Table of Contents
- Coffee Beans
- Coffee Drinks
- Black Coffee
- Coffee with Sugar and/or Milk/Cream
- Drip or Filtered Coffee
- French Press Coffee
- Percolated Coffee
- Turkish Coffee
- Cold Brew Coffee
- Iced Coffee
- Vacuum Coffee
- Caffe Americano
- Cafe Cubano
- Caffe Crema
- Cafe Zorro
- Espresso Romano
- Flat White
- Caffe Macchiato
- Caffe Breve
- Cafe Bombon
- Caffee Gommosa
- Cafe au lait
- Ca phe sua da
- Egg coffee
- Kopi susu
- Vienna Coffee
- Espresso con panna
- The Black tie
- Chai Latte
- Liqueur Coffee
- Irish Coffee
- Final thoughts
It seems that there are two ways to fall in love with coffee. Either you start drinking coffee from an early age and develop a relationship with coffee over time, becoming more and more engrossed with its culinary and cultural potential; or, you can have almost no interest in coffee and then have an epiphany, a cup of coffee that changes everything.
This is followed by disbelief and confusion coupled with excitement – and then you never look back.
The latter scenario applies to me. I almost had no interest in coffee, but even in my wildest dreams, I did not realize how many types of coffee exist. So now let’s go ahead and check every single type of coffee that’s waiting for you to be enjoyed.
There are many Coffea (coffee) species that occur naturally in the wild and all are indigenous to the east coast of Africa. Madagascar has the highest number of coffee species, as recorded by Aaron Davis, Head of Coffee Research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Amazingly, more than half of the world’s coffee species was not documented until Davis and his team decided to venture out, find and catalog them all in the late 1990s.
The two species that make up nearly all the coffee grown for consumption are:
Coffea arabica is the name of the most widely grown coffee species in the world. All of the world’s highly graded coffees and essentially those that we would classify as “specialty” are of the Arabica species or closely related to it. This is why you will see this noted on a packet as a major selling point.
However, the species itself does not guarantee quality and there is far more commercial-grade Arabica than there is the specialty.
Robusta is seen as the inferior of the two. It grows at much lower altitudes, typically between sea level and 300m (1,000ft). It is highly disease resistant and typically produces twice the yield per tree than Arabica. It has been estimated that Robusta makes up 30 percent of the coffee grown in the world, although this figure is contested.
Now let’s get down to the business of different types of coffee drinks themselves. Though we might use the same kind of coffee bean to make a coffee drink, the major difference comes from brewing method because that’s what gives a coffee drink it’s unique taste, flavor, and aroma.
Now without further ado let’s look at the coffee drinks available today.
This is a classic, black coffee is served from the carafe without adding any sugar or milk/cream to alter its flavor. This is the purest form of drinking the coffee.
Coffee with Sugar and/or Milk/Cream
This is just like Black Coffee but after brewing, sugar and milk are added and if you don’t like sugar you can just add milk or cream to your liking.
Drip or Filtered Coffee
This type of coffee is prepared by placing the filter filled with coffee over a carafe and hot water is poured onto the filter allowing it to drip into the carafe.
French Press Coffee
The French press, also known as a cafetiere or plunger, is a classic and widely used brewer. In essence, the method is a jug in which you steep the coffee in water before pressing sown a metal-mesh filter that pushes much of the crust and sediment to the bottom of the jug before decanting. The mesh filter is pretty coarse and this means that the resulting coffee often contains a fair amount of sediment, so a bold, full-flavored cup is produced.
This is a brewing technique where hot water is cycled through the coffee grounds where gravity is used to obtain the desired strength.
Sometimes termed “ibrik coffee”, Turkish coffee refers to a typical style of coffee preparation that originates from that country. This is a method that uses a finer grind than any other, with the coffee pounded to achieve a powder-like result. There are many variations to the exact recipe used, but the main principle is to simmer the coffee in water using a cezve (a coffee pot; known in the west as an ibrik), often with sugar added, but not always.
The coffee may be brought to a simmer more than once, depending on what is customary. The coffee is then poured from a height to achieve a foamy surface and the fine grounds allowed to settle to the bottom of the cup. This is one of the few coffee preparation methods that utilize no filter. It is not a common method for preparing specialty coffee, but that is not to say it could not be done. With correct understanding and control of temperature, the method is capable of producing extremely good extractions and full-bodied complex flavor profiles.
Cold Brew Coffee
The cold brew phenomenon is everywhere, from boutique coffee shops to multinational chains, and much like the flat white, this relatively new drink format is here to stay.
The principle is very simple: coffee gets brewed with cold water instead of hot. As the heat in water aids extraction, you need to compensate for this by dramatically increasing the brewing time, whether that is through a slow drip method or a slow steeping method.
