17 Different Types of Coffee Drinks (Explained)


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The most important thing for us is to enjoy our coffee as thoughtfully as it was brewed. But coffee has gone through many changes and upgrades since its first induction as the world’s most popular beverage.

Back in the day, how coffee is prepared and consumed has less influence. Consumers don’t care about how their cup of coffee is prepared and served. People are just used to ask for coffee only. Maybe the only type of coffee back then is black or just a regular cup/mug of coffee.

But nowadays, with the rise of specialty coffee shops and cafes, and the so-called “waves of coffee,” you have a lot of drinks like espresso, latté, cappuccino, and so on to choose from. And sometimes, knowing what to order can be overwhelming unless you know what you are getting.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of coffee drinks and have a basic understanding of how they are made. Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or just need your morning coffee to kick-start your day, there’s nothing more fascinating than knowing these different types of coffee drinks.

The Different Types of Coffee Beans

But before knowing and explaining the different types of coffee drinks, it’s essential to learn the different kinds of coffee beans.

Why?

We already know that coffee beans are used to provide a cup of coffee. However, the beans are not limited to a single bean variety only. All the beans used at coffee shops are categorized into different types.

To simply put, there are four different types of coffee beans – Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Exelsa. These are the variety of beans that are widely produced and sold in the market.

Each type of bean can influence the taste of brewed coffee. And each has different variations and characteristics in terms of taste, structure, and composition.

The most common and popular are Arabica and Robusta, which probably make your cup. Some cafes uses 100% Arabica, single origin to make a thick, concentrated coffee. Others uses blends of Robusta and Arabica, which have the potential to perform well as espresso.

Black coffee, espresso, or latté is rarely prepared using Liberica beans. Liberica and Excelsa coffee beans are generally used in uncommon blends and commodities because of their limited availability. You can’t find them just anywhere; they are only served with enough quantity in specific and few countries.

The Different Types of Brewing Methods

Some of those different types of coffee drinks are also made using other brewing methods. Through different brewing methods, we get a different taste of the coffee.

We have different ways of brewing our beloved coffee. Some prefer to pour over, and others want to use an AeroPress, while others love to use automatic coffee makers. These coffee-making methods available also taste differently. The different ways and techniques of preparing coffee can also impact the flavor. With that being said, we can create different flavors ranging from lattes to cappuccinos, mochas, and so on.

Types of Coffee Drinks

1. Black Coffee

a cup of black coffee

Black coffee is served straight from the carafe without milk and sugar, creating an intense and strong taste due to the lack of additives to alter the flavor.

This coffee is best for people who prefer a strong taste in coffee, especially for those who are used to drink coffee without loads of milk or sweeteners.

Black coffee is made with ground beans (having the right coarseness) steeped in hot water and served warm. Although there are various ways to serve this coffee, it’s usually made using a regular brewer, k-cup coffee brewer, or any coffee maker.

2. Espresso

brewing espresso

Espresso is a short, strong, and concentrated coffee made by espresso machines, forcing pressurized hot water through finely-ground coffee. And it is usually served in a small espresso cup.

This drink doesn’t contain milk. It’s also meant to be taken quickly, like a shot. Also, it is typically made with dark roasted and finely ground coffee.

Espresso has become a foundation of many flavors of coffee, whereas most coffee drinks start with it and are just brewed in a particular way. Moreover, since the first commercial espresso machine was developed in Italy, it makes espresso the country’s famous type of coffee.

3. Black Eye

a cup of black eye coffee

A black eye is a cup of regular drip coffee, either iced or hot, served with a double espresso shot. Sometimes also called a double shot in the dark.

This coffee creates a drink with a high intensity of flavor, such as a pungent taste. Also, since this beverage is a combination of coffee and espresso, it offers more extra caffeine than in a regular brew, making it unsuitable for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

But this coffee is recommended to anyone who wants something to jump-start their day, especially amongst students, as this thing will seriously make you stay awake and alert overnight. Similar to Red eye coffee, Black eye coffee is usually intense, and it packs quite a punch.

