There’s nothing like a good cup of joe to wake you up in the morning. Coffee can help you to get energized for the day ahead, and it’s basically a little cup of heaven that you can enjoy each day if you want to. Coffee, for many people, is the answer to all of life’s problems. However, there are a variety of different types of coffee drinks to choose from.
Next time you go into a Starbucks though, you should definitely check their boards. You’ll see a wide variety of types of coffee available, and some of them may make your head spin. What does it all mean? Well, we’re here to help you to become a coffee expert.
Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of coffee, and some other helpful information that you will need to know on your journey to becoming a coffee connoisseur.
The Benefits Of Drinking Coffee
People tell you all the time how much they love coffee and the taste of it, but are there any benefits to drinking coffee? Well, it turns out that yes – there are actually quite a lot of benefits to drinking coffee. Here are just a few.
It Gives You Energy
Perhaps one of the most well known benefits of coffee is the effect that it has on your energy levels. Coffee contains something called caffeine, which is also found in other products like chocolate and tea. It’s certainly most prevalent in coffee, however. When your body absorbs caffeine, it activates neurons in your brain that can have certain effects, like improving your mood, your energy and even your thinking processes. Some studies have even suggested that there’s a chance that athletic performance may be improved from consuming caffeine. Could Aid With Weight Loss
There’s also a chance that caffeine can help with attempts to lose weight. There’s a reason why it’s a common ingredient in fat burning supplements after all. Caffeine is known for boosting the metabolism when it’s consumed in moderation. So, if you’re looking to shed a few points, it may be worthwhile having a cup of coffee first!
It Tastes Great
Well, duh! Coffee tastes pretty delicious. Of course, not every kind of coffee is going to be a good fit for every single person on the planet. We all have our own tastes and preferences after all. With that being said though, there are so many different varieties of coffee, and so many flavors that you would be hard pressed to not find any that you liked. If you don’t like the first types of coffee that you come across then try something else – you are almost guaranteed to find something that you love.
Contains a Bunch of Important Nutrients
Another good thing about coffee is that it often contains a wide variety of important nutrients that are good for your body. In one cup of coffee, you can find manganese and potassium, magnesium and niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. You won’t find huge amounts in just one cup, but every little helps. If you drink several cups a day then these numbers also add up pretty quickly. Likewise, coffee contains a lot of antioxidants which are really good for your body.
Types of Coffee Beans
Now that you know about some of the health benefits of coffee, lets take a closer look at the different types of coffee beans. There’s more than just one! Different types of coffee beans have their own unique characteristics that can make a huge impact on how your beverage tastes, so it’s important that you learn more about them.
Are you a fan of Arabian coffee? Well, you have the Arabica coffee plant to thank for all of that delicious flavor. This is the kind of plant that will grow in higher altitudes and was initially grown in the highlands of Ethiopia. From this plant you will get the Arabica coffee bean. It’s a flat and long seed, and much like many other coffee beans you will see that signature line running down the middle.
What does coffee from this particular bean taste like, though? Well, with this type of bean you can expect a sweet aroma but a slightly acidic taste. It also has hints of chocolate and caramel in it. It’s not an especially bitter type of coffee, and it’s actually a little bit mild. It’s a great choice if you want a fairly slow start into your morning since the caffeine content isn’t overly high, but it’s enough to give you that energy that you’re looking for in order to wake you up.
Now, the flavors of the beans can actually be influenced by the area the plant was grown in and the kind of soil that it was cultivated in. It can also be affected by whether you store the beans correctly.
Arabica is one of the most popular kinds of beans that you can get on the market – it’s pretty much everywhere you look when you go to the grocery store or to the cafe. Sometimes the beans are mixed with robusta for a slightly different taste, though. There are also a few different types of arabica coffee beans and blends too, so you can find variations based on what you like best and what suits your flavor profile. Ultimately, it’s a type of coffee that’s easy to acquire and tastes fantastic, so it’s the perfect pick me up first thing in the morning. If you’re looking for something a little different though, it’s not the only type out there.
In terms of popularity, Arabica certainly tops the charts. With that being said, Robusta coffee is not far behind it. This is the second most popular type of coffee in the entire world at the moment. A massive 40% of the coffee consumed worldwide each day is actually robusta coffee. Pretty neat, huh?
