61 Different Types of Coffee Drinks: The Definitive Guide

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Dive into the exciting world of coffee! Discover what makes over 60 unique coffee drinks special. Learn how to whip them up at home or find your new favorite at a cafe. Let’s explore together!

There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s dive right in.

What Makes the Types of Coffee Drinks Unique?

The beans

Did you know that even simple black coffee can taste incredibly different depending on where its beans come from? The type of coffee bean (like Robusta or Arabica) plays a big role. But, what’s fascinating is that even two Arabica beans grown in separate places can offer distinct flavors, smells, and textures.

Discover the unique flavors of Brazilian coffee beans, unlike those from Sumatra or Costa Rica. The blending possibilities with these beans are endless, offering an exciting world of coffee flavors to explore.

Three coffee bean roasts, one way of adding variety to different coffee drinks

How your coffee beans are treated is key. The way they’re processed, washed, and even roasted can change their taste a lot. Whether you like your coffee light or dark, it all starts with the same beans. And don’t forget, grinding them right makes a big difference in your cup!

The brewing method

  • Filter coffee — This is the standard coffee that most people drink at home, in the office, and at places like diners. It’s typically made with a drip coffee maker, although there are other types of coffee makers that produce similar brews.
  • Espresso — Espresso is made by pushing pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans. It produces a stronger, more concentrated brew than filter coffee methods. This extra strength makes espresso a common base for coffee shop drinks that want to maintain the coffee flavor and a good level of caffeine while still adding large amounts of milk and other additives.
  • Cold-brew — Cold brew creates a concentrated coffee by brewing coarsely-ground coffee at a cold temperature. The stronger flavor and higher caffeine content makes cold brew a great base for cold beverages as it can withstand additives and the dilution from ice without losing its coffee taste.
  • Other — There are a wide variety of other coffee methods that produce very different styles of brew. French press, Moka Pot, Turkish coffee, and other varieties are sometimes substituted in place of Filter coffee or espresso, but they each have their own impact on the flavor, body, and other characteristics of the coffee.

The additives

Various sweeteners like white sugar, brown sugar, and honey — any of which can be used to add variety to a coffee drink.
  • Sweeteners — Different types of sugars, honey, and non-sugar sweeteners are often used to blend with the bitter flavor of coffee.
  • Milks — A lot of the variety in espresso-based drinks comes from the milk. You can use different milks (2%, whole milk, soy milk, half-and-half, condensed milk, etc.), prepare it in various ways (cold milk, warm milk, steamed milk, scalded milk, frothed milk, etc.), and mix or layer it in the beverage.
  • Alcohols — Any bartender can tell you that there are a near-infinite number of alcohols out there, and each provides a different flair when added to coffee.
  • Spices — Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and other spices are quite common in coffee drinks and often vary based on the traditional spices of the culture that created the drink.
  • Other — You’ll find all kinds of other additions to coffee drinks, including lemon, butter, and even egg.

The Basics

Most coffee drinks start with a few key types. Espresso, with its strong flavor, is a favorite for many recipes, coming in different styles like doppio, ristretto, and lungo. But there’s also room for other brews – filter coffee, instant, and cold brew each bring something special to the table in the coffee universe.

Filter coffee

Your go-to coffee, the kind you sip at home, work, or on-the-go, usually comes from a drip coffee maker. But, it can also be made in a percolator, with a French press, an AeroPress, or other brewing methods. It’s the everyday coffee we all know and love.

Cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee, just like it sounds, is made with water cooler than room temperature. This method creates a rich coffee concentrate you can mix with water, cream, or your favorite sweeteners. Unlike iced coffee, cold brew packs a bolder taste and more caffeine kick.

Espresso

An espresso shot being pulled, possibly to be used as the base for a latte or other espresso drink

Espresso is a rich, concentrated coffee brewed with an espresso machine. It packs more flavor than regular black coffee, making it perfect for stronger coffee drinks. A typical espresso shot ranges from 0.85 to 1.25 ounces, delivering a powerful punch in a small package.

Doppio

Discover the bold world of a double espresso: two shots for twice the flavor and kick!

