Coffee lovers, more often than not, are generally classified into two: those who fell in love at the first coffee sip, or those who had loved their lives without the need for the caffeine rush up until they got to taste the Espresso of their dreams. Whoever you are and whatever you do, there sure is a coffee for you! You don’t think so? Well, you probably haven’t met your kind of caffeine yet.
In this article, we present to you the whooping forty-three types of coffee. Remember, it only takes one cup of coffee that hits differently to turn your back from your decaffeinated life. Hop on in! Who knows? One of these coffee types might be the game changer you’re waiting for.
The world of coffee beans
Numerous coffea (coffee) are actually derived from nature, specifically in the wild. A lot of these actually originate from the east coast of Africa. As recorded by Aaron Davis, head of Coffee Research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Madagascar holds the greatest number of coffee species.
Fun fact: It was only in the late 1990s when more than half of the coffee species in the world was documented. This is through the relentless efforts of Davis and his team.
Almost all the coffee grown for commercial use is primarily made up of these two species:
Coffee Arabica is the most grown coffee species worldwide. Majority of the high quality and specialty coffees belong to the Arabica species which is why merchants who sell coffee grounds always emphasize that their product is of the Arabica family to attract more customers.
Despite this notion, keep in mind that Arabica doesn’t automatically equate to high quality. In fact, commercial-grade Arabica easily outnumbers the specialty ones.
Labeled as inferior to Arabica, Robusta is grown at low altitudes, normally between sea level and 300m (1,000 ft.). This variant is known to be disease-resistant. Although some experts disagree, some references say that Robusta makes up 30% of all the coffee worldwide. It produces two times the yield per tree than Arabica.
Now that we’re done talking about the coffee species, it is now time to touch base with the various types of coffee beverages in the market. Although the majority of us use the same coffee bean type, a lot of factors make a huge difference in our coffee choices. Depending on the brewing method and the add-ons thrown into our cup of coffee, here are the different coffee drinks in the market today:
As the term suggests, this is as pure as coffee can be. Served from the carafe without adding any sugar, milk, or cream, this truly is a worldwide classic.
Coffee with a play between sugar, milk, or cream
After brewing your black coffee, add some sugar, milk, or cream to suit your taste.
The preparation for this type of beverage is by placing a coffee-filled filter over a carafe as hot water is poured and allowed to penetrate through the filter until it drips into your cup or flask.
Pour over coffee
A process that constantly refreshes the water surrounding the grounded coffee is the pour over coffee method. A filter, a ‘pour over dripper’ and freshly ground coffee are included. The process comprises three stages, each adding to the distinctive quality and taste of coffee. Including wetting, dissolution, and diffusion.
French press coffee
Also known as cafetiere or plunger, the French Press coffee is a type of brewer used widely and has been present for a long time now. The coffee is basically steeped in water after which a metal-mesh filter is pressed that pushes a lot of the crust and sediment to the jug prior to decanting. Since the mesh filter is coarse, the French Press coffee end up containing a good amount of sediment giving you a bold and flavorful cup of coffee.
To make this form of coffee, use an AeroPress unit. The method looks like this: you put a paper filter or metal filter in the tube, steep the coffee for less than a minute, then press it through a plunger filter. With the filter preventing oil and sediment from entering the cup, this coffee has a distinctive flavor.
This type of coffee is produced with the use of a percolator. This brewing technique involves hot water that is repeatedly cycled through the coffee grounds where the desired strength is attained through gravity.
Obviously a preparation derived from Turkey, “ibrik coffee” or Turkish coffee utilizes a finer grind with the coffee pounded until it reaches a powder-like consistency. Recipe may vary, but the concept is to let the coffee simmer in water with the use of a cezve or a coffee pot. Sugar may be added to your liking.
Depending on your taste, Turkish coffee may be allowed to simmer more than once. It is then poured from a height to allow the fine grounds to settle to the bottom while the surface remains to be foamy. In this preparation, no filter is used, as opposed to the common methods utilized in preparing for specialty coffee. With practice and enough knowledge about this preparation, a full and a complex flavor of coffee with satisfying extractions might just make it to your cup.
Cold brew coffee
A famous variant all over the world, the cold brew truly is a phenomenon to reckon with. Almost all types of coffee-selling establishments offer this type of caffeine mostly because the preparation is pretty simple: brew the coffee with cold water. As simple as it gets.
