Complete Guide To The Different Types of Coffee Drinks



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Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and the result of this popularity is an overwhelming number of different types of coffee drinks to choose from.

Hot coffee drinks, iced coffee drinks, blended coffee drinks and canned coffee drinks – the list of different coffees is endless.

So if you have ever been overwhelmed by the all the different coffee shop drinks on the menu, are confused by the different coffee names or you are looking for some different types of coffees to make at home, this is the guide for you.

In this complete guide to coffee drinks we cover all the different kinds of coffees you can buy or make at home.

By the end you will know your mochas from your macchiatos, and be confident to branch out and try something new the next time you are at a coffee shop!

illustration of different coffee drinks in a chart.
Coffee drinks chart

How Many Types Of Coffee Drinks Are There?

If you read coffee shop menus, you will have noticed a wide array of different types of coffee drinks.

No longer do people only drink black coffee or white coffee. There is now a wide selection of choices available to choose from.

The differences between the coffee types are due to the brewing method, flavors added and whether it is served hot or cold.

While it is tempting to put a number on it like “30 types of coffee”, the reality is there are probably hundreds of different coffee drinks made around the world.

So while we don’t pretend to list all the coffee styles here, we do explain over 40 of the most popular coffee drinks you can buy or make at home.

Plus to add to this list, we also share some of the more unusual and unique coffee drinks here.

While you may be familiar with many of these in the list below, it is likely there are some you have not heard of before.

So let’s take a look at all the different types of coffees.

Types of Black Coffee Drinks

If you are unfamiliar with what black coffee is, it is essentially plain coffee that has been brewed and does not have anything added to it, such as creamer, milk or cream.

It is typically stronger in its taste, and is often described as more bitter because the only flavor is the coffee. However, many people prefer to drink black coffee for this reason.

Despite the simple description, there are many different types of black coffee and we cover the different types of black coffee below.

cup of black coffee drink in white coffee cup.


Espresso is one of the most popular types of coffee and is the base for all kinds of espresso drinks, which we cover in more detail below.

Espresso is an Italian form of coffee that is produced using an espresso machine.

The machine pushes hot water through the coffee beans at high pressure to extract the coffee and caffeine.

It can be served straight as a single (one shot) or double (two shots) or added to milk based espresso coffee drinks such as lattes.

Espresso is also a popular choice for coffee cocktails such as an espresso martini.

Hot Black Coffee

Simple black coffee can be brewed using a number of brewing methods.

Pour over coffee uses a filter, and a pour over dripper. The coffee is consistently covered with hot water (often with a gooseneck kettle), and the coffee is slowly extracted and drips into the cup below.

When made with an automatic pour over coffee maker, it is also known as batch brewing.

Known for producing a clean, bright flavorful coffee, pour over brewing makes a great cup of black coffee.

Drip coffee is a similar process to creating pour over coffee, but using a coffee maker to automate the process.

Drip coffee is one of the most popular methods of brewing black coffee in the US, and coffee makers can be found in most homes throughout the country.

There are even SCA certified coffee makers on the market that are manufactured to the highest drip coffee standards.

Immersion coffee is when the coffee grounds are immersed in water and brewed. After they have steeped for some time, the coffee is ready to drink. The most common method is with a French press coffee maker.

Compared to drip coffee, the method produces a type of black coffee that has a fuller body and mouthfeel, and tastes stronger than other methods of brewing black coffee.

See our full guide to french press brewing here.

Aeropress coffee is a unique method using an Aeropress coffee maker which pushes hot water through ground coffee beans.

It produces a single cup of black coffee similar in style to an espresso, but without an espresso machine.

Instant coffee is the cheapest type of black coffee drink and is made by combining instant coffee crystals with hot water. It is used as the base to make dalgona coffee.

Red Eye

When you need to stay awake, a red eye is a cup of black coffee topped up with a single shot of espresso. If you really need a boost, try a black eye (two shots of espresso added).

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is created and boiled in a dzezva (also known as a cezve or ibrik), which is a traditional Turkish pot.

Finely ground coffee is heated up with water and sugar, not filtered, and is served straight from the coffee maker.

