining a classic espresso shot with little lemon juice and a twist of lemon zest. This Italian invention often uses Meyer lemons or Sorrento lemons, with either a lemon wedge or lemon twist added to the espresso to add bright lemon flavors.
The tart lemon balances the bitterness of the espresso for a refreshing beverage. Coffee romano makes a particularly enjoyable hot summer day drink. With its blend of classic espresso and zesty lemon overtones, coffee romano is a unique twist on two iconic Italian ingredients.
The interplay of espresso and lemon flavors makes coffee romano a versatile drink to enjoy any time of day.
Locals claim that the espresso romano was invented in the town of Giugliano during the early 20th century, though definitive evidence supporting this origin story remains elusive. While the origins of espresso Romano may be shrouded in mystery, the second world war certainly popularized the cup of espresso romano.
The postwar scarcity of coffee beans compelled resourceful Italians to savor the robust flavor of espresso romano and make the most of their limited rations. So regardless of whether espresso romano was truly an American invention, this delightful drink has become an iconic symbol of Italian culture, prized for its distinctive medley of flavors. Sipping a cup of espresso romano offers a sensory experience steeped in Italian espresso history.
🩺 Health Benefits of Cafe Romano
Drinking espresso romano provides some interesting espresso romano benefits for health. The espresso acts as a natural stimulant that can provide an energy boost. The lemon's acidity and its citric acid content aid digestion and metabolic function. The essential oils in lemon zest also promote health benefits.
Studies show that citric acid may help prevent heart disease and improve cardiovascular health. The acidity of the lemon balances the pH of the espresso as well. Café romano is a good idea to drink first thing in the morning, as the lemon’s acidity can stimulate digestion.
When consumed in moderation, this classic Italian espresso drink promotes overall health. Getting these espresso romano benefits is as easy as brewing up this unique beverage that combines lemon and coffee.
🍋 Why This Espresso and Lemon Recipe Works
What makes this espresso Romano recipe so special? Here's why this recipe results in an amazing drink:
- The bitterness of espresso is balanced beautifully by the acidity of fresh lemon. This creates a delightful combination of flavors.
- The citrus oils in the lemon peel add an intense, aromatic element when expressed over the drink.
- The drink is very versatile - it can be served hot or chilled, and customized with different citrus, sweeteners, and optional liquors.
- The step-by-step instructions ensure you can make consistent coffee romano drinks anytime.
- It's a refreshing summer drink, perfect for a hot day.
- You likely have all the ingredients on hand already in your kitchen!
🔪 Ingredients Needed
To make one serving of coffee romano, you will need:
- An espresso machine or moka pot
- 1 shot of espresso (about 1 ounce)
- 1 teaspoon of white sugar or simple syrup (optional)
- 1 slice of lemon (preferably a Meyer lemon if available)
Optional additional ingredients:
- Coffee liqueur like Kahlua (1 ounce or to taste)
- Whipped cream or milk foam to top
- Lime slice or other citrus instead of lemon
The key is to use high quality, fresh ingredients. Make sure your espresso is freshly brewed at home or from your favorite cafe. Choose aromatic lemons with bright yellow rinds.
Don't have all the ingredients? Try these substitutions in your coffee romano:
- Espresso: Any regular espresso will do. Use strongly brewed coffee like dark roast drip coffee. I would avoid using cheap instant coffee for this recipe.
- Lemon: Any fresh citrus juice and zest can work, like lime, grapefruit, or orange.
- Sugar: Agave nectar or other liquid sweeteners can replace granulated sugar.
- Coffee liqueur: Substitute with amaretto, Irish cream, or hazelnut liqueur.
- Meyer lemon: Regular lemons or limes can be used instead.
📖 Step-by-Step Instructions
Follow these easy steps to make a delicious coffee romano drink:
Brew Espresso: Brew one shot of espresso and pour into one or two clean coffee cups or a cocktail glass.
Add Sweetener (optional): Add 1 teaspoon of sugar or simple syrup to the espresso and stir to dissolve. You can adjust the sweetener to taste.
Add Lemon: Slice a lemon in half and squeeze some juice from one half into the espresso (about 1 teaspoon).
Rub the outer yellow peel side of the lemon around the rim of the glass to express the oils.