Since heat in hot preparations assist in extraction, the use of cold water increases the brewing time significantly. This is done through a slow steeping method or a slow drip method. It takes hours to brew this variant and the extraction in itself is unlike any other. The coffee produced contains less acidity and the blend leans toward chocolaty, malty, and often boozy.
A rising variant of cold brew coffee is the Nitro cold brew. As the name suggests, nitrogen is added to produce a Guinness-like creamy texture to the cold brew as it pops up on beer-like taps. To make the experience complete, the result also resembles a beer-like head.
Iced coffee is quite different from a cold brew because it does not require a cold preparation. As basic as it gets, iced coffee is a hot coffee that is allowed to cool gradually and with the addition of ice cubes.
Vacuum coffee is brewed with the use of two glass bulbs positioned on top of each other. With a heat source underneath, the bottom chamber is filled with water and either a glass filter, a cloth, or a paper is placed between the two bulbs. The water then heats up creating pressure in the bottom chamber pushing the water up to the top bulb where it is allowed to steep.
Once the heat source is turned off or is taken away, a resultant vacuum-like phenomenon sucks up the brew into the bottom bulb while the grounds stay on the top.
A con of this preparation is that a vacuum-brewed coffee is at risk for over-extraction if brewed for longer than required. However, with enough skill, this brewing method can produce a delicious coffee
Do we really need an introduction for the goodness that is Espresso? Iconic as it is, let’s get to know her a little more for those who might not know her a little too well yet.
Espresso is a highly-concentrated coffee. It is prepared and brewed under pressure resulting in a foamy surface which is called the “crema.” To say that Espresso is the bread and butter of the modern coffee shops around the world is an understatement.
A great and careful attention to detail is a must to create an Espresso. The Espresso machine was invented in Italy. Prior to our modern time, every Espresso is subjected to a lot of criticism. The level of the Espresso quality was defined through the use of a strict criteria which includes the appearance of the cream, the accurate volume of liquid, and the accurate brew time of exactly 25 seconds.
Fortunately, in our time today, the strict world of Espresso has turned into one that is versatile and lenient to truly match our taste. This is, of course, a good thing. However, it has made the line between an Espresso and a different type of coffee difficult to distinguish. Since the main selling point of an Espresso is its high concentration, a coffee below seven percent may just not be it.
Caffe Americano, or commonly addressed as just Americano, involves a preparation that uses hot water to dilute an Espresso. On how strong the Americano is largely depends on the number of Espresso shots and the amount of water added.
Originating from Cuba, this is simply sweetened Espresso shot.
We have established that “crema” is the foamy layer on the surface of an Espresso. In fact, caffe crema is the old name for Espresso and it was initially served in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Northern Italy from the 1980s. German locals call this variant as “Café Crème” or just “Kaffee.” When a black coffee is ordered, it is usually the caffe crema that is served unless a filter machine is available.
This coffee type is a double Espresso poured into hot water with an exact 1:1 ratio.
Doppio is made of a double shot of Espresso extracted through a portafilter’s double coffee filter resulting in double the amount of a single shot Espresso. One preparation results in a 60-mL beverage.
This is a shot of Espresso served with a slice of lemon on the side to add sweetness to the caffeine. The lemon is usually run along the rim of your cup of coffee.
Guillermo is made up of a single or double shots of hot Espresso gently poured over lime. Add ice and milk to your liking.
Ristretto is prepared with the usual amount of coffee grounds but with only half the amount of water during extraction, producing a short shot of Espresso.
Lungo is prepared just like the Ristretto only with double the shot volume this time.
Cappuccino originated from Viennese and was named this way because of its resemblance with the brown robe of a Capucin monk, with the brown color indicating the coffee and milk combination.
In essence, Cappuccino is coffee with hot milk and steamed milk foam. However, there is more to this popular cup than that alone.
A lot of points of debate have been laid on the table for far too long. How should Cappuccino be prepared? How much Espresso to milk ratio? How foamy should it be? What type of foam should it be made up of?
It is said that Cappuccino should hold more strength than a latte with a decent amount of foam, however, a lot of the modern coffee shops serve a latte with some choco sprinkles and call it a Cappuccino. It truly is quite confusing.
It has been established that Cappuccino is one of the hardest beverages to perfect because a thick milk foam plus a huge drink volume is difficult to create. I once heard that a perfect Cappuccino is a Cappuccino with a foam that stays anchored on top unless ingested right away.
