It’s true that coffee ranks among the top commodities in the world. The world of coffee itself is pretty vast. But is that why you drink or are so crazy about coffee?
The best thing about coffee is the wide availability of different types of coffee. I mean there are coffee drinks that taste the most delicious with chocolate, caramel, or ice-cream even. Then there are coffees that you enjoy just simple and plain. Ice cold and piping hot are two more options. So it’s the diversity of coffee that appeals the most to coffee aficionados.
Sipping black coffee every single morning not only satisfies your taste buds and caffeine cravings. But it also wakes you up and provides a mental and physical boost. My point here is why devour just black coffee when there are so many more ways for savoring this beverage!
Before I talk about all the different kinds of coffee, let me first discuss the different types of coffee beans and varieties.
Table Of Contents
Coffee 101 – Different Types of Beans
When it comes to coffee species, it’s much the same as fruits and vegetables. Meaning the family has plenty of members. Even then, coffee beans are mainly separated into two parts. And I’m sure you can guess what these two coffee species are, right? There’s Robusta coffee beans and Arabica coffee beans.
Arabica coffee beans make up the greater part of coffee production in the world. That’s around 60-percent of global coffee consumption. Arabica beans are very well-known for their higher-quality. And are mainly grown in the regions of Latin America.
As for Robusta coffee beans, these are comparatively bitter and stronger than Arabica. So that’s the reason why Robusta beans are used for espresso coffee. I mean if you prefer very strong coffee, then you should go for Robusta beans. At the same time, this means they contain a higher level of caffeine. Almost double the amount present in Arabica!
The less popular types of beans include Excelsa and Liberica. These are very rarely sold AND bought in America. The latter grows in the Philippines, and it isn’t imported to the US. As for Excelsa, these beans make up only 7-percent of global coffee consumption. They’re grown in the soil-rich regions of Southeast Asia.
Now if you want to know more about each of these coffee beans, then please keep reading…
Arabica Coffee Beans
If coffee connoisseurs have a favorite, which they certainly do, then it would be, and it certainly is, Arabica. Arabica coffee beans, as I already told you, make up 60-percent of the world production. They’re often known as mountain varieties. And that’s because the beans require a higher altitude to grow. Along with steady rainfall and ample shade.
Not many people know that Arabica coffee beans are very delicate to grow. This means the wrong kind of environment can have a negative impact on the growth and success of the production. What’s more, is that Arabica is prone to attracting diseases too. Plant diseases of course.
Arabica variety offers a brighter body with a more complex aroma and flavor profile. No wonder it’s such a popular choice among serious caffeine lovers. Speaking of preferences, these beans taste best when brewed hot, particularly by manual brewing methods such as pour-over.
One more thing you might want to know. When you add sweeteners and creamers to coffee made of Arabica beans, all the complexity and depth tend to get diluted or overshadowed. Likewise, cold brewing sort of ruins the special essence of Arabica.
Robusta Coffee Beans
This is another very common coffee bean. But it doesn’t match up to the exceptional depth and quality of Arabica. Rather Robusta coffee beans are known for their hardiness and high caffeine content.
In terms of growth, Robusta thrives in a hotter climate and diverse rainfall. The beans here have the ability to tolerate all kinds of altitudes and climates. On top of that, unlike Arabica, Robusta can withstand plant diseases. And it’s this resistance against diseases and unfavorable weather conditions that allows production in larger numbers.
High-quality Robusta coffee beans offer a delightful combination of a heavy body and low acidity. As is expected, these beans prepare a brew that blends well with add-ons like sugar and cream. This explains why Robusta is an ideal choice for Vietnamese coffee. And why it’s more preferred by those who want a caffeine kick.
Liberica Coffee Beans
You may not have heard of Liberica coffee beans until now. Well, if you were alive during the 1890s, then you probably might have known a little something or more about these beans. Because it’s during the 1890s that Liberica coffee beans were put on the map. As a result of coffee rust damaging 90-percent of the global Arabica production.
At that point, the Philippines stepped up to initiate serious production and become the major supplier. And that’s exactly what happened. And the country continues to do so till today.
