17 Different Types of Coffee Drinks YOU Should Try

January 3, 2024 | Coffee 101

Written By: Millie Pham
Last Updated: January 6, 2024

Did you know that the average American spends around $1,100 on coffee each year? [1] It's no wonder that coffee shops are so popular; with so many different drinks to try, it's hard to resist!

But with so many options on the menu, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

Don't worry, though; this article will be your guide to the wonderful world of coffee beverages. We'll go over 17 popular types of coffee drinks, from creamy lattes to icy frappes. I'll explain what each one is, what it tastes like, and how to make it just the way you like.

So, let's get started and explore the delicious world of coffee!

What are the Different Types Of Coffee?

1. Black Coffee

Black coffee is about as straightforward as it gets when it comes to coffee drinks. It's simply coffee brewed directly with hot water—no milk, cream, sugar, or any other additions.

To make black coffee, you first grind coffee beans into a coarse powder. Then, you brew the grounds using hot water and a method like a drip, pour-over, or French press. Usually, it's a ratio of 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.

Once brewed, you have a pot of pure, unadulterated coffee concentrate. Pour yourself a mug; - no need for milk or sweeteners. The flavor is robust, sometimes bitter, highlighting the true taste of those coffee grounds.

Drinking black coffee is an experience in its own right. You taste all the nuances—notes of chocolate and citrus—with each sip. It delivers a strong caffeine jolt. Black coffee drinkers love the bold, intense flavor that's pure liquid energy.

Some may add a pinch of sugar or a hint of milk, but minimizing additives is what real black coffee is all about. It's simple, straightforward, and all about the bean.

2. Single Espresso

A single espresso is a small, highly concentrated shot of coffee. It is made by forcing hot water under pressure through finely-ground coffee beans. The key is using the right grind size and dose of coffee.

Typically, a single shot uses 7-9 grams of ground coffee. The grind needs to be fine but not powdery. The coffee is tamped into the portafilter basket firmly to form a compact puck.

The espresso machine pushes 190–205°F water through the puck under 9–10 bars of pressure. The ideal target yield is 1–1.5 ounces, or 25–35 ml. The whole process, from pressing the button to a finished shot, is around 20–30 seconds.

A single espresso shot is dark and syrupy with a thick, creamy froth layer. It has an intense, bold coffee flavor that is rich and slightly bittersweet.

The texture is thick and velvety. To best appreciate the flavors, it's good to gently swirl before sipping to integrate the layers.

Before drinking, it's good to give the espresso a quick stir to integrate the crema throughout.

Despite its small size, an espresso shot packs around 60-100mg of caffeine, delivering an energizing jolt.

3. Double Espresso (Doppio)

If you want to drink a little more coffee but with the same intensity, just order a Double Espresso or Espresso Doppio.

Doppio means "double" in Italian.

A double shot of espresso made with about 18 grams of finely ground coffee beans.

A traditional doppio uses a 1:2 coffee-to-water ratio, meaning 16 grams of coffee are extracted with 32 grams of water in about 25–30 seconds.

This results in a concentrated, intense 2-ounce shot with a thick, rich crema on top. The doppio packs a powerful punch of caffeine while highlighting the natural flavors of the coffee beans.

It's perfect for espresso lovers looking for an extra boost to kickstart their day! I enjoy doppios for their bold, robust flavor when I need an energy lift, but I don't want a large volume of milk or water diluting the coffee's intensity.

4. Cappuccino - Espresso with steamed milk and foam.

A cappuccino is an espresso-based drink that consists of a single shot of espresso complemented by frothy, foamy steamed milk. It has a thicker, creamier texture compared to other espresso drinks.

To make it:

  • Brew 1oz espresso shot by forcing hot water through finely-ground beans
  • Steam milk while incorporating air to create a silky, foamy texture
  • Pour steamed milk over espresso in ~1:1 ratio in 5-6oz cup.

A proper cappuccino should have equal parts espresso and steamed milk, with foam making up the final third of the drink. This results in a stronger coffee flavor than a latte, along with a luxurious, smooth mouthfeel.

5. Latte

A latte is for those who love the taste of coffee but need a little more milk in their cup.

To make one, you start with a single shot of strong, concentrated espresso—that's around 1 ounce of dark coffee liquid.

Then you add steamed milk that's been frothed up nice and foamy. The milk softens the espresso's edge and adds sweetness.

