There is a world out there beyond your regular Flat White or occasional Capuccino. If you’re a person who loves coffee, it’s easy for you to know the different types of coffee.
From Antoccinos to Vienna coffee via Espressinos and Egg Coffee, some will be more common on the boards of coffee shops than others, but there is no reason why you can’t experiment at home.
But the different types of coffee don’t just involve how it is made and how much milk you put in. Even the bean roasting level, grind level, and actual bean can have a huge impact on the end taste.
Coffee Bean Varieties
Just as with other fruit species, there are various types of coffee beans out there. Depending on the species and where the beans come from, you can expect a wide variety of coffee flavors. The four main coffee bean species are:
These account for over 60% of all the beans consumed around the world, so it is likely what you have in your morning cup. They are seen as the highest quality and are grown predominantly in Latin America.
They’re best used with slower methods such as pour-overs, and can often result in complex flavor profiles and aromas, making them popular with serious coffee drinkers. The taste can become diluted with the use of sugar or milk
This is a stronger, more bitter bean. It is actually the form mostly used in espressos and other coffees which need to be strong and dark. This is because they contain around twice the content of caffeine compared to an Arabica bean.
They work best in coffees famed for their strong tastes, but can also stand up better against things like milk, cream and sugar
The latter is actually a form of Liberica, but both have their own personalities.
They’re largely both woody, smoky and fruity with a full-body aroma. Liberica is hard to find as it originates from the Philippines and isn’t really exported, but Excelsa is easier to buy.
They are quite tart, and if you do see them, it will probably be because they have been added to coffee blends to add depth as opposed to being on their own.
Types Of Coffee Drinks: A Definitive List
Now you have a basic grasp on the different beans, the next step is choosing what to actually drink.
Different brewing methods require different grind levels, which is another way in which you can alter the taste. Then, the actual drinks all require various milk amounts, which is the final way you are able to alter the end result.
- Black coffee – Coffee served straight after being made without the addition of milk, sugar or any extras
- Coffee with sugar or milk – Coffee served into the cup and then with added sugar, milk, cream or milk alternatives
- Espresso – Using very fine grounds, and served in a small cup or glass. A small amount of water is added to the grounds which creates a stronger flavour, and espressos can also be used as a base for other drinks
- Caffe Gommosa – An espresso poured over a single large marshmallow
- Café Con Hielo – An iced espresso with 50 ml of espresso served over ice
- Cortado – An espresso with a small amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity
- Doppio – A double shot of espresso served in a demitasse cup
- Espresso con panna – Coffee made with whipped cream
- Espresso Romano – A shot of espresso served with a slice of lemon on the side
- Guillermo – Two shots over lime slices, sometimes served on ice
- Lungo – The opposite of the Ristretto. Made with more water for a softer taste
- Ristretto – Espresso made with the same amount of coffee but half the amount of water for a stronger taste
Coffees With Milk or Water
- Affogato – A shot of espresso poured over ice cream. More a dessert than drink
- Antoccino – A shot of espresso served with a 1:1 ratio of steamed milk
- Americano – A shot of espresso topped up with hot water
- Breve – Espresso with half milk, half cream topped up
- Bulletproof coffee – One cup black coffee, two tbsp butter and one tbsp coconut oil, blended until creamy
- Cafe au lait – Strong coffee with scalded milk in 1:1 ratio
- Cafe Cubano – From Cuba. An espresso with added demerara sugar
- Cappuccino – Espresso with hot milk and steamed foam to top
- Chai Latte – An espresso mixed with steamed milk and spiced tea
- Dalgona – A new coffee variety, invented during the Covid-19 lockdown. Whip together instant coffee, sugar and hot water and add to a glass of milk
- Filter coffee – Made in a drip or filter machine, or manual maker. The grounds are steeped in hot water, then separated. Less harsh than espresso and served black or with milk
- Flat White – Espresso base, similar to a latte but made with velvety-textured milk/microfoam
- Irish Coffee – Coffee combined with whiskey and cream and often sweetened with sugar
- Latte – An espresso with added steamed milk in a 1:3 to 1:5 ratio with 5mm layered foam on top
- Long Black – Large coffee made with 3/4 water and 1/4 espresso. Made with water and then the addition of espresso, the opposite of Americano
- Macchiato – An espresso made similarly to a cappuccino but with a smaller amount of milk, for a stronger result
- Mocha/Mochaccino – Similar to a latte, although chocolate syrup or powder is added
- Turkish Coffee/Greek Coffee – A drink in which fine ground coffee is immersed in water, for maximum crema to form
- Vienna – Two shots of espresso, adding whipped cream rather than milk or sugar
Dan is a former competition barista and has been honing his knowledge of coffee for over two decades.
He has worked in coffee farms in Peru, as well as roasters in Australia. He now trains new baristas and hosts cupping experiences in Austin.