Hot Coffee Drink Recipes To Try

Cold Brew

Cold brew is typically enjoyed black (although you can add milk, ice cream, or cold foam), and it involves steeping the coffee beans in cold water for around 12 to 24 hours to extract the coffee.

As it is brewed with cold water over a long period of time, the coffee typically tastes sweeter and less bitter as no pressure or hot water is used to create it.

Read our guide to brewing cold brew in a french press here

Cold brew coffee recipes to try

Nitro Coffee

Relatively new on the scene, nitro coffee is brewed by injecting nitrogen into cold brew coffee.

With a smooth, sweet flavor and texture like beer, it is a great way to enjoy black coffee at home or on the go.

It is becoming easier to make this type of black coffee at home thanks to the advent of home nitro coffee makers and we review all the best nitro coffee makers for home here.

If you have tried and failed to enjoy black coffee, see our tips for enjoying black coffee here.

Different types of espresso drinks

As we mentioned above, espresso is a unique method of brewing black coffee with an espresso machine under high pressure.

The resulting shot of espresso is the basis for a huge range of espresso coffee drinks.

We list the main barista coffees you would see on a café drinks menu below.

good espresso coffee shot in glass on the wooden table.

Espresso coffee types

  • Affogato – An Italian coffee drink with a shot of espresso poured over ice cream.
  • Americano – An Americano is a shot of espresso topped up with hot water.
  • Breve coffee – espresso topped with steamed half and half.
  • Cappuccino – a popular espresso drink made with one part espresso, one part steamed milk and one part steamed milk foam. Often topped with a sprinkle of chocolate powder or cinnamon powder.
  • Doppio – A doppio is the same as an espresso, but instead of being one shot, it is a double shot.
  • Flat white – similar to a latte but served in a smaller cup to reduce the quantity of milk. Made with one part espresso, two parts steamed milk.
  • Iced Macchiato – a shot of espresso added to cold milk and ice (and often flavored).
  • Irish coffee – espresso coffee mixed with a shot of whiskey and topped with whipped cream.
  • Latte – a milk based espresso drink, made with one part espresso to two parts steamed milk and topped with a layer of frothed milk. For a less milky coffee drink try a piccolo latte, served in a smaller glass with the same quantity of espresso. Often flavored.
  • Long Black – A long black is similar to an Americano with the added water. However the order is swapped, with the espresso shot poured over the hot water and it is typically made using two shots of espresso, rather than just the one.
  • Macchiato – a classic macchiato is one part espresso and a dollop of milk foam on top. Not to be confused with a latte macchiato, made popular by Starbucks which is more like a weak latte, with espresso added to hot milk.
  • Mocha – any coffee drink with chocolate added. Popular options include a mocha latte and a mochaccino (cappuccino with chocolate added).
  • Ristretto – A ristretto is a condensed form of an espresso and contains less water. It provides a more concentrated shot when compared to an espresso shot.
  • Espresso Martini a popular coffee cocktail that combines espresso with coffee liqueur and spirits.

Other variations include a lungo, cortado, gibralter and cafe au lait.

Different Types of Iced Coffee Drinks

While iced coffee has been popular for a long time, over the last few years more people seem to be drinking it than ever before.

Iced coffee generally refers to the cold coffee drink made by pouring brewed coffee over ice and topped with milk and/or cream.

The exception is cold brew coffee drinks which are brewed cold.

When it comes to recipes for iced or cold coffee drinks, technically speaking, all types of coffee can be made into iced coffee if you prefer to drink it cold.

two glasses of iced coffees with milk pouring in to glass.

Popular Kinds Of Iced Coffees

  • Iced latte – latte brewed over ice.
  • Iced espresso – a shot of espresso topped with ice.
  • Boba coffee – iced milk coffee with tapioca pearls.
  • Iced mocha – mocha coffee mixed with ice.
  • Iced Americano – a shot of espresso topped up with hot water and ice added.
  • Japanese Iced Coffee – espresso brewed over ice and topped with milk and/or water.
  • Greek Frappe – instant coffee, sugar and water ice shaken or blended together, then served over ice with or without milk.
  • Vietnamese iced coffee – Vietnamese drip coffee poured over sweetened condensed milk and served over ice.