The ratio is usually 1 part espresso to 2 parts foamed milk.

Since a latte has more milk than other coffee drinks, it's served in bigger cups, usually around 10 ounces.

The end result is a coffee flavor that's present but more mellow. You still get that caffeine kick with less bitterness.

Drinking a latte is like waking up to a warm hug; the espresso gives you a friendly pat while the milk envelops you in sweetness. Smooth, creamy, and perfectly balanced—that's the latte way!

6. Americano

An Americano is a simple way to turn an espresso shot into a longer coffee drink. It's made by adding hot water to a freshly pulled shot of espresso.

The key is to add the water first before the espresso so that the crema - the delicate foam on top of the espresso - is preserved.

To make an Americano, first fill a cup with however much hot water you'd like, based on your preferred strength and size of drink.

Then, pull a double shot of espresso directly into the hot water. The crema will float gently on top rather than dissipate immediately.

This method retains the rich, bold punch of espresso while turning it into a longer sip.

The added water brings out the espresso's flavor notes rather than overwhelming them. You can control the strength by using more or less water.

An Americano showcases the natural crema and allows you to experience the complex flavors of espresso with a bolder, more intense profile than regular drip coffee.

It's perfect for coffee drinkers who want a longer drink but with the quality and kick of straight espresso.

More to read: Americano Vs Cortado: What's The Difference?

7. Macchiato - Espresso "marked" with just a splash of foamed milk.

An espresso macchiato is a small drink that features espresso first with just a "mark" or "stain" of foamed milk. It's also the smallest espresso drink sẻve in an espresso cup.

To make it, you start with one single shot of espresso—that's about 1 ounce of strong coffee brewed by forcing hot water through ground coffee beans.

Then you add just a splash of frothy, foamed milk on top, usually about 1-2 tablespoons worth. The milk is lightly marked on the espresso, like a little white spot or stain. The coffee-milk ratio is around 1:2

A macchiato is served in a little espresso cup or glass. The espresso is the star of the show, with the milk adding a hint of creamy sweetness.

The flavor is bold and coffee-forward, but with a touch more mellowness than a plain espresso shot. The macchiato shows that just a small amount of milk can smooth out an espresso's intensity.

8. Mocha

A mocha is an indulgent latte made extra delicious with the addition of chocolate.

To make one, you start with a double shot of espresso as the base. Into this, you incorporate chocolate - typically in the form of syrup, melted chocolate chips, or even ganache.

A simple way is to pour the freshly pulled espresso shots directly over a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

Stirring combines the two and results in a thick, chocolate-infused espresso mixture. The espresso melts the chocolate, bringing out a rich sweetness.

You can also melt chocolate chips into the espresso to make a homemade mocha sauce.

Using a high-quality dark chocolate ganache takes it to the next level - the espresso dissolves the ganache into a sublime mocha base.

Once you have your chocolate espresso mixture, steam and froth milk as you would for a latte.

Pour the milk over the mocha base, then finish with chocolate shavings or powder sprinkled on top if desired.

The mocha is the perfect drink for chocolate lovers, adding a touch of luxury and sweetness to your daily coffee routine.

9. Affogato

An affogato is an elegant Italian dessert pairing rich, creamy gelato or ice cream with bold espresso.

The term affogato means “drowned” in Italian, referring to scoops of ice cream “drowned” in a shot of espresso.

To make an affogato, you simply take two large scoops of premium vanilla gelato or ice cream and place them in a bowl or dessert glass.

Then, freshly pull a single or double shot of espresso. 

The hot espresso is slowly poured over the ice cream, gradually melting and sinking into the cold creamy base.

The espresso cuts through the sweetness of the ice cream, adding a bitter contrast.

As you continue eating, the coffee and cream combine into an irresistible swirl of flavors and textures.

You get the luxurious mouthfeel of velvety ice cream plus the intense kick of caffeine and subtle fruity notes from the espresso.

It’s an elegant yet easy dessert that can be made with just two ingredients.

Affogatos also highlights the skill of the barista in pulling the perfect sweet, smooth espresso shot to complement the ice cream. The alluring dance of hot and cold makes the affogato a go-to for any after-dinner craving.

10. Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee is all about taking coffee back to the basics. We're talking about a centuries-old method of brewing a cup of joe without any fancy equipment, just simple ingredients and some patience.

