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20 Different Types of Coffee Explained

January 9, 2024

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Coffee is one of the most popular beverages. The love for coffee is deeply ingrained in many cultures around the world. No other beverage is as revered or respected as coffee.

Coffee is one of the most traded commodities. The coffee market generated revenue of US$93.2 billion worldwide in 2024. This market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 4.41% (CAGR 2024-2028).

The aroma of coffee is a universal language of comfort and happiness, uniting people from different cultural backgrounds. Coffee rituals are not limited to morning times; they are a wholesome experience that begins from the moment of the first sip until the last drop.

The industry is constantly evolving, with coffee shops providing specialty coffee menus and F&B beverage manufacturers producing different types of coffee drinks.

With new trends arising every year, F&B manufacturers must explore different coffee drinks to stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, in this post, we will explore 20 different types of coffee to get familiar with them and keep up with the trends.

Coffee Beans Varieties

Coffee Beans Varieties robusta and arabica

Despite the different flavors and varieties, there are only two coffee types: Arabica and Robusta, the two main commercially grown and sold coffee beans.

Coffee beans come from tropical regions near the equator called the Coffee Belt. The two main types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta, have distinct growing preferences and unique flavors.

Arabica

Arabica beans are often considered superior in taste and dominate the specialty coffee market. Arabica beans are a single-origin coffee known for their flavors and grow at higher elevations.

An Arabica shrub grows up to 15 feet (5m) tall but is usually pruned to about 6 feet (2m) to make it more commercially viable.

Despite containing less caffeine than Robusta, Arabica tends to have a smooth, mild acidity and notes of fruit. Blends often feature Arabica for a well-balanced and aromatic cup.

  • Growing Regions: Arabica beans are grown at higher altitudes in regions with cooler temperatures. Key Arabica-producing countries include Ethiopia, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Kenya.
  • Flavor Profile: Arabica beans are renowned for their complex flavors, including fruit notes, floral tones, and mild acidity.

Robusta

Robusta coffee beans are resilient, high in caffeine, and grow in low-altitude regions. Robusta is a stouter plant about twice the size of Arabica and grows well in higher humidity.

Robusta’s bold, earthy taste with a hint of bitterness makes it ideal for espresso blends, adding depth and an intense kick to the cup. It is an excellent option for those who prefer intense flavors in their morning cup.

  • Growing Regions: Robusta beans are typically grown in lower-altitude areas with warmer temperatures. Major Robusta-producing countries include Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, and parts of Africa.
  • Flavor Profile: Robusta beans are known for their bold, earthy taste, higher caffeine content, and a hint of bitterness. They are often used to add depth to espresso blends.

20 Different Types of Coffee

Coffee has become a staple of our everyday lives. While standing in line at a coffee shop or ordering via a mobile app, customers find choosing the right flavor from different coffee complexes.

Let’s explore the 20 different types of coffee drinks explained

1. Americano

americano coffee

The Americano is one of the best types of coffee known for its simplicity and intense flavor. It originated during World War II when American soldiers stationed in Italy diluted their espresso with hot water, as they wanted something resembling the black Coffee they used to drink.

A caffè Americano is an espresso topped with hot water and can be made in several ways. You can find an Americano at almost any cafe in America and worldwide.

An Americano usually smells good, even more than regular coffee. This brewing technique involves adding hot water to a shot of espresso, resulting in a milder, larger beverage. A higher concentration of caffeine in the coffee gives the Americano a fuller-bodied texture and a richer taste.

2. Macchiato

Macchiato coffee

A Macchiato, meaning “stained” or “spotted” in Italian, is a coffee characterized by simplicity and bold flavor. The name reflects its preparation, as the espresso is “stained” or marked by the milk.

Macchiatos are commonly consumed as a quick, flavorful pick-me-up and are prevalent in coffee shops worldwide.

A Macchiato has less milk than other coffee drinks, almost like espresso. Made by adding a shot of espresso to a small amount of frothy milk, the Macchiato balances the intensity of espresso with a hint of creaminess.

Macchiato tastes like coffee beans, with a bit of softness from the milk. You might taste the foam and coffee separately if the foam is on top.

There are two types of macchiato drinks: plain macchiato and espresso macchiato. The plain macchiato is typically served in a tall glass and topped with milk foam; the second is the espresso macchiato, served in a small cup and often has a milk foam-topping or latte art.

3. Espresso

Espresso

Espresso, originating from Italy, is a concentrated coffee. The name “espresso” comes from the Italian word for “pressed” or “expressed,” reflecting the quick brewing process. Espresso is made by forcing high-pressured hot water through finely-ground coffee beans.