Latte is derived from the Italian caffe latte, caffelatter, or caffellatte, which all mean “milk coffee.” From the term itself, Latte is a combination of Espresso and steamed milk.
Up until today, who invented the Flat White remains to be a mystery. One thing we know is that it sure is someone from Australia. At its very core, Flat White is a strong caffeinated beverage that contains Espresso and steamed milk. That simple? Well, of course not.
Flat White is interpreted in more ways than one stirring a confusion among coffee lovers. One of the more common definitions of Flat White is that it is a double shot Espresso with milk that is steamed flatly and then poured into a 6oz cup. People who love Flat White mostly adore it because of its strength and simplicity. Some coffee lovers just love their coffee plain, simple, and strong.
A coffee drink that is also called an Espresso Macchiato because it is basically an Espresso with a tiny amount of foamed milk.
Caffe Breve is a latter variant made by Americans. It is made up of an equal mixture of milk and cream added to an Espresso shot.
Antoccino is an Espresso cup containing a shot of Espresso mixed with steamed milk at a 1:1 ratio. Funnily, despite its name, it actually has nothing to do with Italy.
Cafe Bombon is basically coffee with added condensed milk that originated in Valencia, Spain. An ideal Cafe Bombon is made up of equal amounts of both ingredients.
Caffe Gommosa is a coffee type in which a single Espresso shot is interestingly poured over one marshmallow.
This caffeinated beverage is prepared by adding a tiny amount of warm milk to lessen the acidity level. This is why a Cortado is also known as an Espresso “cut”, as in cutting the coffee’s acidity.
Espressino is a concoction of Espresso, cocoa powder, and steamed milk. This variant is similar to Marocchino.
Originating from Portuguese, Galao is served in a tall glass of Espresso with lots of foamed milk.
Cafe au lait
Cafe au lait is a French version of ‘coffee with milk’ as it is prepared with a combination of strong coffee and scalded milk in a ratio of 1:1.
Ca phe sua da
Ca phe sua da is a Vetnamese coffee which is also known as “iced milk coffee.” This is a dark roasted coffee mixed with chicory and allowed to penetrate through a small Vietnamese drip until it reaches a cup with sweetened condensed milk in it. Stir, add ice, and enjoy!
As the name suggests, this is a Vietnamese beverage prepared with egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, and Robusta.
In its most literal form, Eiskaffe means “iced coffee.” Popularized by Germans, this coffee is prepared with chilled coffee with vanilla ice cream. Sugar and whipped cream may also be added to add sweetness into the mix.
Kopi susu is an Indonesian term that means “mik coffee.” This is prepared by mixing black coffee with about one-fourth to a half a glass of sweetened condensed milk. The coffee then is allowed to chill as grounds sink to the bottom of the serving glass. Since the coffee grounds settle at the bottom most part of the glass, it is recommended to not consume this coffee to the end unless you’re ready for some bitter ground experience.
Take note that Vienna coffee is different from Vienna roast. This is prepared by adding whipped cream on top of the Espresso. If you prefer to add milk, pour it into the coffee before adding the whipped cream. To make it fancier, vanilla, chocolate, or cinnamon may be sprinkled on top.
Espresso con panna
Espresso con panna is just a blacked coffee with added whipped cream on top.
The Black Tie
The Black Tie is a Thai iced coffee with added sweetened condensed milk and a double shot of Espresso.
This beverage is simply a combination of Espresso with steamed milk and spiced tea.
From the name itself, this is a coffee drink with an added shot of liqueur, sugar, and cream. To complete the experience, this is served in a special liqueur glass. Liqueur coffee is an Irish coffee variant wherein the maker can choose between Armagnac, whiskey, Irish cream, Kahlua, and more.
Served in an Irish coffee mug, this drink is actually a cocktail of hot coffee with Irish Whiskey and sugar. The cocktail is then topped with cream. Jameson Irish whiskey is the most ideal to really get that authentic Irish coffee taste.
Mocha, or Caffe Mocha, is a caffe latte with added chocolate for the added flavor. It is prepared with an Espresso, hot milk, chocolate flavoring, and a sweetener, usually in the form of sugar.
The brewing method to make a cup of Moka utilizes a stove-top or electric coffee maker called a Moka Pot. Here, the coffee is brewed by boiling water circulating through the ground coffee via the steam pressure.
And that concludes our 43 types of caffeinated drinks! With all these variations, how can a single one of these not make you fall in love? We hope this list has helped you understand the differences among the different coffee types. Happy drinking!