The robusta coffee plant was initially grown in western and central sub-Saharan Africa, and it’s a pretty durable plant that enjoys the hot weather. It can grow to some pretty astronomical heights too – more than 30 feet tall if you get the growing conditions perfect.
Of course, you don’t want to learn about the plant – how does it taste? Well, you can expect some wonderful earth tones from robusta coffee beans. It’s got a little bit of a grainy flavor, and there’s a kick to it that resembles peanuts. There are also hints of oak and there’s a bit of bitterness that many people enjoy. Of course, the taste can vary based on the roasting process used by the manufacturers.
When it comes to beverages, robusta is most often used as an espresso. It also contains significantly more caffeine than an arabica bean, with 2.7% caffeine being noted in certain beans.
Now we’re diving into some of the lesser known types of coffee beans. Liberica coffee, or Liberia, makes up only a small percentage of the coffee drunk each day – around 2%, to be precise. The plant is generally grown in African and Asian locations, and the plant can reach heights of up to 20m tall. Definitely taller than you! This kind of coffee is most often made in the Philippines today.
In many respects, you will get a similar taste with liberia coffee as you would from robusta. It differs in the sense that liberia is much stronger and smells smokier. Unfortunately for you caffeine lovers out there though, the caffeine concentration of liberia is the lowest of the bunch.
It’s usually pretty difficult to get your hands on this kind of coffee since it isn’t readily grown and it doesn’t have any particular advantages over the other more popular kinds of coffee. You may need to do a little bit of work to acquire this coffee!
Finally we have excelsa coffee. Don’t expect anything too impressive from this one either – it’s technically a kind of liberia coffee. It is a little bit more common than liberia, being drunk by 7% of the global population worldwide. It also has a slightly darker roast and has more of a unique taste than liberia.
Now, these aren’t all of the coffee beans on the planet. There are actually more than this out there that people far and wide seek out to heighten their coffee knowledge and to tingle their taste buds. These are just the most common types that you need to be aware of.
Types of Coffee Drinks
Now that you know more about the kinds of coffee beans out there, it’s time to dive into the most extensive topic in this article. That’s right – the different types of coffee drinks out there. Trust us, there are quite a lot of them!
First on the list is Espresso. This isn’t one of the most popular drinks for coffee lovers, but it’s definitely one that’s worth a try next time you head to Starbucks or decide to make your own. The best espresso beans are a number of top espresso beans You know those tiny little cups you see when you go to a coffee shop? Well, those are for espressos. Think of them a little like coffee shots, like you’d get with alcohol but with coffee instead. It’s usually made out of the same kinds of beans that you would get in your regular coffee but it’s designed to have more caffeine in a smaller serving. Of course, you’re still going to get more caffeine from your standard sized coffee though, since the coffee is condensed into a smaller cup.
The great thing about espresso is that you’ll get the wonderful flavors of coffee but even stronger because they’re all condensed. It’s great if you like that stronger and creamier taste. The beverage is most popular in its country of origin – Italy. Espresso is also generally the basis for a number of different larger beverages that you may find, such as red-eye, cappuccino and caffe Americano.
It’s also possible to get espresso in double shots if you would prefer. In fact, there are actually certain places that will only give you double shots of espresso. It’s essentially the same as espresso but even more flavor in that tiny cup.
Espresso and double espresso are fairly similar in a lot of ways, but the key difference lies in the amount of coffee used. In most cases, a single shot of espresso consists of roughly 7 grams of ground coffee mixture, but a double espresso will use double this – 14 grams. Likewise, this also means that the double shot is much stronger, as you may expect.
Of course, espresso may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean you can have more of it. Try to limit your espresso intake to less than six shots a day for the sake of your health.
Red eye is known by a number of different names based on the region that you are in, but it is most commonly known as red eye. You may sometimes see it called ‘black hole’ or ‘shot in the dark’ too. Of course, the key question is, what exactly is it? Well, we’ve already mentioned espresso – you’re going to need to have some of that for your red eye coffee. With red eye coffee, you’re essentially having a drip coffee and then pouring espresso on top of it. It’s like an Americano in some respects, though it’s brewed slightly differently. It’s a coffee trend that is pretty popular in the United States.
