Coffee has become something of an art form, with so many different types of coffee, all with unusual and exotic coffee names it can be overwhelming sometimes to know what to choose.
From the lesser-known Cortado and Nitro to the simple flat white, there is the perfect coffee for everyone and we are doing to help you pick which one is the right drink for you.
If you are confused about all the different types of coffee drinks and all the coffee names you have come to the right place. Here we will walk you through the different types of coffee drinks, the different coffee types and demystify the often confusing world of artisan coffee drinks.
Different Types Of Coffee Beans
The Coffee we drink is only as good as the beans it comes from. Most of the coffee we drink currently is made from the Arabica bean, with the rest coming from the Robusta bean.
Other beans are used for coffee, such as the Liberica and Excelsa coffee beans but they are not widely available. You might wonder why it matters. Well, each bean has certain characteristics and often tastes very different, so it’s important to ensure you get the right bean for your taste palette. Different types of coffee beans create different types of coffee drinks.
Arabica Coffee Beans
The Arabica coffee bean is the most common bean used in coffee production. It has a milder flavor and is less caffeinated than the other beans. It comes for the Coffea Arabica plant, also known as the Arabian coffee, coffee shrub of Arabia, mountain coffee or Arabica coffee.
The Arabica coffee beans contain twice the concentration of sugar than it’s fellow Robusta bean, making it less bitter and often more pleasurable to drink. The beans are more oval in shape so if you aren’t sure what beans to choose, look at the beans.
Whilst Arabica originates from Ethiopia most is currently produced in Brazil. These coffee beans often smell more fruity and some compare the taste to being more chocolate, caramel, fruity, and nutty than it’s counterpart. Coffee produced with this bean tends to be more sweet and smooth.
Robusta Coffee Beans
Robusta has around twice as much caffeine as the Arabica bean so it is often favored by those who want a real caffeine boost. It is made from the beans of the Coffea Canephora and is currently produced mostly in Vietnam.
It got a bad reputation for a long time as low-grade beans were used to make instant coffee, which tasted bitter. Now instant coffees tend to be more of a blend of the two. It is a very strong-flavored bean and is often described as having an earthy/woody taste.
The beans are round in shape and are generally cheaper and easier to produce. High-quality Robusta beans are the beans favored for a good espresso and it also adds a nice thick crema (the reddish-brown froth that rests on top of a shot) on the top.
Now we have looked at the different types of coffee beans, lets take a look at the different types of coffee drinks.
Different Types Of Coffee Chart For Beginners
As you can see by the chart different types of coffee drinks mostly start with the basis of an espresso. After the espresso, differing amounts of water, steamed milk, or frothed milk are added in different proportions to make different coffee drinks.
The more water or milk added to the drink the less strong the coffee flavor becomes, so keep that in mind when you are choosing the best type of coffee for you.
Different Types Of Coffee
What Is Black Coffee?
Of all the different types of coffee, this is the most simple. Black coffee is a brewed or instant coffee with nothing else added. It is simply hot water added to instant coffee granules or brewed ground coffee beans.
It is served warm with no addition of any flavorings.
What Is A Long Black Coffee?
Most commonly found in Australian and New Zealand, a long black coffee is similar to an Americano but tends to be stronger in aroma and taste. It is made by pouring espresso over hot water.
A long black tends to contain less water than an Americano and keep the crema more traditionally found on an expresso. Again it is served warm with no additional flavorings.
What Is Espresso?
Espresso is a shot of coffee. It is made using an espresso machine that forces pressurized hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. It’s a very concentrated form of coffee tending to be more bitter, aromatic but often sweeter than other coffees.
Espresso is often the base used for many types of coffee drinks and they often say that a coffee is only as good as the espresso it came from.
What Is Doppio?
Doppio is the Italian word for double and quite simply a Doppio is a double espresso. It is made by using a double coffee filter and is the drink often used when judging the espresso quality in barista competitions.
Again it is served hot with no additional flavorings.
What Is An Americano?
Of all the different types of coffee drinks, an Americano is a coffee drink I’m sure you are familiar with. It is made by diluting an espresso with hot water. The strength of the coffee will vary depending on the original espresso but it does tend to keep the flavor of the espresso, just less intense.
What Is a Lungo Coffee?
Lungo is the Italian for long which may give you a huge clue as to what a Lungo coffee is. It’s more to do with how long the coffee takes to pull through the machine rather than the size.
A typical expresso will take 18 – 30 seconds to pull, a Lungo takes up to a minute and requires twice as much water as an espresso. It tends to taste like a diluted expresso with a slightly more bitter flavor, which some prefer.
What Is Pour Over Coffee?
Pour-over coffee is made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans using a filter. The difference between a pour-over coffee and machines that drip water over the filter for you is that you get to control the pour.