Ristretto

Ristretto is a special kind of coffee shot, similar to espresso but even more concentrated. It’s made by only using the first part of the coffee extraction, making it smaller (about 0.75 ounces), sweeter, and less bitter than a regular espresso shot. It’s a popular choice on its own or in mixed coffee drinks.

Lungo

Ristretto is a quick, strong espresso shot, while lungo is its longer, milder cousin. By adding more water, a lungo stretches to about 2 ounces, offering a softer taste perfect for sipping on its own. Unlike the bold ristretto, lungo’s gentle flavor shines brightest when it’s not mixed into other coffee drinks.

Instant coffee

Instant coffee isn’t just ground-up beans. It’s brewed filter coffee that’s been dried out, often using more Robusta beans than your typical drip brew. Just add hot water, and enjoy it black or with milk and sugar.

Coffee Drinks

These drinks start with filter or cold brew coffee, not espresso, as their foundation.

Iced coffee

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Ice

Iced coffee starts with a hot brew, but then we add ice to cool it down. Since ice can dilute the flavor, we make the coffee a bit stronger. You can enjoy it plain or jazz it up with cream or sweeteners. It’s a simple, refreshing twist on your usual cup!

Nitro cold brew coffee

  • Base: Cold brew coffee
  • Additives: Nitrogen

Nitro cold brew is cold coffee infused with nitrogen, creating a creamy, frothy texture.

Vietnamese iced coffee (Ca phe sua da)

The making of a Vietnamese iced coffee using a Vietnamese coffee filter
  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Ice and condensed milk

Vietnamese iced coffee is a deliciously sweet treat, crafted with robust, filtered coffee from a unique Vietnamese coffee maker called a phin cà phê. This device is like a mix of a French press and a pour-over funnel. But, many people also make it with strong drip coffee for convenience.

Vietnamese coffee often opts for strong Robusta beans, unlike most coffees that favor milder Arabica. It’s a bold choice for a unique brew.

Enjoy your coffee cold with sweet condensed milk, mixed to taste over ice. 

Thai iced coffee (Oliang)

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Ice and condensed milk

Thai iced coffee is a delicious, chilled drink that starts with coffee brewed through a special sock filter, though using strong drip coffee works too. In the U.S., it’s sometimes hard to tell apart from Vietnamese iced coffee. But, Thai iced coffee has its unique twist, often mixed with unexpected flavors like corn, sesame, and cardamom, making each sip a delightful surprise.

Thai iced coffee usually combines condensed milk and ice for a sweet, cool treat. But, some versions swap in evaporated or regular milk and sugar, giving you delicious options to explore.

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee being made in an Ibrik, a Turkish coffee pot
  • Base: Turkish coffee
  • Additives: Sugar, cardamom

Turkish coffee brews up a unique experience! It’s crafted by boiling super-fine coffee grounds with sugar and a hint of cardamom. This creates a bold, slightly bitter drink that’s served straight-up, grounds and all. The rich flavors and textures make every sip an adventure, right down to the last drop.

Indonesian coffee (Kopi tubruk)

  • Base: Indonesian coffee
  • Additives: Sugar and sometimes condensed milk

Indonesian coffee is a bold, rich drink, brewed by boiling fine coffee grounds into a thick mix that’s not filtered, similar to Turkish coffee. But, there’s a twist – sugar and sometimes condensed milk are stirred in after it’s made. And occasionally, folks swap in instant coffee instead of grounds.

Dalgona coffee

A Dalgona coffee, showing the layered milk and whipped coffee of the drink
  • Base: Instant coffee
  • Additives: White or brown sugar, Milk, and ice

Dalgona coffee, often called whipped or frothy coffee, burst onto the scene as a viral TikTok sensation in 2020, tracing its roots back to South Korea. This trendy beverage is crafted by vigorously mixing sugar, instant coffee, and water until fluffy, then spooned over ice and milk for a delightful treat.

Frappé coffee

  • Base: Instant coffee
  • Additives: Sugar and ice

The Frappe is a cool Greek coffee treat, mixing instant coffee with sugar and ice. Sometimes, milk is added for an extra creamy touch.

Café au lait

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Scalded or Steamed milk

A cafe au lait offers a gentler kick than espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. It’s simply regular black coffee mixed with milk that’s heated until it’s just about to boil.