In a red eye coffee, you will usually get around 300 mg of caffeine, though of course this can vary based on the way it’s made and some other factors. It features a dark taste that’s quite rich, with sweet and nutty hints when a medium roast is used. If you use a dark roast though it’s going to taste much spicier, so you’re sure to find a blend that will work for your tastes.
On the other end of the spectrum you have black eye coffee. This kind of coffee is basically a form of red eye coffee, but it’s a little different in terms of the amount of caffeine in it. Red eye usually has one shot of espresso in it, whereas you will get two shots of espresso if you are having a black eye coffee. It’s called black eye because you will often see a black ring in the coffee once the shot of espresso has been poured into it.
With black eye coffee you will get even more caffeine for your money, which is ideal when you’re looking for a strong fix in the morning. The flavor can be pretty similar to red eye, though again it depends on how the beverage is made too.
You could call the Americano the classic coffee. It is generally made out of espresso and some hot water, making it pretty similar to the kind of brewed coffee that you may expect to get from a coffee machine. The Americano is a popular drink that’s great if you want the taste of an espresso but without the intensity, since the coffee is more diluted thanks to the water. It’s also possible to add milk to the coffee if you aren’t as keen on the idea of black coffee. You can also have it with a crema if you would like to. It’s fairly simple to make them at home, but since Americanos are such popular drinks you can also order them from most cafes.
When you first look at a long black after making your order in a coffee shop, you may be a little annoyed as you think that they’ve given you an Americano. They look quite similar, but they are very different from the Americano. It’s made with espresso and hot water, but it’s prepared a little differently.
Long blacks are very popular in New Zealand and Australia. The hot water is mixed with the espresso in a different way with the long black. You pour the espresso over the hot water, whereas you do the same in reverse with the Americano. This means that you have more crema in the drink than you would get with an Americano.
Macchiato is an Italian word that means stained or marked – that may tell you something about what to expect with this drink. In essence, the milk in the beverage ends up staining the espresso. It’s sort of like an espresso that’s been diluted with some milk. To make it, you create an espresso shot, then you pour around 1-2 teaspoons of hot milk and some foam on top of it.
This drink is a great choice if you want something that’s got the taste of espresso in it that’s not quite as intense, then it’s a good idea to get a macchiato. This isn’t the only form of macchiato though, so be sure to specify if it’s an espresso macchiato that you want.
The long macchiato is the other main kind of macchiato out there. This consists of some textured milk and a double espresso shot. This differs from a short macchiato with less espresso – with a long macchiato you’re getting all of the extra strength. It’s basically like an espresso macchiato in its original form, just stronger.
Cortados are made out of espresso and milk. The word itself is in reference to how the milk interrupts the intense flavor of espresso. You’ll have all the coffee flavor but without the strong acid taste. There are variations on how it’s brewed depending on where you go, however. It can sometimes be confused for other types of coffee such as the macchiato.
This is yet another kind of coffee that has espresso as its base. In most cases, it’s made using one to two espresso shots, and then half-and-half is added. Essentially, this is half heavy cream and half whole milk. This creates a deliciously milky beverage with plenty of coffee in it to enjoy. You can usually expect around 90 mg of caffeine in a small coffee with a Breve, but it depends on who’s making it.
A cappuccino is one of the most popular types of coffee. It starts with the espresso base, and then some steamed milk and foamed milk is added. Sometimes other ingredients are added such as cream, and you can substitute for different kinds of milk if the person drinking it doesn’t drink cow’s milk. Sometimes extra flavors are even added like chocolate or cinnamon.
The flat white can sometimes be confused with the latte, though the two differ in one major respect. The flat white is simply made with the espresso base added first, and then steamed milk is added to the top. It’s most commonly made with micro foamed milk.
Much like the flat white, the caffe latte is made out of steamed milk and an espresso base. It’s often got a double shot of espresso though and there’s foam added on top to give it that frothy texture.
The mocca, also known as the moccacino, is a great choice if you have a sweet tooth but you still want your caffeine fix. It’s a form of latte, though it’s flavored with chocolate sauce, or things like cinnamon.
