Coffee is one of the favorite drinks of people all over the world. People usually order different types of coffee based on their preferences.

There are many different types of coffee available nowadays. The best part about coffee is that it comes in several flavors, so you can always test out a new type each day.

The best way to relax after a long day is to enjoy some delicious espresso, so why not try this easy-to-make piccolo coffee?

In this article, I’ll go over all the information you need to get started, like how strong this drink is, the best coffee beans to use, and I’ll also answer some questions you may have. Let’s get started!

What is a piccolo coffee?

Piccolo coffee is a type of espresso that is made with a single shot of coffee that is topped with steamed milk and a small milk foam topping.

Piccolo coffee is becoming increasingly popular because it’s a great way to enjoy the flavor and aroma of an espresso without drinking too much caffeine.

It’s also perfect for those who don’t like the bitterness that can be associated with traditional espressos.

The added milk will help balance the robust espresso flavor and makes a well-balanced drink you’ll love.

Is piccolo a strong coffee?

A piccolo is not a strong coffee. Because of the high ratio of milk to espresso, the espresso flavor will be laid back. This results in a weaker cup of coffee with a more subtle flavor.

Depending on the coffee beans you like to use at home, you can make this a stronger drink if you prefer.

A light roast coffee is designed to be smooth and mellow and will make your drink the least strong.

If you prefer a more robust flavor, you can consider a dark roast instead. The extra dark roast coffee beans are perfect for this:

Extra dark roasted coffee beans.

I’ll go in-depth about the best coffee beans to use for this recipe after going over the ingredients needed to get started with this recipe:

What ingredients are needed to make a piccolo coffee?

To make a piccolo coffee at home, you’ll need just two main ingredients:

  • Espresso coffee
  • Whole milk
All of the ingredients that are needed to make a piccolo coffee at home.

As with most milk-based coffees, the milk should ideally be fresh, cold, and full-fat. However, you can also use your favorite dairy-free milk if you prefer.

You could also make this piccolo coffee with low-fat milk, like 2%. Keep in mind that low-fat milk will make a less foamy topping than full-fat milk.

But if you happen to have low-fat milk at home, feel free to use it as not much milk is needed to make this piccolo coffee at home, and it’ll still taste amazing!

What are the best coffee beans to use for this recipe?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different coffee beans can produce fantastic results when used for piccolo coffee.

Coffee beans used for espresso-making.

However, I would recommend trying some of the following beans:

  • Guatemalan Antigua – This coffee has excellent body and sweetness, with milk chocolate and almonds notes. It makes for a delicious piccolo coffee.
  • Brazilian Santos – These beans have a sweet, nutty flavor that works well with milk to create a deliciously creamy piccolo coffee.
  • Ethiopian Yirgacheffe – This gourmet coffee has floral aromatics and produces a light, delicate cup of coffee that is perfect for enjoying as a piccolo.

Tip: If you’d like to learn more about my favorite coffee beans for espresso coffee, you can check out my recommendations in this article.

How do you make a piccolo coffee at home?

There are a few different ways that you can make a piccolo coffee at home. Below, I’ll go over a quick guide to show you how easy it is to make this drink at home.

Further down, I’ve listed the complete recipe card if you prefer an in-depth, step-by-step guide.

The most important thing is to start with a very strong coffee, as the piccolo is a small espresso-style drink.

You can either use an espresso machine or stovetop Moka pot to make your coffee, or even just a strong drip coffee if you don’t have either of those devices.

Brewing espresso shots.
  1. Once you have your strong coffee, you’ll need to heat up some milk on the stove (or in the microwave).
  2. Piccolo coffees are traditionally made with steamed milk, but you can also use hot milk if you don’t have a steamer. Just be sure to froth it well, so it’s nice and foamy. (Check out six ways to froth milk at home here)
  3. Then, combine the milk with the espresso and enjoy a delicious homemade piccolo coffee!