The key starts with freshly roasted coffee beans ground super fine—nearly powder-like.

Take about 7 grams of your extra-fine ground beans and place them directly into a small pot called a cezve, along with about 70 grams of water.

No filter is required.

Heat the cezve slowly over a flame or burner, letting the coffee grounds and water simmer away together.

You'll hear a percolating sound, and soon, a magical, thick, mousse-like foam will form at the top. This is the crema, full of oils and flavors pulled from the grounds.

Once it starts to foam, remove it from the heat. The crema at the top is your sign that the coffee is ready for its close-up.

Carefully pour into your cup to maintain that layer of froth.

Let it settle for a few moments, and that's it!

You've got a mud-thick, intense coffee loaded with unfiltered flavor.

Drinking Turkish coffee is an experience - you've got the rich oils, the fine grounds settling at the bottom, and that sweet, spiced flavor only time and patience can brew. It's coffee in one of its purest forms.

11. Flat white

A flat white is an espresso drink that originated from Australia and New Zealand. It contains less foam than a cappuccino but more milk than a cortado, landing somewhere in between the two.

To make a flat white, you start with a double shot of espresso as the foundation. Then using a steam wand, you froth milk while incorporating less air compared to other drinks. You want to create a silky smooth texture without too much foam.

The milk is then poured carefully into the espresso, starting high to gently fold it in rather than breaking the crema right away.

The goal is to maintain that aromatic head on the espresso as long as possible. Ultimately you end up with a roughly 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk in a smaller 5-6 ounce cup.

The result is a coffee with a velvety texture but without overwhelming foam. You can taste the espresso's bold flavor before the milk's sweetness comes through.

The flat white highlights subtle coffee notes that might get lost in milkier drinks. It's perfect for those who find cappuccinos too airy but want something smoother than a cortado.

12. Cortado

A cortado is a popular espresso-based drink that offers a perfect balance of rich espresso and lightly textured milk. It's made with two ingredients - a double shot of espresso topped with an equal amount of steamed milk.

To make a cortado, you first pull two shots of espresso directly into your glass. Then using a steam wand, you aerate and froth milk until it increases slightly in volume and takes on a smooth, silky texture.

The key is to incorporate just enough air to create a delicate microfoam without overly frothing the milk.

Once the milk achieves the right texture, you pour an amount equal to the espresso directly over the shots.

This results in a 2:1 espresso-to-milk ratio, allowing the espresso's bold flavor to still come through. The milk adds sweetness and a velvety mouthfeel. A properly made cortado will have a thin layer of foam at the top.

At around 4 ounces total, a cortado is smaller than drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. Its diminutive size highlights the espresso, while the milk softens its acidity.

The end result is a drink with vivid espresso flavor enveloped in sweet, creamy milk. It's easy to see why the cortado is a favorite among coffee enthusiasts looking for a little pick-me-up.

13. Red eye

A Red Eye is the perfect drink for those looking for an extra caffeine jolt first thing in the morning. As the name suggests, this combo can definitely “open your eyes” at the start of the day!

A Red Eye consists of a full 12-ounce cup of regular drip coffee topped with a double shot of espresso.

To make one, you first brew a fresh pot of coffee into a 12-ounce mug or cup. Then, pull a standard double shot of espresso directly into the drip coffee.

The espresso floats gently on top of the coffee, creating two distinct layers of flavor. Cream and sugar can also be added to taste.

The end result is a drink packed with the robust, aromatic qualities of drip coffee plus the punchy bitterness of espresso, all in one cup.

With its double dose of caffeine, the Red Eye coffee is popular with professions requiring early wake-up calls, like finance or production jobs.

It provides intense coffee flavor along with the strongest caffeinated kick to give groggy mornings a much-needed boost. Just be careful not to overdo it!

14. Lungo

A Lungo is a type of espresso shot that is extracted for a longer period of time, resulting in a higher volume of coffee. 

The goal of a Lungo is to highlight the sweeter, fruitier flavors that come out later in the extraction process.

To make a Lungo, you would use the same amount of finely ground coffee as a traditional double espresso, typically 18 grams.

The key difference is that instead of stopping the shot after about 30 seconds, you would let it continue to extract for 35–40 seconds.

This slower, deliberate extraction allows some of the bitterness to dissipate while drawing out the natural sweetness of the coffee.

