Do you know who discovered coffee – or how many types of coffee there are?
Well, nobody is quite sure!
The history of a coffee bean can be linked to its origins in Ethiopia where a shepherd noticed his goats becoming hyperactive after they chewed on a kind of berry.
This Ethiopian discovery later spread to Arabia, and from there to Europe and the rest of the world.
Interestingly enough, coffee was initially attacked as being a bitter invention of the Devil – until Pope Clement VIII approved of the delicious brew.
Today millions around the world enjoy this popular drink. And although they are all made from coffee beans, there are many different types of coffee.
And many different types of coffee machines and coffee makers.
These types of coffee vary by the method of preparation, ratio of liquids, added flavors, and more.
Let’s explore some of the types of coffee – and maybe you’ll discover one that you’ve not tried before!
Types of Coffee – By Origin
Made in Italy – but for Americans! That’s the story of a type of coffee known as a caffe latte.
American visitors found the cappuccino too strong for their taste and wished for a milder caffeine drink. So a milkier version of the morning coffee evolved.
Served in a glass rather than a mug, a latte has espresso and steamed milk with hardly any foam. With more milk than coffee, a latte almost tunes out the flavor while still delivering a caffeine kick.
Syrups and sprinkles add unique flavors to a latte, making it one of the best types of coffee to experiment and innovate with.
Innovated for American GIs in Italy during WW2, the espresso adaptation intended to replace black coffee they’d enjoyed at home.
An Americano is prepared from a concentrated type of coffee – the espresso. Americanos are punchy and sweet. As the espresso gradually melts into water, your drink grows weaker.
A delicious drink to sip along with your warm toasted croissant for breakfast, a cappuccino is made from milk, sugar and coffee – often with some whipped cream.
Though many think that a cappuccino is an Italian coffee, it actually originated from Austria.
There’s no hard and fast rule for making a cappuccino. Espresso, steamed milk and creamy foam in a ratio of 1:1:1 turns into a layered coffee drink that’s readily distinguished from other milky coffees.
It’s tasty, creamy, and offers an early morning jolt of caffeine. What’s not to like about this type of coffee?
Lovers of milky types of coffee prefer a cappuccino – or the stronger macchiato.
You may drink a macchiato as a ‘wake me up‘ in the morning – or ‘power me back’ to push through a post-lunch slump. It’s strong and offers a jolt of caffeine quite like an espresso.
In fact, a good macchiato only barely has a dash of milk – maybe a tablespoonful or two… and is even served like an espresso in a tiny cup.
One of the other types of coffee – a latte macchiato – however might have plenty of milk.
The name is a reference to the port of Al Moka in Yemen where a type of coffee bean grows. Mocha beans have a yellow-green tint that’s different from a typical brown color… as well as a chocolate-like flavor.
A mocha is made of coffee, chocolate and cream. Both dark and white chocolate may be used, or even chocolate syrup or powder.
There are different ways to whip up a mocha, but the drink always contains these three ingredients.
Which is why… a mocha by any name would taste just as yummy!
6. Cold Brew
All types of coffee involve steeping coffee grounds in hot water. All types of coffee except a cold brew, that is!
It’s a Japanese technique dating from the early 17th century when tea was steeped in cold water. The Dutch traders tried the same with coffee.
Modern cold brew coffee is made with water that is cold or at room temperature. Coffee grounds are steeped for 12 hours or longer.
It’s a cool, smooth, less acidic drink with a pleasant flavor… which still delivers a caffeine punch.
Types of Coffee – By Composition
Emerging from Basque country, the cortado gets its name from the milk that helps “to cut” the acidity of espresso. Made from equal parts of espresso and milk, a cortado has no foam or froth.
So… no layers, no creamy feel, no intense caffeine high… just a nicely balanced coffee.
There’s just one standard size. Drink it in a little glass or metal tumbler.
8. Red Eye
‘Taking the red eye‘ means long haul travel from coast to coast, by plane, train or bus across time zones, to arrive red-eyed at your destination.
Well, no surprise then that a type of coffee is named after it. Nor that it’s a really strong drink.
A red eye is a mix of coffee – with even more coffee.
Think drip coffee mixed with an espresso shot. No milk, or water, or anything else to dilute it. It’s intense but effective – at waking you up and keeping you alert.
Stronger red eyes can have extra espresso shots. It’s the ultimate pick me up type of coffee.
9. Long Black
What’s the difference between an Americano and long black? Well, almost nothing!
Both have espresso and water.
But while an Americano is prepared by adding hot water to an espresso shot… a long black is made by adding espresso to a cup of hot water.
It results in a layer of froth called a crema – and a more intense and concentrated type of coffee. Good quality coffee beans make for a more delicious drink.
