Hey coffee lovers, CoC team is here!
We’ve been thinking for a long time how to create something epic, stunning, interesting and give a lot of value simultaneously. Thus we dare to present here, arguably, the biggest guide on the Internet dedicated to all possible coffee types that exist nowadays. From Espresso and Americano to Frappe and Galao. Never blush again in your favorite coffee shop. We begin our breathtaking journey. Fasten your seat belts and immerse yourself into a fascinating world of different coffee drinks and concoctions.
Different Types of Coffee
First of all, let’s make a quick note regarding coffee flavor as this is one of the most important attributes that make your ‘cup of joy’ so captivating.
Okay, what exactly makes the coffee flavor so unique and compelling? In short, coffee beans and coffee roasts.
Different Types of Coffee Beans
There are a lot of coffee bean types in the world. But in essence, all of them can be grouped into two main сamps.
Arabica beans are saturated with oils, which provide a recognizable taste of the coffee.
Robusta, in its turn, contains much more caffeine, amino acids, and a high content of chlorogenic acids which provide special astringent bitterness to the beans.
Both coffee beans types are basic. Each one is represented by a large variety of blends and brands. They can be mixed in different proportions, creating new types of coffee blends with original taste and aroma, so the richness of the coffee palette is truly boundless. But that’s another story. Now let’s talk a bit about types of coffee roasts.
Different Types Of Coffee Roasts
Roasting is one of the most important processes on the long journey of coffee beans to a cup of coffee. It is a mastery that is fully responsible for revealing the flavor and aromatic properties of coffee beans.
During the roasting process moisture evaporates from beans first and they increase in size. Roasting also causes chemical changes to take place since beans are exposed to very high temperatures. As a result, caffeoyl is forming, the oil in coffee beans, which is exactly responsible for distinctive coffee flavour and aroma everyone knows. In addition, the bean structure changes, and the essential oils come to the surface.
And don’t forget that each type of coffee is unique and requires an individual approach. Various beans react differently to the roasting process, requiring specific temperatures and cycle times. Only skillful and experienced roasters are able to extract the completeness of taste and uniqueness of flavor from each type of coffee.
So, there are 5 main roast types:
1) Light roasts (Cinnamon, New England, Light, Breakfast, Half-city):
The lightest roasting (195-205°C) gives the beans light brown color and light coffee flavor. This method of roasting is applicable only for high-quality arabica varieties. Coffee made from light roast beans will give acidity in taste and have a bit watery consistency.
2) Medium roasts (American, Medium brown, City, Brown):
This roasting type is achieved after reaching the heating temperature of 210-220°C. It is a brown color with stronger coffee and a non-oily surface. Coffee will have a characteristic taste of caramel with light acidity, sometimes there will be herbal aftertaste.
3) Medium-dark roasts (Full city, Vienna, Velvet):
There is an active oils separation, and spots of dark brown color develop on the surface of the beans. he beans acquire slight bitterness in taste, but, as the roast is still medium, it remains a bit sweet.
4) Dark roasts (Espresso, Italian, Continental):
Grains of coffee are shiny and oily, have a dark brown color, sometimes almost black. The roaster is heated up to 240°С. The bitterness in the taste of coffee becomes more tangible. Coffee will be with patterns of smoke, burnt and is characterized by flavors of tar and charcoal.
5) Double roasts (French, Spanish, Cuban and Turkish):
The strongest roasting type. It takes beans to the point where they begin to smoke. The color of the beans is almost black. They become very oily. Acidity in taste is completely gone, but the aroma of caramel and smoky notes appear. This roast is optimal for those gourmets who love tart coffee with a long aftertaste.
That was a brief intro to the world of coffee roast types and, obviously, this topic requires way deeper explanation. But it’s another story, so let’s get back to our types of coffee!
