Updated: December 3, 2023 by Mary Nguyen
Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages worldwide, with a variety of drinks to suit every taste and preference. From a simple cup of black coffee to intricate concoctions topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, there is a coffee drink for just about everyone. Whether you prefer a classic espresso shot or a creamy latte, this guide will help you navigate the diverse world of coffee and discover new and delicious beverages to enjoy.
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How To Choose The Right Coffee Drink For You
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best coffee for you. Think about your personal preferences. Do you prefer a strong, bold flavor or a mild, smooth taste? This will help determine which type of coffee drink suits your palate.
Different coffee drinks require different brewing techniques. For example, espresso shots force hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, resulting in a concentrated, intense flavor. Filter coffee is made by pouring hot water over a bed of ground coffee beans, resulting in a milder, more balanced taste.
You should also take into account the flavors you enjoy. If you like a hint of sweetness, drinks like a Mocha, which combines espresso with chocolate, steamed milk, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings or sprinkles, may be for you. If you prefer a creamier texture, options like a latte or a flat white, which incorporate warm or steamed milk, might be better for you.
Consider the occasion and time of day. A hot cup of black coffee, for example, is perfect for kickstarting your morning, while an iced latte can offer a refreshing pick-me-up in the afternoon.
Choosing the right coffee drink is about personal preference, brewing method, flavor profile, and the occasion. Experiment with different types of coffee drinks to find the one that truly suits your taste.
Hot Coffee Drinks
There are endless options of hot coffee drinks to satisfy your cravings and suit your preferences. Whether you’re starting your day or need a warm pick-me-up in the afternoon, there’s a hot coffee drink for every occasion. From classics like black coffee and espresso shots to indulgent treats like creamy lattes and Irish coffee, these warm beverages offer a comforting and flavorful experience. The brewing method and flavors can vary, allowing you to find your perfect cup of hot coffee. So sit back, relax, and explore the world of hot coffee drinks that will awaken your senses and brighten your day.
Black coffee is a classic and straightforward drink that consists of just two basic ingredients: water and coffee. It is enjoyed without adding milk, creamer, or other flavoring agents. Black coffee can be prepared using various coffee maker types, including drip coffee makers, French presses, espresso machines, and pour-over methods.
Crafting the perfect cup of black coffee is an art form. It begins with selecting high-quality coffee beans and grinding them to the right consistency. The brewing method, whether it’s a pour-over, French press, or espresso shot, influences the taste and strength of the coffee. Getting it just right is a skill that coffee aficionados take pride in.
Café Au Lait
Café au lait is a beloved coffee drink deeply rooted in French culture. This classic beverage combines equal parts of strong hot coffee and steamed milk, resulting in a smooth and creamy concoction.
Café au lait is often enjoyed in the morning as a perfect companion to breakfast. Its gentle yet fragrant flavors provide a comforting start to the day, allowing you to savor the rich taste of coffee while still enjoying the subtle sweetness of milk.
Espresso, often called a shot of coffee, is a unique and highly concentrated coffee preparation method that produces a small but potent serving of coffee. It is made through the process of espresso extraction, where hot water is forced through tightly packed, finely ground coffee grounds. This method extracts the full flavor and intensity from the coffee, resulting in a bold and rich espresso shot.
The flavor profile of an espresso shot is known for its robust and concentrated taste. It has a strong and full-bodied character, with notes of bitterness and a pleasant acidity. The extraction process also creates a layer of creamy golden crema on top, adding to the visual appeal of the shot.
Espresso shots serve as the foundation for popular coffee drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos. These drinks combine the intensity of the espresso shot with steamed milk and other ingredients to create a variety of flavors and textures. The concentrated nature of the espresso shot ensures that the flavors of these drinks are well-balanced and pronounced.
An espresso shot, often simply called an espresso, is a concentrated coffee beverage made by forcing hot, pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans. It is served in a small, single-serving size, typically about 1 ounce (30 milliliters) in volume.
Espresso is known for its strong and robust taste, its aromatic richness, and the creamy ‘crema’ layer that develops on top of a properly brewed shot. This concentrated brewing method delivers a potent combination of flavors and caffeine in a compact serving. An average espresso shot typically contains 63mg of caffeine, in contrast to a regular cup of coffee, which contains about 80mg.
Doppio Or Double Espresso
A doppio is a double shot of espresso. It’s essentially two standard espresso shots served together in a single cup. This means that instead of the usual 1-ounce (30ml) serving of espresso, you get a 2-ounce (60ml) serving when you order a doppio. And if you’re a fan of strong and bold flavors, this drink is definitely for you.
