Different Types of Coffee Drinks

Hopefully by reading this simple guide to the world’s most popular types of coffee drinks will give you a better idea next time you either make one yourself or order it in a cafe.

Latte, espresso, cappuccino, americano – what’s your favourite ?

types of coffee drinks

With so many different types it becomes a whole big language itself! That’s why this guide will explain the differences and how they’re made.

Most drink are made with a cappuccino machine (like Bean to Cup) and share three common variable ingredients: espresso, foam and steamed milk. So basically to make them you’ll need to alter the proportions to suit.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao 

Some people like to add some toppings to drinks like chocolate and cinnamon dusting

Popular coffee drinks


espresso coffee drink

Originating from Italy, it’s a very strong dark coffee and using an espresso machine to force a small amount of nearly boiling water and steam. This is then forced through fine ground compacted coffee beans.

As would expect it’s very concentrated drink and forms the basis for many other coffee drinks.


Cafe Americano coffee drink

Basically an Americano (Cafe Americano) is a watered down version of an espresso ! Influenced by american tourists, extra hot water is added in a mug measure.

The strength of an Americano varies with the number of shots of espresso added.

Caffe au Lait

Caffe au Lait coffee drink

This is probably the easiest coffee to make at home and consists of strong filtered or brewed coffee (not espresso), with warmed milk.

Simply heat some milk and pour over strongly brewed coffee (not to be confused with white coffee, which is coffee with cold milk).


Cappuccino coffee drink

An espresso based drink originating in Italy, consisting of equal proportions of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.

The milk is steamed through a high pressure pipe that helps warm the milk whilst also creating the foam to finish off a Cappuccino.

Normally made with one shot of espresso, but you can two to get that extra hit.


Caffe Macchiato Coffee Drink

Originating in America and is essentially a cappucino without the steam milk.

Typcially it’s an espresso with a small amount of foamed milk (spot of milk). Also, called Caffe Macchiato or Espresso Macciato and is a bolder flavour than other coffees.


latte coffee drink

Latte’s are like cappuccino’s except they have more steamed milk.

There so many variants to this drink that includes mocha (see below) or replacing the with another coffee base such as masala chai (spiced Indian tea),  mate,  matcha,  turmeric or  rooibos.

Also replacing other types of milk, such as soy milk or almond milk, are also used.


mocha coffee drink

Chocolate plus coffee. – what’s not to like

A caffè mocha (derived from the city of Mocha, Yemen) is based on espresso and hot milk but with a chocolate flavouring and sweetener in the form of cocoa powder and sugar.

Some varieties may use chocolate syrup instead, and some may contain dark or milk chocolate.