The Complete List of All Coffee Types

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With so many different types of coffee out there it can be difficult to find the perfect variety for yourself. But if you’re interested in trying them all (or at least knowing more about them) you’re in the right place to get started. We’re going to dive into dozens of options to try.

The Basics

First, let’s start with the basics. These are the types of coffee that you’re already likely familiar with because there’s really not much too them besides just the coffee that you already know and love. We’re talking about black coffee and espresso or coffee with a bit of sugar or milk.

Black Coffee

Black coffee is as basic as it gets. The coffee beans are picked, roasted and prepared then ground and you brew your coffee in your choice of machines (or through the pour over method). Once you do this the coffee that’s left in your cup is all there is.

Coffee with Sugar and/or Milk

If you aren’t quite a fan of black coffee because it’s a little too bold or dark or strong for you (or in some other way just isn’t the right flavor for you) then you’ll want to add a little bit of cream or milk or even sugar or some type of artificial sweetener. Or you could add any combination of the above to get a slightly different flavor.

Espresso

And finally, espresso is similar to black coffee in that the beans are picked, roasted and prepared then ground but into a much finer grind and then it’s ‘pulled’ to create a very strong coffee drink rather than the slightly milder flavor of the black coffee.

Different Types of Coffee Beans

There are four primary species of coffee beans that you will find when you start looking for the optimal coffee flavor. Most, however, are going to fall into only two of those four species, which are Arabica and Robusta. Still, you’ll find some that are considered either Liberica or Excelsa, which is why we’ll touch on those as well.

Arabica

The vast majority of coffee that you find is going to fall into this category, at approximately 60%. It’s high quality and it generally comes from Latin America. There’s a reason that people really like this coffee species and continue to drink it in large quantities.

Arabica beans tend to be grown in high altitudes that get a lot of shade and rain. They’re a little delicate, which means they are more susceptible to disease as well as changes to their environment. On the other hand they tend to be bright, with complex flavor and aroma profiles and are great for hot brewing and black coffee.

Robusta

Robusta is the second most popular species of coffee and it’s a strong and slightly bitter flavor, especially compared to Arabica beans. It’s generally used for strong coffee and for espresso because of this flavor profile. Not only that but it tends to have a higher caffeine level overall.

They are generally pretty robust (which fits with the name) and can deal with variations in climate and altitude as well as disease. They’re great for large crop areas and they have low acidity. They are a heavier flavor profile, however, and do well with coffee drinks that require adding cream or sugar.

Liberica and Excelsa

Neither of these are very common in the United States, because they don’t end up imported here. Liberica is grown only in the Philippines while Excelsa is grown only in Southeast Asia.

With Liberica you’ll find a floral or even fruity aroma as well as a full body. They also have a relatively smoky or even woody flavor that’s quite distinctive. They were quite popular in the 1890’s as the Arabica bean suffered coffee rust. But when trade with the US ended it was the end of their popularity in the States.

Excelsa beans are a little more common, though still not much. They grow on giant trees of up to 30 feet and they taste more tart and fruity than other varieties. In general, these are used as part of a coffee blend rather than used as a pure type of coffee on their own.

Both of these types of coffee are generally light roast to keep their flavors more mild and true, but even darker roasts will still hold the flavor.

Types of Coffee Roasts

In general there are four different types of roasts that you will find for coffee. These are light, medium, dark and extra dark. Every other roast type will fall somewhere into this list and will be considered a sub-type or subclassification rather than a full roast type on its own.

Light Roast

A light roast is commonly referred to as being more ‘blond.’ It’s also a slightly more toasted flavor and tends to have the highest amount of acidity and caffeine. That’s because it’s not roasted long enough to get rid of these aspects.

Medium Roast

A medium roast is a more balanced flavor. You’ll get something a little bit darker, but it’s still more toasty than it is full-bodied. It has a good amount of caffeine and acidity but some of it has been roasted out. Also, you’ll get a full aroma here.

Dark Roast

Once you get to dark roast you’re not getting so much of the toasted flavor and more of a true roast flavor. It’s going to have lower levels of caffeine and acidity, which leads to a richer and heavier flavor. It’s almost spicy in flavor and has a darker color to it as well.

Extra Dark Roast

Finally, you have the extra dark roast, which offers the lowest level of caffeine and acidity because of the longer roasting time. It will have a very deep flavor that’s usually smoky and quite bitter.