The extra shot of espresso boosts the drink’s caffeine kick, making it an excellent choice for those needing an extra jolt of energy in the morning or throughout the day. Doppio is popular among espresso enthusiasts who appreciate a stronger and bolder coffee flavor. It’s a versatile option that can be enjoyed independently or used as the base for various coffee beverages. It offers a more intense caffeine kick and a richer coffee experience.
A lungo is a coffee drink similar to espresso but with twice the water and an extended extraction time, resulting in a larger volume (about 1.5 ounces) than a standard 1-ounce espresso. The term lungo means long in Italian, indicating the longer brewing process (around 45 to 60 seconds).
This leads to a larger volume with a more diluted flavor and a slightly bitter taste. Lungo shots typically have less crema, the creamy foam layer on top of espresso, due to the longer brewing time.
A ristretto, often called the short shot of espresso, is an exceptionally concentrated coffee shot, even shorter and more intense than a standard espresso. It’s made using the same amount of coffee grounds but with significantly less water, resulting in a smaller shot (about 0.5 to 0.75 ounces).
The reduced water and shorter extraction time create a sweeter and less bitter taste, making it favored by those who enjoy a bold coffee flavor. Ristretto shots can be used as a base for specialty coffee drinks or enjoyed on their own for a concentrated caffeine kick.
Espresso Based Drinks
The americano is a coffee drink that blends the intense flavors of a shot of espresso with 3 ounces of hot water. It originated during World War II when American soldiers in Europe diluted strong espresso with hot water to make it more palatable.
To prepare an americano, a shot of espresso is brewed and then mixed with additional hot water, creating a larger and milder coffee. It’s a versatile drink, enjoyed black or with added milk or sweeteners, and it offers a balanced and mellow flavor profile, combining the richness of espresso with the dilution of hot water.
The long black is a classic coffee drink perfect for those who prefer a strong and bold flavor. Similar to an americano, the long black is made by pouring a shot of espresso over 3 ounces of hot water.
What sets the long black apart from americano lies in the process of combining hot water with espresso. In the case of an americano, hot water is added to espresso. In contrast, espresso is poured over hot water for a long black. This method preserves a greater amount of crema, surpassing what is typically found in an americano.
Espresso Based Drinks With Steamed Milk
A Flat White is a coffee drink originating from Australia and New Zealand, consisting of espresso and steamed milk with a velvety microfoam. Unlike drinks with thicker foam, a flat white maintains a thin layer of microfoam that blends smoothly with espresso.
The ratio of coffee to milk is approximately 1:2, striking a balance between espresso’s richness and milk’s creaminess. It offers a smooth, mellow flavor profile, appealing to coffee enthusiasts seeking a balance between the strength of espresso and the texture of milk.
A Cortado is made by combining equal parts espresso and steamed milk, is a smooth and delicious drink with a rich and velvety flavor that will surely satisfy your coffee cravings.
The Cortado is typically served in a 4-ounce glass, allowing you to savor every sip of this creamy and indulgent treat. The espresso provides a bold and robust base, while the steamed milk adds a touch of sweetness and creates a perfectly balanced flavor profile.
Latte Or Caffé Latte
A latte, derived from the Italian term caffè latte, is a well-liked coffee beverage blending espresso with steamed milk. The name latte directly translates to milk in Italian, highlighting the significant presence of milk in this coffee concoction. Lattes are often seen as an entry level coffee choice, as the milk content in the drink helps mellow out the acidity and bitterness commonly associated with coffee.
A latte is a popular coffee drink made by combining one or two shots of espresso with a generous amount of steamed milk and a layer of frothed milk foam. It has a smooth and mellow flavor profile, with the espresso’s boldness balanced by the creamy milk. Lattes can be customized with flavored syrups and can be served hot or iced, making them a versatile and beloved choice among coffee enthusiasts.
One of the most classic and beloved coffee drinks is the cappuccino. Made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam, this delightful beverage is known for its rich and creamy texture. The balance between these three elements gives the cappuccino its unique character and taste. The espresso adds a bold and robust flavor, while the steamed milk brings a smooth and velvety texture. The foam on top adds a touch of elegance and a delicate layer of creaminess.
Breve, a rich and indulgent coffee drink, takes the classic latte to a new level with its creamy texture and decadent flavor. What sets a breve apart from a typical latte is the use of steamed half-and-half instead of milk. This substitution gives the drink a velvety smoothness and a luxurious mouthfeel.
