Decoded: Different Types Of Coffee

You walk into a coffee shop, look at the menu, and see twenty variations of ten different types of coffee. Unless you’re a caffeine connoisseur, the many different types of coffee can be overwhelming. This doesn’t even cover how many different types of methods coffee can be brewed! How will you know where to start?

The easiest place to begin is by organizing by types of coffee commonly available on cafe menus. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll go through all the different types of coffee filtered by containing milk, and containing no milk.

No Milk

Black coffee

Usually made with single origin beans, black coffee is brewed and served without any additions of cream, sugar, or milk.


Very potent and pure coffee made with high-pressure water and finely ground coffee beans. Served as a single shot, there are many variations of espresso that add lime, ice, or sugar.

Caffe Americano

Consists of a shot of espresso with water added to reduce the caffeine strength relative to volume. Tastes different than regular drip coffee because of the high-pressure water brewing method.


A double shot of espresso, commonly served in an espresso cup.


A shot of espresso, but with half the amount of water. Results in a deeply concentrated coffee flavor and fuller-bodied extraction.

Caffe Gommosa

Espresso served over a single marshmallow. Told you there are lots of different types of variations of an espresso!



A three-layered coffee drink that has an espresso base, a shot of steamed milk, and topped with milk foam. Commonly garnished with chocolate powder or chocolate shavings.


An espresso-based drink that has a higher ratio of milk than espresso. Commonly made at a 1:3 or 1:5 ratio with steamed milk.


Similar to a cappuccino, but doesn’t include steamed milk and served in an espresso cup.


Think fast-coffee Mocha drinks -- sugary latte goodness topped with whipped cream and syrup of choice.


An espresso-based drink made with half-and-half, sometimes topped with milk foam.   

Cafe au lait

Coffee drink with a 1:1 ratio of milk and strong coffee. The difference between this and a caffe au lait is that those are made with espresso shots.

Ca phe sua da

Vietnamese Iced coffee. Made by mixing a small amount of condensed milk with black coffee and served over ice.

Chai latte

An espresso based drink made with concentrated spiced tea and steamed milk. Popular variations include the addition of matcha.

Irish coffee

A coffee-based drink that includes a shot of whiskey, added sugar, and topped with cream.


Does ice cream count as milk? Affogato is an italian dessert that’s similar to an ice cream float. It consists of a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream in a shot of espresso.

Quiz Time! Just kidding

There are countless other types of coffee available in the world, not to mention all the different extraction methods or coffee bean types! Ultimately, you’ll never know what you like until you try all the different types of coffee, but this guide should help the next time you’re feeling up for something new.

Speaking of new things, stay tuned for next week’s blog, which will cover the different types of brewing techniques!  

  • Jan 18, 2019
  • Category: News
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