Ready to expand your coffee knowledge and delight your taste buds? In this huge guide, you'll learn about 79 types of coffee. You'll find the most popular, types of coffee drinks, types of beans, types of coffee roasts, and their specific coffee names. Of course, we also include just what goes into each of these drinks that'll help you create these new flavors at home.
79 Types of Coffee: Definitive Guide
Coffee is loved all around the world. In the United States, more than half of the population drink coffee. It's’ a popular breakfast drink that many think is necessary to begin their day.
But, coffee is also a popular socializing drink. Professionals meet up at restaurants to discuss business over a cup of coffee. Many dates take place in cozy cafes over a cup of joe. And, a fresh pot of coffee makes the experience of catching up with friends all the more warm and pleasurable.
You may be used to your own particular style of coffee, so what happens when you walk into a coffee shop and want to try something new? All those items on the menu can be overwhelming, so learning in advance what might become your new favorite could help a lot. So let's dive in.
I mean what really is an espresso? And what about a macchiato? What's the difference in coffee roasts, and how do you know which one is best? All those coffee drinks look appealing, but which one should you try?
This article is your guide to all the different types of coffee drinks, coffee beans, coffee names, and coffee roasts out there.
Hopefully, we'll answer your questions about coffee so that you'll want to start taste testing some new drinks at your favorite cafe. You may even be inspired to try some different brewing methods at home and whip up some flavorful creations of your own.
We’ll also let you in on some bizarre coffee preferences that just might help out with some interesting coffee table conversation.
11 Most Popular Types of Coffee
Let's start out by talking about some of the most popular ways to make coffee and the pros and cons of each. Here's more about these popular types of coffee.
Most of the following methods are pretty easy. With a good coffee grinder and some basic gear you'll be ready to start trying new brew methods which will bring out those yummy flavor profiles in your coffee.
- Drip Coffee. This is a common type of coffee at home and in many restaurants. The drip method brews coffee by heating water in a tank with heating rods. The hot water then slowly passes over ground coffee beans in a filter (usually paper) and then drips below into a glass carafe.
- French Press (Cafetière). The French press was probably how your grandparents (or even great grandparents, depending on your age) made coffee. The French press involves a glass or metal beaker that you fill with coarse coffee grounds and hot water. Then you plunge the metal filter to the bottom to separate the grounds from the coffee. Takes about 5 minutes.
- Cold Brew Coffee. If you want the perfect, smooth cup of coffee, cold brew is the way to go. With cold brew, you steep coarse coffee grounds in cool water for a long period of time, say from 12 to 24 hours. You can easily make cold brew at home with just a French press, a mason jar, or an airtight cold brew maker. It is known for a strong, intense flavor with no bitterness.
- Pour Over Coffee. Pour over is a classic tried and true method for making coffee. Simply pour hot water over coffee grounds in a filter through a cone or upper chamber. It produces a smooth, flavorful cup of coffee. And you control the water temperature, grind, and brew time.
- Cowboy Coffee (Boiled) If your coffee maker suddenly dies, or if you’re craving coffee while camping out in the wilderness, the old-fashioned cowboy method will at least keep you from going through coffee withdrawal. Just boil water in a saucepan and still in coffee grounds. After the grounds settle to the bottom of the pan, you can slowly pour the coffee into a mug and drink. Here's how to make cowboy coffee.
- Turkish Coffee (Boiled) A traditional coffee drink in the Middle East, Turkish coffee is boiled on the stovetop in a special, wide-bottomed coffee pot called a “cezve.” Turkish coffee is known for its frothy foam that is formed by boiling water and powdery-fine coffee grounds. This type of coffee is for those who love strong, black coffee.
- Percolated Coffee Also considered one of the boiled types of coffee, percolated coffee was very popular before drip coffee stole the show in the mid-1970s. Percolated coffee is brewed in a stove-top or electric stand-alone unit. Boiling (or nearly boiling) water is continuously cycled through the grounds until the desired strength is achieved, usually for around 7 or 8 minutes.
- Infused Coffee. This method is similar to steeping tea. You simply put coarse coffee grounds inside an infuser that is placed inside a carafe. Add hot water and let the brewing magic begin. This method gives you control over the brew time. Whether you like it mellow or strong, you can tweak your brew time to provide you with the perfect cup of coffee every time.