A cold brew is always going to take hours instead of minutes. Time, however, does not achieve the same things as like heat, and the extraction is really quite different. The coffee has far less acidity and the cold brews tend towards the chocolaty, malty, and often boozy end of the flavor spectrum.
This has the bonus effect of making a lot of coffees smoother but the downside of not capturing the acidity and aromatics of characterful coffees.
Nitro cold brew is also popping up on beer-like taps. Here, the addition of nitrogen gives a Guinness-like creaminess to the cold brew, complete with a beer-like head.
Iced coffee is slightly different from cold brew, iced coffee is prepared using the hot coffee and then cooled gradually, but as mentioned above cold brew is a completely different process as it is entirely done with water and it requires a long-brewing time.
This brewing method consists of two glass bulbs, sitting atop the other, with the heat source beneath. Water is placed in the bottom bulb, and, depending on the design, there is either a paper, cloth, or glass filter between the two chambers.
As heat is applied, the water heats up and pressure is created in the bottom chamber, forcing the water up to the top chamber and is steeped for as long as the user desires.
When the heat source is taken away a vacuum is created, sucking the brew into the bottom chamber, while the coffee grounds remain up top.
This method has a downside as well, vacuum brewed coffee can often over-extract when brewed for too long. Used well, however, the method can produce delightful coffee, all while providing a mesmerizing theatrical show.
The espresso – where to start? Espresso is iconic. It is essentially an intense, highly concentrated coffee beverage of a short measure. It is brewed under pressure, which creates a layer of foam on the surface of the drink, called the “crema”.
It is also the driving force behind the modern coffee shop phenomenon that has spread around the world.
Espresso is finicky and hard to make well, which is surely where a lot of its romance and intrigue comes from. Italy can lay claim to the invention of the espresso machine and for many years largely defined what a good espresso was.
Back in the day, and in many cases to this day, espresso quality was defined by specific strict criteria, such as the visual appearance of the crema, the “correct” brew time of 25 seconds, and the “correct” volume of liquid.
This narrow definition has been broadened in recent years upon the realization that to optimize a coffee’s quality as espresso the rules may need to bend and move to suit the coffee.
This is undoubtedly positive, but there is also the question, then, of when coffee is not espresso. You can achieve amazing results by brewing a very long filter-like coffee through an espresso machine. For me, espresso has to be a concentrate.
Below 7 percent strength, I think it starts to become something else – it may well be great, but it is just not espresso.
Americano or Caffee Americano is prepared by diluting an espresso with hot water, this gives it a similar strength but provides a different from a traditionally brewed coffee. The strength of an Americano differs from how many shots of espresso are added and also how much water has been added for dilution.
This coffee drink originated in Cuba. Specifically, cafe Cubano refers to an espresso shot that has been sweetened.
Caffe crema is an old name for espresso. Caffe cream is a long espresso drink which is primarily served in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and northern Italy (the 1980s onwards), along the Italian/Swiss and Italian/Austrian border. In Germany, it is generally known as a “Café Crème” or just “Kaffee” and is generally the default type of black coffee served, unless there is a filter machine.
A Cafe Zorro is a double espresso, added to hot water with a 1:1 ratio.
This is a double shot of espresso, extracted using a double coffee filter in the portafilter. This results in 60 ml of drink, double the amount of a single shot espresso.
An Espresso Romano is a shot of espresso with a slice of lemon served on the side. The lemon can be run along the rim of the cup as a way to accentuate the espresso’s sweetness.
Originally one or two shots of hot espresso poured over slices of lime. It can also be served on ice, sometimes with a touch of milk.
Ristretto is traditionally a short shot of espresso made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water.
The opposite of a ristretto is a lungo, which is typically double the shot volume.
Cappuccino is prepared with hot milk and steamed milk foam. I could go ahead and easily say this is what cappuccino is but I will be doing injustice.
The cappuccino is an iconic drink, but what exactly it is? There is much debate about nearly all of the drinks on a typical coffee menu. What exactly should the ratio of a cappuccino be: how much espresso to how much milk? And how much foam and what type of foam? An how exactly does it differ from other beverages on the menu? Strict definitions are hard to come by. Make sure you follow the coffee guide to have the right taste.
The cappuccino is possibly the most widely interpreted drink name out there. It is fair to say that a cappuccino is stronger than a latte (there is more coffee to milk) and has a decent amount of foam, though in a lot of commercial shops a cappuccino is just a latte with some chocolate sprinkles added on top. Beyond this, it is pretty tricky.
Some claim that a perfect cappuccino is the hardest milk drink to master: dense milk foam that is also big on volume is nigh impossible to create.
I have been told of the existence of the perfect cappuccino in which the foam does not separate to the top unless you drink it immediately.
