17 Different Types Of Coffee You Need to Know
Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. And one of the key reason behind its popularity is the fact that it is a very flexible drink that can be prepared and drunk in numerous ways.
Almost every society with a coffee-drinking culture from the highlands of Ethiopia and the jungles of Brazil to the buzzing city life of New York and other American cities has a preferred method of drinking coffee.
Also, as coffee lovers experiment with the beverage and new coffee-making appliances and techniques are developed new types of coffee are emerging and more will continue to pop up going into the future. But, here we look at the most common coffee types across the world and how to make them.
1. Black/Plain Coffee
The good old plain or black coffee is one of the most popular ways of consuming coffee not only in the USA but around the globe. This coffee is also super easy to prepare as there are only two main ingredients which are coffee grounds and water.
There are also different ways of making plain coffee from stovetop with a kettle and pour over to an automatic coffee maker. And the method of brewing it will often determine the flavor and taste. But, plain coffee is often strong and rich in flavor if you do not put a lot of water.
How to Make Plain Coffee
Step 1: Start by boiling fresh filtered water
Step 2: Place a filter paper-lined dripper on a coffee mug
Step 3: Add coffee grounds to the filter and make sure the grounds are as fresh as possible
Step 4: Pour the boiled water slowly over the grounds in a circular motion until the grounds are saturated
Step 5: Allow the grounds to soften for at least 30 seconds and continue pouring the hot water
Step 6: Coffee will then drip into your mug and in a few seconds you will have your plain coffee
Espressos are another widely consumed coffee type and will probably come second to a few other coffee beverages like plain coffee. What makes this coffee type popular is that it has a strong, rich and bold flavor that is very effective in giving the drinker a kick.
The coffee is served in shots, and you can make either a single or double-shot depending on your preferences. Also, espresso forms the base for a variety of other coffee beverages such as the milk-based ones like cappuccino and lattes.
There are different ways of making espressos from the manual espresso makers to stovetop methods and the faster and more efficient automatic espresso machines. But all these methods work in the same principle which is forcing hot water through ground coffee under high pressure.
How to Make Espresso
Step 1: Start by grinding your beans at the fine setting
Step 2: Fill the espresso machine with cold filtered water
Step 3: Switch on the machine and give it time to heat up
Step 4: Place the portafilter and run the machine for a few minutes to heat up things
Step 5: Add your finely ground coffee to the portafilter
Step 6: Tamp the coffee and return the portafilter to the group head
Step 7: Place an espresso cup on the machine and push the start button to pull a shot
Cappuccinos are one of the most famous espresso-based drinks out there, and it is a favorite of many coffee lovers that prefer to take their coffee with milk.
This beverage is made with three different ingredients which are a shot or two of espresso, steamed milk and topped with milk foam. While it is not as strong or bold as espresso, it makes up for this by being one of the frothiest coffee beverages. And it is generally a sweeter and quite refreshing drink.
How to Make Cappuccino
Step 1: Start by pulling one or a couple of espresso shots into a mug
Step 2: Heat about half a cup of milk until it is close to boiling
Step 3: Whisk the milk to form a thick froth and make sure it does not have any large bubbles
Step 4: Now add the steamed milk to the espresso
Step 5: Finish by adding the milk foam at the top
Lattes are famous for art at the top, and they give baristas a good opportunity to showcase their skills and talents by creating some interesting artwork.
Like Cappuccinos, lattes are also espresso-based, and they will consist of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. However, unlike espresso where the ingredients are in equal proportions, there is very little foam in a latte.
Also, the steamed milk in lattes is often smoother than what you get in cappuccinos, and it hence makes this beverage smoother and less frothy.
How to Make Lattes
Step 1: Pull one or two shots of espresso into a mug
Step 2: Steam and froth the milk
Step 3: Add the milk to the espresso and use a spoon to hold back the foam
Step 4: Now add a little foam to the latte
Step 5: Finish with some latte art if you know how to do it
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5. Flat White
Many coffee drinkers seem to confuse the flat white with lattes, but it is important to note that the two are different beverages that will differ in both presentation and taste.
The flat white originates from New Zealand, and its most distinctive feature is that the milk is from the bottom of the frothing jug which means it will not be very frothy, and so the beverage tends to be creamier.
Because there is less milk in a flat white than what you get in a latte, the result is a stronger coffee due to the higher coffee to milk ratio.
