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Types of coffee

With so many different varieties of beans and drinks to choose from, coffee may indeed be intimidating. It doesn't have to be that way! To arm yourself with some above-average coffee knowledge, all it takes is a little time and minimal effort (promise!). After reading this no-nonsense guide to coffee, you'll be ready to stroll into any grocery store or coffee shop and get your fix—whether it's a bag of Arabica whole beans or a cortado to go. Oh, and if you need a place to start for homebrews, we have some recommendations for the best coffee beans to grind and brew at home, as well as the best coffee makers.

Arabica and Robusta are the two primary types of coffee beans to be informed of. Those are the ones you'll usually find at supermarkets. The names are derived from the coffee tree species on which the beans are grown. Let's take a closer look at the distinctions.


It has a lower caffeine concentration than Robusta, and you can drink it black or make whatever coffee drink you desire with it. It also accounts for the bulk of the world's coffee, even though the fact that it's a difficult crop to grow due to its unique growing conditions. Arabica coffee makes up the majority of specialty coffee.


Robusta is the second most popular coffee variety. It offers a lot more caffeine than Arabica, but the taste isn't as good. It's harsh and has fewer lipids and carbohydrates than Arabica beans, so it's not as pleasant. It is also less expensive to buy because it is cheaper and easier to create. It's commonly found in espresso and instant coffee mixes.

There are numerous sorts of coffee drinks, not to mention the numerous variants and ingredients that can be added to them. Unless you're on a mission to try every sort of coffee drink known to man, which would take decades, understanding the most popular coffee drinks is a decent place to start. Take note of these common coffee drinks, which range from an Americano to a ristretto.


Black coffee is as basic as it gets! It's made with ground coffee beans soaked in hot water and consumed immediately after brewing without any milk, creamer, or other additives.


An Americano is created by diluting espresso with hot water, giving it a strength equivalent to that of ordinary brewed coffee but a different flavor. The flavor is determined by the number of espresso shots and the amount of water used.


Espresso is a thick, concentrated type of coffee that is typically served as a shot or used as the base for most coffee drinks. Espresso machines pressurize and fire near-boiling water through finely crushed beans to achieve that caffeine-packed shot.


You can drink it without even realizing it! A double shot of espresso is known as a doppio.


Espresso, heated milk, and a small amount of froth on top make up a latte. It's one of the most widely consumed coffee beverages. You may order it plain or with a flavor shot, and it should come with amazing latte art on top if you get it at a coffee shop (or make it yourself).


A cappuccino is just an espresso drink with more foam than heated milk. It's commonly served with a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder on top, and some varieties utilize cream instead of milk.


Half espresso and half steamed milk make up this tiny coffee drink. The acidity of the espresso is reduced as a result. While the milk is heated, it isn't as foamy as some other drinks.


A macchiato is similar to a cappuccino, except it has less heated milk than a cappuccino, making it stronger. Macchiato is an Italian word that means "stained" or "spotted."

Cafe au Lait

This drink is produced by pouring hot milk into strongly brewed coffee (not espresso!) instead of cold milk. It usually has an equal mix of the two.


Affogato is the ideal treat for coffee and dessert connoisseurs alike. A scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream is drenched with hot espresso.

Irish Coffee

Don't let the name fool you: Irish coffee is a coffee-based drink. It's made with hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sometimes sugar, all of which are swirled together and topped with cream.

What are some of your favorite ways of enjoying a cup of coffee?

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