To create a perfect breve, start by pulling a shot of espresso. The intense, robust flavor of the espresso will serve as the foundation for this delightful beverage. Carefully pour the hot, steamed half-and-half over the espresso shot. The half-and-half adds richness and a creamy consistency that elevates the experience of savoring every sip of the breve.
A macchiato, specifically an espresso macchiato, is a coffee drink featuring a shot of espresso stained or marked with a small amount (1-2 teaspoons) of frothy milk or milk foam. The term macchiato means stained in Italian, reflecting how the milk subtly enhances the espresso’s flavor without overwhelming it.
Macchiatos are appreciated for their strong coffee taste with a hint of creaminess, making them a preferred option for those who enjoy the boldness of espresso but with a touch of milk. Variations include the caramel macchiato, latte macchiato, and iced macchiato, each offering a unique twist on this simple and flavorful coffee drink.
A latte macchiato is a coffee drink characterized by its layered composition. The layers in a latte macchiato typically start with steamed milk at the bottom, followed by the espresso, often topped with a small amount of frothed milk or foam. Optionally, flavored syrups can be added for extra taste.
Latte macchiatos offer a balanced flavor profile, with the espresso providing a bold coffee taste and the milk contributing creaminess and sweetness.
A mocha, also called a café mocha, mocha latte, or mochaccino, is a coffee beverage renowned for its rich and indulgent flavor. It combines espresso, chocolate in the form of cocoa powder or chocolate syrup, and steamed milk. The espresso provides a bold coffee taste, while the chocolate adds sweetness and richness. Whipped cream can be added for an extra indulgence.
Mochas are a delightful choice for those who appreciate the blend of coffee and chocolate flavors, offering a comforting and satisfying drink. They can also be customized with additional flavorings to suit personal preferences.
Espresso Drinks With Whipped Cream
Espresso Con Panna
Espresso Con Panna is a delightful coffee treat made with a single or double shot of espresso topped with a dollop of whipped cream. It’s known for its rich flavor and creamy texture, often enjoyed as a dessert-like indulgence.
To prepare espresso con panna, brew a strong espresso shot and gently place a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream on top. Combining robust espresso and luscious cream creates a harmonious balance of flavors. As you sip, you’ll experience the velvety texture of the whipped cream blending perfectly with the intense espresso underneath.
Vienna coffee, also known as Viennese coffee, is a classic coffee drink from Vienna, Austria. It features a strong cup of black coffee or espresso as its base, topped with a generous portion of freshly whipped cream. A sweetener like sugar or syrup can be added to the coffee before the whipped cream. To enhance the flavor and presentation, a sprinkle of cocoa powder or chocolate shavings may be added on top of the cream.
Viennese coffee is a luxurious and indulgent coffee beverage that balances the boldness of black coffee with the creamy sweetness of whipped cream, often enjoyed as a dessert-like treat or on special occasions.
What Is The Difference Between Vienna Coffee And Espresso Con Panna?
Vienna Coffee and an Espresso Con Panna are very similar, but the distinction lies in the cup size they are traditionally served in. A Vienna coffee is typically presented in an 8 oz cappuccino cup, while an espresso con panna is composed of whipped cream added to espresso in a smaller 2 oz demitasse cup. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, which can cause some confusion.
Espresso Drinks With Extra Kick
The red eye coffee drink is a beloved choice among those seeking an extra dose of caffeine to kickstart their day. To make a red eye, a shot of espresso is combined with 6 ounces of freshly brewed coffee, resulting in a potent concoction known for its high caffeine content.
This bold and robust beverage is often consumed for its energizing properties, making it a go-to option for those needing a boost. The espresso shot adds a strong and concentrated flavor to the mix, while the brewed coffee adds volume and smoothness.
A Black Eye coffee is a strong and robust coffee drink designed for those seeking a powerful caffeine boost or the intense flavor of espresso. It is made by adding two espresso shots to a 6-ounce cup of hot black coffee.
To prepare it, brew a cup of black coffee using your preferred method and simultaneously prepare two espresso shots. Then, pour the espresso shots into the hot black coffee to create a bold and potent blend that marries the smoothness of black coffee with the strength of espresso.
Lazy eye is a unique coffee beverage that offers a delightful compromise for those seeking a stronger coffee flavor with less caffeine than the red eye and black eye. This drink is crafted by combining decaffeinated coffee with a shot or two of espresso, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and a gentle pick-me-up.
