Types of Coffee Drinks

Types of Coffee Drinks

I. Introduction

Coffee has been a popular beverage worldwide for hundreds of years, and it remains one of the most consumed drinks globally. The popularity of coffee is due to its unique taste, aroma, and energizing effect, which helps people to stay alert and focused throughout the day. However, coffee is not just coffee, and there are dozens of variations available to suit every individual's unique taste and preference. In this article, we will take a closer look at the different types of coffee drinks that one can enjoy and explore the origins, flavors, and brewing methods behind each.

Whether you prefer a classic espresso shot or a sweet and creamy mocha, there is a coffee drink for everyone to enjoy. We will discuss traditional coffee drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos as well as specialty coffee drinks like Americanos, breve, and affogato. Moreover, we will dive into cold coffee drinks like iced coffee, nitro cold brew, and frappés that are perfect for hot summer days. Additionally, we will also cover non-coffee drinks like chai lattes, hot chocolate, and tea for those who prefer something other than coffee. So, let's dive into the world of coffee drinks and discover your new favorite brew.

II. Traditional Coffee Drinks

If you are a coffee enthusiast, you must be familiar with the traditional coffee drinks. These drinks are made with the classic espresso and milk, and they are usually served in small cups. Here are some of the most popular traditional coffee drinks that you can find in most coffee shops:

A. Espresso Espresso is the most basic and traditional coffee drink. It is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans using an espresso machine. The result is a concentrated shot of coffee that is usually served in a small demitasse cup. Espresso has a strong taste and is the base for most other coffee drinks.

B. Macchiato A macchiato is made by adding a small amount of foamed milk to a shot of espresso. The milk is added on top of the espresso, creating a layered effect. Macchiato means "stained" in Italian, and the name comes from the little amount of milk "staining" the espresso.

C. Cortado Cortado is a traditional Spanish coffee drink that is gaining popularity worldwide. It is similar to a macchiato but with a larger ratio of milk to espresso. It is made by adding a small amount of steamed milk to a shot of espresso. Cortado has a smooth taste and is perfect for those who don't like their coffee too strong.

A. Espresso

Espresso is considered the king of coffee drinks in the coffee world. This traditional Italian coffee drink is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans, resulting in a small, strong, and flavorful cup of coffee. Espresso is the base for most coffee drinks and is served in a small cup.

Espresso is prepared using an espresso machine, which applies high pressure to hot water to create the perfect crema on top of the coffee. This crema is a thin layer of golden brown foam and is considered an indicator of a well-brewed espresso. The flavor of espresso can be described as rich, strong, and slightly bitter. It is often enjoyed on its own but can also be used as a base for various coffee drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas. An espresso shot can also be served with a small glass of sparkling water on the side to cleanse the palate between sips.

B. Macchiato

Macchiato is a traditional Italian coffee drink that is made with a shot of espresso and a dollop of steamed milk. It is sometimes confused with a latte or a cappuccino, but it is actually a much smaller beverage. The word "macchiato" literally means "stained" or "marked" in Italian, which refers to the small amount of milk that is added to the espresso.

There are two types of macchiatos: the espresso macchiato and the latte macchiato. The espresso macchiato is made with a shot of espresso that is "marked" or "stained" with a small amount of milk foam on top. This drink typically has a stronger coffee flavor and is served in a small espresso cup. On the other hand, the latte macchiato is made with steamed milk that is "marked" or "stained" with a small amount of espresso. This drink typically has a milder coffee flavor and is served in a tall glass.

C. Cortado

Cortado is a popular traditional coffee drink originating from Spain. It comprises equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, with the milk amount slightly more than what is used in a macchiato, but less than a cappuccino. The milk in a cortado is steamed to achieve the perfect balance between sweetness and flavor with a silky texture.

This coffee drink is served in a small glass with a short espresso, which has an ideal intensity to balance the sweetness of the milk. The name "cortado" originates from the Spanish word "cortar," which means "to cut." In essence, the milk "cuts" the intensity of the espresso, resulting in a coffee drink that has both strong espresso and milk flavors. Cortado is popular among coffee drinkers who desire the traditional intense flavor of espresso but do not want it to be too overpowering.

D. Cappuccino

Cappuccino is a traditional Italian coffee drink that is loved by coffee enthusiasts worldwide. It is a three-layered drink comprising of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. This coffee drink is named after the Capuchin friars because the combination of the three layers of the drink resembles the color of the friars' robes.

To make a cappuccino, the barista pulls a shot of espresso into a cup or a glass, then adds steamed milk, and tops it with a layer of milk foam. It is usually served in a small-sized cup, and the ratio of coffee, milk, and milk foam can vary depending on personal preferences. The key to a perfect cappuccino is in the quality of the espresso, the temperature, and texture of the steamed milk, and the thickness of the milk foam. A well-made cappuccino should have a balance of flavors, a creamy texture, and a velvety milk foam that blends seamlessly with the espresso.