So what are the special qualities of Liberica coffee beans? They have an incredibly smoky and woody flavor that is full-bodied with a fruity or floral aroma. And the reason why it’s not present in the US is that after the declaration of independence in the Philippines, the trade between the two countries got cut off.
Liberica coffee beans didn’t get the chance to compete with Arabica for the top place. Because by the time the former was re-established, the latter had already taken the top spot in terms of coffee production. And the current scene remains much the same.
Excelsa Coffee Beans
What about the Excelsa variety? These fruity and tart coffee beans are easier to come across than Liberica. Excelsa grows on huge 20-30 feet coffee trees. As for Arabica, it grows on trees with a maximum height of 6 feet.
What Excelsa is the most popular for is the additional layer of depth and complexity it brings to the coffee blend. This means these coffee beans, more often than not, are a part of different blends instead of being sold alone.
Unfortunately, there’s no major difference between the dark and light roasts of Excelsa beans. And that’s why caffeine lovers don’t prefer buying them.
Coffee 101 – Different Types of Varieties
First things first, what really is a coffee variety? In simple words, it’s a term used for classification of the genetic makeup or specific sub-species of the plant of coffee. As for the word ‘varietal’, it’s used to describe the brew produced by a single variety of coffee.
In the world of coffee, coffee varieties include the following…
- Naturally occurring or original varieties.
- Infraspecific hybrids.
- Interspecific hybrids.
I don’t want to get into the specific details since you’re a coffee aficionado and not a botanist. But I am going to talk about the different types of varieties of coffee. But before I do that, please note. That the differences are mainly based on growing requirements and potential. Also, the quality of coffee the manufacturer offers is a clear indicator of how well the variety is grown by them.
Another very important thing you might want to know is this. That all of these varieties come from Arabica coffee beans.
Typical Arabica coffee beans; the perfect definition of this particular coffee variety. It includes some of the best regional coffees like Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain, Java, etc.
Typica coffee variety came into existence in Yemen before it spread wide and far through trade. It reached Indonesia and Malabar India first. And then later eventually got to the West Indies.
It’s the most common Typica sub-variety. Bourbon has been a part of the coffee world since the early 1700. The variety was formed as a result of the Arabica Typica coffee plant growing in the hilly regions of the island of Bourbon. Mutation took place, which lead to the dispersion of this coffee across South and Central America.
The Bourbon variety produces a higher amount of coffee cherries in comparison to any other Typica sub-variety or variety.
Geisha or Gesha
It’s yet another Arabica variety. Named after its place of origin in Ethiopia, Geisha or Gesha was harvested commercially only after the 1950s. The coffee variety here has developed strong coffee-rust resistance. It is primarily grown in the Panama region now. And the trees of Geisha or Gesha are very tall with long leaves that look like beans.
Now, obviously, I’m not going to discuss every possible coffee variety with you here. I mean I don’t want to make the article boring. And I’m sure you’re not even interested in knowing the others. So I have only talked about the most common and popular ones. And I’ve also discussed this part so you understand that all varieties of coffee are somehow interconnected.
So now it’s time for me to list the different types of coffee flavors provided by the different types of coffee. It’s the ultimate guide for genuine coffee lovers!
Coffee 101 – Different Types
What is black coffee really? It’s the combination of coffee and water, minus the milk of course. You can enjoy black coffee even without extra flavors like cream and honey. But when you add such flavorings, you’re only just messing with the color and aroma of coffee. Black coffee then becomes white or light-brown.
However, you should know that black coffee can be served in various ways other than using milk, honey, cream, and the like. So does this pique your interest? Then how about getting to know all the different versions of delicious black coffee.
This type of coffee comes from Italy. And you make espresso simply by running high-pressured steam through coffee grounds. The outcome of this is thick, creamy coffee with foam. And it’s because of this thickness as well as the high caffeine content that makes espresso the base for coffee drinks like Americano.
This type of black coffee is a shot of espresso made in the same way as a normal espresso, but using only half the quantity of water. So the espresso shot prepared here is more concentrated and has a slightly different flavor.
