Types of Coffee: A Caffeine-Fueled Battle Guide
Are you always making or ordering the same coffee drink? Perhaps you’d like to try different types of coffee, but you don’t know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a coffee guide with all the types of coffee drinks — some a bit more rare than others, but others that may be available at your local coffee shop.
Here is Every Type of Coffee That Exists on the Planet. Ever.
(Okay, not EVERY type of coffee that exists, but it’s a lot of them).
But, before jumping in, let’s first look at a brief description of the different varieties of coffee beans out there so that the next time you take a sip of java, you’ll have a newfound appreciation.
Types of Coffee Beans
There are four main coffee beans in the world, but only two of them – Arabica and Robusta are consumed in coffee shops everywhere. The two others – Liberica and Excelsa are found in certain parts of the world and typically mixed with Arabica or Robusta. Let’s explore.
Once roasted, all coffee looks the same but, you will notice the difference if you take the time to truly savor each sip.
For instance, the Arabica bean is characterized as soft, sweet, fruity with high acidity compared to other varieties. Arabica is considered the superior for its smooth taste and rich flavor. Most types of coffee drinks are made with Arabica.
Making up the world’s 60 percent of coffee production, Arabica originates from the highlands of Ethiopia, Arabica grows in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Honduras. This type of bean takes approximately seven years to fully mature. When it’s ready, the coffee bean will be found inside a red fruit often called the cherry.
The canephora beans of the Robusta coffee are used for making instant coffee, many types of espresso drinks, and is used as a filler in house blends. The beans produce a full-bodied coffee with an earthy flavor and unlike Arabica, it is bitter and richer as it contains twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans, harsh and low in acidity. Cafe Bustelo is an example of Robusta coffee.
37% to 40% of Robusta coffee originates in central and western sub-Saharan Africa and grows in Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, and India.
Excelsa accounts for approximately 7% of the world’s coffee production growing in high sturdy trees in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Excelsa is tart, fruity, and dark and used as a blending coffee (used for house blends) because it adds a stronger character.
Two percent of the world’s coffee production comes from Liberica. But, because Liberica is close to extinction it is a luxury in many places and not found everywhere. When roasted, it is marked by its smoky, nutty and dark chocolate taste.
Now that you know a bit about the types of coffee beans let’s take a look at the types of drinks we can make with them!
The Most Popular Coffee Drinks
Affogato means “drowned” in Italian, and is typically served as dessert. An affogato consists of a shot of espresso and a scoop of ice cream. A liqueur such as Amaretto is optional, giving your Affogato an extra kick.
To stay warm, Spanish fishermen mixed up old coffee, brandy and milk, and the drink, Asiático eventually made its way to bars all over the city of Cartagena. Today, the recipe consists of coffee, condensed milk, cognac, a few drops of Licor 43 and a couple of coffee beans. The drink is commonly served in a thick glass made especially for this drink.
Bica is a Portuguese coffee drink very similar to an espresso but because the roasting is lighter, the drink is smoother in taste.
Since the 18th-century people have enjoyed the warm sweet drink, found in Turin Italy. The drink is made of espresso, chocolate, and milk served in layers in a glass and topped with whipped cream as an option.
The Black Russian is a Belgian cocktail drink containing vodka and coffee liqueur. The vodka is poured over cracked ice, in a glass, followed by the coffee liquor.
A counter to the Americano — the Britanico is an English beverage made up of Americano, topped with cold milk (from the container), and water giving the coffee a white color.
Café au Lait
Café au lait is French for “coffee with milk” and it is a simple and popular French drip coffee drink prepared with dark roast coffee and heated milk.
Café con Leche
Café con leche is Spanish for “coffee with milk” and it is similar to the Café au Lait (made up of strong coffee and hot milk), except that Café con Leche uses espresso instead of drip coffee making it more similar to a Latte.
Café de Olla
Café de Olla is a Mexican coffee beverage that goes all the way back to the Mexican Revolution. It was given to army soldiers as an energy booster. The drink consists of coffee, cinnamon, piloncillo, cloves, and chocolate heated in a clay pot.
Caffè Americano – typically just called an “Americano” is a type of coffee drink prepared by diluting espresso with hot water.
Caffè Breva is cappuccino made with half and half milk, rather than whole milk. It is more difficult to prepare than the cappuccino due to the half-and-half being more difficult to foam.
It is similar to Caffè Breva but Caffè Breve is an espresso drink made with part milk and part half and half.
Caffè Macchiato is an espresso drink made with a small amount of foamed milk on the top.
Originated from the city of Mocha in Yemen, Caffe Mocha is based on espresso, heated milk, and chocolate.
The drink is prepared with hot water and a double espresso (doppio) poured into it with a 1:1 ratio.
Cappuccino is a popular Italian coffee drink that is traditionally prepared with double espresso, milk and a third topped with foamed milk.
A Chai Latte is made with black tea, steamed milk and Indian spices such as cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn, nutmeg, and cloves.
This exclusive drink is typically only found in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. But can be easily prepared. It is an ice cream-based beverage made of coffee ice cream, coffee syrup and milk.