Types of Brewing Methods

Once you’ve decided on the specific roasting level that you want for your coffee you’ll need to start looking at different ways that it can be brewed. Luckily, there are plenty of different ways to brew your coffee and they tend to depend on your personal preference.

Drip

This is probably one of the easiest ways to make coffee because it uses a standard coffee machine. All you do is add water and coffee grounds and it produces the black coffee for you. Then you can customize it with anything you like.

Pour Over

This is another relatively simple method of preparing coffee, though it’s going to take a little more effort from you. That’s because you have to boil the water yourself then pour it through a filter of coffee grounds. But the end result is usually stronger.

Espresso

Next up is espresso, which is done with an espresso machine. It uses pressurized hot water rather than just water dripping through the filter. This provides an even more concentrated amount of the coffee product, which is called a ‘shot.’

Cold Brew

Finally, you have cold brew coffee, which will give you low acidity but high caffeine because it actually steeps in room temperature water rather than hot. You can then cool it down even more in the fridge or by adding ice to really get a ‘cold brew.’

Black Coffee

Now that we’ve discussed some of the basics, let’s take a look at some of the different ways that you can enjoy your coffee and the different types of coffee that are out there. We’re going to start by looking at all of the different variations on a traditional cup of black coffee, so you can decide if this is where your favorite cup of coffee is hiding out.

Black coffee is simply coffee and water, with absolutely nothing added to it. While you can add milk or another form of dairy or nondairy creamer or even a sweetener of some type, it’s not exactly black coffee at that point (though it may not technically be anything else either).

Café au Lait

If you want to get technical about your coffee with milk you may actually be drinking a café au lait. This drink is a full cup of coffee with a small amount of warm milk added into it. So, if you add cold milk to your coffee it’s not technically the same, but warm milk creates a new drink.

Espresso

The next option is an espresso, which is a type of Italian coffee that is much more concentrated than a standard cup of black coffee. It also uses only coffee and water, but you pressurize the water, which leads to a stronger cup or ‘shot’ of the espresso. It also forms a bit of foam at the top through this process.

Ristretto

A ristretto is another Italian drink that uses half the water to make it. You’ll still use the same amount of coffee and it’s pressurized and forced through to make a ‘shot’ similar to espresso but with half the water you’re going to have a stronger shot.

Red Eye

If you’re really looking for a caffeine boost you may want to take a look at a red eye, which is a shot of espresso that’s topped off with a full cup of regular coffee. So you end up with an even more caffeinated drink that combines the flavor of both styles.

Americano

An Americano or caffe americano is made with coffee and water as well. With this one, which is done similar to an espresso you actually use twice the amount of water. Instead of cutting the water amount in half like a ristretto, you double it to make the espresso a little weaker.

Long Black

A long black is actually two shots of espresso or ristretto (depending on the strength you want). These two shots are then added to a bit of water. The end result is a slightly stronger drink, but not quite so strong as drinking a straight double-shot of either.

Drip Coffee

If you brew your coffee in a coffee pot you’re likely getting drip coffee. This is made by simply heating water and pouring it through the coffee grounds and letting the coffee ‘drip’ into the cup or pot. It’s usually done in an automatic machine.

Batch Brew

If you want to make a large amount of coffee in a similar style to drip coffee but a little faster than a batch brew might be the way to go. It uses the same process as a drip coffee maker, but it’s able to get a bit more coffee in a much shorter amount of time.

Doppio

If you want a stronger shot of espresso you can make it a double or a doppio. This brew uses hot water and pressurizes it to get the strong and concentrated flavor that you expect but with a little more for you to drink.

Vienna

Next up is the Vienna, which is a double shot or doppio with added whipped cream. So, if you’re looking for a drink that’s going to be sweet but also give you some of that caffeine boost and coffee flavor you’ll definitely want to check out this one.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is a relatively simple option because you just pour water over the coffee crystals or coffee powder. You stir it all together and the powder or crystals will dissolve. Common in Brazil, it’s not quite as popular in France or America.

AeroPress Coffee

A long black is actually two shots of espresso or ristretto (depending on the strength you want). These two shots are then added to a bit of water. The end result is a slightly stronger drink, but not quite so strong as drinking a straight double-shot of either.

