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Everything You Need to Know About Coffee and Its Kinds

Coffee Geek Lab / Everything You Need to Know About Coffee and Its Kinds

Do you love coffee?

If your answer is No, then what are you doing here?

Just kidding, you are welcome to stay.

But this article will be particularly interesting for those who cannot go even one day without coffee (just like me).

Today, we are going to look at different types of coffee beverages and learn how they are made. Maybe this list will give you some new ideas for your next morning cup of coffee.

Coffee types

Did You Know…?

People in America love coffee. That’s a fact. We can’t start our day without the regular caffeine fix. Without it, we turn into zombies, werewolves, and other non-human creatures ready to do anything to get that cup of hot, flavorful beverage. Or is it just me? Anyway, we all love different kinds of coffee to some extent. To draw a picture, let me share some of the statistics with you:
  • More than 50% of the adult population of America drink coffee every day.
  • 65% of them prefer having coffee with breakfast.
  • 30% of people use coffee as a snack and drink it in between meals.
  • The average price for an espresso-based coffee drink is $2.5.
  • Overall, consumers spend more than $70 billion on coffee a year.
  • On average, each person drinks 3 cups of coffee a day.
  • The American coffee industry creates more than 1.5 million jobs.
  • 45% of coffee drinkers in the US prefer the drip coffee makers.
  • 26% use single cup brewers at home.
  • Only 8% enjoy the cold brewing process, while 13% of consumers own and use an espresso machine.

When looking for freshly roasted beans for your beverage, pay attention to the roast date on the package. If there’s none, the manufacturer probably doesn’t want to share that info, which means those coffee beans are far from fresh.

Espresso

Preparation time: 3-5 minutes Regular size: 2 oz. Layers (bottom to top): brewed espresso Espresso is a rich, bold kind of coffee. It is made by forcing hot water (nearly boiling) through the ground beans under high pressure. The resulting brew is strong and thick. It is also a base for countless beverages. Once you know how to make espresso, you can experiment as much as you want and prepare an endless number of coffee-based drinks. What you’ll need: coffee beans, coffee grinder, espresso machine, tamper, portafilter, kitchen scale, shot glass/espresso cup. Who is going to love it: Espresso is ideal for people who appreciate the pure, clean taste of coffee. It is great for coffee lovers who want a strong, rich flavor without anything extra (nothing that can mask the bold flavor of the beverage).

Americano

Preparation time: 2-4 minutes

Regular size: 6-8 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, water

Americano is a diluted espresso drink. This beverage has the same strength as the drip coffee. However, the flavor is still richer and much more aromatic. Americanos are typically taken without sugar or flavorings.

What you’ll need: espresso, hot water, coffee cup/mug.

Who is going to love it: This beverage is perfect for those who don’t like really strong, concentrated coffee drinks but still want something flavorful and bold in terms of flavor.

Cortado

Preparation time: 3 minutes

Regular size: 4 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, frothed milk

This beverage takes its roots in Portugal and Spain, where locals enjoy it as their regular afternoon drink. Cortado uses a small amount of frothed milk, which reduces its acidity.

What you’ll need: espresso, milk, small cup.

Who is going to love it: Cortado is great for someone who wants a strong but smooth beverage. Cortado typically isn’t hot, so it’s also ideal for people who want their coffee to be a bit more refreshing than usual.

Ristretto

Preparation time: 2-4 minutes Regular size: 2 oz. Layers (bottom to top): espresso Ristretto is a short shot of espresso, which uses the same amount of ground coffee but a smaller amount of water. This results in a very rich, full, and bold beverage, which has more body, more acidity, but less bitterness. What you’ll need: coffee beans, coffee grinder, espresso machine, tamper, portafilter, kitchen scale, shot glass/espresso cup. Who is going to love it: This beverage is perfect for someone who loves their coffee strong and acidic without the bitter notes.

Cappuccino

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Regular size: 8 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, milk, frothed milk

Cappuccino is among the most popular coffee types worldwide. This Italian beverage has a double-espresso base and a distinct rich coffee taste, combined with creamy milk and fluffy foam on top.

What you’ll need: espresso, milk, milk frother, wide and shallow coffee cup.

Who is going to love it: Ideal for almost any coffee lover, Cappuccino is great for those who appreciate smooth milky beverages but don’t want them to be too diluted.