Because more water is passing through the coffee grounds, you ultimately end up with a shot that is closer to 2 ounces than the 1 ounce of a standard double espresso.

The result is a coffee with a lighter mouthfeel and less concentrated flavor. Rather than packing a strong upfront punch, a Lungo has notes of chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut that emerge gradually on the palate.

In the coffee shop, Lungo is often served with hot water on the side, so you can dilute it to your preferred taste.

The Lungo technique is perfect for coffee drinkers who want something just as meticulously crafted as espresso but in a prolonged, leisurely sipping experience.

15. Ristretto

A ristretto is an even more concentrated and intense version of espresso.

To make one, you use an extremely fine grind size to slow down the brew time while limiting the water passing through the coffee grounds. This results in a smaller, thicker, and more potent shot.

The key to a ristretto is using a precise, very fine grind. 

Before pulling the shot, it's important to purge any residual grinds from previous settings out of your grinder to ensure you get the true fine grind you just dialed in.

By cutting the brewing time short and stopping the extraction at around 20 seconds instead of 30 seconds, you end up with an extremely bold, thick, and small shot - usually only about 1 ounce.

With less water used, you get more dissolved coffee solids, which creates an intense, almost syrupy mouthfeel.

The flavor profile of a ristretto focuses on upfront punchy notes like bright acidity and sweetness rather than the deeper roasty notes.

Visually, the crema takes up about half the volume, owing to the high concentration and presence of coffee oils.

While often thought to contain more caffeine, a 1-ounce ristretto actually has slightly less than a standard 1.5-2-ounce espresso shot.

However, the intensity of the flavor makes it feel like a concentrated caffeine punch! Ristrettos are perfect for espresso fans looking for a bold, potent, straight coffee experience.

16. Piccolo Latte

A piccolo latte is a small milk-based espresso drink that originated from Australian coffee culture. It consists of a single ristretto shot of espresso topped up with lightly textured, frothy milk.

A ristretto shot, which is pulled short for a highly concentrated and sweet espresso, is perfect for a piccolo latte because it stands up to the milk.

To make it, you would pull a ristretto shot of about 1 ounce, stopping the extraction at around 20 seconds.

Next, using a steaming wand, you froth milk while incorporating just enough air to create a smooth microfoam texture.

The milk should double in volume and take on a velvety, glossy appearance. You then add the frothed milk to the espresso shot, resulting in a roughly 1:3 coffee-to-milk ratio.

This makes for a drink size of only 3–4 ounces total. The ristretto provides a potent punch of espresso wrapped in sweet, foamy milk.

A piccolo latte highlights espresso's natural sweetness and fruit notes, which peek through the creamy milk.

17. Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a warm and comforting drink that adds a splash of whiskey to your morning brew.

To make it, you first brew some hot coffee. Any method works, like drip or French press. Add 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar and stir until dissolved.

Then pour the hot coffee into your mug or glass, leaving a bit of room at the top. Add about 1 ounce or a shot of Irish whiskey. The whiskey adds a kick of flavor.

Finally, use a spoon to gently pour lightly whipped cream on top so it floats over the drink. The cream balances out the coffee's bitterness and the whiskey's bite.

Drinking Irish coffee is soothing and energizing at once - the sweet hot coffee mellows out the alcohol burn from the whiskey. It's the perfect pairing for chilly mornings or as an after dinner treat.

The coffee, whiskey, and cream blend together for a comforting flavor experience. With just a few ingredients, Irish coffee makes any day feel a bit more festive!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it—17 delicious types of coffee drinks you need to try!

From creamy lattes to refreshing Americanos, there's a perfect coffee beverage out there for everyone.

Whichever you prefer—espresso, drip coffee, or anything in between—I hope this guide gave you some fun new drinks to explore and savor.

The world of coffee is so vast and wonderful. Now that you're a coffee drink expert, get out there and order your next cup with confidence!

Millie Pham

Hi there! I'm Millie Pham, a devoted brewer and tea lover at heart. As the founder of Bean Leaf Cup, my mission is to share my tea and coffee expertise with you all. I firmly believe that creating a fantastic cup of tea or coffee should be easy for everyone. No matter if you're already a coffee or tea expert or just beginning your journey, I'm here to help you navigate the world of brewing. Welcome aboard!

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