However, since this drink is mainly about the caffeine content in your cup of brewed coffee, you can alter it to taste lighter.

4. Americano

a cup of americano

Caffè Americano is an Italian interpretation of “American coffee” served with a single espresso shot with a hot cup of water.

In other words, an Americano coffee is just a simple espresso drink diluted with water instead of milk. It’s usually served black (hot or cold) in most cafés, but you can add milk if you want.

5. Mocha Cafe

mocha coffee with foam on top

Mocha is also a foamy espresso-based drink made with chocolate and milk. To make a delicious Mocha coffee, we combine Espresso with a lot of steamed milk and chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.

Some coffee shops perceive mocha as a regular latte with chocolate syrup, making it sweeter and more flavorful—and usually topped with whipped cream instead of froth to make it foamy.

This combination of drinks, which includes these ingredients, is one of the popular coffee beverages that most coffee fanatics love to drink.

6. Cappuccino

a cup of cappuccino

Cappuccino is an Italian variant coffee drink usually served with espresso shots, steamed milk, and topped with foam milk.

To make a cappuccino, start with one or two shots of espresso as its base. Then add the steamed milk on top as the second layer. And lastly, top with a thick layer of foam to have a luxurious and delicious texture.

This coffee drink can also be served with coffee or cinnamon artwork on the top of a coffee mug.

7. Cafe Latte

The Latte is a popular coffee drink that anyone can prepare in many different ways. You can have your Latte with or without milk, and it may come as an iced coffee if you prefer to cool off during the summer months!

Cafe Latte is an espresso-based drink that has been around for quite some time. Initially introduced in Italy, this beverage has since evolved into something enjoyed by customers all day long – catering to those who want their latte “to go.”

There are so many delicious flavors to try, from serving sizes of 8-10 ounces to offering ice versions.

8. Macchiato

a cup of macchiato with dessert

The macchiato is a traditional Italian coffee made with espresso and steamed milk. This drink is usually made with a 4:1 ratio of espresso and milk.

It has a latte look but tastes much more robust because it contains less foam than Latte does. The name derives from the word “macchiare,” which means to stain in Italian, referring to how the drink leaves an imprint on one’s lips as lipstick would, after kissing someone else wearing red lipstick.

9. Chai Latte

Chai Latte is basically a combination of tea and coffee. It is a delicious, caffeinated beverage that offers a more mellow taste than coffee.

I think this is a drink for those who want the taste of tea, but the caffeine levels of coffee. Chai latte contains one shot of espresso with some tea mixed in. The spices and sugar that vary from region to region give this beverage its signature flavor.

This drink was originally served in South Asia and India but has now become popular worldwide. So, drink chai latte at home or enjoy it downtown while relaxing with friends.

10. Cafe au Lait

a cup of cafe au lait

Cafe au lait has become a popular drink in recent years as it offers all the delicacies of ordinary coffee with the added creaminess of steamed milk.

It usually has a 1:1 ratio of espresso shot and steamed milk. Hence, the name cafe au lait means “coffee with milk,” but it also refers to its origins in France, where people would mix their morning cup of black coffee or espresso with hot milk for an afternoon delight.

Although this drink is a mixture between expresso and coffee, you can customize it to your preferred tastes, like drizzling chocolate syrup or adding whipped cream for more indulgent combinations. In the end, you are sure to love this drink!

11. Cortado

a cup of cortado coffee

Cortado is a variant of a coffee drink that originated in Spain. This type of drink is made with an espresso shot and steamed or warm milk. The milk and espresso shot are in equal ratio and typically topped with foam to reduce the acidity of the coffee.