E. Cafe Latte

A cafe latte is a traditional coffee drink that is made with espresso and steamed milk. It is typically served in a tall glass or mug, and is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world. A typical cafe latte contains one shot of espresso, which is then poured into the glass or mug, and then topped with steamed milk. The milk is often frothed, and creates a creamy texture that is perfect for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.

The beauty of a cafe latte is that it is incredibly versatile, and can be customized to suit a wide range of tastes. Some prefer their cafe latte with a bold, rich espresso flavor, while others prefer a sweeter, creamier taste. Many coffee shops and cafes offer a variety of flavored syrups that can be added to a cafe latte to create a unique and delicious flavor. Whether you like your cafe latte hot or iced, sweet or strong, there are endless possibilities when it comes to this classic coffee drink.

III. Specialty Coffee Drinks

Specialty coffee drinks are those that have a unique twist to the traditional coffee recipes. These drinks have been concocted by talented baristas and have been gaining popularity over the years. There are plenty of options to choose from, and each has its unique flavor that caters to different consumer preferences.

One popular choice is the mocha, which is a combination of espresso, chocolate, and milk. This drink has a rich and creamy texture with a hint of sweetness from the chocolate. Another well-loved specialty coffee is the Americano, which is essentially a shot of espresso diluted with hot water. It has a similar strength to a regular brewed coffee but with a distinct flavor from the espresso. For those who prefer a less milky latte, the flat white is a great alternative. It's made with espresso and steamed milk, but the milk is micro-foamed, creating a smooth and velvety texture. These are just a few of the many options available for those wanting to try something new and exciting in the coffee world.

A. Mocha

Mocha, also known as a "caffe mocha" or "chocolate mocha," is a sweet and indulgent coffee drink. It is made with a shot or two of espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup or powder. The chocolate adds a rich and creamy flavor to the coffee, making it a popular choice for those with a sweet tooth.

The origins of the mocha drink can be traced back to Yemen, where coffee was first cultivated in the 15th century. Mocha was named after the Yemeni port city of Mocha, which was a center of coffee trade at the time. The drink became popular in Europe in the 18th century, and its sweet and chocolatey flavor soon made it a favorite among coffee drinkers around the world. Today, mocha can be found on the menu of almost every coffee shop and cafe, and it is often enjoyed as a dessert drink or a comforting treat on a cold day.

B. Americano

The Americano is a classic coffee drink that originated in Europe during World War II. At that time, American soldiers stationed in Europe found the local espresso too strong for their taste buds. So, to dilute the strong espresso, they began adding hot water to create a milder version of the coffee. And thus, the Americano was born.

To this day, the Americano remains a popular coffee drink amongst many. It is made by combining a shot (or two) of espresso with hot water in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. The coffee is served hot and has a smooth, mild taste. The Americano is a great option for those who enjoy the taste of coffee but find an espresso shot too strong. It can also be further customized with milk or sugar, making it a versatile choice for coffee enthusiasts.

C. Flat White

The flat white is a coffee drink that originated in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s. It is similar to a latte or cappuccino, but with less milk and a higher proportion of espresso. The drink is made with a double shot of espresso, topped with steamed milk and a thin layer of microfoam. Flat whites are often served in ceramic cups, and their velvety texture and strong flavor make them a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts.

One of the key differences between a flat white and other espresso-based drinks is the texture of the milk. Flat whites are made with steamed milk that has a texture similar to wet paint or velvet, known as microfoam. This microfoam is created by stretching the milk with a steam wand until it has a velvety, creamy consistency. The result is a smooth, silky beverage that emphasizes the coffee's bold flavor without overwhelming it with milk. The art of creating the perfect microfoam takes practice and skill to master, but it is a hallmark of a well-made flat white.

D. Breve

Breve is a type of coffee that is made using espresso, steamed half and half, and milk foam. It is also known as a breve latte or a breve cappuccino. Breve is a relatively lesser-known coffee drink, but it is quite popular among coffee enthusiasts who love to experiment with new coffee varieties.

The word breve is derived from the Italian word "breve," which means "short." It is a fitting name for the drink since it contains a short shot of espresso. The steamed half and half added to the espresso gives it a creamy texture, and the milk foam adds a frothy layer on top. The resulting drink is smooth and rich, with a velvety mouthfeel. The steamed half and half used in a breve makes it a high-calorie drink, so it is not recommended for people who are watching their calorie intake.

E. Affogato

Affogato is a delicious Italian dessert coffee drink that is perfect for hot summer afternoons. The drink is made by pouring a shot of espresso over a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream. The hot espresso melts the ice cream, creating a delicious blend of rich coffee and creamy ice cream. Additionally, some people like to add a little bit of whipped cream, amaretto, or chocolate syrup to their affogato for an even more decadent experience.