Vietnamese Egg coffee (Cà Phê Trung)

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Egg cream (egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and condensed milk)

Vietnamese egg coffee combines strong Robusta brew from a Vietnamese coffee maker with a fluffy egg cream topping. When you sip through the creamy layer, you get a sweet and bitter taste, much like enjoying a slice of tiramisu.

Irish coffee

An Irish coffee served with whipped cream
  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Whiskey, sugar

Irish coffee is a sweet treat that mixes coffee or espresso with whiskey and sugar. You can also swirl in cream or Irish cream, and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream.

Arabic coffee (Mirra)

  • Base: Arabic coffee
  • Additives: Cardamom

Mirra coffee is a unique, dark brew with a bold, bitter taste. It’s crafted from beans roasted twice, then ground and boiled with water and a hint of cardamom. Enjoy it like you would an espresso.

Ipoh white coffee

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Condensed milk

Ipoh white coffee is a unique Malaysian treat. What makes it special? Beans are roasted with margarine, giving it a distinct flavor. It’s usually enjoyed with creamy condensed milk and topped with a light froth, making every sip delightful.

South Indian filter coffee (Madras kaapi)

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Boiled milk

South Indian filter coffee brings a bold flavor to your cup, crafted in a unique coffee maker that makes it even richer than espresso. Just 1-2 tablespoons of this potent brew mixed with hot milk creates a delightful drink, often finished with a frothy top by gently swirling the milk.

Yuenyueng

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Milk tea

Yuenyueng is a unique Hong Kong drink that blends 3 parts coffee with 7 parts milk tea. Enjoy it hot or cold for a delicious twist!

Café de olla

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Cinnamon and raw cane sugar (piloncillo)

Cafe de olla is a cozy Mexican coffee with a twist – it’s brewed with sweet piloncillo, warm cinnamon, and sometimes even orange peel, anise, and clove for extra spice. It’s traditionally made in a clay pot, which adds a unique flavor to the brew.

Café mazagran

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Ice and lemon

Mazagran is a cool drink where you pour hot, strong coffee over ice and add a lemon slice. Depending on if you’re in Portugal, Algeria, or Austria, mazagran can change a bit. Some versions include rum or mint, and others use espresso instead of regular coffee. It’s a refreshing twist on your usual coffee! 

Cafe Melange

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Whipped cream

Café melange is a delicious blend of black coffee and whipped cream, beloved in Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Perfect for coffee newbies!

Eiskaffee

Eiskaffee, a type of German dessert coffee drink
  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Ice cream and whipped cream

Eiskaffee, a delightful German treat, combines the boldness of cold coffee with creamy vanilla ice cream, all crowned with fluffy whipped cream. For an extra touch, it’s often sprinkled with chocolate shavings.

Café com cheirinho

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Alcohol (wine, bagaço, aguardiente, or medronho)

Cafe com cheirinho is a cozy Portuguese winter treat. It’s simply coffee mixed with a splash of alcohol. Perfect as a digestif, it’s enjoyed after meals to help with digestion.

Mustang coffee

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Sugar or honey, rice wine (raksi), and butter

Mustang coffee from Nepal blends 2 parts coffee with a sweet and rich mix of honey or sugar, rice wine, and butter. Perfect for beginners!

Red eye

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Espresso

Craving a caffeine boost? Meet the red eye: a bold blend of rich espresso poured into a steaming cup of black coffee. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for when coffee alone just won’t cut it.

Black eye

  • Base: Filter coffee
  • Additives: Espresso

For a bigger caffeine kick, try the black eye. It’s a powerful mix of two espresso shots in a cup of black coffee. Perfect for coffee lovers needing an extra boost!

Espresso Drinks

Caffè Americano

An Americano, an espresso drink diluted with water
  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Water

An Americano mixes 1 part espresso with 3 parts hot water, creating a brew that’s as strong as filter coffee but with the rich taste and fuller body of espresso.

Long black

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Water

A long black, loved in New Zealand and Australia, is like an Americano but with a twist. It blends 2 shots of espresso with 3 ounces of water, giving it a bolder kick than the usual Americano. 

Caffe Latte

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Steamed Milk and milk foam

Lattes are a coffee shop favorite, perfect for beginners. They blend bold espresso with plenty of warm milk, creating a smooth, welcoming flavor. Ideal for easing into the world of coffee!

