What types of coffee should you try?
Legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder called Kaldi noticed that when his goats ate certain types of beans, they became very energetic; so, he tried it, too.
In the 16th century, coffee reached Italy and became so popular that by the 18th century, coffee houses had opened all across Europe.
History aside, today coffee lovers enjoy a variety of types of coffee, each cup with its own unique aroma and flavor. Let’s cover the different types of coffee available today.
Some of these drinks are available in your local coffee shop, while others will require a little exploration.
If you prefer your coffee black, served straight without any fuss, Arabica is the most popular choice. Most coffee connoisseurs prefer Arabica beans for the rich, sweet, and flavorful taste.
Robusta is cheaper than Arabica but much stronger and loaded with a lot more caffeine. It has a bitter taste and is mostly used for espresso drinks and in instant coffee mixes. So, if you need to get energy fast, Robusta is just the thing: but it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
Espresso is the method Italians use for brewing coffee. The brewing process consists of pressing hot water under high pressure through finely-ground cofee beans, which makes it very flavorsome and robust.
An excellent espresso has frothy foam on top known as crema. You can drink this thick textured coffee neat or use it as a base. Shots of espresso have higher caffeine content compared with regularly brewed coffee, so know your limits.
If you are a chocoholic, this thick-textured coffee treat is just for you. The Mocha is an espresso with chocolate, steamed milk, and foam. It is so delectable that we don’t even want to consider the amounts of cream and sugar added to give it that divine chocolatey taste.
Doppio in Italian means double and is often just referred to as a standard double. This supreme caffeine fix consists of two shots of espresso, served straight. That’s a lot of coffee beans in your hot water, so drink it for a red eye start rather than before bed.
Way back in the 17th century, people started adding milk to their espresso to make it creamier and cool it down a bit. Caffè latte is Italian for milk coffee. Today a latte is made with a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and just a touch of foam. If you want to enhance the flavor, anything from vanilla to caramel and chocolate will do.
Cappuccino is immensely popular all over the world. It is an Italian coffee which is believed to date back to the 1930s. It is traditionally made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk, topped with a choice of either foam or cream, and sprinkled with cinnamon or cocoa powder. The amount of water in a Cappuccino can vary.
In Italian macchiato is yet another drink with an espresso base. A macchiato is somewhere between a doppio and a cappuccino served with a small amount of foamed milk. Macchiatos are stronger than lattes with a more aromatic flavor and robust taste. And like all espresso-based drinks, it is nicely laced with caffeine.
It is believed that it was the American soldiers in Europe that created the Americano during the Second World War. They added hot water to a shot or even two of espresso to dilute it for a milder taste. Americano is a great morning coffee that does not interfere with your diet or health routine.
Cortado is a Spanish invention. The word cortar means to cut, and that is what the Spanish did to create the cortado. By adding just the right amount of warm steamed milk to the espresso, the Spanish gave it that velvety texture and unique flavor.
To enjoy a cortado, you have to drink it at a café, as it is not available anywhere as a takeaway.
The meaning of ristretto in Italian is restricted, and it describes the preparation process in which less hot water is added to create the perfect ristretto.
Only a little amount of hot water gets added to half a shot of espresso to lessen the bitterness and ensure a sweeter taste. Ristretto is traditionally served in a demitasse cup and is loaded with caffeine.
The affogato is a delicious treat that consists of a scoop of ice cream drenched in a shot or two of espresso. Eat the ice cream first before it all melts away, and drink the espresso before it gets too cold.
Anything French sounds fancy, but actually, it is just a cup of black coffee with a splash of warm milk. The French version, unlike the Italian caffè latte, is made with brewed coffee and no foam on top. Leave out the sugar and it is probably the healthiest white coffee among the lot.
Trust the Irish to add a tot or two of whiskey, brown sugar, and a dollop of cream to the brew! Invented in the 1940s, this is one of the world’s most popular alcoholic coffee drinks. You can make a cup of Irish from any coffee, stirring in brown sugar, your whiskey of choice, and adding the cream right at the end.
Be careful not to drink too many Irish coffees; it tastes like dessert but can easily get you drunk. As it’s alcoholic, you’re more likely to order in a bar than from a barista in your local coffee shop. Variations on an Irish coffee include other liqueurs like Baileys with whipped cream.
This Turkish method is one of the oldest coffee processes in the world. It consists of adding ground roasted Arabica beans and sugar to cold water. The coffee is brewed in a traditional coffee pot called a cezve or an ibrik over low heat. Cardamom, cinnamon, and other aromatic spices are used to flavor the coffee.
Like an Irish coffee, it’s difficult to make this with a normal coffee machine.
We hope this short guide will make it much easier to identify the types of coffee drinks and how each cup is prepared.
For a coffee enthusiast, the array of coffee varieties might make it hard to choose which to try first. Start at the top of the list and work (or drink) your way down. From the time-trusted flat white to the delicate latte, you’re sure to find one that suits your palette.