One of the great things about affogato is its simplicity. With just two ingredients, it's easy to make at home. However, because it's so simple, it's important to use high-quality coffee and ice cream to ensure that the drink is as delicious as possible. Affogato is also a great option for those who want a little bit of caffeine but aren't in the mood for a traditional hot coffee drink. It's especially popular in Italy after dinner as a sweet and satisfying way to end a meal.

IV. Cold Coffee Drinks

When the weather is hot outside or you are in need of something cold to cool off, cold coffee drinks are the perfect choice. Cold coffee drinks come in a variety of forms and flavors, ranging from basic iced coffee to luxurious coffee milkshakes.

A popular cold coffee drink is the iced coffee, which is simply regular coffee chilled and poured over ice. It can be enjoyed black or with added cream and sugar. If you're looking for something with a bolder flavor and smoother taste, cold brew is a great choice. Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, resulting in a concentrate that can be enjoyed with milk, cream, or sweeteners. For a smoother and creamier finish, you can try Nitro Cold Brew, which is cold brew infused with nitrogen gas, creating a rich and velvety texture with a frothy top layer. The options for cold coffee drinks are truly endless, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

A. Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is a popular summer beverage that is enjoyed by many coffee lovers around the world. It is a refreshing coffee-based drink that is perfect for hot weather. Iced coffee is also a versatile drink that can come in many different variations depending on personal preferences. In this section, we will explore the different types of iced coffee available.

The most basic version of iced coffee is made by pouring hot or cold coffee over ice. This is a quick and easy way to enjoy iced coffee at home. However, many cafés and coffee shops offer more interesting variations of iced coffee. Some coffee shops brew cold coffee specifically for iced coffee, which results in a smoother, less acidic taste. Others add syrups, creams, and other flavors to create unique and delicious iced coffee drinks. Some of the most popular variations of iced coffee include iced lattes, iced mochas, and iced caramel macchiatos. With so many variations to choose from, there is an iced coffee out there for everyone to enjoy.

B. Cold Brew

Cold brew is a coffee preparation method that involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period - usually between 12 and 24 hours. The result is a rich, smooth, and low-acidic coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk and enjoyed over ice. Cold brew has been steadily gaining popularity over the past few years, particularly during the hot summer months, as it offers a refreshing and robust coffee experience without the need for heat.

One of the most significant advantages of cold brew is the inherent smoothness of its flavor profile. This is due to the fact that the coffee grounds are steeped in cold water, which does not extract the acidic compounds found in traditional hot brewing methods. As a result, cold brew is less bitter and less likely to cause digestive discomfort. Additionally, due to its concentrated nature, cold brew can be easily stored in the fridge for up to two weeks, making it a convenient option for those who like to stock up on coffee ahead of time.

C. Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro cold brew is the newest addition to the world of coffee and has become a trendy alternative for coffee lovers. The smooth and velvety texture of nitro cold brew is achieved by infusing nitrogen gas into cold brew coffee. The result is a creamy, frothy, and rich coffee experience without the need for adding any cream or sugar.

Nitro cold brew is brewed slowly and allowed to steep for over 12 hours in cold water to create the perfect coffee concentrate. This brewing technique enhances the flavors and forgives a subtle sweetness that is absent in regular hot coffee. Once the coffee concentrate is ready, it is infused with nitrogen gas, usually via a pressurized and sealed keg system, and poured from a tap. The nitrogen bubbles create a beautiful cascading effect and a creamy texture on top, giving it the nickname “coffee beer.” The flavor of nitro cold brew is bold and full-bodied, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a coffee with a kick.

D. Frappé

Frappé is a cold coffee drink that has become increasingly popular all over the world. It originated in Greece, where it is known as a "frappe," and is made with instant coffee, water, sugar, and milk. The ingredients are blended together in a shaker, resulting in a frothy and creamy coffee drink that is perfect for a hot summer day.

Frappé can also be customized to suit individual preferences. For instance, different types of milk can be used, such as almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk, to make it dairy-free. Also, a variety of syrups can be added, such as vanilla or hazelnut, to give it a unique flavor. Furthermore, whipped cream, chocolate chips, or cocoa powder can be used as a topping to give it an extra touch of sweetness. Frappé is a versatile drink that can be modified to suit the taste buds of any coffee lover.

E. Coffee Milkshake

Coffee milkshakes are a delicious and refreshing way to enjoy your caffeine fix on a hot summer's day. This creamy treat is typically made by blending coffee, milk, and ice cream together until smooth. The recipe can be customized to fit your taste preferences by adjusting the amount of coffee, milk, or ice cream used.