- Vacuum Coffee. First created in the early 1800s, a vacuum coffee maker involves a complex system of glass flasks and siphon tubes that look more like a chemistry lab. This method requires an enormous amount of practice, effort and time, so it’s not something you can just throw together in the morning before work. You’ll need to gauge the water temperature and know just the right time to turn on the vacuum.
- Moka Pot Coffee. An Italian invention from the 1930s, the moka pot is an electric or stove-top pot that brews coffee by passing water through ground coffee by pressurized steam. Bialetti makes a great moka pot in 5 sizes (1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 cup capacity). If you can’t afford an espresso machine, the moka pot is the next-best thing.
- Espresso Coffee. Favored by many people for its concentrated brew and jolt of caffeine, espresso is brewed in an espresso machine. The espresso machine uses high pressure to force a small amount of hot water through a “puck” of finely ground coffee with quick speed. The result is a thick brew that's full of rich flavor and topped with a creamy foam (called crema).
Expand your coffee vocabulary: Read 241 Flavorful Words to Describe Coffee
17 Types of Espresso Coffee Drinks
Espresso is the base for numerous types of coffee drinks that you are probably familiar with, let's talk about some of them now.
As we look at how these types of coffee drinks are made it's good to remember that different baristas can use different milk ratios, so your cappuccino from one cafe may not be exactly the same as your cappuccino from another.
- Cappuccino: 1/3 espresso with 1/3 steamed milk foam and 1/3 hot milk.
- Flat White: 2/3 steamed milk and 1/3 espresso.
- Antoccino: A single shot of espresso made with steamed milk in a 1:1 ratio.
- Macchiato: An espresso shot with a small amount of steamed/foamed milk (only about 2 teaspoons).
- Cafe Bombon: Created in Spain, this espresso drink is made with sweetened condensed milk in a 1:1 ratio.
- Caffe Gommosa: A single espresso shot that's poured over a single marshmallow.
- Cortado: An espresso shot served with an equal amount of steamed milk to reduce the level of acidity.
- Latte: Made with 2/3 espresso 1/3 steamed milk and a thin layer of milk foam.
- Galao: A Portuguese drink made with espresso and foamed milk served in a tall glass.
- Caffe Americano: An espresso drink where hot water is added on top of a single or double shot of espresso. This produces a coffee drink that is similar in strength (but different in taste) to regular drip coffee.
- Long Black: Usually a 6-ounce drink that is an inverted form of the Americano, meaning the espresso is added on top of hot water instead of the other way around.
- Cafe Cubano: Originally from Cuba, as the name suggests, this espresso drink is made with demerara sugar.
- Cafe Zorro: A double shot of espresso (60 ml) added to water with a 1:1 ratio.
- Doppio: A double shot of espresso that’s served in a demitasse cup ( a small, single-serve cup).
- Espresso Romano: A shot of espresso with a slice of lemon on the side.
- Guillermo: Two shots of espresso poured over lime slices or ice.
- Ristretto: An espresso made with the same amount of coffee as a normal espresso shot but only half the amount of water, resulting in a concentrated shot.
While not actually a type of coffee, most coffee ice cream does actually contain coffee (and caffeine).
7 Coffee Combination Drinks
The following coffee drinks have a regular cup of coffee as their base and may or may not have added espresso.
- Cafe au lait: “Coffee with milk” is a combination of strong coffee and steamed milk in a 1:1 ratio.
- Coffee with Espresso: Also called a “shot in the dark,” or an “eye opener” this drink is where espresso is combined with regular coffee to either increase flavor intensity or caffeine content.
- Black Eye: A regular cup of coffee with two shots of espresso.
- Dead eye: A regular coffee with three shots of espresso.
- Botz: Literally meaning “mud,” botz is one of the most common types of coffee in Israel. It consists of pouring boiling hot water over finely ground Turkish coffee and allowing the drink to cool and the grounds to settle on the bottom. Usually served with sugar and cardamom.
- Nitro Coffee: Coffee infused with nitrogen. This cold brew coffee drink is rich and foamy, it has a naturally sweet flavor (thanks to the tiny bubbles) without added sugar.
- Bulletproof Coffee: This coffee is contains unsalted grass-fed butter and “Brain Octane Oil” (100% caprylic acid triglyceride from highly refined coconut oil). It's blended to have a consistency similar to a foamy latte.