Vacuum Coffee

A vacuum coffee pot is a little bit different. It actually boils water in the bottom rather than the top and puts the coffee grounds up above. As the water boils it is pushed upwards, into the coffee grounds. Then the heat stops and the brewed coffee falls back into the bottom again.

Immersion Coffee

Immersion coffee is made by boiling water and then soaking the coffee grounds in it. The steeping process results in a richer flavor. You can use immersion brewers like a French press, clever dripper, AeroPress or even cold brew jugs to get this type of coffee.

Other Types of Espresso Shots

If you’re interested in espresso but aren’t quite so sure about the options we’ve just discussed you may want to look at these two versions as well, which are only slight variations to the previous options.

Lungo

The lungo gets it own classification but it’s not necessarily a separate drink. It’s very similar to a doppio as it’s actually a double shot of espresso. The difference here is that it’s actually even more highly concentrated than a standard espresso.

Café Noisette

The café noisette is another that is similar to a doppio, because it’s a double shot of espresso. But instead of being more concentrated, this one adds in an ounce (or a shot) of steamed milk). This creates a slightly more creamy flavor profile.

Milk Based Coffee

The next category of coffee drinks are the milk based ones. These are drinks that always have milk in them (rather than black coffee drinks which you may add milk to). Adding specific amounts or types of milk, however, can create an entirely different flavor profile.

Flat White

First up is the flat white, which uses espresso and steamed milk. You brew your shot of espresso the same way that you normally would and add a small amount of steamed milk to the drink. This gives your espresso a slightly creamier flavor but still plenty of strength.

Galao

This drink is a single shot of espresso that’s then topped with foamed milk. In fact, it’s topped with a large amount of foamed milk so you really only get a small amount of the espresso flavoring and a whole lot of sweetness and creaminess to go along with it.

Cappuccino

This is one that you’ve likely heard of before even if you haven’t had one. It’s an espresso that includes both foamed and steamed milk and it’s divided into thirds. So, you have 1/3 espresso topped with 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foamed milk. The end result is a creamy drink that’s a little bit milder in flavor. It can also be iced or hot.

Latte

Lattes are another popular drink that’s made with espresso and steamed milk and foamed milk. You will use a very small amount of espresso for this one however, and then fill most of the cup with steamed milk and top with a small amount of foamed milk. The end result is a very creamy drink with very little espresso flavor.

Caffe Breve

This slightly toned down latte is the American version of the popular drink. It uses ¼ espresso with ½ steamed milk and ½ milk foam. This creates a relatively thick drink and it’s a very sweet one as well. In fact, it’s commonly used as a type of dessert drink.

Piccolo Latte

This small latte starts with a traditional ristretto shot (double shot, extra strength espresso) that is then topped with warm (not steamed) milk. It’s usually served in a traditional latte glass so the double shot of espresso goes in the bottom and the rest of the glass is warm milk to give a little caffeine and a lot of creaminess.

Macchiato

This drink is made with espresso and what’s considered a ‘dash’ of milk. The idea is to get mostly the espresso flavor but then cool it down with a little bit of creaminess. They can also be served with a bit of steamed milk on top to create even more foam.

Latte Macchiato

The latte macchiato is mostly milk and then you would pour a small amount of espresso over the top. You can then top it with some foam to get a little more creaminess and milky flavor. The entire drink has very little espresso in it and therefore a lighter flavor overall.

Cortado

In a cortado you will generally have an even amount of espresso and steamed milk, though you can have a 1:2 ratio of coffee to milk if you prefer. It tends to be much flatter without the foam, but still offers a good balance of creamy and coffee.

Gibraltar

This more unique drink is actually popular out of San Francisco and is a variation on Cortado. It actually uses a shot of espresso and then has milk added to it. The drink is served in a heated glass, but it cools quite quickly as the heat seeps out of the glass.

Mocha(ccino)

The mocha or mochaccino is a type of café latte, though it’s not exactly the same. Instead, it’s made with a double shot of espresso and about equal amounts of foamed milk. Whipped cream is option and either chocolate or other types of flavoring are often added to get a unique aspect.

Iced and Cold Coffee

Next on the list are some cold coffees and even iced coffees that can be great if you’re facing a hot day but need a bit of a pick-me-up to help you get through. They can also be brewed cold directly or brewed hot and then cooled down.

