The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Coffees and Espresso

If you have ever been to a cafe or coffee shop, you know their coffee menu can be at times overwhelming. There are many coffee types to choose from that it is difficult to understand the difference between each drink. To help you out, we will explore the most popular coffee drinks and give you a glimpse of how to make them so you can keep up with current coffee trends.


Different Coffee Drinks

Most coffee drinks available in most coffee stores contain three common ingredients: espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Add-ons are optional and can be entirely based on your customer’s unique preferences. The following are the popular coffee drinks in the markers, and some of them you may consider adding to your menu.


The espresso, also known as a short black, is a highly concentrated coffee that can give you the purest coffee experience. Espressos are intense, flavorful, and are relatively bitter. Timing is essential in making the perfect shot of espresso.

To make one espresso shot, shoot boiling water under hot pressure while brewing the ground coffee very finely. This process we call ‘pulling a shot.’ The hot water needs to pass through a span of at least 25 to 30 seconds to get a good brew. The red-brown froth on top will form air bubbles that will produce a unique aroma to the espresso. The unique aroma is a sign of a perfect espresso shot.

Most coffee drinkers enjoy an espresso on their own. But it is also the foundation for the majority of other coffees on this list when mixed with other ingredients. The espresso is considered the ‘king’ of coffee. It may look easier to do, but it can be hard to master.

Double Espresso (Doppio)

A doppio is two espresso shots in one single-serve capsule. It has a strong aroma and intense taste in comparison to standard espresso. It is usually extracted from a larger dose to create the extra volume but with the same taste. A doppio will satisfy a coffee craving of any size.

While some espresso drinkers do not prefer any add-ons (milk, cream, or sugar) to their coffee, everyone has their unique taste. Add any coffee sides and enjoy the double espresso flavor.


The Café Americano is one of the favorite morning drinks among caffeine lovers. It is an espresso that has been diluted with hot water. It is known for its strong and bitter taste just like an espresso, but Americano has higher water content with no milky texture.

The Americano is often referred to as filtered coffee. It is due to its brewing method, which is using a filter a machine, or drip coffee.

Fun fact: The Americano is a popular breakfast drink and believes to have originated during World War II. Back then, soldiers would mix water with their coffee to extend their rations. The water dilutes the standard espresso while still maintaining a high caffeine level.

Long Black

If you like Coffee Americanos but need something stronger, then a long black might be your cup of tea (or coffee, rather).

Many coffee-drinkers still confused long black with an Americano due to their similar appearance. It originated in Australia and New Zealand and is usually made by pouring two shots of espresso over hot water. This way, the beverage retains its creaminess and is less voluminous, giving your long black a strong flavor.


The cappuccino often steals the show when it comes to one of the most popular coffee drinks not only in Australia but in the world. To make the perfect cappuccino, it needs a balance of its three main components. A shot of espresso, a shot of steamed milk, and a layer of froth milk. Cappuccinos are often adorned with chocolate to add a unique blend.

With its milky texture and higher caffeine content, cappuccino is one of the top must-have coffee lists.

Latte (Café au lait)

Latte is a fairly popular option for coffee drinkers. It consists of steamed milk and a single shot of coffee. Lattes are usually frothy, and you will occasionally encounter coffee shops that cannot differentiate a latter from a flat white.

Popular in Italy as café au lait, this espresso-based drink is the mildest one on the menu. It has less milk than a cappuccino and has a sweeter side. You can also add flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and hazelnut to customise its taste. Latte is the perfect drink If you love your milk more than your coffee.


A mocha or mochaccino is a chocolate-flavored type of coffee latte, sometimes topped with whipped cream. If anything, mocha is a good entry-level coffee for new drinkers. It a coffee and hot chocolate hybrid.

Depending on the amount of chocolate and milk, a mocha will vary in strength and taste. Mocha drinks tend to be sweet and high in calories.

Flat White

The Flat White is another popular breakfast drink to kickstart your day. This drink is quite similar to a cappuccino with a less chocolatey taste. Flat white is more of a dairy-heavy beverage with a strong coffee taste and a thin layer of micro-foam. Similar to espresso, the flat white is very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries often claim to invent this creamy beverage.

A flat white is a perfect choice for those who love milk with a pinch of tasteful coffee.

Macchiato (Piccolo Latte)

Macchiato is the espresso’s edgy sibling. It is an espresso with a dollop of foamed milk on top. However, the macchiato is a milder version of espresso, and you can opt for short macchiatos or long macchiatos.

The word ‘macchiato’ is equivalent to mark or stain. When making this drink, there is a mark from the steamed milk found on the top surface. Flavoring syrups are often added to macchiato to reach customer’s preferences.


The term ‘cortado‘ means the cut. It refers to the cutting of the steamed milk through the intensity of the espresso.

A cortado is a small-sized coffee beverage containing espresso and warm milk. This drink is made one step further from when brewing a macchiato. You need to evenly balance the espresso with warm milk to lessen its acidity.


The affogato is not a pure-coffee drink at all. We describe it as the perfect choice for post-meal coffee and dessert dilemma. An affogato is made with a shot of espresso poured over a dessert.

Most affogatos serve as dessert coffee than a drink you would find in a coffee shop, but an affogato can add a fun twist to your menu.

Con Panna

The Con Panna is first served in Europe with whipped cream on an espresso shot. This drink is otherwise known as ‘espresso with cream.’ Coffee drinkers have an option whether they like their con Panna sweetened or not.

Irish Coffee

Simply put, Irish coffee is a combination of Irish whiskey and cream. These are easy to make and enjoyed by many drinkers in the mornings and evenings. Variation of the Irish coffee range wildly. You can add something unexpected and tweak its main ingredient.

With this long list of coffee drinks available, we recommend taking a barista course to learn their difference and how to make them. You can be a current or aspiring barista or someone who simply wants to know their coffee.

Regardless of why and what coffee you are drinking, what matters is how you like its taste and smell. Choose from this long list of coffee and espresso-based drink that keeps you alert and happy.