There are soooo many options when it comes to iced coffee, only limited by your imagination really!

If you ask for your favorite type of coffee to be served iced in a coffee shop, it is highly likely that this will be possible.

Iced coffee recipes to try

Types Of Blended Coffee Drinks

Coffee combined with ice and blended until icy cold is one of the best ways to enjoy a refreshing coffee drink.

There are countless ways to enjoy blended coffees, and here are some of my favorites:

  • Frappe – a blended coffee drink, similar to a frappuccino or a smoothie.
  • Frappuccino – an iced blended coffee drink with flavors and often topped with whipped cream. Similar to a coffee milkshake or modern frappe.
  • Milkshake – coffee blended with icecream and other flavors for a delicious milky cold coffee drink.
  • Proffee – a protein coffee drink combining espresso or cold brew with protein powder.
  • Smoothie – a healthy blended coffee drink, commonly combined with fruit or yogurt.

Blended coffee recipes to try

Or see even more coffee smoothie recipes to make at home in this collection.

Different Types of Coffee Drinks at Starbucks

Before we discuss the different types of coffee drinks at Starbucks, it is worth noting that their menu does change occasionally, and we have included all the drinks listed at the time of writing.

When looking at the Starbucks menu, there are so many types of coffee drinks to choose from, and they have a great selection of options to suit many people’s preferences.

And for those not so keen on coffee, they have a large menu of caffeine free drinks too.

Starbucks coffee drinks in paper cups on table.

Starbucks coffee drinks

  • Americano – This is an espresso shot that has been topped with hot water and contains a small amount of crema on the top of the coffee
  • Brewed Coffees – Their brewed coffees consist of options such as Caffe Misto and Pike Place Roast. These coffees have been brewed and are typically drunk black. However, the Caffe Misto also contains steamed milk, for those who are not fond of black coffee.
  • Cappuccinos – This is an espresso shot that has been topped with a thick layer of milk foam. Some people choose to add syrups to this, others do not.
  • Espresso Shots – These are for those who are looking for a short drink, and want to drink the coffee quickly, without having the volume.
  • Flat Whites – the flat white contains an espresso shot with steamed whole milk. It is a great option for those looking for something less milky than a latte.
  • Lattes – These are one of the more popular coffee drinks. They contain a shot of espresso and a lot of milk. They are creamy, and great with syrups added like a cinnamon dolce latte.
  • Macchiatos – These contain steamed milk, an espresso shot, and usually vanilla syrup and a caramel drizzle – delicious!
  • Mocha – These are a mixture of an espresso shot, chocolate, and steamed milk. They are a great option for those with a sweet tooth.
  • Cold brew – This is an iced coffee that is typically drunk black, and it is not as strong in its flavor due to how it is brewed in comparison to an espresso shot.
  • Nitro Cold Brew – This is similar to regular cold brews, but it contains nitrogen which helps to give it a smooth consistency.

In addition to the warm coffee beverages available, Starbucks also offers the majority of them as iced coffees too, which is perfect on a warm day.

Some of these include, iced Americano, iced shaken espresso, iced Latte, and an iced mocha. You can also choose to add coffee to hot chocolates, and the Frappuccino menu options too.

There are so many choices available in Starbucks. Given that they specialize in coffee, this is not surprising to see.

However, there certainly is a coffee option to suit a wide variety of different preferences.

Starbucks copycat recipes to try

Types of Japanese Coffee Drinks

Coffee culture around the world is quite unique. And when it comes to Japanese coffee, it is consumed quite differently in comparison to the United States.

While you can purchase all the most common types of coffee, from lattes, to macchiatos in coffee shops, interestingly, this is not the most popular type of coffee in Japan.

Even though Japan is more well-known for its tea, as a country they do consume a lot of coffee too.

A popular place to go to drink coffee in Japan is called a Kissaten, which is a type of café. They serve traditional tea and coffee.

Latte coffee with bear on top top view.