Espresso is popular in cafes and homes worldwide, providing a quick and bold coffee experience for those seeking a solid and flavorful pick-me-up.

Fast facts about espresso:

  • Origin: Italy
  • Temperature: 190°F
  • Caffeine: 29-100 mg per shot
  • Primary Ingredient: ground coffee beans

A full-bodied, intense taste with a layer of rich crema characterizes the espresso flavor profile. Its concentrated nature allows the unique flavors of the coffee beans to shine, often delivering sweetness, bitterness, and acidity.

It is commonly consumed as a standalone shot or added to various coffee creations. For example, you can make several popular coffee drinks using Espresso:

  • Caffé Americano: A shot of espresso combined with hot water
  • Red-eye: Filtered coffee combined with one shot of espresso
  • Caffé latte: A double shot of espresso topped with steamed milk
  • Cappuccino: A single shot of espresso topped with steamed and frothed milk

Sipping it black is the quickest and most straightforward way to enjoy espresso. There’s no need for frothy milk or flavored syrups – black espresso is a classic choice.

4. Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee has gained popularity among coffee drinkers in recent years.  According to the National Coffee Association, cold brewing is the third most popular method of preparing coffee. Cold-brew coffee has a rich history; the first evidence of cold brew made with cold water comes from Japan.

The process of making cold brew is unique. What makes cold brew coffee so delicious is the time it takes to brew. Cold Brew is a coffee preparation method that involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, typically 12 to 24 hours.

Cold brews are less acidic than regular coffee. Less acidic cups of coffee happen because cold water pulls out less acid in coffee than hot water.

This slow extraction process produces a coffee concentrate diluted with water or milk before serving. Unlike traditional brewing methods, Cold Brew avoids heat, resulting in a smoother, less acidic flavor profile with subtle, natural sweetness.

5. Cappuccino

Cappuccino

Cappuccino was created in Italy as far back as the 17th century – almost 400 years ago.  Italian cappuccinos were served in small, preheated porcelain cups with a 1:1:1 ratio of a single shot (or double shot) of espresso with steamed milk and milk foam.

The name “Cappuccino” is inspired by the Capuchin friars’ brown robes, resembling the coffee’s color when mixing espresso and milk.

A cappuccino is a milk and coffee drink made using an espresso machine. The brewing process begins with a shot of espresso (25 milliliters of espresso coffee), followed by equal parts of steamed milk foam (100 milliliters of steam-foamed milk).

This meticulous layering creates a well-balanced and creamy texture, harmonizing the distinct flavors of espresso and milk.

Types of cappuccino:

  • Wet Cappuccino – More creamy and mild in flavor
  • Dry Cappuccino: Stronger flavor due to the difference in the milk-to-espresso ratio
  • Iced Cappuccino: Cold milk foam is added on top

Cappuccinos are commonly savored in the morning or as an afternoon indulgence in cafes worldwide. The artful presentation of the foam atop the espresso is often enhanced with decorative designs, enhancing the sensory experience of this iconic coffee classic.

6. Latte

Latte

A Latte, short for caffè latte in Italian, is a popular espresso-based drink created by combining a shot of espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam. Lattes are often enjoyed in cafes and coffee shops as a morning pick-me-up and a comforting afternoon treat.

The name “Latte” is derived from the Italian word for milk, emphasizing the role of milk in this coffee creation. Lattes offer a more subdued coffee flavor than other espresso drinks, making them accessible to a wide range of palates.

The brewing process involves pulling a shot of espresso and then incorporating steamed milk, typically in a 1:2 ratio of espresso to milk. The result is a creamy, mildly sweet beverage with a smooth, velvety texture.

7. Mocha

Mocha

Mocha was initially named after the mocha bean, a coffee bean shipped from the port of Al Mokka in Yemen. Mocha coffee is a delightful and indulgent beverage that combines espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate.

The brewing process begins with a shot of espresso, followed by the addition of steamed milk and a generous serving of chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.

This combination results in a rich and decadent flavor profile, where espresso melds with chocolate’s sweetness and steamed milk’s creamy texture.

Types of mocha coffee

  • Original Mocha
  • White Mocha
  • Iced Mocha
  • Hazelnut Mocha
  • Caramel Mocha
  • Dark Chocolate Mocha
  • Marble Mocha

Mochas are often a comforting and dessert-like treat in specialty coffee shops and at home. Whipped cream and chocolate shavings or syrup are standard toppings, adding an extra layer of indulgence to this popular coffee concoction.

8. Frappuccino

Frappuccino

The name “Frappuccino” is a combination of “frappe,” a term for a blended iced drink, and “cappuccino,” indicating its coffee base. While Starbucks popularized the term, it has become synonymous with blended iced coffee drinks.