How to Make Flat White
Step 1: Add one or two shots of espresso to a cup
Step 2: Steam and froth milk the same way you would with a latte
Step 3: Tap the jug on a hard surface after frothing to remove bubbles and create a smooth and glossy texture
Step 4: Pour the milk quickly over the espresso and make sure the jug's mouth is as close to the cup as possible to ensure steamed milk is being poured instead of foam
The macchiato is also known as the piccolo latte, and it is made with a shot of espresso that is topped with foamed milk.
Although it might look and sound like a latte or cappuccino, the macchiato is often stronger as it does not have steamed milk. And when compared to the two beverages, it is also a smaller drink that will typically be served in espresso cups.
How to Make Macchiato
Step 1: Brew a single shot of espresso into an espresso or macchiato cup
Step 2: Steam milk the same way you would when making lattes
Step 3: Tap the jug on a hard surface and swirl it to remove large air bubbles
Step 4: Spoon one or a couple of spoons of the foamy milk and place it directly over the espresso
Americano is another popular coffee type, and this is particularly so in the USA. This beverage is believed to have come from Latin America back in the 70s, and it started with American soldiers adding hot water to their espressos to make their coffee last longer.
It is a simple coffee to make as it consists only of espresso and hot water. But, make sure you do not confuse it with filter coffee as many people are unable to tell the two apart.
This coffee provides the distinctive taste of an espresso and its richness but without being too overpowering. And it is also highly customizable as you can also add other things to it like milk, sugar, syrups, and cream to enhance the taste.
How to Make Americano
Step 1: Pull a shot of espresso into a shot glass
Step 2: Prepare a separate latte or coffee mug
Step 3: Pour hot water into the mug (around double the size of the espresso)
Step 4: Add the espresso to the hot water
Step 5: Add anything else you want to customize it
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Mocha is also an espresso-based beverage, but what makes it unique is that it also entails the addition of chocolate which makes it sweeter.
Also, any espresso beverages including cappuccinos and lattes can be a mocha if you add chocolate to it. And the chocolate is usually in different forms from syrup and powder to chocolate shavings.
The best thing about mochas is that they are built for customization which means you can fine-tune yours to suit your specific preferences.
How to Make Mocha
Step 1: Brew a cup of fresh coffee or pull a few shots of espresso into a mug
Step 2: Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a tablespoon of sugar (optional)
Step 3: Steam and froth some milk
Step 4: Pour in the steamed milk and scoop the foam and add it to the top
Step 5: Finish off the beverage with some chocolate sprinkles
9. Turkish Coffee
As the name suggests, Turkish coffee is from Turkey a country that is well-known for its coffee drinking culture. But, this coffee is also quite similar to Bosnian coffee.
Turkish coffee is known for its superior body, an amazing taste, and a highly pleasant aroma. Also, this coffee is one of the strongest and boldest out there which means if you have a taste for strong coffee, it will be your favorite.
In Turkey, this coffee is also used for fortune-telling, and it also forms an important part of different cultural activities such as traditional wedding ceremonies.
How to Make Turkish Coffee
Step 1: Add water (1-1/2 cups for every cup of coffee you want to make), extra-fine coffee grounds (Turkish grind) and sugar (optional) to a traditional Cezve if you have one and if not to a regular coffee kettle
Step 2: Bring the mixture to a boil slowly over medium heat
Step 3: As the coffee warms, you will start seeing foam building up, scoop it into the cups with a spoon
Step 4: Allow the coffee to come to a boil and then pour half of it into the cups with foam
Step 5: Return the rest of the coffee to the stovetop and boil it for an extra 20 seconds before pouring the rest of it into the cups and fill them to the rim
10. Iced Coffee
Iced coffee is served over ice, and it is typically a chilled beverage that comes in different adaptations which makes it hard to give the drink one definition.
Some of the common variations include iced mocha, iced latte, Frappuccino, and iced Americano. And many coffee lovers like this beverage as it is highly refreshing, and you can enjoy it all year round.
How to Make Iced Coffee
Step 1: Start by adding some ice cubes to a glass
Step 2: Pull a shot of espresso in a mug and allow it to cool before pouring it over the ice
Step 3: Top up with some milk to your desired quantity
Step 4: Finish with whipped cream or by adding a scoop of ice cream and some chocolate shavings
11. Irish Coffee
Irish coffee originated in Ireland around 1942, and it is quite popular in the country. Also, its popularity has been on a steady rise over the years in the USA and several European countries.
This coffee is basically a cocktail that consists of Irish whiskey, sugar, whipped cream and of course some hot coffee.
In most instances, the Irish coffee will be served as an after-dinner beverage, but you can still drink it on its own anytime, and this is more so during cold winter and autumn nights.