Canned Coffee

The most popular type of coffee in Japan is canned coffee!

While you can purchase canned coffee in America, it is not the go-to option. However, in Japan it is the preferred choice.

Japan is well-known for their many vending machines, and canned coffee is a popular refreshment served in these machines.

It is useful as it can be drunk on the go, and comes in a range of sizes.

Japanese canned coffee is available in a wide variety of different strengths, from lattes, to black coffee. They can also be hot or cold.

They are a fairly cheap option to purchase too, and are inexpensive when compared to coffee shop coffee.

Japanese Iced Coffee

Another popular type of coffee in Japan is iced coffee.

What makes iced coffee different in Japan is their method of brewing warm coffee straight over ice, which helps to enhance the flavor.

You can replicate this iced coffee drink by adding cubed ice to the carafe of your drip coffee maker or to your glass when brewing espresso.

Japanese Latte Art

Japan is also widely known for its unique latte art, and there are a handful of different cafés that specialize in this.

The milk foam and crema is used to create different cute designs of things such as cats, and it is a big hit in Japan.

Types Of Coffee Drinks With Chocolate

The most common type of coffee drink that contains chocolate is called a Mocha.

This is a popular choice with those that enjoy coffee, but want some added sweetness, and enjoy the taste of chocolate.

iced coffee drinks with chocolate in plastic takeout cups.

Typically, a mocha contains an espresso shot, a form of chocolate and hot steamed milk.

The chocolate can be melted chocolate, chocolate powder, chocolate syrup or it can even be a hot chocolate that has an espresso shot added to it.

It can sometimes be referred to as a mochaccino too when froth is added to the top. While mochas are typically served warm, you can make or buy them iced too.

While milk chocolate is typically used, a mocha can be made using white chocolate too, for a sweeter alternative.

Mocha has become a general term to refer to any coffee drink with chocolate added. As chocolate pairs so well with coffee, it can be added to all kinds of coffee drinks, hot and cold.

Other popular styles of coffee with chocolate include a frappuccino, coffee smoothie, coffee milkshake and iced coffee. Want to know more? See our full guide to what a mocha is here.

nitro coffee drink in glass with spoon with coffee beans alongside.

What Is The Weakest Coffee Drink?

In terms of the coffee with the least amount of caffeine, you may be surprised to learn that this is actually an espresso shot.

While, on average, it contains around 75 mg to 100 mg of caffeine, this is lower when compared to other coffee drinks such as cold brew or drip coffee.

However, just because it is the weakest in terms of the amount of caffeine, if you are looking for a drink that tastes the least like coffee, it is probably not the best option to choose.

While an espresso shot is great, as it is concentrated, it may taste too strong for some people to enjoy.

Given this, milk based coffee drinks are a better option for those looking for a weak tasting coffee.

Some options that taste the least like coffee include mochas, caramel macchiatos, and lattes. Frappuccino are also a great alternative if you prefer cold drinks.

As a lot of these drinks contain a lot of milk and typically a lot of sugar to accompany this, they are not the most appealing options for everyone.

Another tip if you you want to try drinks such as lattes, or cappuccinos and want it to be weaker, is to add half a shot of espresso instead of a full shot. This will help to keep the taste of coffee to a minimum.

What Is The Best Coffee For Non Coffee Drinkers?

If you are typically a non coffee drinker and looking to branch out and try some new coffee containing drinks, it can be difficult knowing where to start.

There are so many options available, many of which may be quite strong and overwhelming for non coffee drinkers.

milk coffee drink in white cup on wooden tray.

In terms of espresso, instead of going in with a straight espresso shot, lattes are a great place to begin.

They still contain coffee, but they are milky, smooth, and can have many flavors added to them.

Other types of coffees that are great for beginners include pour over coffee and cold brew as they tend to be smoother and less bitter.

In addition to this, mochas are another great option. As they are a mixture of coffee, chocolate, and milk, the coffee is not overpowering.

If you are a non coffee drinker, you can also choose to have less coffee added to your drink to begin with.

What Is The Most Common Coffee Order?