The slower the pour the more flavor is produced from the beans. This allows you to pull out a richer and bolder taste or a lighter taste if you pour faster.
They are produced using either a specialist pour-over coffee brewer or the popular Chemax Brewer.
Different Types Of Coffee With Milk
What Is A Latte?
I am sure when you think of all the different types of coffee Latte springs to mind. A latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk. Also called a cafe latte, a 1/3 of the drink is espresso, 2/3 is steamed milk and there is a small layer of frothed milk on the surface. If served in a glass mug you should be able to see the layers of the coffee and milk.
It is the most popular of all the specialty types of coffee drinks .
What Is A Flat White Coffee?
Similar to a latte, a flat white is an espresso-based drink with steamed milk. A flat white tends to have less milk added than a latte and tends to keep more of its coffee flavor. It will also have less foam on top.
This drink is perfect for those that want more of a coffee flavor in their drinks.
What Is A Cortado?
A Cortado is an expresso mixed with an equal amount of steamed milk. The milk tends to reduce the acidity of the expresso while still keeping the flavor. They also tend to have no foam on.
Originating in Spain, its a small drink that gives a strong coffee flavor. One of the coffee names you are possibly not familiar with and it makes a strong velvety drink.
What Is A Cappuccino?
Of all the different types of coffee, I’m sure this is another coffee name you are familiar with. A popular espresso-based drink that is made using steamed foamed milk. A cappuccino contains equal parts of espresso and steamed/foamed milk. It contains a double expresso and the top third of the drink contains milk foam.
A cappuccino tends to be a stronger drink than a latte and sometimes chocolate or cinnamon will be sprinkled on the top. In recent years the tops of cappuccinos have become somewhat of an art form with various shapes and designs created with the foam.
What Is A Mocha Coffee?
A caffè mocha, also called mochaccino, is a chocolate-flavored latte. It is made with espresso and steamed milk with the addition of chocolate in some form, be it cocoa powder or chocolate syrup.
Traditional Mocha coffee is made using Mocha coffee beans from Mocha in Yemen. These coffee beans have a natural chocolate flavour. Mocha made in an original way is a much stronger flavour and it equal parts coffee and chocolate.
A lot of mochas that you find are just made with the addition of chocolate rather than using the Mocha beans.
A delicious type of coffee drink for those that prefer something sweeter.
What Is A Macchiato?
A Macchiato is a shot of espresso with a small amount of steamed/foamed milk. Macchiato means “stained” or “spotted” so it’s a small amount of milk that only slightly subdues the flavor of the coffee. The milk should just look stained with the coffee.
This is the perfect coffee for those that like the intense flavor of espresso but also prefer milk added.
What Is An Irish Coffee?
Irish coffee is more of a cocktail than a coffee consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and topped with thick cream.
To make them you pour hot water on coffee, sugar, and Irish whisky stirring until the sugar is dissolved. You then slowly pour double cream over the top of the coffee, often over the back of a spoon until it forms a very clear layer on the top of the coffee.
Irish coffee ends up quite a sweet drink as the sugar has to be added to ensure the cream floats, but it is delicious served after a meal or on a cold evening.
Different Types Of Iced And Cold Coffees
What Is Cold Brew?
Cold Brew is one of the only coffees where the grinds are never exposed to heat. Cold brew is made by steeping ground coffee at room temperature for 12 hours or more. You then run the coffee through a filter to remove the grinds and are left with the cold brew coffee.
The resulting coffee tends to be smoother and less acidic and is said to be better for those with sensitive stomachs.
What Is Nitro Coffee?
A very recent addition to the specialty coffee market, a nitro coffee is made by infusing cold brew with nitrogen to give it a creamy head. The result tends to resemble more of an ale than a coffee and it poured from a keg. It creates a luxurious creamy coffee.
The resulting coffee is more rich, silky and velvety than a cold brew but watch out, because it tends to be much higher in caffeine than other coffees.
What Is Espresso Tonic?
A refreshing summer drink, an espresso tonic is just as it sounds, espresso mixed with tonic. There seem to be many recipes for this but the traditional is two shots of espresso, tonic water, and a lime wedge and ice.
To make one you prepare an expresso then leave it to cool. Fill a glass with ice, squeeze over the lime, pour in the tonic water then slowly add the slightly cooled expresso.
While it seems like an odd combination it is certainly gathering attention and many say it is a deliciously refreshing drink.
As you can see there are so many different types of coffee, types of coffee drinks, and coffee names and these are only a small selection. We hope you have found a type of coffee that matches your taste buds here. But if you still want more of a coffee hit take a look at our 4-Ingredient Greek Frappe or our 4-Ingredient Dalgona Whipped Coffee Recipe. And if you fancy a sweet treat with them our White Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies