Types Of Coffee Drinks

What's with all the different coffee drinks these days?

How many different kinds of coffee drinks are you familiar with? There are nowadays so many different drinks to choose from. It can be hard to know what to order sometimes.

When you go in to a coffee, shop there are often quite a few varieties of coffee drinks available. It's not always easy to remember the differences between the many kinds of coffee drinks, so here is a list of some of the more common coffee drinks you may encounter.


Americano: A single shot of espresso with about 7 ounces of hot water added. The name for this coffee drink originates from an insult to "uncouth" Americans who were wussies who couldn't drink full espressos.

A Shot in the Dark: Same as Hammerhead.

Black coffee: A drip brew, percolated or French press style coffee drink, served straight, containing no milk.

Cafe au Lait: Similar to Caffe Latte, except that an au lait is made with brewed coffee instead of espresso. Additionally, the ratio of milk to coffee is 1:1, making for a much less intense taste.

Cafe Breva: A cappuccino made with half and half milk, instead of whole milk. The idea here is that this gives it a richer, creamier flavour. Remember that half and half milk is much harder to foam.

Caffe Latte: Essentially, a single shot of espresso in steamed (not frothed) milk. The ratio of milk to coffee should be about 3:1, but you should be aware that latte in Italian means ‘milk’, so be careful ordering one when in Rome.

Cafe Macchiato: A shot of espresso with steamed milk added. The ratio of coffee to milk is approximately 4:1.

Cappuccino: Equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, often with cinnamon or flaked chocolate sprinkled on top. Sometimes coffee shops will add more milk, so that the customer will get a bigger drink out of the deal, but that results in a weaker coffee. 

Corretto: literally “corrected” espresso – you add a shot of Brandy, Whiskey, or other liquor.

Double, or Double Shot: This is two shots of espresso mixed in with the regular amount of additional ingredients.

Dry Cappuccino: A regular cappuccino, only with a smaller amount of foam, and no steamed milk at all.

Espresso Con Panna: Your basic standard espresso with a shot of whipped cream on top.

Espresso Doppio: Double shot of espresso

Flavored coffee: Comes from ethnic traditions, where syrups, flavorings, and/or spices are added to give the coffee a tinge of something else. Chocolate is the most common additive, either sprinkled on top or added in syrup form, while other favorites include cinnamon, nutmeg, and Italian syrups.

Frappe: Popular in parts of Europe and Latin America, especially during the summer months. Originally it was a cold espresso, but it has more recently been prepared by putting 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee with sugar, water and ice. The drink is served in a long glass.

Freddo: Chilled espresso, great on hot summer days.

Greek Coffee: Same as Turkish Coffee.

Hammerhead: A shot of espresso in a regular-sized coffee cup, filled with drip coffee. Also known as a Shot in the Dark.

Iced coffee: A regular coffee served with ice, often milk and sugar is added.

Indian (Madras) filter coffee: A common brew in the south of India, Indian filter coffee is made from rough ground, dark-roasted coffee Arabica or Peaberry beans. It’s drip-brewed for several hours in a traditional metal coffee filter before being served. The ratio of coffee to milk is usually 3:1.

Instant coffee: These grounds have usually been freeze-dried and turned into soluble powder or coffee granules. Basically, instant coffee is for those that prefer speed and convenience over quality. Though some prefer instant coffee to the real thing, there’s just no accounting for taste.

Irish coffee: A coffee with Irish whiskey, with cream on top. A great drink to warm you up on a cold winter night.

Kopi Tubruk: An Indonesian-style coffee that is very similar to Turkish and Greek in that it’s very thick, but the coarse coffee grounds are actually boiled together with a solid piece of sugar. The islands of Java and Bali tend to drink this brew.

Lungo: One for the aficionados, this is an extra long pull that allows somewhere around twice as much water as normal to pass through the coffee grounds usually used for a single shot of espresso. In technical terms, it’s a 2-3 ounce shot.

Macchiato: Same as Cafe Macchiato.

Melya: A coffee mixed with 1 teaspoon of unsweetened powdered cocoa and drizzled honey. Sometimes served with cream.

Mocha: This popular drink is very similar to a Cappuccino or Latte, with chocolate syrup added to the mix. It is a sweet drink, and perfect for those who are not used to drinking coffee drinks.

Oliang/Oleng: A stronger version of Thai coffee, Oliang is a blend of coffee and other ingredients such as corn, soy beans, and sesame seeds. Traditionally brewed with a “tung tom kah fe”, or a metal ring with a handle and a muslin-like cloth bag attached.

Ristretto: The opposite of a Lungo, the name of this variety of coffee means ‘restricted’, which means less water is pushed through the coffee grounds than normal, even though the shot would take the same amount of time as normal for the coffee maker to pull. If you want to get technical, it’s about a 0.75 ounce pull.

Romano – regular Espresso served with a slice of lemon peel on the side.

Soluble Coffee: Same as Instant Coffee.

Turkish Coffee: Made by boiling finely ground coffee and water together to form a muddy, thick coffee mix. In fact, the strongest Turkish coffee can almost keep a spoon standing upright. It’s often made in what’s known as an Ibrik, a long-handled, open, brass or copper pot. It is then poured, unfiltered, into tiny Demitasse cups, with the fine grounds included. It’s then left to settle for a while before serving, with sugar and spices often added to the cup.

Vietnamese style coffee: A drink made by dripping hot water though a metal mesh, with the intense brew then poured over ice and sweetened, condensed milk. This process uses a lot more coffee grounds and is thus a lot slower than most kinds of brewing.

White coffee: A black coffee with added milk.