Latte

Preparation time: 5-10 minutes

Regular size: 8 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, milk, frothed milk

Latte is creamy and has a rather mild taste (in terms of coffee boldness and flavor). It is oftentimes taken with various flavorings, syrups, etc. Latte uses less espresso and more milk than a cappuccino.

What you’ll need: espresso, milk, milk frother, wide coffee cup (although some cafes offer lattes in tall glasses).

Who is going to love it: This beverage is perfect for people who don’t really like very strong coffee and want their beverage to be on a creamier side.

Latte and piccolo latte are different in size. Piccolo latte is usually served in a small cup (espresso-size). Additionally, while lattes oftentimes come in iced and flavored variations, piccolo lattes are always “pure”

Flat White

Preparation time: 5-7 minutes

Regular size: 6 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, steamed milk

Flat white might remind you of cappuccino but it doesn’t have that fluffy frothed milk on the top. Flat Whites usually have a bit stronger taste with a moderate amount of that milk silkiness.

What you’ll need: espresso, milk, milk steamer, wide cup.

Who is going to love it: Flat White is the best suited for people who love cappuccinos but don’t find them strong enough. It’s also a great option for someone who prefers a milk-based beverage but doesn’t like the foam on top.

The difference between cappuccinos and flat whites hides in the milk foam. Flat white simply doesn’t have it, just the milk. Cappuccino, on the other hand, comes with that dense, fluffy, delicious milk foam on top.

Mocha

Preparation time: 13-15 minutes

Regular size: 8 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): chocolate, espresso, milk, whipped cream

Mocha is another espresso-based beverage but with an extra flavoring (chocolate). Mochas are usually sweet and are typically served with whipped cream and some chocolate powder or sprinkles on top.

What you’ll need: espresso, chocolate or mocha powder (if you can’t find any, try chocolate syrup), milk, whipped cream, large cup.

Who is going to love it: Mocha is perfect for everyone with a sweet tooth. It is also ideal for people who love hot chocolate but want to get their caffeine fix with it as well.

Macchiato

Preparation time: 3-5 minutes

Regular size: 4 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, milk, frothed milk

A bit like Cortado, Macchiato is made with espresso and a dollop of milk. The foamy frothed milk goes on top as well. This beverage is creamy and strong at the same time, which results in a nicely balanced taste.

What you’ll need: espresso, milk, milk frother, small cup.

Who is going to love it: Macchiato is perfect for those coffee lovers who want something milder than their regular espresso. It is great for people who appreciate it when a coffee beverage is bitter to some extent but not overly harsh.

Oftentimes, when ordering at the coffee shop, we feel overwhelmed by the names of the beverages. However, it isn’t that hard to learn the difference between them. For instance, do you know what’s the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino? It’s simple! Macchiato is filled with milk foam, while a cappuccino is just topped with it.

Frappuccino

Preparation time: 5-10 minutes

Regular size: 10-12 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): ice, espresso, milk (usually sweetened), syrup, whipped cream

There’s so much to love about Frappuccino. This beverage is sweet, flavorful, creamy, and refreshing. Typically, espresso is blended with ice, but some people prefer regular ice cubes combines with the other layers.

What you’ll need: espresso, ice, milk, sweetener of your choice, syrup (optional), blender (optional), whipped cream, large and tall mug.

Who is going to love it: This coffee drink is absolutely perfect for people who have a sweet tooth. It’s also great for a warm summer day when you need your caffeine fix but want something refreshing.

Turkish Coffee

Preparation time: 7-10 minutes Regular size: 4-5 oz. Layers (bottom to top): coffee, water Being a Turkish specialty beverage known to the whole world, this coffee kind has a lot to offer. It is rich, bold, and full-bodied. It has an exquisite aroma and can satisfy pretty much any coffee lover. What you’ll need: finely ground coffee beans, filtered water, cezve (a copper pot), sweetener of your choice. Who is going to love it: If you want a super rich aroma and don’t mind working a bit to get it, then this coffee type would be perfect for you. This beverage involves boiling your coffee grounds in filtered water, so if you aren’t ready to do the extra (or don’t have a special cezve pot), then Turkish coffee isn’t for you.