Frappuccinos are a cold and sweet treat, particularly popular in warm weather. They are available at coffee shops globally, providing a convenient option for on-the-go coffee enthusiasts.

The brewing technique combines coffee, milk, ice, and flavored syrups or sauces in a blender. The result is a smooth and slushy consistency, creating a refreshing and chilled coffee experience. Vanilla, mocha, and caramel are the most common flavors.

9. Nitro Coffee

nitro coffee

The name “Nitro” reflects nitrogen use in brewing, distinguishing it from traditional coffee preparations. Nitro Coffee is often consumed straight from the tap, poured over ice, or even in cans for on-the-go enjoyment.

The drink’s invention can be credited to Portland-based food scientist Nate Armbrust, who created the frothy and mellow sensation while working at roasters.

Its popularity has grown in cafes and specialty coffee shops, offering a refreshing and unique alternative for coffee enthusiasts seeking a cold and velvety coffee experience.

Nitro Coffee has a creamy and slightly effervescent texture, enhancing the overall sensory experience. The nitrogen infusion mellows the acidity, resulting in a sweeter and less bitter flavor profile.

Nitro coffee is simply cold brew coffee infused with colorless and odorless nitrogen.

The brewing technique involves infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen gas, typically served on tap, creating a cascading effect and a creamy mouthfeel. This method imparts a distinctive, almost beer-like quality to the coffee.

10. Cortado

Cortado coffee

“Cortado” comes from the Spanish word “cortar,” meaning to cut, highlighting the beverage’s composition of cutting the strong espresso with milk.

Cortados are typically enjoyed in the morning or as an afternoon pick-me-up, appreciated for their strong coffee taste without the overwhelming nature of straight espresso.

Cortado is a Spanish-inspired and newcomer coffee beverage that artfully combines equal parts of espresso and warm milk, creating a balanced and flavorful drink.

The brewing technique involves pouring a shot of espresso and “cutting” it with an equal amount of steamed milk, resulting in a small yet potent coffee offering.

Commonly found in cafes, Cortados are served in small glasses, allowing coffee drinkers to savor the flavors in a compact and satisfying form.

11. Flat White

Flat white coffee

Flat white has been around Australia and New Zealand since the 1980s when it was introduced as a balance between an intense espresso and a milky latte. In the early 2000s, it quickly became a staple in cafes worldwide.

The name “Flat White” emphasizes the smooth, velvety microfoam that gives the coffee a flat appearance compared to the thicker foam layer in a cappuccino. It balances the strong flavor of espresso and the creamy texture of milk.

A flat white is prepared in a 200-220ml ceramic cup with a 30ml shot of espresso and then topped with steamed milk. A flat white coffee tastes like a milder and creamier espresso, with a silky mouthfeel.

12. Lungo

Lungo coffee

A Lungo is a type of espresso coffee. It is similar to an Americano, but the extra water is passed through the coffee grounds, not added after brewing. The name “Lungo” is derived from the Italian word for “long,” emphasizing the extended brewing time.

Lungo, an espresso variation, is made with more water than a typical espresso, resulting in a more prominent, longer coffee that is less intense but more bitter.

The brewing technique allows hot water to flow through finely-ground coffee for an extended period, resulting in a coffee with more volume than a standard espresso shot. This process extracts more flavor compounds, giving a milder taste with a distinct aroma.

Commonly enjoyed in cafes and at home, Lungo offers a balanced and flavorful option for coffee enthusiasts seeking a more extended and milder coffee experience. The caffeine content of a Lungo coffee is debatable, as some claim that a Lungo has more caffeine than a standard espresso shot.

13. Red Eye

red-eye coffee

A red-eye coffee also called a “shot in the dark,” consists of a regular brewed coffee with an espresso shot. The name “Red Eye” is thought to reflect the tired or bloodshot eyes of someone needing a solid caffeine boost.

The red eye is named after a red-eye flight, famously a middle-of-the-night flight from the West Coast to New York City. The term may also signify the reddish hue of the coffee when espresso is added.

The brewing technique involves adding a freshly pulled shot of espresso to a cup of hot brewed coffee. This infusion enhances the overall strength and caffeine content, providing a robust and flavorful punch.

A classic red eye is made with one shot of espresso, which contains approximately 100 milligrams of caffeine. This coffee blend is often consumed in the morning or as a midday pick-me-up, offering a bold and energizing experience.

14. Ristretto

ristretto coffee

The ristretto originated in the early 20th century and is believed to be the original espresso. In Italian, “Ristretto” means “restricted.” When talking about coffee, a ristretto is a short espresso shot. This means the barista only uses the first part of a regular espresso shot, making it stronger.

