If you have ever looked over a coffee drink menu with any confusion, I promise you aren’t the only one. It can be difficult to understand what the difference is between all the types of drinks.
I hope after reading through this list, you have a better understanding of what they are or you can use this as a reference when you are trying to decide which one to have.
Types of Beans
There are two types of beans available, so first, we can distinguish between the two.
- Arabica– the most popular and widely brewed bean. Many people prefer arabica’s taste over robusta. It has a sweeter, more complex flavor that you can drink without adding anything to it.
- Robusta– has more caffeine and is cheaper. Its flavor is more bitter than arabica so it’s used for espresso and instant coffee.
There is also a large variety of brewing options to choose from:
Drip coffee is brewed by sending boiling water over your coffee grounds. The water goes through the pot, passes the grounds that are held in by a filter, and ends up in the carafe or coffee pot. It’s the most common method of brewing as many Americans brew with an automatic drip machine daily for convenience.
See the comparison of my two favorite brewing methods: French Press vs Pour Over.
For this brew method, you steep coarsely ground beans in room temperature water for 12-24 hours and you will get less bitter, highly caffeinated coffee.
Its pour over but with a machine. Its supposed to prevent human error.
To make this simple cup of coffee, you pour hot water over the special coffee grounds and stir until it dissolves. It’s used to make the recently popular Dalgona coffee which is just instant coffee, white sugar, and hot water that is whipped.
French Press is an immersion coffee maker. You simply steep the grounds in boiling water and then filter.
Coffee is brewed in two different chambers where vacuum and pressure work together.
The Siphon heats and cools the water gases from the carafe chamber to the infusion chamber and back again until finely brewed coffee is made.
The only way my dad will drink it, black coffee is just simply coffee beans steeped in water and served hot. Proper name: cafe noir.
The only way I will drink coffee black is if I brew using the Pour Over method.
It’s said to have originated in World War II. Soldiers would add water to their coffee to make it last longer. It diluted the espresso without losing caffeine. To make this, you add 3 ounces of hot water to 1 shot of espresso.
Tip: Pour the espresso before the water.
Although it is similar to the Americano, it originated in Australia and New Zealand having more crema than the americano. To make this, you add 2 shots of espresso to 3 ounces of hot water.
It is one ounce of highly concentrated coffee that may seem simple, but is very difficult to perfect. It is the foundation for most coffee drinks like lattes and macchiatos.
Double Espresso or Doppio
Doppio means double in Italian so just as it states, this is a double shot of espresso. It is very concentrated and thus, very strong.
For this one, you take 1 shot of espresso, 3 ounces of steamed half and half, and 1 cm of foam. It creates a spin on the average espresso.
In Italian, breve means short.
This is just a boost of caffeine to a regular cup of coffee. To make this, you take 6 ounces of regular coffee and add 1 shot of espresso.
This is the doubled version of a red eye so it is very highly caffeinated.
This is just a long-pull espresso, the longer you pull the more caffeine.
Related to the cappuccino and latte, this hot coffee drink contains twice the foamed milk which makes it lighter than the other two. It is one quarter coffee and three quarters foamed milk.
This espresso shot uses less water to create a sweeter flavor when compared to the traditional espresso, which is bitter. It’s called a “short shot” because of its higher concentration of espresso.
It’s 2 shots of strong espresso, with 2 ounces of infused whipped cream. The whipped cream takes the place of milk and sugar to give it a creamy texture.
Cafe au Lait
You take French Press coffee and pair it with scalded milk. So you will need 5 ounces of French Press coffee and 5 ounces of scalded milk.
Milk Based Coffee Drinks
This is a creamy breakfast drink that is loved all over. It’s considered an indulgence due to the thick foam layer. To create, you will need 1-2 shots of espresso, 2 ounces of steamed milk, 2 ounces of foamed milk, and a sprinkle of chocolate powder.
It is very similar to the cappuccino but doesn’t have foam or chocolate. To make this, you need 1 shot of espresso and 4 ounces of steamed milk.
Its espresso and steamed milk but are different from a cappuccino because it has more milk.
Find out about a Turmeric Latte’s benefits here and how to make one!
Originally from Italy, this is a strong coffee shot with just a dash of milk. You take one shot of espresso and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of steamed milk. Flavoring syrups can be added.
This drink is a double shot of espresso with a dash of milk. This is a taller version of the regular one. You will need 2 shots of espresso and 2 to 4 teaspoons of steamed milk.
This means stained milk. So, you take a glass of milk and “stain” it by pouring espresso over it. It’s usually served in a tall glass and you can see the layers of foam on top, espresso in the center, and milk at the bottom.
This is an American version of a latte. For this, you will need 1/4 espresso, 1/2 steamed milk, and 1/2 milk foam.
This one is made from pouring warm milk over a ristretto shot.
This drink adds milk to an espresso to balance the acidity. To make this one, you need 1 shit espresso, 1 ounce warm milk and 1 cm of foam.
It is the most popular variation of Cortado coffee, you make it by adding an espresso shot and 3 ounces of milk to a heated glass. The coffee, however, cools fast so you should drink it quickly to enjoy the full experience.
This one looks pretty in a glass. It is a double shot of espresso, foamed milk, and flavor (chocolate or cocoa). Most people add toppings like cinnamon or whipped cream.
Iced Coffee Drinks
Simply, a coffee with ice. You can serve it with milk, cream or sugar but its really just that easy.
Similar to an iced coffee, you serve the espresso with ice. It can be made straight or you can add milk, cream, or sugar.
This trendy coffee is made by steeping the beans from 12-24 hours in room temperature water. You can add cold milk or cream.
This is cold brew with nitrogen bubbles to create a frothy beer like coffee. It’s a luxurious cup of coffee.
this drink is brewed coffee, ice, and other additives like milk, sugar, syrups, and whipped cream. An easy recipe for frappuccino can be found here.
It’s a mix of iced coffee and lemon, sugar, or rum. You start with a strong cup of hot coffee and pour it over ice, then add lemon, sugar, and/or rum.
This one is two shots of espresso that are cooled, added to a glass with ice, lime juice and slowly poured tonic water. You usually pour the espresso and tonic water together.
Specialty Coffee Drinks
You need a Vietnamese dripper for this one. See the video for instructions on brewing.
This is an Ethiopian coffee that has a very unique flavor and smell. It costs around $800 per pound.
You take finely ground beans and a Turkish pot called a Cezve, heat the water and sugar until it boils. Then, you put the coffee inside. To achieve the desired froth, you can reheat it quickly.
This one is more like tea than coffee. You make it with coffee cherry leaves.
This is a favorite of mine, but I can say you have to enjoy it at a medium pace or the butter will separate.
It is coffee, coconut oil, and unsalted butter. It’s popular with the Keto, high fat- low carb diets.
This is considered a very exotic coffee and isn’t for everyone. It comes from the feces of an Asian palm civet that eats the cherries. The cherries ferment during digestion and then are collected. You can call it poop coffee.
This is meant to be a desert coffee made with ice cream. To make it, you need 1-2 shots of espresso and 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This one takes coffee, whiskey and sugar to combine into one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world.
Now that I have given you a very large list of drinks to try, I challenge you to try something you have never had and comment below with what it was and if you liked it or not.
Find out exactly how to get the freshest coffee beans here.