The Italian term “Americano” actually means American coffee. Back during the Second World War, American soldiers stationed in Italy, due to the lack of espresso coffee, used water for rationing the limited amount. So that’s where the name comes from.
Americano base is espresso. So when you add a large amount of hot water in your Americano, you’re weakening the espresso. And thus, turning the small espresso shot into a large beverage.
4. Long Black
If you want something stronger than Americano, then the answer is a long black. You prepare this stronger-tasting black coffee by adding double espresso or ristretto shots and water. The latter should be in a smaller quantity for enhancing the black coffee taste.
5. Drip Coffee
The drip coffee method consists of dripping boiling hot water over coffee grounds. Water runs through the coffee filter and lands into the coffee pot. The process here is slower in comparison to preparing regular espresso. And slower extraction always means a stronger brew.
6. Batch Brew
This particular brewing method might not be a traditional one but it definitely serves dark coffee. More recent coffee makers are equipped with technology that paves the way for high-quality filter coffee. It’s an easier and cheaper way, that’s for sure.
It means double, which implies a double shot of espresso. The coffee passes through the unit’s portafilter equipped with two spouts. In case you didn’t know, doppio is now the newer version of a standard espresso shot.
8. Pour Over Coffee
The pour-over brewing technique involves refreshing the water around the coffee grounds. And it does this continuously.
The coffee brewing method includes a pour-over dripper, filter, and ground coffee. And there are three stages here, each adds to the distinctive taste and quality of pour-over coffee. The first phase is wetting, the second is dissolution, and the third one is diffusion.
9. Instant Coffee
To be honest, it’s the simplest way to prepare a delicious black brew. All you have to do is pour hot water over your favorite coffee and then stir till everything dissolves.
In comparison to other types of black coffee, instant coffee offers a longer lifespan. Plus, it’s even more popular. In Britain alone, instant coffee makes up more than 70-percent of the total coffee sold. But that’s not the case in America (only 7-percent) and France (a meager 1-percent).
10. AeroPress Coffee
For preparing AeroPress coffee, the requirement is to own an AeroPress coffee maker. With this device, you add the metal or paper filter inside the tube. Then allow the coffee to steep for half a minute before pressing it through that filter with the help of the plunger. This filter is responsible for blocking sediments and oils and keep them from invading your cup.
No doubt, AeroPress coffee offers a very distinctive taste.
11. Vacuum Coffee
Now, vacuum coffee pots have been a part of the coffee world for over two centuries. The coffee maker consists of an upper and lower vessel. In the lower vessel, the boiling of water takes place. While the coffee grounds are added to the upper one. The pressure and vacuum generated by the heat push water into the upper vessel to activate the brewing process.
Once you stop the heat, the freshly prepared brew settles into the lower vessel. And ready to be served!
12. Immersion Coffee
You prepare immersion coffee by adding coffee grounds into boiling water. In there, the grounds are allowed to steep for a while, thus enhancing the taste. This brings into the picture one of the most popular methods of brewing. And that is French Press.
Speaking of French Press, it works best when you use coarse coffee grounds. And as for the steeping time, make sure it’s less than 5 minutes.
Now it’s true that black coffee is very popular. But when you bring milk into the sipping experience, your coffee develops an irresistible aroma. Milk-based coffees are also often artistic in terms of appearance. After all, foamed milk paves the way for decorating your coffee in unimaginable ways.
What also matters is that milk-based coffee has a lower level of acidity and caffeine. So you can devour a cup even in the evening. Unlike black coffee, which you should simply avoid at least 6-8 hours before bedtime.
However, just like black coffee, even milk-based coffee comes in different forms.
1. Flat White
This is a very common milk-based coffee that contains espresso with steamed milk. Since a lower quantity of steamed milk is used, the flavor of espresso stands out and even takes over the aroma. The milk is just for supporting the taste.
Everybody knows, even those who don’t drink or like coffee, that cappuccino has milk and espresso. But not many people know how much of each is added for the most delicious taste. For that, you need 1/3rd steamed milk, 1/3rd foamed milk, and 1/3rd espresso.