Various Types of Coffee Drinks
You’ve heard this word many times, but it’s more than just a “small cup of coffee”. Espresso is a foundation for all coffee drinks. Originally, it goes from Italian and means “pressed-out (coffee)”. It has a distinctive great balanced sourish and bitter taste of pure coffee.
A real espresso is a drink made from filtered water and 7-11 grams of ground coffee in the amount of 25-35 milliliters under a pressure of 9 bar, at a temperature of 88 to 96 degrees Celsius, with 20-30 seconds extraction time. High water pressure allows to extract more flavored substances from ground coffee. Demitasse (cup for serving the espresso) should be filled with 2/3 of total capacity.
Brewed coffee must be topped by a special creamy layer – lightly golden-nut color foam with a velvety thick texture, at least 2 mm thick, called “crema”, which is a right sign that coffee is properly prepared. It’s highly appreciated by connoisseurs.
The espresso’s “life” is very short, so it should be prepared and drunken during the first 1.5 to 2 minutes. The best way to drink espresso: drain the drink quickly with a couple of sips after stirring the foam. If a glass of water is served together, take a few sips before drinking your coffee – you will prepare the taste buds on your tongue to feel the rich flavor of espresso. No sugar, please!
Ristretto has the most saturated coffee taste and was invented by Italians as well. It is also called as “Corto”, “Literally”, “Shrunk” and “Short”. Ristretto is traditionally prepared with the same amount of coffee for a portion (7-11 grams) as espresso, but with twice less water (15-20 ml). For its preparation, ground coffee should be well pressed and extracted at a pressure of 9 bar during 15-20 seconds.
Many people mistakenly believe that ristretto contains too much caffeine, but in reality – it’s not. And here is why: when ground coffee is loaded into a portafilter and extracted during 15 seconds, the first part of that shot is essential oils and salts, which create rich flavor and taste. Caffeine extraction itself starts a bit later. So, contrary to popular belief, there is less caffeine in ristretto than in espresso due to short extraction time.
Ristretto is usually served in a special mini-cup without handles or in an espresso cup, along with a glass of cold water. Drinking water before each sip of coffee allows you to fully enjoy the taste.
In Italy ristretto is considered as the most real coffee of all types, and the person who orders it enjoys the barista’s invariable respect.
In Italian “doppio” literally means “double”. Actually, doppio is a double shot of espresso. It’s prepared with a double portion of ground coffee (14-20 grams) and a double portion of water (50-70 ml). The process of making doppio itself doesn’t differ from the process of making espresso: water pressure – 9 bar, extraction time – 30-40 seconds.
A distinctive feature of the drink is foam (crema). If it is too dark, it means that the brewing time was too long and the coffee will have a burnt flavor. If the crema is excessively light, then the doppio seems to be undercooked and brewing time was too short.
Doppio is a morning drink. It has a well-balanced taste and due to longer extraction time and double amount of ground coffee, doppio has high caffeine contents, so it’ll give you a double energy charge for the whole day.
Italians often use the word “doppio” as a prefix to other coffee drinks. For example, “doppio-cappuccino”, “doppio-lungo” or “doppio-frappe”. That shows a person’s desire to get a double portion of certain coffee type or 2 times stronger drink.
Moving down the list of Italian coffee types, coffee lungo (prepared according to Italian recipe), at first glance, resembles a familiar espresso. But there is definitely an important difference between them: lungo preparation requires 2 times more water (60-80 ml) and 2 times more time for brewing (50-60 seconds) comparing to espresso. But in both cases the same amount of ground coffee is required (7-11 grams). In English “lungo” means “long” and this drink gets its name from the way it’s made.
It’s difficult to confuse the taste of lungo coffee with something else. It doesn’t have as strong flavor as espresso since it requires more water. At the same time lungo has a characteristic bitterish taste because long extraction time allows to pull more bitterness, essential oils and caffeine out of the ground coffee.
Lungo can be served in 120 ml espresso cups. Traditionally, coffee drinks based on espresso, should be thick-walled, so that it doesn’t allow the coffee to cool down excessively fast.