How to Make Irish Coffee
Step 1: Warm up a coffee mug and add the Irish whiskey
Step 2: Mix in the sugar and stir well to dissolve it in the whiskey
Step 3: Pour in the coffee and stir it into the mixture
Step 4: Whip your cream and use the back of a spoon to place it over the cocktail
12. Café Au Lait
Café Au Lait translates into coffee with milk which basically sums up what this refreshing coffee is all about.
This coffee type consists of a single shot of coffee and steamed or scolded milk, and it is usually quite frothy which leads many people to confuse it with the flat white.
The coffee has its origins in France, and it is still quite popular in the country, but you can still make it at home easily.
How to Make Café Au Lait
Step 1: Add a tablespoon of ground French roast coffee beans to a cup of water
Step 2: Brew the coffee over the stove or using any other brewing method
Step 3: Heat up half a cup of milk
Step 4: Pour the hot milk over the brewed coffee and enjoy
Cortado is a popular coffee type in Spain and most of Latin America but like all others, it is slowly becoming widely available in the USA and many other countries.
This beverage is espresso-based and includes a small amount of warm milk which makes it less strong and reduces the acidity.
With this coffee type, the milk used is relatively cooler than what you would use for a macchiato, and it also has the consistency of the steamed milk you would use to make a latte.
How to Make Cortado
Step 1: Pull a shot of espresso into a coffee mug
Step 2: Add a little amount of some warm and frothy milk
Step 3: Your brew is ready to serve and enjoy
Affogato originates from Milan and the term translates to drowned which is a good way to describe how it appears and also how it is made.
Some coffee drinkers will also not view the Affogato as coffee as it is typically a shot of espresso poured over popular desserts like ice cream, but this does not make it less refreshing and delicious.
In Italy, it is made by combining espresso with gelato which is a popular Italian-style ice cream consumed widely across the country.
How to Make Affogato
Step 1: Chill your mug first and make sure your gelato or any other ice cream is really cold
Step 2: Pull one or two shots of espresso just when you are about to serve your Affogato
Step 3: Add a scoop of gelato to your chilled mug
Step 4: Pour the espresso over the ice cream
Step 5: Also, only use an ounce of espresso for every scoop of gelato to ensure you do not drown out the ice cream
Frappe has its origins in Greece where it was first made in the 19th century, and it became very popular in Greek cafes in the 1950s.
This beverage is made by stirring instant coffee with a small amount of water and then adding sugar, cold water, ice cubes, and foam is added.
Starbucks also has their variation of this drink referred to as the Frappuccino that is made with espresso, ice, sugar, whole milk, and some flavored syrup.
How to Make
Step 1: Start by brewing some coffee or stirring instant coffee with a little amount of water
Step 2: Add a little sugar, cold water, and some ice cubes
Step 3: Top it up with some milk foam and enjoy
16. Café Cubano
Café Cubano or Cuban coffee as it is also fondly referred to as is a special espresso type with origins in Cuba.
This unique espresso type is often used as a base for other coffee types and unlike regular espresso, it is usually sweetened. Also, it is twice as strong as regular plain coffee and many Cubans drink it every day in the morning
How to Make Café Cubano
Step 1: Use dark roasted beans to make espresso on your espresso machine
Step 2: Add sugar to the carafe before you start brewing
Step 3: Extract the espresso into the sugary carafe and stir
Step 4: Serve and enjoy
17. Yuan-Yang Coffee
From the name, it is easy to tell that Yuan-Yang has Chinese origins, but it actually originates from the Chinese island of Hong Kong.
What makes this a unique beverage is that it is a blend of tea and coffee, and it is a highly popular coffee variation in both Hong Kong and China.
This coffee can be taken as both hot and cold coffee, and it is the same kind of coffee that is referred to as spreeze in Ethiopia.
How to Make Yuan-Yang Coffee
Step 1: Add about 3 tablespoons of condensed milk to your coffee mug
Step 2: Pull a shot or two of espresso into the mug
Step 3: If you are making cold coffee now add ice cubes
Step 4: Add black tea to the mug, stir and enjoy your refreshing coffee
There are countless ways of making and drinking coffee, and so you can be confident that there is a way for you to enjoy this amazing beverage regardless of your tastes and preferences.
Whether you like plain old black coffee, something stronger like espresso or are the kind that has a sweet tooth and prefers something sweeter like mocha or cappuccino, you can easily make it at the comfort of your home.
And instead of sticking with the usual types of coffee you can try out less common ones like the Irish coffee, Yuan-Yang or the Affogato coffee.
Regardless of which one you want to make, the good news is that it will be easy to make, and with a little practice you will be able to make some delicious and refreshing beverages from the comfort of your home.