4 Types of Coffee with Tea
There are many drink combinations of coffee and tea around the world.
Some of the most popular are:
- Black tie: A drink made by combining a double shot of espresso (or strong coffee) with traditional Thai iced tea (a mixture of black tea, spices and condensed milk or cream).
- Red tie: A drink made like the black tie but with a single shot of espresso rather than a double shot.
- Dirty chai latte: A drink combining a regular caffè latte with chai spiced tea.
- Yuenyeung (drink): A popular drink in Hong Kong made by combining coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea.
7 Types of Coffee with Alcohol
Like coffee/tea drink combinations, there are way too many coffee/alcohol drinks around the world to list, but here are several worth mentioning:
- Bailey's Irish Cream and Coffee: Served in a clear liqueur coffee glass, this drink is a combination of coffee and a shot of Baileys Irish Cream liqueur (25 ml) with a whipped cream topping.
- Caffè Corretto: An Italian drink combining a shot of espresso that’s “corrected” with a shot of liquor (usually brandy, grappa, sambuca.)
- Rüdesheimer Kaffee: Deriving from Rüdesheim, Germany, this drink is made with coffee, sugar and Asbach Uralt brandy, and topped with whipped cream.
- Pharisee: Served in a mug, this popular drink from north frisian Island in Nordstrand, Germany is made with black coffee, a double shot of rum, and whipped cream topping.
- Barraquito: A traditional drink from Tenerife (Canary Islands), mixing Licor 43 with espresso, foamed milk, condensed sweetened milk, cinnamon and lemon.
- Carajillo: A Spanish drink that combines coffee with either rum, whiskey, brandy or anisette. There is an American version that serves this coffee/alcohol combination in a sugar-rimmed mug that is flamed to caramelize the sugar and then topped with whipped cream.
- Irish coffee: A drink combining coffee, whiskey, cream and sometimes sugar.
14 Types of Flavored Coffee
Check out these types of espresso/coffee drink flavors and see which ones you recognize.
- Melya: A coffee drink flavored with honey and cocoa powder (sometimes cream as well).
- Espressino: Espresso made with steamed milk and cocoa powder. Some people also line their glass with Nutella before adding the cocoa powder, espresso, and steamed milk.
- Caffè Marocchino: Similar to espressino, this drink is made with espresso, cocoa powder, and milk froth.
- Café miel: Deriving from the French word for honey (“miel”), this coffee drink consists of steamed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and honey.
- Mocha or Mocaccino (Mochaccino): A double shot of espresso (60ml) served with steamed milk and hot chocolate (or chocolate syrup or cocoa powder) in a cappuccino cup and topped with whipped cream.
- Cafe Borgia: A mocha served with orange rind (sometimes orange flavoring) and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.
- Café de olla: A traditional Latin American coffee drink prepared in earthen clay pots and flavored with piloncillo (also called panela – unrefined whole cane sugar) and cinnamon.
- Café Rápido y Sucio (or Quick and Dirty Coffee): A drink consisting of three shots of espresso and chocolate syrup only (no water or milk).
- Coffee with a flavor shot: Various flavored syrups are often added to coffee such as French vanilla, hazelnut, Irish Cream (non-alcoholic), caramel, and chocolate.
- Affogato: Also served as a dessert, this Italian drink features a scoop of ice cream (or gelato) with a shot of espresso poured on top. Occasionally, the espresso may be mixed with liqueur. You can also get a white affogato which is a regular affogato with milk added.
- Caffè Medici: This coffee drink has an Italian name but originated in a historic Seattle coffeehouse. The Caffè Medici is a doppio (double shot of espresso in a single-serve cup) that’s poured over an orange peel and chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream.
- Egg coffee: This Vietnamese drink is made with robusta coffee, sugar, condensed milk and egg yolk.
- Kopi susu: A combination drink of coffee and sweetened condensed milk that is allowed to cool while the grounds settle to the bottom.
- Vienna Coffee: A coffee drink made with regular coffee or espresso with thick cream or whipped cream added and dusted with cocoa.
10 Types of Iced Coffee
We often think of coffee as a hot drink, but there are many delicious types of coffee that come in chilled form.
Iced coffee doesn’t mean it’s cold brewed. Instead, it’s made using a hot brew method and then chilled before serving. It's easy to make iced coffee at home, once you read some of these options you'll probably want to start trying them out.