Plus, you can enjoy cappuccino hot, iced, or with cream in place of milk.
Cappuccino and latte are not the same. The latter contains more milk, which means cappuccino with less milk has the capacity to preserve the strong espresso taste for longer.
Another thing you should know is that latte and flat white are also not the same drink. Flat white coffee has much less content of foamed milk. But latte offers the milkiest aroma.
4. Piccolo Latte
This is a small latte prepared using warm milk and ristretto shot. Baristas and cafes serve piccolo latte in short latte glasses. It looks more like a shot of milk coffee. So this means you can devour such smaller quantities of caffeinated milk 2-3 times in a day. Instead of getting all worked up and overwhelmed after drinking 2-3 cups of full-size milk coffee.
Piccolo latte is also known as Mezzo-Mezzo in Australia and Cataldo in Spanish.
5. Caffe Breve
“Breve” is an Italian word meaning short. It’s the short American version of a latte. And the coffee contains 1/4th espresso, 1/4th foamed milk, and 1/2 steamed milk. Since a larger amount of steamed milk is used, I mean half the coffee is steamed milk, the consistency is thicker in comparison to a regular latte.
If you ask me, it’s the richest type of milk-based coffee. So there’s no need for adding sugar or other sweeteners. No wonder Caffe Breve is such a popular dessert beverage as well.
This is strong coffee in the form of a shot containing just a very small quantity of milk. Macchiato is nothing but a shot of espresso combined with a dash of fresh milk. But this has now become traditional macchiato. There’s another modern version with steamed milk topping. Much like a mini, foamy version of flat white.
7. Latte Macchiato
This translates into stained milk. The coffee, in this case, is milk stained by espresso. So the ingredients here are the same as the ones added for preparing Caffe Latte. The only difference is that latte macchiato is made as well as served differently.
The perfect cup is a tall glass where you can see all those layers. The foam layer is at the top, then comes the espresso layer in the middle, and at the bottom lies the milk.
This type of milk-based coffee is a blend of steamed milk and espresso. But it has a flat texture, unlike frothy cappuccinos and lattes. The amount of foam is much less. The quantity of milk should either be equal to or double the amount of milk.
Cortado coffee is often served in a special glass built with a metal-wired handle as well as base. Usually, the glass capacity is 150ml to 200ml. This type of milk-based coffee is quite popular in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America.
Cortado coffee’s very popular variation is Gibraltar coffee. This is San Francisco cult coffee served in the very popular Gibraltar glasses. The texture is thicker than typical Cortado and the coffee is slightly colder too.
Traditional Gibraltar is prepared using a shot of espresso with 85ml milk. You add this to a heated Gibraltar glass. Let me bring to your attention that Gibraltar glasses don’t preserve heat. So your coffee gets cold pretty quickly. Meaning you have to gobble it down quickly.
The mochaccino version of milk-based coffee is a café latte variety. The coffee is made with two shots of espresso and foamed milk. Along with additional flavorings like whipped cream, cinnamon, etc. But the tantalizing aroma of mochaccino comes from chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.
The coffee is like creamy chocolate, ideal for coffee noobs. It’s the entryway to the world of coffee if you ask me.
Ask a true cold coffee enthusiast, and he/she will tell you just how refreshing and soothing the beverage really is. There’s no doubt iced coffee strikes the most delicious balance of soothing aroma and refreshing taste.
The flavor of iced or cold coffee is always a little bit different than regular coffee. You can prepare it hot and then later add cold milk, ice cubes, or ice-cream even.
1. Cold Brew Coffee
The easiest-to-make cold brew contains coffee grounds mixed with cold water. Stir the coffee and then keep it in your refrigerator overnight. In the morning, strain the coffee for getting rid of any sediments or such. And then serve.
One of the most appealing benefits of drinking cold brew is the lower level of caffeine. The solubility of caffeine is controlled by temperature. Meaning high temperature dissolves a larger amount of caffeine.
