Have you ever walked into a coffee shop, looked at the hefty list of options on the wall and felt a little bit… flummoxed?! We’re not surprised – the amount of different coffees that are available to buy these days is enough to make anybody confused. What actually IS a flat white? And what is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino? What a lot of people don’t realise is, most coffees are variations of one another, with only subtle differences between them, making the options seemingly endless. As well as this, where in the world your coffee beans comes from can largely impact how it tastes.

Most coffee drinkers generally know of maybe 3 or 4 different styles: if you are quite new to the world of coffee, continue reading to learn about the 10 most popular styles of coffee available, and maybe next time you’re ordering your morning brew you can try something new and exciting.

What is An Espresso Shot?

…is the foundation for all espresso based drinks. An espresso machine is essential for making this concentrated coffee drink. At its best it should have a syrupy body, be full flavoured (but definitely not bitter), be complex, sweet and have a generous layer of smooth thick crema on top. A single shot should be 20ml and take between 25 and 32 seconds to extract. Generally the better the quality of the coffee, the longer extraction it will take without becoming bitter. If you aren’t used to drinking coffee, this drink may be a bit too intense for you.

What Is A Double espresso (doppio)?

…It is what it says on the tin! A double shot of espresso, so 40 – 45ml. Ideal for those mornings when you just can’t get going!

What Is A Flat white?

….40 – 45ml espresso, 140ml steamed milk, remainder finely textured milk (5-10ml). This is the standard drink in Australia and New Zealand where they make coffee stronger using more quality coffee per shot. Makes for a popular breakfast drink as it is so easy-drinking.

What Is A Cafe Latte with Steamed Milk?

…40 – 45ml espresso, 120ml milk, remainder textured milk (10ml). Arguably the UK’s favourite coffee, it is ideal for those who want an espresso drink with warm milk that doesn’t dominate the cup and flavour. It’s also common to add flavoured syrups to the drink like vanilla, caramel or hazelnut.

What Is A Cappuccino?

…40 – 45ml espresso, 90ml milk, remainder textured milk (25mm). Italy’s most loved and traditional coffee. According to legend, 17th century Capuchin monk, Marco d’Aviano, invented the cappuccino after the Battle of Vienna, hence the name! It is typical in the UK to dust this creamy and textured drink with foam and chocolate powder too.

What Is An Americano?

…40 – 45ml espresso, 120ml water at 90dg with space for milk, and can be served with either textured or cold milk. The Americano is a coffee drink that allows the drinker to enjoy the rich and bold flavour of an espresso but at a reduced strength. Historically it was invented for the American soldiers during WWII and has stayed ever since.

What Is A Mocha?

…40 – 45ml espresso, over 30ml of chocolate, 90ml of milk, remainder textured milk (10mm). A good tip if using powdered chocolate is to pre dissolve the chocolate making a syrup as needed. Finish with a dusting of chocolate on the top. Mocha is like a hybrid between a cappuccino and a hot chocolate, which makes it quite popular for the sweet tooth!

For a refreshing twist, you can also enjoy a mocha as an iced coffee.

What Is A Macchiato?

…40 -45ml espresso, with a blob of textured milk spooned onto the coffee. Not to be mistaken with the high street chain macchiato- a syrup filled drink that has no resemblance to the original Italian drink! In Italian, Macchiato means “stained” or “spotted”: served in an espresso cup, it is the perfect drink for those who can’t handle the strength of pure black coffee as it is milder than espresso. The macchiato is one of the many types of coffee drinks that offer a milder alternative to pure black coffee.

What Is A Cortado (or Noisette in France)?

…40 – 45ml espresso, 50ml milk, 10ml of textured milk. A popular Spanish coffee now becoming popular in the UK, it is traditionally served as a smaller drink. The textured milk should create micro-foam that doesn’t separate from the espresso shot, unlike other milk-based coffee drinks. The milk is used to reduce some of the acidity from the espresso.

The cortado is a great way to enjoy brewed coffee with a touch of warm milk to reduce acidity.

What Is An Affogato?

…40 – 45ml espresso over a scoop a vanilla ice-cream. Essentially a dessert rather than a drink, and a lovely way to finish a meal. Sometimes, a shot of Frangelico liqueur is also added to the mix to give it a bit of a kick!

We hope you feel inspired to try some new coffees that you may usually have never considered… enjoy!