10. Flat White
This type of coffee is espresso-based with the addition of steamed milk and a layer of milk foam. Although similar to a latte, the flat white is a much smaller drink.
It is also creamier and made with a fine-textured microfoam milk.
11. Cafe au Lait
Plain and simple coffee with milk is a favorite silky smooth drink.
It is brewed with hot milk and a dark roast coffee in equal measures. The result is a well-balanced and mildly flavored type of coffee that might seem plain but packs a punch.
You could always make this simple drink more interesting with cinnamon powder or by using flavored beans.
This indulgent type of coffee is prepared by pouring a hot shot of espresso over vanilla ice cream.
Despite argument over whether it’s a dessert or drink, everyone agrees that it’s an intense caffeinated beverage that’s delicious as well.
Enjoy an Affogato before the ice cream melts.
Any espresso will do – and you can top it with caramel drizzle or chocolate… maybe even eat it with a brownie or cookie.
Types of Coffee – By Region
13. Espresso Romano
In the post war Rome of the 1940s, some enterprising barista thought to add lemon in coffee to hide its poor flavor. Today, an espresso Romano refers to any types of coffee – hot, cold or iced – with lemon in it.
It’s often served as an espresso shot along with sugar and lemon. The citrus sharpens the coffee’s flavor and even aids with digestion.
14. Turkish Coffee
Brewed in a long-handled pot called a cezve, Turkish coffee boils over until it’s served in a cup. It’s often served along with a Turkish delight.
Frothy Turkish coffee isn’t filtered, so beware of coffee grounds towards the end. Ritually, a Turkish bride makes this type of coffee for her future husband at the time of matchmaking.
15. Cuban Coffee
One of the types of coffee that looks like an espresso is a cafe cubano, a foamy espresso brewed on a stove.
Beating coffee with demerara sugar in a cup before pouring the brewed drink over it makes a thick, sweet and syrupy-creamy beverage no bigger than a shot of espresso.
You could add steamed milk to make it a cortadito instead. In Cuba, this is a social drink that people sip as they sit around and chat – while munching on toast.
16. Irish Coffee
A cocktail whipped up with two parts of freshly brewed coffee and one part of Irish whiskey, this delicious drink can be served with whipped cream and demerara sugar.
An Irish coffee is a great choice as a warming cuppa on cold winter nights.
17. Vienna Coffee
Espresso and a lot of whipped cream along with chocolate makes up this decadent type of coffee. It’s served in a tall glass that can take up as much cream as you like.
Oh, and if you don’t like chocolate, add in sprinkles, cocoa powder or chocolate syrup instead.
Or maybe try them all!
18. Vietnamese Coffee
Made from condensed milk added to espresso, this type of coffee quickly became a popular favorite in the French colony in South Asia.
Brewed in a special filter, you add coffee grounds and permit hot water to slowly drip onto it. After extracting its goodness, the coffee fills a glass with condensed milk.
Dark roasted Robusta beans make delicious Vietnamese coffee. Even bitter beans are nicely complemented by sweet condensed milk.
19. Mexican Coffee
One of the other types of coffee that offers a little more kick is a coffee cocktail with liqueur, tequila and 5 oz of hot coffee.
Mix together the coffee and alcohol before topping it up with whipped cream and cinnamon powder for a delicious beverage.
Types of Coffee – By Preparation
An ice-blended type of coffee, a frappe ranks among flavored cold coffees even though it stands apart from that crowd.
It was invented in Greece when a sales rep mixed instant coffee with cold water and shook it vigorously to create a frothy frappe.
Served over ice, this drink is ideal for relaxing on warm afternoons.
21. Drip Coffee
One of the types of coffee most of us find familiar and comforting is the simple kind made using a drip coffee maker.
Prepared with a percolator, pour over or French press, drip coffee isn’t quite as plain as you’d imagine. You can roast coffee in different ways, or alter the flavor with add-ons.
Maybe it’s a little weaker than espresso, but you can consume it in larger amounts to provide a stimulating thrust.
22. Bulletproof Coffee
Of all the types of coffee that have caught the public imagination, nothing has like bulletproof coffee. A Tibetan invention that mixed yak butter with tea sparked off the idea of a coffee drink that blended in grass-fed butter.
Made by mixing brewed coffee along with oil and unsalted butter or ghee, this high-fat, high-calorie coffee is an integral component of keto diets.
So there you have it…
22 types of coffee that are versatile yet delicious, varied yet comfortingly similar and familiar.
Hopefully this has answered all your doubts about the different types of coffee.
With what you’ve learned here about the various types of coffee, you’ll now be able to confidently order your next coffee.
And enjoy it!
If you want to know about any other types of coffee, please leave a comment below.