- Iced lattes and iced mochas: Popular types of coffee drinks that are combined with cold milk rather than steamed milk as in the case of regular lattes and mochas.
- Ca phe sua da: Originating from Vietnam and literally meaning “iced milk coffee,” this drink is made by combining black coffee with sweetened condensed milk and then poured over ice.
- Eiskaffee: This German coffee drink is made with iced coffee and vanilla ice cream.
- Frappé: Originated in Greece, a frappe is a popular iced coffee drink that has been blended, beaten or shaken to a frothy consistency and served cold with whipped cream and other additives such as milk, vanilla, sugar, and syrups (like caramel or chocolate).
- Freddo Espresso: Popular in Greece during the hot summers, this iced coffee drink is made with two shots of espresso and sugar. The espresso is put in a shaker with a few ice cubes and mixed for around 20 seconds. The coffee is then poured over ice which cools the drink and dilutes the bitterness. It's a foamy drink.
- Freddo Cappuccino: Also popular in Greece, this drink is made like the freddo espresso but with cold milk foam added to the top.
- Mazagran: Originating in Algeria, the mazagran consists of coffee and ice served in a tall glass. Sometimes, sugar, mint, lemon, water or rum are added to the drink.
- Palazzo: Popular in Southern California, the Palazzo is made with two shots of espresso. Right after the coffee is brewed, it’s chilled and mixed with sweetened cream.
- Ice Shot: Originating in Australia, the Ice Shot involves a single shot of espresso poured over ice in a regular latté glass. The hot coffee is diluted by the ice and is then refrozen to a slushy texture.
- Shakerato: Similar to the freddo espresso, this Italian iced coffee drink is where fresh espresso (one shot) and ice cubes are shaken together creating a froth. The shaken espresso is then served in a martini glass.
6 Other Types of Coffee Drinks
Next up we talk about instant and decaf coffee then we'll look at a few other interesting types of coffee drinks that you may not have heard about. Please let us know if you've tried any by leaving us a comment, and if you've heard of others we haven't listed here.
1. Instant Coffee
Instant coffee is made from ground coffee beans that have already been brewed.
There are various processes that different manufacturers use, but essentially, the coffee is dehydrated into powder or granules that can later be rehydrated with hot or cold water (iced coffee) for an “instant” cup of coffee. There are some coffee brands that make instant coffee in a concentrated liquid form.
You may be familiar with some of these well-known instant coffee brands:
- Maxwell House
- Mr. Brown Coffee
- Chock full o’Nuts
2. Decaffeinated Coffee
Decaffeinated coffee (also called decaf) is coffee that contains little or no caffeine (97% to 99.9% caffeine-free).
Many people love the taste of coffee but don’t want the caffeine content. While there are some positive points of drinking coffee with caffeine, like keeping you alert, there are some health concerns that could be related to the over-consumption of caffeine such as nervousness and a fast heartbeat.
There are a variety of techniques involved in removing caffeine from coffee. Most of these methods include soaking the coffee beans in water and/or passing the beans through a solvent that dissolves the caffeine.
3. Canned Coffee
Canned Coffee: While ground coffee is often sold in large cans, this canned coffee means coffee that is brewed and ready to drink.
Widely popular in Japan (and other countries), canned coffee is sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and vending machines.
4. Coffee Milk
Coffee Milk: Coffee milk is sort of like manufactured chocolate syrup that you buy to add to your milk to make chocolate milk. Instead of chocolate syrup, coffee milk is made by adding a manufactured sweetened coffee concentrate (called coffee syrup) to milk.
5. South Indian Coffee
South Indian Coffee: Also known as Indian filter coffee, Mysore filter coffee, or Kaapi. This sweet, milky coffee drink is common in South India and made from dark roasted coffee beans.
Pocillo: Widely served in Latin American countries as an after-dinner coffee, the pocillo is most often meant to describe “a little bit of coffee” or coffee served in a smaller-than-usual coffee cup.
It can involve all types of coffee drinks but is often a shot or small amount of unsweetened coffee made using a moka pot or espresso machine.
4 Types of Coffee Beans
A good cup of coffee isn’t just about how you brew it. It actually begins with which type of coffee beans are used.