Its brewing technique involves using less water than a standard espresso shot with the same amount of finely-ground coffee, resulting in a shorter and more potent extraction.

Ristretto coffee offers a full-bodied flavor profile with a reduced volume, appealing to those who appreciate a more concentrated and intense coffee experience.

The shorter extraction time showcases the pure essence of the coffee, making it a preferred choice for espresso enthusiasts seeking a rich and intense coffee flavor.

15. Café au Lait

Café au lait coffee

Café au lait is a coffee beverage from France, made with equal parts of strong, hot coffee and steamed milk. The name “Café au Lait” is French for “coffee with milk,” straightforwardly emphasizing its main ingredients.

Café au Lait is commonly consumed in the morning and is famous in French cafes and households. The brewing technique involves preparing a robust drip of coffee and then blending it with an equal amount of milk that has been steamed to create a creamy texture.

The result is a well-balanced beverage with the richness of coffee complemented by the smoothness of steamed milk.

16. Black Eye

Black Eye coffee

The name “Black Eye” originates from the intense impact this coffee blend has on energy levels, as it doubles down on espresso. Black Eye Coffee, also known as a “depth charge,” is a beverage made by adding a shot of espresso to a regular drip-brewed coffee.

Black Eye coffee is called a Sling Blade, Hammerhead, Autobahn, Shot Put, Shot in the Dark, and Café Tobio. It rivals energy drinks with around 224mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup.

The brewing technique involves combining freshly brewed coffee with a shot of espresso, resulting in a beverage with a heightened caffeine content and a robust and bold flavor profile.

This powerful combination offers a caffeinated jolt, making it a popular choice for those seeking an intense coffee experience.

17. Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

The name “Turkish Coffee” originates from the Ottoman Empire. It’s often associated with a particular brewing style, a unique coffee pot, and a distinct serving method.

The Turkish coffee researchers believe it went from Ethiopia to the rest of the world. It was brought to Istanbul by the governor of Yemen in 1517.

Turkish Coffee is a traditional brewing method that simmers finely ground coffee beans with water and sugar (optional) in a unique pot called a cezve. The brewing technique focuses on creating a robust and unfiltered coffee with grounds settling at the bottom.

Turkish Coffee is usually enjoyed in small cups without milk, accompanied by a glass of water to cleanse the palate.

The flavor profile of Turkish Coffee is rich and often intense due to the fine grind and prolonged simmering process.  The result is a thick, aromatic coffee with a unique, sludgy texture.

18. Black Coffee

Black Coffee

The name “Black Coffee” reflects its uncomplicated nature and the absence of ingredients that would alter its color. Black coffee heritage dates back to ancient centuries and forests on the Ethiopian plateau.

Black coffee is a simple yet classic preparation made by brewing coffee without added ingredients like milk or sugar.

Health benefits of black coffee

  • Reduces weight
  • Improves physical performance
  • Decreases risk of diabetes
  • Improves live health
  • Boosts memory

The brewing technique involves pouring hot water over coarsely ground coffee beans through drip brewing, pour-over, or French press.

19. Affogato

Affogato coffee

The name “Affogato” translates to “drowned” in Italian, signifying the act of drowning the ice cream in the rich and aromatic espresso. The origins of the affogato in Italian history are still being determined, but it gained popularity in Italy during the 1950s.

This unique combination results in a delightful contrast of bitter and sweet flavors, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a dessert-like coffee experience.

Affogato, an Italian delight, is a simple and indulgent coffee-based dessert. The brewing technique involves pouring a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.

The hot espresso melts the ice cream, blending contrasting temperatures and textures. Affogatos are typically consumed as a dessert or treat, often enjoyed in cafes or restaurants after a meal.

20. Doppio

Doppio coffee

Doppio coffee, an Italian term for “double,” is a potent and concentrated espresso beverage. The name “Doppio” reflects the doubling of the espresso shot, emphasizing the increased strength and caffeine content.

The brewing technique involves extracting a double shot of espresso by passing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans under high pressure. This process results in a small yet potent coffee serving. They are favored by those who appreciate a more flavorful coffee experience.

Doppio coffee boasts an intense flavor profile, featuring the full-bodied richness of the coffee beans and a layer of crema on top.

Conclusion

From the simplicity of black coffee to the complexity of a Nitro brew, different kinds of coffee beverages have been part of human history for centuries.

Now that we have discussed 20 different types of coffee, you must be aware of the brewing techniques, flavor profiles, and origin, catering to diverse preferences. The names, often rooted in cultural or historical contexts, add a layer of richness to the coffee experience.

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