Serve & Enjoy: Drop the lemon slice into the espresso and serve immediately while hot.
Optional: Top with whipped cream or milk foam. For an alcoholic coffee romano, add 1 ounce coffee liqueur before topping with whipped cream.
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
To ensure the best results when making coffee Romano, remember these tips and tricks!
- Fresh Beans: Use freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them right before brewing for fullest flavor. Opt for a dark roast espresso blend.
- Intense Espresso: Brew the espresso shot slightly longer than usual, about 30 seconds instead of 25. This will yield a more intense espresso for balancing the lemon.
- Heated Cup: Heat the espresso cup or glass first by rinsing it with hot water. This helps maintain the coffee's temperature once poured.
- Lemon Syrup: Infuse simple syrup with lemon zest overnight for a homemade sweetener. Add to taste without overpowering the coffee.
- Cold Brew: Substitute the espresso for a cold brew concentrate if making an iced Coffee Romano. Adjust lemon juice to taste.
👩🏼🍳 Easy Flavor Variations
Once you master the basic recipe, try these easy coffee romano variations:
- Meyer Lemon Coffee Romano: Use a Meyer lemon for a sweeter, floral citrus flavor.
- Coffee Romano Float: Pour coffee romano over ice cream for a yummy dessert drink.
- Iced Coffee Romano: Brew espresso, let cool, then pour over ice and top with lemonade.
- Spicy Coffee Romano: Add whiskey, rum, or amaretto for a boozy twist.
- Citrus Coffee Romano: Substitute lime, grapefruit, or other citrus fruits for the lemon.
🍽️ What to Serve with Coffee Romano
This drink makes an invigorating morning or afternoon pick-me-up on its own. But for a true cafe experience, pair it with:
- Lemon cookies or a simple Chocolate Chip Cookie
- A fresh muffin like my Blueberry Muffins without Egg or my Bakery Style Chocolate Muffins
- Italian desserts like tiramisu or panna cotta
- Sandwiches, pastries, or avocado toast
Coffee romano also makes a nice after-dinner drink dessert when served with biscotti.
Coffee Romano is an espresso-based drink made by brewing a shot of espresso and serving it with a slice of lemon. The lemon is squeezed over the espresso before placing it into the coffee. This adds a brightness and citrusy flavor that cuts through the bitterness of the espresso. The lemon accentuates the roasted, rich flavors of the coffee while providing a refreshing finish.
An intense, high-quality espresso is best for a Coffee Romano. Use freshly roasted beans with a dark roast for robust flavor.
Coffee Romano combines espresso coffee with the flavor of lemon. These two flavors may seem like an unlikely pair. But the tartness of the lemon actually brings out the best in the espresso. It helps tone down the bitterness and highlights the rich, robust aroma of the coffee.
To store any leftover coffee romano:
- Pour the drink into an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3-4 days.
- The citrus oils in the peel will become bitter over time, so store without the lemon slice.
- For iced coffee romano, brew espresso, chill, and store in a sealed container up to 1 week.
- To serve, pour over ice and add fresh lemon juice and peel.
With this easy coffee romano recipe, you can impress your guests with your bartending skills! The combination of robust espresso and bright lemon is sure to delight any coffee lover. Adjust the recipe to your taste and enjoy this refreshing twist on an Italian classic.
📒 Recipe Card
Coffee Romano Recipe
- Espresso Maker or Aeropress
- 1 shot of espresso
- 1 lemon cut into slices
- Optional: sweetener to taste
- Brew a shot of espresso into a small glass.1 shot of espresso
- Rub a lemon slice around the rim of the glass and squeeze a couple drops of lemon juice into the coffee.1 lemon
- Place the lemon slice into the coffee.
- Add sweetener if desired.Optional: sweetener to taste
- Stir gently and enjoy this refreshing coffee drink! The lemon adds a bright, citrusy note that's perfect for summertime sipping.
- Nutrition information calculated without added sweetener.
- Brew 1 shot of high-quality espresso for best flavor.
- You can easily double or triple the recipe if you like.
- Use a thick-skinned lemon variety like Meyer for easiest juicing.
- Rub the lemon slice around the rim to release essential oils.
- Add just a couple drops of lemon juice to avoid overpowering the coffee.
- Drink immediately before the coffee gets cold or diluted for optimal taste.