Discover the magic of lattes! They blend rich espresso with creamy steamed milk, topped with a delicate layer of foam. Enjoy the classic 1:3 espresso-to-milk ratio or explore the creamier versions, ranging from 1:9 to 1:11, favorites at chains like Starbucks and Dunkin.

Cappuccino

A cappuccino in a glass mug to show the distinct layering
  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Steamed milk and milk foam

At a quick look, you might think a cappuccino is just a latte. But, it’s actually packed with more fluffy milk foam. A classic cappuccino mixes equal parts of espresso, warm milk, and foam. In places like Australia, they love adding a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top.

Galão

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Foamed milk

Galão is a creamy coffee treat, blending 1 part rich espresso with 3 parts frothy milk. It’s like a classic latte but with a bigger, fluffier foam topping. Dive into its frothy goodness!

Caffè mocha

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Steamed milk, milk foam or whipped cream, and chocolate syrup or chocolate powder

A mocha is like a chocolate hug in a cup! It blends 1 part espresso with 1-2 parts chocolate (powder or syrup) and 1-3 parts creamy steamed milk. It’s crowned with foamy milk or whipped cream. Yum!

Caffè macchiato

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Foamed milk

A macchiato is a perfect pick if you love espresso but just want a touch of foam. It’s simply a single shot of espresso with a tiny splash (1-2 teaspoons) of foamed milk. It gives you that foam fix without drowning your espresso in warm milk. 

Long macchiato

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Foamed milk

A long macchiato blends a double shot of espresso with 3-4 teaspoons of frothy milk, making it a richer double macchiato.

Affogato

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Vanilla ice cream

Craving a sweet coffee treat? Try an affogato! It’s simply delicious espresso poured over creamy vanilla ice cream. Perfect for dessert lovers!

Café Cubano

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Natural brown sugar

A Cafe Cubano is a delicious Cuban coffee that mixes espresso with natural brown sugar for a sweet kick. Unlike other coffees, it’s usually brewed in a Moka pot, not an espresso machine. The magic happens when some of the espresso is stirred with sugar early on, creating a creamy foam. This special step makes the coffee sweeter and thicker than your usual espresso with sugar added.

Cortado

A cortado, a common Cuban coffee drink
  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Steamed milk

A cortado blends equal parts of espresso and warm, steamed milk, topped with a thin, silky layer of microfoam.

Cortadito

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Steamed condensed milk

The cortadito is Cuba’s twist on the cortado, swapping out regular milk for sweet condensed milk. This choice was born from necessity, as condensed milk was often easier to find in Cuba’s past.

Café con leche

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: A cup of steamed milk

Cafe con leche is a delicious mix of strong espresso and warm, steamed milk. You pour the espresso into the milk until it’s just right for your taste.

Espressino

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Milk, cocoa powder

The Espressino is a cozy Italian treat, blending equal parts of rich espresso and creamy milk in a cocoa-powder-dusted cup. A final sprinkle of cocoa on top makes it simply irresistible.

Caffe marocchino

  • Base: Espresso (sometimes ristretto)
  • Additives: Cocoa powder and milk froth

Dive into the Italian delight of Caffe Marocchino! Picture a glass dusted with cocoa, filled with rich espresso, topped with creamy milk froth, and finished with more cocoa. A chocolatey espresso treat awaits!

Frappuccino

A frappuccino, a popular sweet espresso drink with flavored syrup
  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Sugar, cream, flavored syrup

Starbucks took inspiration from the Frappe to create the Frappuccino, but they’ve really made it their own. Imagine a cool, blended espresso drink, mixed with sweet syrups and topped with whipped cream – it’s like an espresso milkshake!

Caffè corretto

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Alcohol (grappa, sambuca, or brandy)

Caffe corretto, meaning “corrected” in Italian, blends espresso with grappa, sambuca, or brandy.

Ice Shot

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Ice

The ice shot, a cool twist from Australia on the traditional Mazagran, is simply espresso poured over ice. This creates a frosty, sorbet-like texture. For an extra treat, some even top it with a scoop of ice cream.

