Have you walked into a coffee shop, looked at the coffee menu and have no idea which one to order?
We live in a day and age where it is possible to customize just about anything you order.
And, coffee is no different.
Let’s take a look at each one of them in more detail.
On this page, you will find the 21 most common types of coffee that can be found around the world.
An espresso is about as hard-core as you can get. An espresso is the shots straight-up.
No milk, no froth, no nonsense.
The only element that breaks up the power of the espresso is a small glass of carbonated water that is placed beside the shots along with a demitasse spoon.
The spoon is used to scraped the frothy, golden crema off the top of the shots, allowing you to experience each part of the espresso, tasting every element with no inhibitions.
The carbonated water is meant to cleanse the palate as you savor the flavors released by the shots.
An espresso offers a fantastic punch that is unlike any other coffee drink.
The word ristretto literally means restricted in Italian.
The process leading up to the extraction of a ristretto shot is identical to that of an espresso, 30 to 40 grams of ground espresso beans are placed in the portafilter and tamped.
The difference arises when the water becomes involved. Perfect for the coffee-drinker who prefers the most concentrated shot of espresso possible, a Ristretto is pulled with less water than normal espresso and boasts a sweeter taste, devoid of any bite.
Ristretto shots are most often used for lattes. Give this sweet option a try!
An Americano is an espresso added to water that can be served hot or cold. It tastes very much like drip coffee, but is great for those who favor the taste of espresso.
Legend has it that that the Americano came about during World War II when American G.I.s attempted to recreate the kind of drip coffee they were used to by adding water to Italian espresso, explaining its resemblance to drip coffee.
Read More : 7 Things About Americano Coffee You Didn’t Know
A cappuccino is espresso shots with steamed milk and bubbly foam placed on top like a layer cake.
You have the option to order a cappuccino dry, bone dry, or wet.
- Dry cappuccino is made with a great deal of foam, but still some steamed milk.
- Bone dry cappuccino eliminates the steamed milk almost completely and is mostly airy foam and espresso shots.
- Wet cappuccino is equal portions foam, steamed milk, and espresso.
This highly customizable drink ensures that you get just as much or as little foam as you desire.
Read More : Dry vs Wet Cappuccino – What’s the Difference?
A latte is also made up of foam, steamed milk, and espresso. However, the bubbles that make up the foam are smaller so that they taste smooth on the tongue.
Sugar, syrups, and sauces are often added to lattes to flavor them.
This creamy espresso option is often adorned with latte art on top, making the drink a true masterpiece.
7. Flat White
If lattes aren’t quite creamy enough for you, the flat white is the way to go.
The focus when it comes to a flat white is on creating the best micro-foam possible, ensuring a particularly smooth texture.
Traditional flat whites are served in cups that are about 5oz in order to keep the espresso from being diluted the way it can be in a larger latte.
The invention of the flat white is said to have been the result of a cappuccino gone wrong. However, if unparalleled creaminess is what you’re after, it’ll certainly be an espresso beverage gone right.
Though a flat white is comprised of less foam than a latte, latte art is still often achieved on top of this drink.
Read More : Flat White vs Latte
8. Cafe au Lait
If you love drip coffee with cream or milk, but don’t like how the introduction of dairy cools down your drink, a Café Au Lait is the perfect choice.
A Café Au Lait is comprised of half drip coffee and half steamed milk and no foam.
Purists prefer to use coffee produced from a French press for this drink as apposed to using drip coffee.
Traditional Café Au Laits were served in wide-brimmed bowls. This spin on plain drip was first popularized in New Orleans and served alongside beignets.
9. Shot in the Dark
Drip coffee or an espresso not strong enough for you? Try them together!
A shot in the dark combines the two strongest coffee forms together in one cup. The barista will first pull the espresso shots and then pour drip coffee over the top.
The shot in the dark has been called by more names than any other coffee drink out there.
Here are a few: All-nighter, better than Coke, Cup o’ Crack, Morning Face Maker, and Overdrive.
These names do nothing to conceal the power behind espresso and drip rolled into one!
Cream and sugar are often added to a shot in the dark.
A macchiato is espresso with a dollop of steamed milk over the top.
This option allows you to enjoy the power of the espresso while still experiencing a bit of mellowness from the milk.
The name macchiato literally means marked or stained, perfectly describing the spot of milk placed on top of the luxurious espresso shots.
Read More : Macchiato vs Latte – The Differences Explained
11. Long Black
The long black also looks a great deal like an Americano. The Italians put their own spin on it though, making it entirely its own drink.
The idea first emerged when a barista in Italy decided to create longer cups of black coffee for American tourists as opposed to the small ones generally favored by Italians.
The innovative barista further adjusted the drink to suit them when he discovered that the espresso he usually served was too strong for their liking. Diluting the shots with hot water made them turn out just right.
One particular has been added to the preparation of a long black over the years.
Today, the correct way to mix the water and espresso is to pull the shot right on top of the hot water rather than introducing the hot water after extraction.