The origin of the cappuccino is not linked to a monk’s hairstyle, as is often cited. Its origins are instead Viennese and refer to the brown robes of a Capucin monk, with the color relating to the strength of the coffee-and-milk mix.
This coffee drink is made with espresso and steamed milk. Latte is a shortened English form of the Italian caffe latte, caffelatte or caffellatte, which in other words means “milk coffee”.
Who invented the flat white? We won’t ever get a clear answer to that, but it was definitely someone Down Under. Next question: What exactly is a flat white? Well, it has espresso and steamed milk and it is relatively strong. The Specifics vary, a problem you will come across with all familiar drink types.
They are interpreted in a variety of ways and these varying interpretations then become gospel, at least for a particular group of experts of aficionados.
The definition of the flat white that I am most familiar with is a double espresso shot with relatively flatly steamed milk poured into a 6oz cup. Traditionally, the cappuccino was a relatively small, strong, steamed milk drink, but over many years it has evolved to be larger and larger so that in many countries it has become synonymous with a frothier latte.
The flat white’s success relies on its strength, and it has become a commonplace in many coffee shops around the globe, as drinkers rebel against the increasingly oversized drinks that dominate the market and take more interest in the coffee itself.
Caffe Macchiato is sometimes called espresso macchiato, is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed.
Caffe Breve is an American version of a latte: an espresso with a half-and-half steamed mixture of milk and cream, instead of just milk.
This is a single shot of espresso with steamed milk and the ratio is 1:1, this coffee is served in an espresso cup. And regardless of its name, it has nothing to do with Italy, neither it has any meaning in Italian.
Coffee with condensed milk, Cafe Bombon originated in Valencia, Spain, and over time it got popularized in the rest of Spain. A Cafe Bombon is made with espresso and sweetened condensed milk in 1:1 ratio.
This coffee is prepared by pouring a single shot of espresso over a single marshmallow.
A Cortado is also known as an espresso “cut”, this prepared by pouring a small amount of warm milk to cut the acidity.
This coffee drink is prepared from espresso, steamed milk, and cocoa powder and it is similar to Marocchino.
This is a hot drink from Portugal and it is prepared with espresso and foamed milk. Galao is served in a tall glass with plenty of milk.
Cafe au lait
Cafe au lait is a French way of creating ‘coffee with milk’. Cafe au lait is prepared with strong coffee and scalded milk in a 1:1 ratio.
Ca phe sua da
Ca phe sua da originated from Vietnam, it is also known as “iced milk coffee”, this coffee is normally made with a dark roast, often mixed with chicory and brewed in a small Vietnamese drip filter into a cup which contains sweetened condensed milk. This mixture is stirred together and poured over ice.
This is again a Vietnamese drink which is traditionally made with egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and Robusta coffee.
Eiskaffee literally means “iced coffee”, this is a popular German coffee dring which is prepared with chilled coffee, vanilla ice cream, and sometimes sugar and whipped cream are also added.
Kopi susu literally means “milk coffee”. This coffee is served in a glass, this coffee can be easily made by mixing black coffee with about a quarter to half a glass of sweetened condensed milk, you would have to allow the coffee to chill and let the grounds sink to the bottom. It is advised that you should not drink this coffee to the end unless you want to taste the bitter ground coffee.
You should not confuse this coffee drink with “Vienna roast” coffee, this coffee is prepared by topping espresso with whipped cream. You could also use milk, which can be poured into coffee before adding the whipped cream. It’s observed some people like to sprinkle vanilla, chocolate or cinnamon on the whipped cream before consuming this Vienna Coffee.
Espresso con panna
This coffee is simply black coffee with whipped cream.
The Black tie
This coffee is prepared by combining a double shot of espresso with Thai iced coffee and sweetened condensed milk.
This coffee drink is prepared by combining espresso with spiced tea and steamed milk.
This coffee is prepared with a shot of liqueur. It is normally served in a special liqueur coffee glass with cream and sugar. Liqueur coffee is a variety of Irish coffee and it can be made with whiskey, Armagnac, Irish cream, Kahlua and many more.
This coffee drink is a cocktail made with hot coffee, Irish whiskey (Jameson if possible) sugar, and finally, it gets topped with cream. This coffee is served in an Irish coffee mug.
This coffee drink is also referred to as Caffe Mocha, a Caffe Mocha is a chocolate-flavored of caffe latte. This coffee drink is based on espresso and hot milk but with added chocolate flavoring and sweetener (sugar).
This coffee uses a Moka Pot which is either a stove-top or electric coffee maker which brews the coffee by circulating boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee.
Finally, this is some list, I have tried my best to compile every coffee know to mankind, but if you think I have missed any of your favorite coffee drink, please let me know in the comments section below.