Coffee Drinks Explained – The wonderful world of coffee has so many different varieties of coffee drinks, almost too many to count. Below a few of the most popular types of coffee drinks.
We’ll start with the traditional ones, which you will easily recognize and thereafter tell you of a few more exotic types of coffee drinks for you to explore when you’re feeling adventurous.
Most Popular Types of Coffee Drinks
Espresso – a strong black coffee, with crema (foam) on the surface, made by forcing steam at a high pressure through coffee grounds. It forms the basis of many other types of coffee drinks. If you order an espresso shot in a restaurant or café, it will always be served with a glass of water to compensate for the strong taste.
Americano – the potency of a pure espresso shot is tamed by adding an equal amount of water to the shot. This way you keep the strength of the espresso, but it tastes similar to regular filter coffee.
Cappuccino – a shot of espresso forms the base and hot milk plus foam is added to it. A good barista will create a little picture in the foam for you. The potency of the espresso mingles with the creaminess of the milk. Served in a cup.
Café Latte – similar to a cappuccino, with a shot of espresso and hot milk, topped off with foam. But the ratio of espresso to milk is more, roughly 1:3 to 1:5. Served in a long glass.
Café Mocha – same as a latte, but with a delicious twist of chocolate added. Either hot chocolate or chocolate syrup can be used. Both a cappuccino and a latte can be transformed into a café mocha.
Macchiato – similar to a cappuccino, but served in a little espresso cup. An espresso shot is topped off with a little bit of foamed milk. Perfect if you only want to quickly down an espresso, but you don’t like drinking it just plain black.
Iced Coffee – it is slightly different to the cold brew coffee, coffee is prepared with the hot brew method and then cooled to ice coffee, often by using ice cubes, before it is served.
Non-espresso Types of Coffee Drinks
Black Coffee – traditional filter coffee, without anything added to it. Served straight up after brewing. Perfect for savoring the pure coffee flavor.
Black Coffee with Sugar and/or Milk – for those people who like adding a little something to spice up the coffee flavor. Add some milk or cream if you like a creamy taste, and if you have a sweet tooth sugar or artificial sweetener.
Drip Coffee – similar to filter coffee from a machine, but a more manual option. A paper filter is placed into a carafe or cup, coffee ground added and hot water is poured over it, letting it drip through.
French Press Coffee – this is one of the most popular brewing methods. Perfect for a quick, instant cup of coffee if you don’t want to wait for the filter machine and if you want a coffee stronger than drip coffee. Add hot water and coffee ground into the glass carafe, wait for a few minutes as the water and coffee grounds infuse, then slowly press down the plunger to capture the coffee grounds before pouring out the coffee.
Percolated Coffee – a basic form of the espresso brewing method. Hot water is pushed through the coffee grounds with the help of gravity until the desired strength is reached.
Moka – another brewing method similar to the espresso machine. If you don’t have a machine and you want to brew coffee of the same strength as an espresso, this is the perfect alternative. Place the Moka pot on your stove plate and as the water heats up, the pressurized steam will push it through the coffee grounds.
Turkish Coffee – now this one is not for the faint of heart, it is very strong, almost more potent than an espresso shot. The brewing method originated in the Middle East. It is made in a special coffee pot, also placed on the stove plate for the same infusion concept as the Moka pot. The difference between the two, is the coffee grounds. To make a cup of Turkish coffee, your coffee grounds need to be grinded extremely fine, finer than the standard espresso type. The coffee grounds are immersed in water allowing for maximum extraction.
Cold Brew Coffee – you will need some patience for this brewing method, it will take at least twelve hours for the coffee grounds and the water to infuse properly. Add the coffee and water together, place it in the fridge and wait for the two to mingle nicely. Delicious for making iced coffee drinks.
Vacuum Coffee – this brewing method using two different chambers to force the coffee from one to the other with vapor pressure and a vacuum.
Espresso-based Types of Coffee Drinks
An espresso shot creates a decadent base for various other coffee drinks. The Italians discovered this amazing type of coffee, hence all the names sounding so foreign. Even if you can’t pronounce them correctly, you can still appreciate them.
Espresso Romano – this one is simplistic, almost like a coffee Tequila shot, an espresso shot with a slice of lemon on the side.
Doppio – fancy name for a double shot of espresso that is served in a demitasse cup.
Cafe Zorro – a double shot of espresso with water added at a one to one ratio.
Caffe Crema – this one is mostly served in Switzerland and Austria, as well as northern Italy. The name originated in the 80’s. It’s a long espresso drink, twice as long as the Lungo. Crema refers to the creaminess found on top of an espresso.
Ristretto – made from half an espresso shot, another name for it is a short black or Corto. Basically it’s made from using the standard amount of coffee grounds but it is extracted with only about half the amount of water. It comes out more dense and syrupy.
Lungo – same concept as the Ristretto, but the other way around, standard amount of coffee grounds but extracted with more water. The coffee is not as strong, and fills a bigger cup.
Cafe Cubano – this one originated in Cuba, an espresso shot served with demerara sugar.
Espresso with Milk Coffee Drinks
Cafe au Lait – a strong cup of coffee made with scalded milk at a one to one ratio.
Cortado – an espresso shot mixed with a little bit of warm milk to reduce the strong acidity.
Espressino – made from an espresso shot, with steamed milk and cocoa powder added.
Flat White – similar to a cappuccino and a latte, made from an espresso shot but with more textured milk.
Breve – an espresso shot served with half milk and half cream.
Antoccino – a single espresso shot served with steamed milk at a one to one ratio.
Chai Latte – an espresso shot that is mixed with spiced tea and a bit of steamed milk.
Galao – the drink originated in Portugal, it’s an espresso shot that is mixed with foamed milk and it is served in a tall glass.
Vienna Coffee – filter or espresso coffee with whipped cream and sometimes also milk added
Espresso con Panna – a coffee made with added whipped cream.
Cafe Bombon – the drink first became popular in Spain, an espresso shot with added sweetened condensed milk.
Exotic Espresso-based Coffee Drinks
Caffee Gommosa – an espresso shot that is poured over a marshmallow.
Guillermo – two shots of hot espresso that is poured over lime slices. It is also sometimes served on ice as a cold coffee drink.
Black Tie – a double espresso shot that is combined with Thai-style iced coffee and then sweetened condensed milk is added.
Foreign Types of Coffee Drinks
Ca Phe Sua Da – this drink originated in Vietnam and it means “iced milk coffee.” Black coffee is mixed with about a quarter to a half of the same amount of sweetened condensed milk and it is then poured over ice cubes.
Egg Coffee – a Vietnamese coffee drink, it made from egg yolks, sugar and condensed milk mixed with Robusta coffee.
Eiskaffee – A German coffee drink that is made from iced coffee and vanilla ice cream.
Kopi Susu – a coffee drink that is made from sweetened condensed milk, added to hot coffee and then served after it has cooled down, allowing the coffee grounds to sink to the glass bottom.
Coffee Drinks with a Kick!
Liqueur Coffee – the coffee grounds are brewed with about 25ml of liqueur. It is then sometimes served with cream as well.
Irish Coffee – the coffee is combined with whiskey and a bit of cream on top, sometimes some sweetened sugar is also added.
Now that you’ve learned about some new coffee drinks, which one do you think you will try first?