This method ensures the product harbors a delectable sweetness. It also keeps the crema that appears on top of a well-pulled shot from being disrupted when an onslaught of water is poured over it.
12. Dripped Coffee
Drip coffee is one of the most classic ways to get your caffeine. It is prepared through the use of a coffee maker where water at 195 to 205 degrees is run through grounds.
Drip Coffee has long been referred to as cup of Joe due to the fact that the G.I. Joes of World War II were avid coffee drinkers.
As it turns out, the soldiers were not the only ones who have come to depend upon coffee over the years. It is said that French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac used to down 50 cups of coffee per day and that President Teddy Roosevelt drank a gallon!
Though such ravenous consumption is not advised, there are certainly many dedicated drip coffee drinkers still today.
Available at nearly every restaurant from diners to fine-dining, drip coffee is great in the morning on your way out the door or after dinner with dessert.
An affogato is made up of ice cream, most often vanilla, and has shots of espresso poured over the top, creating a mixture of hot and cold perfection.
Affogato means drowned in Italian and aptly describes the submersion of the ice cream in espresso. Gelato was traditionally used when preparing this drink.
The hot, freshly pulled espresso melts into the gelato or ice cream, requiring you to both eat it with a spoon and drink it straight from the cup.
If you like coffee for dessert, an affogato is the way to go.
Espresso shots and steamed milk share the stage equally in a cortado.
The goal of the milk in this drink is to cut the acidic nature of the shots. If the milk in a classic macchiato is not quite enough for you, this option is the next step up in volume!
It is often served in a small glass cup that showcases the espresso as well as the froth on top.
If you have a sweet tooth, a mocha will be just the thing for you.
A mocha consists of steamed milk, chocolate syrup or powder, and espresso shots. Dark chocolate or white chocolate can be used.
If you’re feeling extra creative, try adding syrup as well. Peppermint mochas (dark chocolate and peppermint), Sunrise mochas (white chocolate and orange), and Snickers mochas (dark chocolate, peanut butter or hazelnut, and caramel) are all popular variations on the classic mocha.
A mocha is less foamy than a latte and is often topped with luscious whipped cream!
16. Iced Coffee
Iced coffee is an excellent go-to during summer months. It is similar to drip coffee over ice as the coffee is brewed hot.
However, in order to keep the coffee from becoming too diluted once poured over ice, it is important to brew it a little extra strong and also ensure that it is completely chilled before serving.
Iced coffee has been around for some time, first being discovered in Algeria around the 1840s.
Dress this cool favorite up with a little cream or even add some flavored syrup!
17. Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew is another great option for when the weather warms up. It is similar to iced coffee, but the preparation method is different and the end product is stronger and smoother than iced coffee.
Cold brew is produced by pouring cold water directly over coarse or medium coarsely ground coffee beans and then allowing it to sit for 12 to 24 hours.
Once the concentrate is done steeping all you need to do is strain it, pour it over ice and add a little cold water.
The end result is a full-bodied experience as this preparation method ensures great depth of flavor.
Read More : Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee – Are They the Same?
Love milkshakes but need a coffee boost?
A Frappe is essentially a coffee milkshake consisting of milk, ice, sweetener, and coffee.
The name frappe for a coffee drink is said to have first been derived from either the Greek frappé which was an iced coffee beverage or the Bostonian name for a thick milkshake. Either way, the word is French in origin.
You can use instant coffee, cold brew, or iced coffee to make a frappe. Purchasing an espresso powder made specifically for blended drinks is a great option as it also lends volume and creaminess to the drink.
Sugar, syrups, or sauces can be used for flavoring. Place your ingredients in a blender and watch the magic happen.
Frappes are often topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce.
19. Irish Coffee
An Irish coffee is ideal for those who crave something a little more risqué than regular coffee.
One of the few alcoholic coffee beverages out there, an Irish takes black coffee and mixes it with Irish whiskey and some sugar for sweetness.
It can also be crowned with whipped cream.
20. Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is made using the Arabica bean and is ground extremely fine.
A great deal of pomp and circumstance surrounds the preparation and serving of this coffee. The first coffee shops specializing in Turkish coffee were located in Eminönü and attracted men who wished to talk together and have a delicious and invigorating drink.
These coffee shops are still used for this purpose to this day.
21. Viennese Coffee
Coffee Vienna style first rose to popularity during the 70’s.
This drink is prepared by filling a cup with water, leaving enough room at the top to accommodate two shots of espresso.
33 to 35 grams of coffee grounds should be extracted in the espresso machine’s portafilter to create these shots. It slightly resembles an americano due to its components.
However, the cream, which is an essential ingredient is what sets it apart. The cream should be poured in such a way that it settles on top of the coffee, making the drink appear to have layers.
Not only is this drink satisfying, but it is pretty too!
About Ryan Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton is in the process of opening his own roastery after working in a cafe for the past 5 years. He graduated with a degree in English literature and decided to combine his passion for writing with the knowledge he had gained about the coffee industry.