If you’re looking for something fancy, why not try a vienna? It’s similar to the macca in many respects, and is generally made with chocolate ganache, espresso, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and sometimes other toppings too. It has a slightly different texture but it’s definitely a good choice if you’re looking for luxury.
Cafe Au Lait
A cafe au lait is fairly simple. It’s basically just coffee and some hot milk is added on the top. It’s another good choice if you enjoy having a milky coffee, since the coffee to milk ratio is pretty even.
Finally we have iced coffee. Now, the vast majority of the beverages that we have mentioned on this list are pretty much single handedly served hot, whereas iced coffee is served cold instead. Essentially, the coffee is brewed and then it’s added on top of cold milk or ice. It’s a good choice if it’s the middle of summer and you don’t want a hot beverage that will make you even warmer!
Different Coffee Makers and the Different Ways Coffee Can Be Made
You will be pleased to know that you don’t have to spend a fortune trying to get a coffee from a cafe. You can make all sorts of delicious caffeinated beverages right from the comfort of your own house. Here are some of the different coffee makers that you need to be aware of, alongside some of the ways that you can make coffee.
One of the main kinds of coffee makers that you will find on the market is the French Press. It’s not the simplest machine to us – certainly not as easy as an automatic coffee maker. If you want the best taste though, you can’t go wrong with this machine.
With a French Press, you can use fresh beans to make your coffee since you can grunt them in the machine. The machine can come in a range of different sizes, but beverages are usually measured in cups. If you’re willing to take the time to learn how a French press works, then they’re definitely worthwhile to try.
The machine has a few key pros and cons. It’s a pretty easy device to clean, and you can use coarse coffee grinds with it. It doesn’t tend to cost a lot either, and can even be used for cold brews. You may get coffee sludge with it though and there’s always the chance that over extraction may occur if you aren’t careful.
Alternatively, you could get a percolator coffee machine. It’s essentially a pot that you brew the coffee in. It works by cycling the boiling water, and you’ll get a stronger beverage the longer you allow the cycling to carry on.
Percolator coffee is a fantastic thing, and you won’t get better percolator coffee from any other machine. You will get a very strong mug of coffee from this machine. Though there’s always a chance for over extraction, the risk can be minimized if you just keep an eye on the temperature.
As the name may suggest, a single serve coffee maker is designed to serve a single cup of coffee. With just the push of a button, you can get instant coffee with minimal effort. You’re also not going to be wasting the liquid since you will be able to brew just the right amount based on what you need. If you still haven’t had your caffeine fix, then you can simply make another one just by pressing a button. It’s not always the most efficient choice in terms of time if you are serving a large group, though.
There’s a lot of love out there for the Aeropress since it offers so many diverse brewing options. Some people even claim that this machine makes the best coffee ever. It’s pretty simple to use.
It’s pretty similar to the french press in many respects, except that it’s a little shorter in terms of the brewing time. You’ll get a more subdued taste with the device too, and cleaning is even simpler. You can see here for more information on how it works.
If you have a coffee machine at home, you’re probably already familiar with a drip coffee maker. They consist of a machine and a coffee pot that you put inside. It’s a common appliance in most American homes, and it’s very easy to use and inexpensive.
This is basically what it sounds like. When using the pour over method, you’ll usually get a filter. You then put the coffee grounds into the filter and pour hot water over the top. After a while, the water will turn into coffee as it blends with the coffee grounds. A lot of people enjoy this particular method since they believe that it makes stronger tasting coffee, especially if the water filters through the coffee grounds slowly.
This method is when you put the ground coffee in cold water and then strain it. It takes quite a while to make it, and it’s not as acidic since the coffee doesn’t have a lot of exposure to high temperatures. Coffee produced through this method is usually sweet and smooth, which is popular with a lot of people.
Using a moka pot is a popular way of brewing coffee. Moka pots make great coffee that is full of wonderful flavor. It’s super ease to use, and works similarly to an espresso machine in a lot of respects. The intense flavors this method produces makes it popular.
Coffee – there sure is a lot to learn about it! It’s no wonder why it can seem so confusing to order a cup of coffee in your local coffee shop. Hopefully, this article has taught you the difference between your Americano and Macchiato, and has broadened your horizons to the many options out there that you can enjoy. Now, it’s time to get up and make yourself a brew. What better way to give you energy for the day ahead, right?