The main appeal of the lazy eye lies in its ability to reduce caffeine intake without compromising taste or enjoyment. Decaffeinated coffee is the base of this beverage, providing the familiar and comforting flavor many people love. Adding a shot or two of espresso adds a subtle kick of energy and a richer, more complex taste.
Other Coffee Drinks
Turkish coffee is a beloved traditional beverage known for its strong and sweet flavor that is popular in the Middle East and parts of Europe. It’s made using finely ground coffee, water, and sugar. Preparation involves heating the mixture in a unique pot called a cezve over low heat, stirring until it becomes foamy. Turkish coffee is neither filtered nor brewed; it is prepared by boiling or cooking.
The key to Turkish coffee’s taste is the slow cooking process, which extracts rich flavors gradually, resulting in a bold and robust coffee. It’s traditionally served in small cups and enjoyed slowly, with some even using the coffee grounds for fortune-telling based on the patterns they create.
Green coffee is a rising star in the beverage world, cherished for its health benefits and distinct taste. Unlike its roasted counterpart, green coffee is made from unroasted beans, resulting in a lighter flavor and lower caffeine content. It’s enjoyed much like tea and can be easily brewed at home.
Soak green coffee beans overnight. To make green coffee, bring water to a boil, add green coffee beans, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Let it steep for an additional 5 minutes, strain, and enjoy. This herbal drink offers a refreshing alternative to traditional coffee, boasting a unique flavor and potential health perks.
Irish coffee is a delightful, warm cocktail that combines the robust flavors of drip coffee with the smooth richness of Irish whiskey. This beloved drink is a perfect choice for those looking for a cozy and indulgent beverage.
To make Irish coffee, start with a strong cup of drip coffee. This flavorful coffee base is then enhanced with a generous pour of Irish whiskey, adding a gentle warmth and complexity to the drink. The final touch is a layer of lightly whipped cream, which adds a creamy and decadent element to every sip.
Cold Coffee Drinks
Cold coffee drinks are a popular, refreshing, and invigorating choice. These delightful concoctions are perfect for those hot summer days or when you need a cooling pick-me-up. From classic iced coffee to trendy cold brews, there are lots of options to satisfy your caffeine cravings. Whether you prefer a simple black iced coffee or a creamy, indulgent frappe, the world of cold coffee drinks offers something for everyone.
Iced coffee is a refreshing and chilled beverage that is perfect for hot summer days for an afternoon pick me up. It is made by pouring hot coffee over a glass filled with ice, sometimes with the addition of milk or sweetener to enhance the flavor. The result is a delicious and invigorating drink that blends the rich taste of coffee with the coolness of ice.
While some may confuse iced coffee with cold brew coffee, they are actually quite different. Iced coffee is made by brewing regular drip coffee and then chilling it over ice. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water over an extended period, resulting in a smoother and less acidic taste.
Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew coffee is a unique brewing method that involves steeping coarse ground coffee in cold water for an extended period. This results in a smoother, sweeter taste than hot brewed coffee, with reduced acidity and bitterness. Cold brew concentrate can be diluted with cold water, iced, or mixed with milk and flavors for various iced coffee creations.
To make it home, mix coarse coffee grounds with cold water, steep in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, strain, and enjoy. Cold brew is favored by those seeking a smooth, less acidic coffee experience with distinct flavor and versatility.
The iced americano is a simple yet brilliant creation in the world of coffee. It’s made by diluting a shot or more of espresso with cold water and ice. What sets it apart from traditional iced coffee is its espresso base.
Making an iced americano at home is a breeze. Start with a shot of freshly brewed espresso or a double shot if you’re feeling adventurous. Pour it over a glass of ice, then add cold water to your desired strength. Give it a gentle stir, and voilà, you have a café worthy drink in the comfort of your own kitchen.
To craft an iced latte, start with a shot of espresso. Pour the espresso over a glass filled with ice cubes. The ice works to instantly chill the espresso, creating a cool and invigorating drink.
Once the espresso is added, top it with cold milk. The milk adds a creamy texture to the beverage and helps balance the strong and bold flavors of the espresso. To enhance the taste, many people add a touch of sweetener, such as sugar or flavored syrups, giving the iced latte a hint of sweetness.
Nitro Cold Brew
Nitro cold brew starts with the process of cold brewing coffee, which involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period. Once the cold brew coffee is ready, it is infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurized tap system, typically served on tap or from a can.