The original recipe includes equal parts of frothed milk to resemble an American latte or canelé -coffee (traditionally unfrosted) served as a shot only. But many variations have emerged, including specialty versions like those containing cocoa powder, cinnamon, lavender, or peppermint extract mixed into the milk before being heated up for a more flavorful coffee experience.

12. Frappe

a frappe with foam on top

Frape is one of the most popular, delicious, refreshing, and favorite drinks with friends. It is a cold beverage that looks and tastes like an iced coffee milkshake. This drink combines cooled and sweetened espresso, milk or cream, sugar, and other flavors of choice (optionally added in) blended together.

You can choose to have the refreshing cold frap in all its natural ingredients; without any additives or sugars for those who are always on the go. It’s also great because you do not need to buy an expensive blender since it only requires your hands.

13. Flat White

a cup of flat white

Most people know what a cappuccino is, but not many know about flat white coffee. Flat white can be traced back to when it was introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Italian immigrants looking for a less-milky version of their espresso-based coffees.

The name “flat white” is used for many different drinks around the world but typically refers to espresso with milk foam or steamed milk poured into it. It’s similar to a latte because both use steamed milk, but unlike a latte with two espresso shots, this drink only uses one shot of espresso- making it less strong than a latte.

14. Affogato

affogato coffee with ice cream

Drizzling your favorite gelato with the caffeine kick of a latte creates a delicious dessert with espresso flavors but is made with healthier ingredients. Affogato is a delightful Italian dessert consisting of espresso coffee poured over gelato. It’s served in a tall glass and can be topped off with chocolate syrup.

Affogato is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, and its low-calorie content will help you save room for dinner.

15. Cold Brew Coffee 

cold brew with milk

Cold brew coffee is a cold and refreshing drink made of brewing coffee using cold water, coarsely ground coffee, and time. You can make it by steeping ground coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water for an extended period of time.

This method creates a smoother tasting beverage than traditional hot brewed coffee. The taste profile is different because it doesn’t produce as many acids or oils as other brewing methods. Cold-brew also results in a less bitter drink because it doesn’t get extracted through the water temperature and provides a more caffeinated coffee because of high concentration.

16. Ristretto

concentrated ristretto

Besides experiencing a dark taste and concentrated feel, ristretto is brewed in a similar way to the espresso, but by using half as much water.

The shortened brewing cycle creates a more concentrated, bold, and dark shot of coffee with an intense flavor that captures the essence of your taste buds. The potent flavor only stands to evoke memories when experienced over and over again.

The difference between ristretto, espresso, and a regular cup of coffee is the brewing time (less than 30 seconds) and how much water you use in each shot–half or twice what’s used for an Americano.

17. Breve

a cup of cafe breve

Breve Coffee has a unique blend of milk and espresso that gives customers an unmatched flavor. It is a type of espresso that has less caffeine than traditional coffee. The breve process brews the espresso longer, removing more caffeine and bringing out the taste of chocolate in the beans.

Breve is low on caffeine and offers additional health benefits such as its ability to suppress appetite. It doesn’t cause jitters like other energy drinks because they use natural ingredients instead of artificial stimulants that increase blood pressure.

Overall, Breve coffee is a refreshing and relaxing way to enjoy your morning cup of joe without the buzz. With less caffeine, breve still tastes like an espresso with hints of chocolate in every sip. It can be enjoyed any time of the day, making it your perfect pick-me-up for when you’re not feeling so great or need that midday boost.

Wrapping it Up!

There you have it! The different types of coffee drinks. Remember that you have a lot of choices out there and I missed some of the good ones. These are only some of the many coffee drinks that you might want to try.

There are things in life as satisfying as a rich, delicious cup of coffee that you haven’t explored yet. And if you enjoy brewing your own at home or visiting cafes for morning pleasure, don’t limit yourself to what is known or popular. And if you’re also tired of the same old boring cup of coffee, why not try something new?

Like this Article? You Might Want to Read: 8 Reasons Why Your Coffee Tastes Bitter