Espresso is short and strong. If you are new to it, it may not be, er, your cup of tea. But espresso coffee is the base for making other drinks like Americano, Macchiato, Capuccino and Latte.
Most simple is turning a strong, short coffee into a weaker, taller cup by just adding boiling water.
The name Macchiato refers to coffee being ‘marked’ by a little milk. So still strong and short but a little bit softer due to the addition of hot milk. Find instructions on how to make a macchiato here.
For cappuccion and latte you need to froth milk. Normally this is done by passing steam through cold milk creating millions of tiny bubbles in the milk giving it a velvety texture. Without a good espresso machine, this is hard to do. However, it is not impossible.
Cappuccino and latte
Frothing milk: Jar and shake
One first way is to introduce air bubbles into the milk by shaking it damn hard! Try it yourself. Here are some instructions: http://www.ehow.com/how_4750814_steam-milk-espresso-machine.html
Frothing milk: use a french press
Maybe you have a french press at home. This also lends itself well to making frothy milk. More instructions here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2149949_froth-french-press.html
Making cappuccino and latte
There is a line between latte and cappucino. I have heard people in cafés here describe a real cappuccino as a ‘dry’ cappucino, which I guess just means a latte. Simply put – espresso with added warmed milk is a latte, and with added foamed milk is a cappucino. Feel free to argue about this below in the comments section!