Cold Brew Coffee
A cold brew coffee is prepared by first soaking coffee grounds in cool water for about 12 hours and filtering the grounds with a coffee filter or French press and pouring hot water to the coffee over ice, and adding milk. Chocolate is also an option!
This Spanish originated drink is made with part espresso and part milk.
As the name suggests, this is a Cuban beverage made with an espresso shot. The espresso is sweetened with demerara sugar as it is being brewed.
Doppio meaning “double” is a double shot espresso.
This Vietnamese drink is made with heated beaten egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and robusta coffee.
This sweet drink is made using espresso, and Nutella. Before pouring the espresso, Nutella is filled along the wall of the cup and cocoa powder is sprinkled at the bottom.
Espresso is made by forcing hot water under pressure to finely ground coffee beans resulting in a thicker and more concentrated than regular coffee. Espresso is a base for many types of espresso drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, Americanos and more.
Espresso con Panna
Espresso con Panna means, “espresso with cream” in Italian, and it can be either a single or double shot of espresso topped with whipped cream.
A Flat White is made with espresso and steamed milk. The bubbles in the espresso are small and fine, giving the foam a velvety taste and consistency.
This coffee drink is a Greek-foam-covered ice coffee typically prepared by whipping instant coffee, (typically Nescafe), water, and sugar.
The Starbucks trademarked drink is an ice blended drink made up of coffee, blended ice and cream which can be topped with whipped cream and flavored syrups.
A Guillermo is a simple drink consisting of placing lime slices inside a tall cup and pouring two espresso shots over it. It can be served over ice, and milk is optional.
Ipoh White Coffee
This is a Malaysian coffee drink prepared by roasting coffee beans with margarine and wheat. When brewed it is served with condensed milk, and can also be poured over ice.
Irish Coffee is a cocktail made up of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar mixed and topped with heavy cream.
This Indonesian-style drink is prepared by boiling coarse grounds of coffee with solid sugar.
Latte means “milk coffee.” This popular drink is made with espresso and about a quarter of steamed milk.
A normal serving of espresso takes from 18 to 30 seconds to pull, while for a Lungo the espresso takes one minute. In a Lungo (meaning “long in Italian) twice as much water passing through the espresso is added making it a larger cup than an espresso.
Not to be confused with a Macchiato. In the Latte Macchiato espresso is poured into the milk rather than the other way around.
Foam is used instead of hot milk and uses only half the espresso and is not mixed but poured into the cup in a layer.
Commonly served in a glass cup, the Marocchino is prepared by sprinkling a generous amount of cocoa powder in a cup, a shot espresso and adding milk froth.
Dubbed as the original “ice coffee,” Mazagran is a cold, sweet coffee drink rooted in Algeria. It’s prepared using espresso, lemon, mint, a dab of rum and an ice cube.
Melya coffee is prepared by dusting about a teaspoon of powdered cocoa in a cup, adding a teaspoon of honey, mixing to get a thick chocolate glaze then pouring a hot shot of espresso to dissolve it. Milk or cream can be added.
Moka coffee is made by first using finely ground coffee and brewing it in a Moka pot using hot water.
This coffee drink is prepared with drip coffee, sugar (or honey), butter and raksi which is a Nepalese rice wine.
Oliang is black iced coffee and served in Thai restaurants prepared using coffee, brown sugar, grains and seeds, corn, soybeans, and rice. Sometimes it’s served with condensed milk, evaporated milk, or syrup.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
The popular Starbucks drink served exclusively during the fall season is made with espresso, steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and choices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spices.
A ristretto involves a shot of espresso that is forced with only half the amount of water by using a finer grind.
Turkish coffee is prepared by carefully boiling fine grounds of coffee in a pot with water and sugar and serving one-third of the coffee while the remaining coffee is poured back into the pot to boil again for a second round.
Vacuum coffee is made with a vacuum pot, adding preheated water into the pot, turning its burner, and then adding medium coarse coffee into its top compartment.
Originating in the Pacific Northwest, Caffe Gommosa is a thick and sweet drink made with a single shot of espresso poured over a marshmallow.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Also, called cà phê đá i, Vietnamese iced coffee prepared using a Vietnamese-grown coffee and a Vietnamese drip filter. Hot water gets added to the filter then transferred into a glass of ice when ready.
This German coffee drink is like a cappuccino – involving a shot of espresso, except not as strong. In Vienna, the drink is prepared with part black coffee, and part cream and foam.
Yuenyeung, meaning coffee with tea and also known as Kopi Cham in Malaysia is most popular in Hong Kong and is a mixture of three parts of coffee, seven parts Hong Kong-style milk tea that can be served hot or cold.
As you can see there are countless types of coffee drinks to enjoy whether at your local coffee shop or even at home, as some of these are quite simple to make. We hope this coffee guide has helped. Maybe next time, you can change it up a bit.
Types of Coffee Infographic
We wanted to be able to show every type of coffee in our list in one place, so we created this extremely helpful infographic. Want to use it on your website? We’d love that! Just provide a link back to this post and we’re all good!