Irish Coffee

Preparation time: 5-7 minutes

Regular size: 6 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, whiskey, whipped cream

Perfect for a cold night, Irish coffee might remind you more of a cocktail than coffee. But don’t be fooled by its creamy exterior: this beverage will provide you with your desired caffeine fix. Additionally, it will warm you up with a splash of tingly whiskey.

What you’ll need: espresso, Irish whiskey, sweetener of your choice, whipped (or heavy) cream.

Who is going to love it: Irish coffee is ideal for people who want their coffee beverage to come with an interesting twist. It is ideal for those who want their coffee a bit bitter and super rich. Additionally, it’s an awesome way to keep you warm, so Irish coffee is recommended for people who live in a cold climate.

Once you bring your fresh coffee beans home, don’t forget to store them properly. It’s better to use an airtight jar or container. Coffee beans need to be protected from light, air, and moisture. And please, don’t keep them in your fridge or freezer! This will only make them lose their flavor.

Café Cubano

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Regular size: 2-3 oz.

Layers (bottom to top): espresso, hot water, sugar

Café Cubano, which is also known as Cuban coffee (or espresso), is meant to be dark, rich, and sweet. It is diluted with hot water to get rid of the excess acidity but keeps its bitter notes.

What you’ll need: sugar, ground coffee, espresso machine or drip coffee maker, hot filtered water, a small cup.

Who is going to love it: Café Cubano is supposed to be very sweet (4-6 teaspoons of sugar are typically used for each cup), so this beverage is perfect for people who want their coffee strong and sweet. It’s also great for someone who wants to try a bit milder espresso (it’s not too strong thanks to that hot water added).

Yuan Yang

Preparation time: 15 minutes Regular size: 8 oz Layers (bottom to top): espresso, milk tea This coffee beverage is quite unusual but definitely worth trying. It typically consists of 3 parts coffee and 7 parts Hong Kong milk tea (which is usually a combination of brewed black tea and milk). it can be served both hot and cold and combines the strength of coffee and the smoothies of milk, with an interesting flavorful note from the black tea. What you’ll need: espresso, black tea, milk, sweetener of your choice, ice (optional). Who is going to love it: Because Yuan Yang is usually quite strong (coffee plus black tea equals a lot of caffeine), it would be ideal for people who don’t mind drinking something bolder. It also tastes quite unusual, so this beverage would be perfect for coffee lovers who are curious to experiment.

It’s All About the Foundation: Coffee Beans and Their Types

You probably already know that you can’t make a good cup of coffee when your coffee beans aren’t that great. But how do you pick the proper type of coffee beans? Well, you just need to study them and see which one would work better for your particular preferences.

Now, there are many, many types of coffee beans. However, the most popular and widespread ones are Arabica and Robusta. They are the ones you will find in your local coffee shops and at grocery stores.

Single origin coffee beans are selected from one (single) specific geographic location. Such beans usually have a specific flavor, which is characteristic of that particular location. Single origin beans are used for espressos mostly so that milk won’t mask the rich flavor of the coffee beans.

Here’s the deal: Arabica and Robusta make a different cup of coffee. If you want to know which type would be great for you, consider the following characteristics:
  • Robusta has more caffeine than Arabica. That’s also the reason why it may taste a bit burnt to some people.
  • Robusta is lower in acidity.
  • Arabica is sweeter and has higher acidity levels. It also has some fruity, chocolaty, or floral flavor notes.
  • Robusta has a more woody flavor.
  • Robusta is around 3 times cheaper than Arabica.
  • Arabica is very delicate and can be quite hard to grow, which explains its high price and rich chemical composition.
  • Robusta is resistant to weather and doesn’t require too many specific conditions to grow. That’s why it’s higher in caffeine and has fewer flavor compounds than Arabica.

You can try blended coffee beans, which means a combination of different bean origins and flavors. Such blends are usually created to reach a certain flavor and with different coffee-based drinks in mind. Some blended beans are selected specifically to have a bold body and a creamy consistency, while other mixes are used to receive that fresh, fruity flavor, which is perfect for many coffee beverages.

Conclusion

Now you know how rich the coffee world is. And, most importantly, you can enliven your coffee “palette” by introducing new drinks to it. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and maybe you will find that ultimate, perfect drink for yourself!

Have you bookmarked any of these coffee beverage recipes? Which one are you going to make first? Let us know in the comments!

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