In the US, the most common order is a latte. This is not surprising to learn given that it is the perfect combination of both coffee and milk.

It is appealing to many people as it has a good amount of caffeine, tastes like coffee, but is not too overwhelming which other types of coffee can be.

top view of latte cafe drink in blue cup.

What is great about lattes is that they are versatile and there are so many combinations that can be created, such as adding cream, different coffee roasts, and syrups.

As it is not too strong, it is a popular choice for those who are not overly fond of the taste of coffee, and coffee drinkers too.

What Is A Milky Coffee Called?

The phrase “milky coffee” is usually used when referring to a latte. While there are other types of coffee that contain a reasonable amount of milk, such as cappuccino and flat white, latte’s contain the most.

A latte is made up of one espresso shot, which is added to a glass of steamed milk. Flavored syrups can be added to the latte too.

A latte is a great option if you are looking for a coffee drink that is not too strong and is smooth and creamy in its taste and texture.

Milky coffee also refers to a café au lait, the term used in France for a coffee with milk.

Is Flat White Stronger Than Cappuccino?

When comparing a flat white and a cappuccino, many people are unsure which is the stronger coffee, as they both contain espresso and steamed milk.

Technically speaking, in the vast majority of cases, they both have the same amount of coffee.

Therefore, they are the same strength and have the same levels of caffeine (providing that the same espresso shots are used).

Overhead image of Flat white specialty coffee drink in black cup and saucer.

However, the difference lies in the amount of milk that is used. In a cappuccino, there is a 1:1 ratio of milk to espresso, which is then topped with an equal portion of milk froth.

Given this, the overall flavor is quite strong. However, in a flat white, there is significantly more milk added, and the ratio sits at around 1 part espresso and 2 parts milk.

Taking this into consideration, a flat white tastes less strong and milkier in comparison to a cappuccino, even though they contain the same amount of coffee.

The texture of a flat white is a lot smoother too, which means that a cappuccino is often referred to as the stronger coffee of the two.

See our comparison of the flat white vs latte here.

What Is Coffee With Cinnamon Called?

Coffee with cinnamon is better referred to as Café de Olla (Mexican Spiced Coffee).

This is a traditional Mexican coffee. It contains raw dark sugar, which is more commonly referred to as piloncillo, and ground coffee. Some recipes also contain star anise, and cloves too.

It is a delicious and warming coffee drink that has been drunk by many generations.

While it is typically drunk black, it can also be consumed with a small amount of milk too. Its name derives from the clay pot (olla de barro) that this coffee is brewed in.

Another popular coffee with cinnamon flavor is a cinnamon dolce latte.

What Is Coffee With Honey Called?

Coffee with honey is more commonly referred to as Café miel. Miel is the Spanish word for honey.

This Spanish recipe consists of a shot of espresso, steamed milk, a good amount of honey, and a dusting of cinnamon on the top. Some recipes will also contain nutmeg too.

If you are looking to switch up your order and want a more natural alternative to coffee syrups, a Café miel is a great option. It is a fairly popular drink, and it is smooth and sweet.

What Is Coffee With Whipped Cream Called?

In the United States, we refer to a coffee with whipped cream as Café Vienne.

However, in Italian, it is better known as espresso con panna. This is quite a strong drink given that it consists of just a single or double shot of espresso and whipped cream.

However, the whipped cream provides a creamy and smoother taste to your regular espresso shot. Given this, it is a great option if you want a short coffee drink that has a kick of sweetness.

It is worth noting that you can add heavy cream or whipped cream to all types of coffee too. It is a popular choice to add to mochas, and lattes.


We hope this article has helped you to learn more about the different kinds of coffee that is available.

As you can see, there is so much choice, and the list of coffee drinks is endless. There is definitely a type of coffee to suit all tastes.

You can find all our coffee brewing guides here or try one of our easy coffee drink recipes.

More coffee drink recipes and guides

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Rachel Rodda

It's no surprise that as a former barista and founder of Creators of Coffee, I'm obsessed with all things coffee. I love to share easy and delicious coffee recipes, expert brewing tips and helpful coffee gear reviews with my fellow coffee lovers!

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