Have you ever walked into your local coffee shop and been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of different types of coffee drinks on offer?
I know I have.
In this guide we will be covering a collection of the most popular coffee drinks, so the next time you are in front of the barista you can be confident in what you are asking for!
Related: Types of Coffee Makers
Americano coffee originates back to World War II as soldiers wanted their drinks to be weakened a bit. It consists of just water and espresso, with the ratio typically being ½ and ½ or ⅓ espresso and ⅔ water. You can request an Americano hot or iced.
You often hear people asked how they like their coffee. If their answer is black, it means they want it brewed on its own without the addition of sugar, milk, or cream. The taste is slightly bitter, but it is a popular choice amongst coffee lovers.
Black coffee can be made from instant coffee, with ground coffee in a French Press or in a filter coffee machine, as well as a bean to cup coffee machine.
Are you on a paleo or keto diet but unsure of what coffee you can drink? Bulletproof coffee is the one for you. Also referred to as butter coffee, this drink is high calorie, high fat, but low carb. It consists of high-quality coffee beans, unsalted butter, and a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), such as coconut oil.
If you’re familiar with a latte, you’ll undoubtedly be a fan of breve coffee. It’s the American’s take on a latte, but instead of using milk, they’ve replaced it with a half-and-half mixture of milk and cream. This mixture is steamed and added on top of an espresso. You will often find milk foam as the top layer too.
Cafe au Lait
This European coffee drink will be a hit if you’re a fan of creamy beverages. You get the bitter taste of espresso coffee, but it’s added to steamed milk. The ratio is typically 1:1, which means it’s a perfect mixture of the two. These drinks come as they are and are rarely topped with foam.
Cappucino’s are one of your classic Italian coffee drinks that you can never go wrong with. Similar to a cafe au lait, the drink is made up of espresso and steamed milk, but it also includes foam. The ratio of each drink is typically ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, and ⅓ frothed milk or foam.
If you’re ever in the mood for coffee but don’t think you can manage a whole one, then a cortado will suit you perfectly. This smaller drink is made with half espresso and half steamed milk. You’ll find them served in small glasses made of metal or glass with little added foam.
Cold Brew Coffee
As summer approaches, hot coffee may not do it for you anymore. A cold brew coffee gives you the same tastes at a colder temperature. It’s made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in room temperature water for 6-12 hours. The coffee beans are then mixed with cold water or milk.
Sometimes a single shot of espresso isn’t enough, and you need to double it up. That is precisely what a doppio is. You get a double shot of espresso, which results in a 60ml sized drink. You may see it referred to as a standard double in some coffee shops.
Drip coffee is similar to espresso but what makes it different is that the coffee drips through a filter, so you’re left with pure liquid without any residual ground coffee in your cup. The taste isn’t as strong, and there is no foam associated with it.
You’ve seen espresso mentioned a lot in this guide, but what is it? It’s a concentrated form of coffee that you serve in small, strong shots. Unlike a typical coffee drink, an espresso is stronger, thicker, and higher caffeine. This is why you should only drink small servings at a time.
If you’re in the mood for espresso but don’t think you can handle such a strong taste, you may want to opt for an espresso tonic. It’s made of tonic water, and a double shot of espresso mixed together with ice. You’ll be surprised at how nice it is.
This popular coffee drink consists of espresso, steamed milk, and microfoam. The microfoam consists of steamed milk, but it’s gently infused with the air. It typically comes in a smaller cup than cappuccinos and lattes, making it perfect for a quick fix.
If you’re a Starbucks lover, you may have already heard of a frappuccino because it’s trademarked by them. It’s a mixture of a frappe and cappuccino and is typically made from powdered instant coffee and water. The mixture is then blended with milk and ice and served cold.
The Gibraltar may be a drink you’ve seen on the menu but never dared to try. It’s an espresso-based drink with steamed milk, similar to a cappuccino. The main difference between a Gibraltar and cappuccino is that it’s served in a 4.5 oz Libbey Gibraltar rock glass.
Similar to the cold brew coffee, an iced coffee is served cold. The difference is that a cold brew coffee is brewed cold, but an iced coffee is brewed hot and then served over ice or in cold milk. Sweeteners and flavouring are added before cooling because they are dissolved faster.
Instant coffee is what you’ll typically get served when you pop over to your friend’s house for a catch-up. It’s made up of pre-brewed coffee beans, which allows you to make the drink much faster by adding hot water or milk. If you want to keep some coffee in the home for guests, opt for instant coffee.
You may be looking for an extra something in your coffee drink, and an Irish coffee can do that for you. It is made up of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, which is stirred and then topped with cream. It is super sweet and perfect for festive seasons.
You’ve probably heard of lattes from films where business executives quickly ask for one on their way to work. They are made from espresso and steamed milk, with a ⅓ espresso, ⅔ steamed milk ratio. Topped with a small layer of microfoam, you can get this drink in various sizes.
You now know what a latte is, but what’s the difference between that and a latte macchiato? The main difference is the way it is poured. With a latte macchiato, you pour the espresso into the steamed milk slowly, so three layers are created. The layers consist of warm milk, one shot of espresso, and microfoam.
Some may think a long black coffee is the same as an americano, but they’d be wrong. It is an espresso-based drink made of espresso and hot water. However, a long black coffee is prepared differently by pouring the espresso over hot water, which retains more crema. It also contains less water than an americano.
A lungo coffee is made with an espresso machine but uses more water than a typical espresso. To make one, you’d use double the normal amount of water per 7 grams of coffee. More caffeine is extracted this way, and you’ll experience deeper notes of coffee as you sip.
A macchiato is a simple form of a coffee drink. Most people would claim that it’s an espresso shot with some milk added to it. There’s no universally accepted amount of milk you need to put in a macchiato, so you may get a different drink everywhere you order one.
A nitro coffee is a new trend of cold brew coffee. It’s infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurised valve. These drinks aren’t easy to make and aren’t the cheapest to buy either. If you’re looking to treat yourself, you may find one of these drinks for around £5 a pop.
If you love the strong taste of coffee but want something different to an espresso, you may want to try a piccolo latte. These drinks are made with less milk and are slightly larger than a typical espresso shot. However, they’re still smaller than a latte or cappuccino.
Pour Over Coffee
For those days you’re in a rush and just want a quick fix of coffee, you may want to stop and get a pour-over coffee. This drink is the most basic form of coffee without the use of machines. It involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds, providing you with a full-flavoured cup of coffee in no time.
Believe it or not, espresso isn’t the most intense drink you can order. A ristretto is smaller and stronger. The creation of a ristretto involves a shorter extraction time, finer coffee blends, and a smaller volume of water. If the bitterness of coffee is your thing, go for a ristretto.
A mocha is for all you hot chocolate and coffee fans out there. Also known as a mocha latte, or caffe mocha, it’s a regular latte with chocolate syrup added to it. These drinks are customisable, so you may find them tasting different in each coffee shop. They’re all delicious nonetheless.
Turkish coffee is distinct because the coffee is brewed differently from other drinks. The creation involves finely ground coffee beans mixed with water inside a cezve. The mixture is placed over a gas flame and boiled and cooled up to three times to create a foam. This unique taste won’t let you down.
Last but not least, we have Vietnamese coffee. Similar to Turkish coffee, it’s brewed differently from other drinks. The coffee is brewed in a phin at an incredibly slow rate. The end result is a strong but small coffee that is thicker and more caffeinated than an espresso.