In Italy – motherland of lungo – this drink is rarely consumed after 11 am, as it is considered to be too strong for daytime drinking. Italians recommend drinking lungos in the morning, espresso – for lunch, ristretto – in the afternoon, thus reducing caffeine consumption during the day.
5. CAFFE CREMA
Caffe Crema comes from Switzerland and it’s a large cup of coffee prepared using the espresso method. In Italian “caffe crema” means “cream coffee” and it’s an incredibly popular drink in Switzerland, Austria and France. In essence, caffe crema is a double portion of espresso topped with dense coffee foam (crema). By the way, it was a name of espresso in the 1940s and 1950s, due to its thick coffee foam.
For the preparation of this drink you’ll need coarser grind coffee. Then brew 6 oz (150 ml) of espresso into the serving cup. Please keep in mind that due to coarser grind coffee, the water will flow faster than in a standard espresso. But, you need to aim to 25 seconds of extraction time. Once you get the correct amount of coffee, stop the brewing process and make sure that more coffee hasn’t poured into the cup as it might change the flavor of the drink. The hallmark of caffe crema is thick foam on top. For serving you can use the cappuccino cup.
Maybe it seems similar to americano or long black, but the main difference between them is in the process of preparation: while americano and long black are diluted with hot water espresso, caffe crema has long brewed espresso, so the flavors are totally different.
Espressino is an espresso-based drink with steamed milk and cocoa or Nutella originated from the south region of Italy – Puglia. The term “espressino” comes from the combination of the words “espresso” and “cappuccino”. It is a relatively new coffee drink, for the first time it appeared in the bars of Puglia in 2003. Presumably, the history of its appearance is as follows: many customers asked for a cappuccino in a small cup instead of coffee macchiato or cappuccino since macchiato had too little milk and the cup of cappuccino was too large. So the baristas combined both drinks and invented “espressino”.
As you already understood, for the preparation of espressino you need 1 standard shot of espresso, 85 ml of full-fat milk and 1 tsp cocoa powder (actually, amount of cocoa powder depends on your taste – you can add more or less). Baristas from the Northern part of Italy serve espressino with 1 tsp of Nutella additionally.
The brewing process is quite easy: before making an espresso shot, steam milk and make sure that it’s not overheated. While brewing the espresso, let the milk ‘sit’ a bit. Put some cocoa powder to the bottom of the serving cup and brew espresso into it, then add steamed milk and spread the remaining cocoa powder on top.
If you’re making Northern espressino – it’s almost the same approach. But Nutella shall be spreaded on the walls of serving cup/glass right before adding the cocoa powder to the bottom of the cup.
This drink is for those who are not ready for an extreme dose of caffeine. If you want something moderately strong and with a light chocolate flavor – order an espressino. Tasty, aromatic and not too strong.
7. CAFE AFFOGATO
Many people not related to Italy believe that affogato is a type of coffee with ice cream. But in reality, this is a dessert based on espresso. That’s right – it’s a dessert! In a classic version it’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream (Gelato), which floats in the hot espresso shot. Hence, the name of the concoction literally means “drowned”. Don’t confuse affogato with glasse since glasse is made from cold coffee with the addition of an ice cream scoop. Moreover, glasse is a drink, but not a dessert.
Affogato is recognized as the best coffee dessert in the world. It’s all about its unique flavor and taste. It’s a great choice if you’re a sweet lover, who wants to get some caffeine dose but with a lot more flavor.
How to make it: first of all, chill the serving glass or cup (usually cappuccino cup is used) and make sure that it’s cold enough to put an ice-cream there. Place an ice-cream into the cup. Brew a standard espresso shot (30-35 ml) right before you’re ready to serve, so that coffee is hot and fresh. Pour the hot espresso into the ice-cream and serve asap.