The nitrogen infusion gives the coffee a creamy and frothy texture, similar to draft beer. It imparts a unique, mild, sweet flavor profile to the cold brew. This infusion creates a velvety, foamy texture and gives the coffee a mild, sweet taste. The nitrogen bubbles also add a touch of elegance to the beverage, making it visually appealing.
A frappe is a well-loved iced coffee drink, perfect for hot summer days. The term frappe originates from Greece, where it signifies a cold, frothy coffee beverage made with instant coffee, water, ice, and sugar. This Greek classic is a favorite during summer but is sometimes confused with the Frappuccino, a Starbucks trademark.
The typical frappe recipe involves instant coffee, water, sugar, and ice.
In other countries, variations may include water, espresso, sugar, milk, and ice combined by shaking, blending, or stirring. These variations are often served with whipped cream and adorned with sweet sauces or toppings. The end result is a frothy and chilled coffee drink. While the Greek frappe is traditionally made with coffee, other versions can feature various flavorings and toppings to suit individual preferences.
The Frappuccino is a relatively recent addition to the coffee world, originating in 1995. Its name combines frappe, a Greek term for a cold beverage, and cappuccino, an espresso-based coffee drink. It has become a popular offering at coffee shops worldwide, with each establishment adding its unique twist to the classic recipe.
A Frappuccino is a blended coffee beverage typically consisting of coffee or espresso, milk, and ice. It’s blended until it achieves a smooth and creamy texture. It can be customized with additional ingredients like syrups and whipped cream to enhance the flavor. Frappuccinos are a favored choice for those seeking a refreshing and chilled coffee drink.
Ca Phe Sua Da Or Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Ca Phe Sua Da, also known as Vietnamese iced coffee, is a popular and indulgent coffee drink hailing from Vietnam. It features dark French press coffee and sweetened condensed milk, creating a rich and satisfying flavor.
To prepare a Ca Phe Sua Da, add sweetened condensed milk to a glass, set up a Vietnamese French press, called a phin, with coffee grounds, pour hot water, brew, and stir. Then, serve over ice for a refreshing contrast. Ca Phe Sua Da offers a delightful blend of intense coffee notes and creamy sweetness, making it a perfect treat to beat the heat or enjoy as a pick-me-up.
Coffee Mead is a newer, unique, and captivating coffee beverage that combines traditional mead (honey fermented with water and yeast) and coffee or espresso to the brewing process to deliver a distinctive flavor experience. Mead coffee sets itself apart with its harmonious blend of honey’s sweetness and coffee’s robustness, enhanced by the complexity of water and yeast.
It uses cold brew as a base, allowing yeast fermentation to create a smooth texture and subtle fermentation notes. It provides an extraordinary taste adventure for coffee enthusiasts and those seeking a distinct beverage.
Coffee soda is a unique and refreshing caffeinated drink that combines the cold brew coffee’s bittersweet flavor with the fizziness of soda water. It’s a great choice for a cooling beverage on hot days or whenever you need an energy boost.
To make coffee soda, mix equal parts soda water and cold brew coffee over ice. The carbonation gives it a bright and bubbly quality, and the taste is a delightful balance of the rich coffee and the soda’s lightness. It has a bittersweet flavor with a refreshing fizz that enhances the coffee’s aroma and taste. You can enjoy coffee soda as it is or customize the taste with sweeteners like simple syrup or flavored syrups.
Affogato, pronounced ah-foh-GAH-toh, is a heavenly coffee-based dessert that combines the bold flavors of espresso with the creamy sweetness of vanilla ice cream or gelato. This delectable treat is a true indulgence for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth.
To make an affogato, start with a freshly brewed shot of espresso. The hot espresso is poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato. As the rich and velvety espresso cascades over the cold, creamy ice cream, a delightful contrast of temperatures and textures is created. The hot coffee slowly melts the ice cream, creating a luscious blend of flavors.
So Many Coffee Drinks!
From the bold and concentrated espresso shots to the creamy and sweet delights of lattes and mochas, coffee culture is a rich tapestry of flavors and experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee aficionado or just beginning your coffee journey, there’s a vast variety of coffee beverages waiting to become your next favorite coffee drink. Beyond the beverages themselves, coffee is a cultural phenomenon that brings people together, sparks creativity, and provides moments of comfort and joy. So, explore, savor, and enjoy the world of coffee drinks, and may your coffee adventures be filled with delicious discoveries. Cheers to the rich and aromatic world of coffee drinks!
Curious about other coffee based drinks? Take a look at this article Types Of Espresso Drinks.