To make a basic coffee milkshake, start by brewing a strong cup of coffee and letting it cool to room temperature. Next, add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream to a blender, along with the coffee and some milk. Blend the ingredients on high speed until smooth and creamy. If the shake is too thick, you can add a little more milk until it reaches your desired consistency. Some people also like to add a sweetener, such as honey or sugar, to their coffee milkshake to balance out the bitterness of the coffee.

Coffee milkshakes are a great alternative to traditional hot coffee drinks, as they provide all the caffeine and flavor without the heat. They're also a fun way to switch up your coffee routine and try something new. Whether you're enjoying one on a lazy weekend morning, or as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, a coffee milkshake is sure to satisfy your cravings.

V. Non-Coffee Drinks

While coffee may be the most popular drink at cafes all around the world, some people may prefer to opt for non-coffee drinks, and thankfully, cafes are often stocked with a variety of options to suit those preferences. Here are some of the most popular non-coffee drinks that you’re likely to find at cafes:

A. Chai Latte Chai tea is a traditional Indian beverage made up of black tea and various spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. A chai latte combines this tea mixture with steamed milk to create a sweet and spicy drink that’s perfect for warming up on a chilly day. Some cafes may even offer variations that incorporate honey or vanilla for an added layer of sweetness. This drink can be ordered with either regular milk or plant-based alternatives like soy or almond milk, depending on personal preferences.

A. Chai Latte

Although Chai Latte is not a coffee-based drink, it is worth mentioning as it is a popular choice for coffee shop customers who want a warm, sweet, and spicy beverage to enjoy. Chai tea is an aromatic tea-based drink that has been consumed in India for centuries. In recent years, the popularity of Chai tea has spread worldwide, and now you can find it in most coffee shops and tea houses.

To make a Chai Latte, the Chai tea is mixed with steamed milk and a sweetener, such as honey or sugar. The result is a creamy, spiced beverage that is perfect for cold weather. Chai tea is typically made with a mixture of black tea, spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves, and milk. Sometimes, people add a little bit of vanilla extract or extract from other herbs and flowers to enhance the flavor. Overall, Chai Latte is a great option for those who prefer non-coffee drinks or those who want to switch things up from their usual coffee routine.

B. Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a delicious and comforting drink that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Made from chocolate and milk, hot chocolate is perfect for those cold and dreary days when you need something warm and comforting. It is also a great alternative for those who don't like coffee or tea.

To make hot chocolate, you can use a variety of different types of chocolate, such as dark, milk or white. Some people like to add a little bit of sugar or honey to make it sweeter. You can also add flavorings, such as vanilla or cinnamon, for an extra bit of flavor. Once the ingredients are combined, the mixture is heated on the stove until it comes to a boil. It is then served in a mug and can be topped with whipped cream, marshmallows, or chocolate shavings for an extra special treat.

C. Tea

Tea is another popular hot beverage that is popular across the globe. Although not technically a coffee drink, many coffee shops also serve tea, and it can offer a refreshing alternative for those looking for a break from coffee.

One of the most popular types of tea is black tea, which is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is typically steeped in boiling water for several minutes, and may be enjoyed on its own or with a bit of milk and sugar. Other types of tea include green tea, which is known for its many health benefits, and herbals teas, which are made from a variety of plants and do not contain caffeine. Some of the most popular herbal teas include chamomile, peppermint, and lemon ginger. So whether you are a coffee lover or not, there is always a tea option available for different taste preferences.

VI. Conclusion

In conclusion, it's clear that there are a wide variety of coffee drinks available for consumption. From traditional espresso-based beverages to cool and refreshing cold brews, there's something for every coffee lover out there. Even those who don't enjoy the taste of coffee can find a delicious and satisfying drink from the non-coffee options.

It's important to remember that the world of coffee is constantly evolving, with new flavors and variations being invented all the time. So whether you're a die-hard espresso fan or willing to try something new, the range of coffee drinks available is sure to impress. Just take a sip and see where your taste buds take you.


1. What is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?

A latte and a cappuccino are both traditional coffee drinks, and the difference between them lies in their proportion of milk and foam. A latte is made with steamed milk and a small amount of foam, usually with one or two shots of espresso. A cappuccino, on the other hand, is made with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. The foam in a cappuccino tends to be drier and thicker than the foam in a latte, and the milk is not as heavy. Latte's are generally creamier and sweeter than cappuccinos.

2. What is a nitro cold brew?

A nitro cold brew is a newer coffee trend that is becoming increasingly popular in cafes around the world. It is made by infusing cold brew coffee with nitrogen gas, which gives the coffee a creamy, frothy texture and a slightly sweeter taste. The nitrogen also gives the coffee a cascade effect, where the coffee appears to be cascading down the sides of the cup as it is poured. Nitro cold brews are served out of a tap, similar to beer, and are usually served over ice. They are refreshing and easy to drink, making them a popular choice in the summer months.

Alex Poloz