Types of coffee explained

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coffee-typesRegardless of why you’re drinking coffee, what matters most is how it tastes, smells, and whether or not it makes you feel alert and happy in the morning. That being said, everyone has their favourite order – perhaps a latte, a piccolo, or maybe a long black.

We checked online to see how many types of coffee beverages there are… it turns out, it’s quite a lot. Over thirty different types were listed on one website, and more than forty on another. To save us all some time, we will confine this list to the most commonplace coffees available, and what many Canstar Blue staff deem the most delicious.

Did we forget your favourite type of coffee? Let us know and we’ll add it into the article and give you a shout out!

Caffè Americano                                                                                                                   

You can make this type of coffee quite simply by adding hot water to a shot of espresso coffee. It has been said that American soldiers during the Second World War 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 option for coffee drinkers, a latte consists steamed (or scolded) milk and a single shot of coffee. It is usually quite frothy, and you’ll occasionally encounter cafes that don’t understand the difference between this and a flat white.

Cappuccino

Possibly the most popular type of coffee in the world, a cappuccino consists of three layers (kind of like a cake). The first is a shot of espresso, then a shot of steamed milk, and finally the barista adds a layer of frothed, foamy milk. This final layer can also be topped with chocolate shavings or powder. Traditionally, Italians would consume this type of coffee at breakfast.

Espresso

To make an espresso, shoot boiling water under high pressure through finely ground up coffee beans and then pour into a tiny mug. Sounds simple right? Well, it’s surprisingly difficult to master. 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

The most Aussie coffees available are the long black and the flat white – as both originated in Australia and New Zealand. 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 is now popular among mums and dads at school fetes who are desperately trying to stay awake.

Long Black

Hot water is poured into a cup, and then two shots of espresso are poured into the water. If you do the inverse of this, it will result in an Americano. Long blacks can be quite strong, and have more crema (a creamy foam that tops espresso shots) than an Americano.

Irish Coffee

If a stranger offers you an Irish coffee, beware – because too many of these and you’ll be dancing on your local coffee shop counter. This type of coffee is brewed with whiskey, sugar, and a thick layer of cream on the top – and isn’t readily available in Australia due to its alcohol content.  Be warned that trying to make this with scotch doesn’t work with instant coffee…trust us.

Macchiato (also known as a Piccolo Latte)

Although it has similarities to a cappuccino, a macchiato is different in that it is a shot of espresso which is then topped off with foamed milk dashed directly into the cup.

Vienna

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 melding of the strong flavours of straight espresso, with the smoothness of sugary cream.

Mochachino

A ‘mocha’ is just a latte with added chocolate powder or syrup, as well as sometimes being topped with whipped cream. If anything, this is a good entry level coffee – living in the worlds between the childlike hot chocolate and the adult café latte.

Affogato

Affogatos aren’t a coffee at all really, as they’re a shot of espresso poured over a desert (usually ice cream). That doesn’t make them any less delicious though.

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