When it comes to coffee types, the options are as diverse as the coffee lovers of the world themselves. While some of us need our mandatory cup of strong, black and undiluted coffee in the morning, others prefer their coffee drinks with a flourish! 

These days, there isn’t anything that CANNOT be added to our favorite coffee drinks to make them more exciting and interesting. Coffee isn’t only about our daily boost of caffeine anymore, but, as evident from the popularity of coffee shops all around the globe, something to bond over, enjoy, spend time with, and experiment on. 

Our different preferences when it comes to coffee has led to more than dozens of varied coffee types, each unique and exciting in its own way. 

What are Your Options for Choosing a Coffee Type?

At the first glance, the options for coffee in a café might endless, and it’s quite true. A cup of coffee comes in a lot of names, sizes, shapes and tastes these days; sometimes, it is hard to remember their specialties and to order the right one for yourself.

However, it is possible to make an informed decision when you know what each of these coffee drinks is, and what can you expect from them.

  • Black Coffee

Black coffee is just roasted and ground coffee beans steeped in boiling water, drank directly, warm and without any milk or sugar. This is the kind of coffee that people drink when all they need is a caffeine boost and not something many people are a fan of.

The proper name of black coffee is actually “Coffee Noir”, which translates to “coffee without milk or cream” as this kind of coffee doesn’t have anything added to it.

  • Expresso

Espresso or espresso shots are the base of most coffee drinks. Extremely strong, espresso is different from black coffee in the way that they are made. When coffee grounds are used to make espresso shots, they are finely ground and then brewed with a much higher coffee powder-to-water ratio than is used for black coffee.

Espresso shots are thicker than black coffee or regular coffee, served in one-ounce shot glasses. Although some people do order an espresso as a coffee drink, they are mainly used in making other drinks.

  • Americano  

Americano is basically watered-down espresso shots! Usually made from a combination of single (or double for extra strength) espresso shots and diluted water, an Americano can be drunk with or without added sugar.

  •  Latte  

Latte is undoubtedly the most popular coffee everywhere, made with a single or double shot of espresso and steamed milk. Sometimes, a little foam is added on top; a latte is also ordered with extra flavor or syrup. The great thing about latte is that it can be customized according to taste, which is why it is a crowd-pleaser and a common favorite.

Latte drinks are sometimes decorated with colored milk or ground chocolate on top to make designs, art or patterns. Coffee art is popular all over the world and everyone loves experimenting with them.  

  • Cappuccino  

After latte, cappuccinos are a close second favorite. Similar to a latte with a lot of steamed milk, cappuccinos are famous for their thick layer of frothy foam on top. Equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foam is used to make cappuccinos and they are, as a rule, served in smaller and rounder 6-ounce coffee mugs.

  • Decaf  

When someone orders a decaf coffee, what they are served with is a drink made from coffee beans that have been specially manufactured in different processes to remove most of their caffeine content. Brewed from decaffeinated coffee beans, decaf coffee tastes and smells like coffee but comes without the caffeine boost.

  • Café au Lait   

Café au Lait is simply a fancy French name for a drink with equal parts coffee and scalded milk. It’s the same as a Latte, but with a different name.

  • Doppio  

This is what’s a coffee drink called when someone orders double shots of espresso, without any kind of milk, syrup, sugar or cream.

  • Cortado  

Not very common everywhere, a Cortado is made from equal parts espresso and steamed milk. This drink is ordered when someone needs the extreme caffeine boost of an espresso, but the equal amount of milk cancels out the acidity of the strong coffee beans.

  • Red Eye   

You’ll need a Red Eye when you need a boost of caffeine early in the morning. This is a black coffee with an additional shot of espresso: strong, bitter and effective.

  • Flat White   

A Flat White is similar to a latte, but a drink where the ratio of milk-to-espresso isn’t equal. In fact, double the amount of steamed milk is added to a single or double shot of espresso so that the drink is mostly heavy milk with just a hint of coffee.

When making a flat white, baristas actually fold in the milk with the coffee as it steams, which adds a rather exciting velvety texture to the drink.

  • Mocha Latte

When lattes are flavored with sugar, syrup and chocolate, it is called a Mocha Latte. Chocolate to lattes is usually added in the form of raw cocoa powder, chocolate syrup or melted chocolate. The amount of chocolate in a Mocha Latte depends on the drinker’s preferences, but it doesn’t overpower the taste or aroma of the coffee beans.

  • Macchiato

When the same chocolate syrup or powder is added to a shot of Espresso and just a little bit of steamed milk, it is called a Macchiato. The coffee, milk and chocolate come in layers in a glass so that the drinker has to give it a stir for all the layers to mix together, making the coffee and chocolaty drink.

“Macchiato” is actually an Italian word that translated to “spotted” or “stained”. This drink is named so because a little chocolate can be spotted in the coffee or because the coffee drink has been stained with the chocolate.

  • Irish Coffee

Irish coffee drinks have its own loyal group of followers as this is a drink made from a combination of strong black coffee, sugar and a little whisky. Sometimes, the drink comes with a dollop of whipped cream on top in place of cream or milk, but it’s the whiskey that’s important in an Irish Coffee.

  • Iced Coffee

A tall glass of Iced Coffee might just seem like heaven on a hot day, made by brewing a cup of regular coffee and then cooling it over ice. Sometimes, milk and cream is added to Iced Coffee to sweeten it, which can also be done with sugar, sugar or sweeteners.

  • Iced Latte   

This drink is simply Latte cooled over ice, sometimes served with crushed ice, for coffee aficionados who love the taste of Latte, but not hot.

  • Frappe/Frappuccino

Frappe is indeed special! This is a coffee drink made from a shot of espresso and milk but blended with ice, giving it a slushy-like texture. Frappes are flavored with different syrups and artificial sweeteners and served with whipped cream on top.

The truth is, a Frappe is a very extravagant kind of drink that only has a little coffee in it, with a lot of other ingredients added.

  • Nitro Brew

A Nitro brew is a special kind of coffee that might not be available in a regular café. It is made from a combination of a cold coffee brew and Nitrogen bubbles, pored via a Nitro-tap to give a Guinness-like texture and consistency.

  • Mazagran  

Similar to an Irish coffee, a Mazagran is made from a combination of iced coffee, a little bit of tea, a few drops of lemon juice, sugar and rum.

  • Affogato   

An Affogato is a fun coffee drink that is served with a scoop of ice cream. This drink only has two very different ingredients in it: a shot of hot espresso and a scoop of vanilla or any other ice cream flavor.  

Because coffee is such a versatile drink, it can be experimented with in almost every way imaginable, presenting this age-old drink in dozens of new manners and fashions. However, now that you know what all the different coffee drinks are, it will be easier for you to choose from and order the next time you are in a café!