Types of Coffee You Should Know

Do you ever walk into a coffee shop with your friends and end up being confused looking at the menu over the counter. Chances are you really don’t understand the different types of coffee written on the board and end up ordering a “simple” coffee. I write this article today because this has happened to me for quite some time until a friend explained to me how many types of coffee are there. He said, “Coffee has its own language. Each combination is very different in name, taste and smell.” He was a coffee connoisseur and after reading this, you would be on your way to become one too. Today, I will tell you the most common type of coffee you will find everywhere:

Caffè Americano

Add hot water to a shot of espresso coffee. This coffee traces its origins back to the Second World War. It has been said that American soldiers would make this type of coffee to make their beverages last longer. It was then (apparently) adopted by American baristas after the war.

Café Latte (or Café au lait)

A fairly popular milk-based option (it’s in the name) for coffee drinkers, a latte consists steamed (or scolded) milk and a single shot of coffee. It is usually quite frothy, foam being added on top of the milk.


Possibly the most popular type of coffee in the world, this is what you get when you order a “simple” coffee. A cappuccino consists of three layers . The first is a shot of espresso, then a shot of steamed milk, and finally a layer of frothed, foamy milk. You can top this off by adding chocolate or powder. Cappuccino is a popular breakfast coffee.


This is the most basic coffee element which makes it the most difficult to brew correctly. To make an espresso, shoot boiling water under high pressure through finely ground up coffee beans and then pour into a tiny mug. Espressos are the purest coffee experience you can get, and while they’re not for everyone, it can be a truly singular drinking experience when you find a good brew.

Flat White

For a flat white, the steamed milk from the bottom of the jug (which is usually not so frothy, but rather creamy) is poured over a shot of espresso. It originated in the Australia- New Zealand region and is a favourite among people in their mid 30s.

Long Black

Hot water is poured into a cup, and then two shots of espresso are poured into the water. If you notice, this is the reverse procedure for brewing an Americano. Long blacks can be quite strong, and have more crema (a creamy foam that tops espresso shots) than an Americano.

Macchiato (also known as a Piccolo Latte)

A macchiato is a shot of espresso which is then topped off with foamed milk dashed directly into the cup.  It is like a cappuccino without steamed milk which makes more difference than you would think/ It is a stronger brew and it’s also smaller, usually served in an espresso-sized cup.


A ‘mocha’ is just a latte with added chocolate powder or syrup, as well as sometimes being topped with whipped cream. This would be a good starting point for people just beginning to explore the variants of coffee and want to start with something less strong.

Irish Coffee

Too many of these and things could get interesting, because this type of coffee is brewed with whiskey, sugar, and a thick layer of cream on the top – and isn’t readily available everywhere due to its alcohol content, they’re more often found in restaurants.


A Vienna is made by adding two shots of particularly strong espresso together before whipped cream is added as a substitute for milk and sugar. The Vienna is a perfect combination of the strong flavours of straight espresso, with the rich smoothness of sugary cream.

There you have it, a list of just 10 type of coffee. The impressive thing is, we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. There are 40 to 50 types of coffees available worldwide so we have plenty to explore. If you are a coffee drinker, the options are open to you. If you are not, now is as good a time as any to give it a try.

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Aseem Gupta

Aseem Gupta

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