Additionally, you can add some liquor, cocoa, nuts or chocolate. Such alcohol as “Amaretto”, “Baileys” liqueurs, cognac, rum could clearly reveal the versatility of affogato taste sensations. But you should pay attention to the taste combinations. For instance, rum and cognac harmonize miraculously with chocolate ice cream; “Amaretto” goes well with nuts ice cream; and “Baileys” perfectly accentuates the taste of vanilla ice cream. Each ingredient brings its note to the coffee dessert and makes it taste rich and fragrant.
If you want to make dessert bigger size use the following ratio: 1 espresso : 1 scoop of ice cream. It’s so delicious! Enjoy!
8. CAFE CON HIELO
“Cafe con hielo” is Spanish for “coffee with ice”. As you may understand, this coffee drink comes from Spain, Valenciana province. It’s particularly popular in hot summer days, when the temperature reaches up to 40 degrees Celsius on the streets. That’s why sometimes it’s also called “Cafe del tiempo” which means “seasonal coffee”.
Actually, cafe con hielo is espresso (one or double shot) served with a glass of ice. You should pour espresso over the ice, and not the other way around. Such an instant preparation will not allow the drink to change the flavor and taste. Sometimes lemon and sugar might be added.
9. CAFE CUBANO
This is a kind of espresso, invented in Cuba, and some people say that real Cafe Cubano can be served only in Cuba. It’s highly popular in South Florida and considered a superior coffee since it doubles the strength of American one.
Specifically, it is a kind of espresso-based drink that is sweetened with sugar while coffee is brewed. A well-made Cuban coffee is defined by a thick layer of sweet crema (foam) on the top of strong espresso, called espumita. Traditionally, dark roasted coffee beans are used for preparation.
How to make it: use 6-serving stove-top espresso maker and brew a pot of espresso according to manufacturer’s instruction. Put the sugar (1/4 of the serving cup) in a large measuring cup and when the coffee just begins to brew, remove it from heat and pour 1 tablespoon of hot espresso into the sugar. Return the espresso maker to the heat. Meanwhile, using a spoon, stir (for about 1 minute) the sugar and espresso until the mixture turns a beige color and most of the sugar starts to melt. Here you got espumita!
Once the espresso has been brewed, pour it into the sugar mixture and stir to make sure all sugar is dissolved. Pour it all in an espresso cup, ensuring that creamy foam is on the top of the cup, and serve it immediately! Drink it in the morning to wake up and feel the taste of real Cuba!
10. CAFE BOMBON
As you may notice from the name of this coffee – it’s originated from Spain, namely Valencia, and literally means “confectionery coffee”. It consists of espresso and condensed milk in equal proportion. Yeah, Spaniards have a sweet tooth! They’re often enjoying this drink as a dessert. So, please be prepared to consume up to 300 calories at one time!
For the preparation of bombon coffee you need: 2 oz espresso, 2 oz sweetened condensed milk, 2 oz whipping cream.
Whip cream with the help of a hand mixer until peaks form. Brew standard espresso in any available device you have. Pour the condensed milk into the glass (usually, bombon is served in an irish-coffee glass). Please, make sure that the glass walls are clean. Add espresso to the glass slowly and carefully, so that it creates 2 layers and doesn’t mix with condensed milk. Anyway, milk is heavier than coffee, so it will fall down to the bottom. See those 2 beautiful layers? Great! You have left only to top it whipped cream and add chocolate or cinnamon powder, if you like.
As already mentioned, it’s better to serve bombon in clear glass to show all the contrasting layers. It looks beautiful with small cookies beside it. Don’t forget to serve the spoon, stir the coffee well with condensed milk and foam before drinking and enjoy this delicious treat!
But if you’re not about sugary drinks, just skip it.
Time to take a break now. After that grab a cup of coffee and keep reading our the most detailed guide about coffee beverages in part 2 and part 3. Don’t forget to let us know what you tried and share your impressions!