- Arabica. Arabica coffee beans make up between 60% and 70% of the world’s coffee production (depending on the year).
- Robusta Beans. Compared to Arabica, Robusta coffee is considered inferior due to its strong, bitter taste that’s also described as harsh and earthy. It also contains twice the amount of caffeine as its rival. Good quality robusta adds a nice crema to a great espresso shot.
- Liberica Beans. Liberica accounts for a small minority of the world’s coffee. It is native to western and central Africa. Liberica coffee is very bold and aromatic, featuring a strong, fruity taste.
- Excelsa Beans. Contributing to only about 7% of the world’s coffee production, Excelsa is sometimes considered a sub-species of Liberica, but fans of it prefer to keep it separate. It’s often used in house blends of Arabica and Robusta and boasts a distinct flavor that reminds you of tart fruit.
5 Types of Coffee Bean Roasts
The taste of your coffee is determined by the type of coffee beans and how they are roasted.
The longer coffee beans roast, the darker in color they become and the more flavor and aroma is released. On the other hand, the longer the roast, the less caffeine and acidity they contain.
Coffee bean roasts are categorized by levels of light, medium, medium-dark, and dark which are described in more detail below.
- White Roast Coffee. These are the lightest roast coffee. The flavor is so different that white coffee doesn't actually taste like traditional coffee.
- Light Roast. Light roast coffee is roasted the least amount of time compared to other roasts (other than white coffee). As a result, the coffee isn't oily on the surface and is lighter brown in color. Some common light roast names include: Cinnamon Roast, New England, and Half City.
- Medium Roast. Medium roast coffee is medium brown in color and is It is the most popular roast in the United States. It doesn't have an oily surface you'll see in the darker roasts. Some common medium roast names include: American, Regular, and Breakfast.
- Medium-Dark Roast. Medium-dark roasted coffee beans offer a bold body and rich flavor with a slight bittersweet aftertaste. They feature a semi-oily surface, decreased acidity, and deeper aroma. Common names for medium-dark roasts are: Full City, After Dinner, Light Espresso, and Light French.
- Dark Roast. Dark roasts feature an extra bold body and heavy mouthfeel that is preferred by many coffee lovers, especially those in Europe. These coffee beans are roasted the longest – until they are the color of dark chocolate or even black. This brings out the bean’s oil which you can see in the brew. Popular dark roast names include: High, Espresso, European, Dark, and Italian.
Learn more about the types of coffee roasts.
3 Types of Animal Poop Coffee (Cat, Bird, Elephant)
Have you ever heard of cat poop coffee? What about Jacu bird coffee or Black Ivory Coffee? Check out these strange poop coffees.
- Kopi Luwak Coffee (Civet Coffee) Kopi Luwak coffee is named after the Asian palm civet, a furry, nocturnal animal that’s native to Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The civet loves to eat coffee cherries. These droppings are then collected and the coffee beans are extracted, washed, and roasted to then be brewed into one of the world’s most expensive types of coffee.
- Jacu Bird Coffee: The Jacu bird is a native bird to Brazil, and like the civet, it feeds on ripe coffee cherries.Workers collect the bird’s droppings before processing. Drinkers of this coffee say claim that it has a full-bodied, sweet coffee that has a hint of cinnamon and a smooth, clean aftertaste. Of course, not all coffee from Brazil is processed this way.
- Black Ivory Coffee: Black Ivory Coffee is produced by rescue elephants at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation refuge in Chiang Saen, Thailand. The elephants eat, then poop, huge amounts of coffee beans. The beans are collected and then processed for consumption.
Looking for more ideas? Check out this other guide I wrote for buying gifts for coffee lovers – including gear, samplers, coffee accessories, and beans.
Where Will Your Coffee Adventures Take You?
So are you craving coffee yet? I know I am. It's such a versatile drink, there's no end to the possible flavor combinations.
It seems both an art and a science with its own extensive culture of terms, methods, and processing. Which is awesome for coffee lovers who love to experiment and explore the wonderful world of coffee.
Has this guide made you want to try different brewing methods, or any different coffee drinks? That Freddo Espresso is sounding pretty good right now! I haven't tried Turkish coffee yet either, so I've got that on the brain – it looks fun and delicious.
Did you learn anything new about coffee from this guide? Is there anything you would like to see included? Would you try the civet coffee? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!