But that should mean cold temperature yields more caffeine, right? Not if you keep the brew-to-water ratio the same. In that case, a cold brew has comparatively lesser caffeine than hot coffee.
2. Nitro Coffee
This is a modern version of cold-served coffee with a beer-like, creamy feel. I say beer-like because the coffee is served in beer kegs. As for the abundant thickness of the coffee, nitrogen infused into the coffee is responsible for that.
3. Japanese Iced Coffee
The iced coffee here is brewed using hot water. And then it’s poured over ice immediately. When hot coffee comes in contact with freezing-cold ice, all the delicious flavors of the coffee are released. Otherwise, something like this usually takes several hours.
4. Espresso Tonic
For the most refreshing version of iced coffee, turn to espresso tonic. This has two espresso shots that are cooled and then later added to a glass filled with ice cubes. You also bring in lime juice and tonic water. Just make sure to pour the espresso shots and tonic water slowly and together.
The different kinds of black, milk-based, and iced/cold coffees I’ve discussed so far are common to find. Most of them come from the cafes and cuisines of Italy and America. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other cultures too that provide the coffee world with more variety in terms of distinctive aroma and unique taste. The proof of that lies below…
1. Turkish Coffee
For a delicious cup of Turkish coffee, you require coffee grounds belonging to the fine grind size category. Along with the traditional Turkish pot known as Cezve.
You begin by heating sugar and water in the pot. Once it all starts to boil, add the coffee grounds. Feel free to re-heat for achieving the desirable froth.
The only downside here is that the coffee is unfiltered. This means you’re going to have to deal with coffee powder remnants in your cup.
2. Vietnamese Coffee
This type of coffee is dripped through the Vietnamese small, metal filter. You can sip it cold or hot with the sweetened version of milk. But, more importantly, eggs are also a part of Vietnamese coffee. Beaten egg yolks are added along with sugar, coffee, and condensed milk.
The Swedish variant, on the other hand, is prepared without any milk.
3. Bulletproof Coffee
Coffee prepared with a combination of unsalted butter, coconut oil, and brewed coffee is bulletproof coffee. It’s the perfect type of coffee for those on a low-carb, high-fat diet. It’s an ideal alternative to breakfast.
Then there’s butter coffee as well. Now, this is packed with unsalted butter and brewed coffee. Along with MCTs (Medium-Chain Triglycerides). The thing about MCTs is that they get easily digested and are widely available in the form of oil.
4. Cascara Coffee
More on the spectrum of tea than coffee, cascara coffee consists of coffee cherry leaves in place of coffee beans. The cherry leaves here provide constipation and digestion relief.
5. Kopi Luwak
I’m going to be completely honest with you here, Kopi Luwak coffee is not a drink for everyone. The coffee is made from the excrements of Asian palm civet. This is a small, coffee cherry-eating viverrid.
Cherries tend to ferment at the time of digestion. And the farmers of Kopi Luwak collect them. No doubt, Kopi Luwak coffee is exotic, thus very high-priced too.
This type of coffee is special Italian coffee made with a hot shot of espresso poured over vanilla ice-cream. Other versions of affogato also include an amaretto shot or an alcoholic beverage.
7. Irish Coffee
When you mix whiskey, sugar, and hot coffee, you get Irish coffee. It is a very popular derivative of conventional coffee all over the world.
It doesn’t matter what type of coffee you’re drinking. I mean, as long as it tastes delicious, smells aromatic, and provides the caffeine boost, it’s all good. So long as you feel happy and alert in the morning, you don’t care about what kind of coffee it is you’re drinking, right?
No wonder there are so many variations out there. Some prefer milk-based coffees like cappuccino, latte, macchiato, etc. And then there are die-hard caffeine fanatics, much like me, who enjoy black coffee. I mean nothing beats the bold, rich, and horse-kicking strength of espresso and Americano. And the same can be said about refreshing, soothing iced/cold coffees.
So, in this article, I have discussed all the different styles of coffee and coffee brewing. If you don’t like one, you have so many more to experiment with. Isn’t that amazing considering how much you’re crazy about coffee!