Espresso con panna

An espresso con panna, espresso with whipped cream
  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Whipped cream

Espresso con panna is simply delicious espresso topped with creamy whipped cream.

Café Vienne

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Whipped cream

Vienna coffee, known in the US as Cafe Vienne, is espresso crowned with delicious whipped cream.

Freddo Espresso

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Sugar and ice

Freddo espresso is Greece’s favorite summer cooler. It’s a simple mix: 1 part espresso, 2 parts ice, and a bit of sugar. First, whip up the espresso and sugar into a frothy blend, then pour it over ice. Refreshing!

Freddo Cappuccino

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Sugar, ice, foamed and creamed milk

Discover the freddo cappuccino, a refreshing Greek summer favorite! It’s like the cool cousin of freddo espresso, but with a twist – creamy foamed milk is mixed in at the end. The magic formula? 1 part espresso, 2 parts ice, and 2 parts milk.

Cafe Bombon

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Condensed milk

The cafe bombon is Spain’s delicious take on the beloved condensed milk coffee from Eastern Asia. Imagine a perfect mix of bold espresso and sweet condensed milk, layered beautifully in a clear glass. It’s a simple yet irresistible treat for coffee lovers.

Carajillo

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Hard liquor (brandy, whiskey, anisette, rum)

The carajillo, a bold coffee cocktail, gets its name from “coraje,” the Spanish word for courage. It was a favorite among Spanish soldiers in Cuba, giving them a boost of bravery. At its core, a carajillo is hot black coffee mixed with liquor. Some like to spice it up by warming the alcohol with cinnamon, sugar, and a twist of lemon before blending it into the coffee.

Asiático

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Condensed milk and cognac

Asiatico is a delightful Spanish coffee with three beautiful layers. Starting at the bottom, there’s sweet condensed milk, followed by rich cognac (or brandy), and topped with a bold espresso shot. Some even add Licor 43, cinnamon, a lemon slice, and a few coffee beans for extra flavor.

Bicerin

Bicerin, a layered Italian coffee drink with chocolate
  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Scalded Milk and drinking chocolate 

Bicerin blends espresso, chocolate, and warm milk into a delicious Italian drink.

Breve coffee

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Steamed half-and-half

Dive into the creamy world of Breve coffee, a luxurious twist on the classic cappuccino. Originating from America, this indulgent treat swaps out regular milk for half-and-half, making it richer and more dessert-like. Imagine a perfect blend of 1 part espresso, 1 part steamed half-and-half, and 1 part frothy half-and-half foam. It’s a coffee lover’s dream!

Breve twists on drinks swap milk for creamy half-and-half, adding a rich touch.

Palazzo

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Sweetened cream

In sunny Southern California, Palazzos are a favorite! They’re crafted using a Moka pot, not your usual espresso machine. Imagine two shots of freshly brewed espresso quickly cooled down, then swirled with delicious sweetened cream. Yum!

Flat white

  • Base: Espresso
  • Additives: Silky milk

The flat white is a delicious coffee that both Australia and New Zealand proudly call their own. Imagine a cappuccino, but smoother, with milk steamed until it’s silky, creating a thin layer of microfoam on top. This special touch gives the flat white its charm, offering more creamy milk and less foam than you’d find in a cappuccino. Perfect for those who love their coffee rich and smooth.

Piccolo

  • Base: Ristretto
  • Additives: Steamed milk

A piccolo, which means “tiny” in Italian, is like a mini version of a ristretto latte. It combines one shot of rich ristretto (or sometimes espresso) with 2-3 ounces of warm, steamed milk. Perfect for a small, flavorful coffee fix!

Magic coffee

  • Base: Ristretto
  • Additives: Silky milk

Discover the charm of Magic coffee, a unique Australian brew that was once a hipster favorite. It blends 130 ml of smooth milk with two intense ristretto shots for a magical taste.

Oh, the Coffees You Will Drink

Coffee lovers, rejoice! There’s always a new blend or brew waiting for you to discover. As you dive into the world of coffee, you’ll find a treasure trove of drinks and espresso shots to taste. While not every cup will be your favorite, the endless variety is what makes the journey exciting.

Got a cool, unique coffee creation? I’m all ears! Share your original coffee drink with me. Let’s get brewing!

types of coffee drinks

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