Frequently asked questions about the piccolo coffee

You might have some additional questions now that you know how a piccolo coffee is made. I’ve listed a few of the most frequently asked questions about this drink below:

How much milk is in a piccolo coffee?

A piccolo coffee is a small espresso with a little bit of steamed milk. The exact amount of milk varies depending on the way you like to make it, but it’s typically around 2-3 ounces (60-90 ml).

Depending on the strength level you like, you can choose to use the amount of milk you see fit. Most piccolo coffees are made in a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of espresso to steamed/foamed milk.

How do you drink a piccolo coffee?

There are a few different ways to drink a piccolo coffee, but the most important thing is to make sure that the coffee is nicely balanced and not too bitter.

If you prefer to sweeten your piccolo coffee, consider adding a bit of sugar to your drink. You can easily mix it in with a small spoon. In the meantime, you’ll also stir the foamy milk topping, making it a more balanced drinking experience.

Do you like drinking coffee without any add-ins? Then you can drink this coffee as it is served. There is no need to stir the milk foam through the rest of the drink if you don’t want to.

You’ll automatically slurp the milk foam off the top while slowly sipping on your piccolo coffee!

What is the difference between a macchiato and a piccolo?

A macchiato is a coffee with a shot of espresso and a small amount of steamed milk, while a piccolo is an espresso with double or triple the amount of steamed milk, topped with milk foam.

While both drinks have a strong coffee flavor, the macchiato is slightly stronger due to the small amount of steamed milk, while the piccolo is more balanced and has an almost sweet flavor.

Macchiato vs. piccolo coffee comparison.
Macchiato on the left. Piccolo on the right

If you’re interested in going in-depth about the difference between these drinks, you can check out this comparison article!

How many calories are in a piccolo coffee?

The calorie content of a piccolo coffee can vary depending on the type of milk and other ingredients used.

For example, if you use whole milk instead of skim milk, the calorie content will be higher.

Meaning you can reduce the calorie content of your piccolo coffee by making it with skim milk.

Milk in a jar.

Other factors that can affect the calorie content of a piccolo coffee include whether or not you add sugar, flavoring, or syrups.

A plain piccolo coffee made with whole milk (like listed in the recipe card below) has a total of 54 calories.

What is a piccolo latte?

A piccolo latte is the same as a piccolo coffee but named slightly different. Depending on where you get your coffee, the name may change.

The piccolo latte name comes from the fact that it looks like a small version of a regular latte.

Piccolo Coffee

Piccolo coffee, ready to drink.

This homemade piccolo coffee is the perfect start to the day, as you can make it in just five minutes!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • One espresso shot (1 oz or 30 ml)
  • 2 or 3 oz (60 or 90 ml) of whole milk


  1. Start by brewing your espresso coffee. You can use your favorite espresso brewer for this.
  2. In the meantime, you can steam the milk.
  3. Make sure to have a small foam layer on the steamed milk as well for the ultimate drinking experience.
  4. Pour the espresso coffee into a small espresso glass.
  5. Now, slowly pour the steamed milk into the glass and top it with the milk foam.
  6. If you prefer, you can customize it with an add-in of choice.
  7. Serve with a small spoon if you want to combine the milk foam, and enjoy!


Use 3 oz (90 ml) of milk for a piccolo coffee with sweeter notes. You can use 2 oz (60 ml) of milk if you prefer a more robust piccolo coffee!

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 54Total Fat: 2.7gSaturated Fat: 1.6gUnsaturated Fat: 0.7gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 34mgCarbohydrates: 3.8gSugar: 4.4gProtein: 2.7g


So, there you have it – a quick guide on how to make a piccolo coffee at home.

It’s really not as hard as it might seem, and once you’ve got the basics down, you can start experimenting with different variations.

I hope this article has helped you to make a piccolo coffee at home. If you like making espresso-based coffees at home, you can check out some more recipes below:

More espresso-based recipes

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