Cold-Brew Coffee

Finally, you have cold brew coffee, which will give you low acidity but high caffeine because it actually steeps in room temperature water rather than hot. You can then cool it down even more in the fridge or by adding ice to really get a ‘cold brew.’

Iced Coffee

A standard iced coffee is pretty much just what it sounds like. It’s a cup of ice that you pour coffee over. Then you can add some cream and sugar if you choose to get a slightly sweeter flavor. In general, this type of coffee could be hot (just brewed) or chilled in the fridge first.

Iced Espresso

This drink is just like a standard iced coffee but uses a shot of espresso instead. You would fill your cup with ice, add your shot of espresso and then cream and sugar to your own preference. As with the standard coffee you can pour in hot espresso or chill it first.

Mazagran

This drink isn’t as well-known but it’s a relatively unique drink you’ll want to take a closer look at. It is an iced coffee that also includes lemon and sugar. You can even add rum if you’re looking for a little more kick or a drink that’s more fun for the day.

Frappuccino

This drink is commonly included in with milk-based drinks but it’s actually capable of both. It’s a coffee or espresso that then includes ice and generally either a caramel or chocolate flavoring. It can also include a small amount of milk to make it even more creamy. It’s blended then topped with whipped cream.

Nitro Coffee

Nitro coffee is a cold brew coffee that is made in the standard way but then has nitrogen gas infused into it. This creates a creamy texture and some small bubbles in the coffee. It won’t affect the caffeine or the flavor but it will give you a unique texture to try out.

Espresso Tonic

An espresso tonic is made with a double shot of espresso that has been cooled. Then, you fill up a glass with ice, add a bit of lime juice and tonic water and then your espresso to get a unique and slightly sharp flavor.

Japanese Iced Coffee

This coffee is actually quite simple because it’s a traditional hot coffee that is then poured over ice. This creates a quick release of flavors and a slightly cooler drink.

Other Espresso-Based Drinks

What if you like espresso but you want to try something a little more unique? Well then, you’ll want to try out these couple drinks that are a little bit different and give you slightly different flavors.

Dry Cappuccino

A dry cappuccino is very similar to a standard cappuccino, except it’s prepared without the steamed milk. Instead of the drink being all combined when you get it, the steamed milk is given separately so you can combine them yourself.

Con Panna

This drink is actually somewhat of a dessert because you’ll get a double shot of espresso that’s topped with approximately a triple shot of whipped cream. The end result is plenty of caffeine but also a whole lot of creaminess and sweetness.

Strange and Unique Coffees

When it comes to trying something new you’ll definitely want to take a look at these because that’s exactly what you’re going to get. These are unique types of coffee that you might not find anywhere else, but you’ll definitely want to try them out at least once to see what it’s like.

Turkish Coffee

A Turkish coffee requires finely ground coffee beans as well as a pot that’s known as a cezve. You’ll heat your water and some sugar to boiling inside the cezve. Then, add your coffee grounds. Reheat it to get it frothed and you’ll have your coffee ready to go.

Vietnamese Coffee

This coffee uses a Vietnamese metal filter where the coffee is brewed and filtered through this piece. It can be served either hot or cold but generally comes with sweetened milk. Or you can try out a more unique version of a Vietnamese coffee, which is made with beaten egg yolks. You want to get them creamy and then add to your coffee along with sugar and condensed milk.

Bulletproof Coffee

For those who are looking for a high fat and low carb drink that they can actually double as a breakfast for some, this is the way to go. It’s actually a standard brewed coffee with coconut oil and unsalted butter.
Another variation is called butter coffee, which uses brewed coffee, unsalted butter and medium-chain triglycerides to provide your body with the energy that it needs.

Cascara Coffee

This isn’t quite a coffee but it’s also not quite a tea either. It uses the cherry leaves from the coffee to brew so it’s something in the middle. But it has been found to help with digestive problems for many people.

Kopi Luwak

This unique coffee is definitely one that only some people are willing to try. It comes from coffee cherries, but in a very specific way. In fact, Asian palm civets eat the coffee cherries and then they are fermented in the digestion process. When collected from their feces they can then be turned into coffee.

Geisha Coffee

This Ethiopian coffee is one of the most expensive you’ll find anywhere in the world. The coffee beans come from Ethiopia and have a very flowery, fruity taste that actually can be a little unique to the region it comes from. Some tastes more like citrus while others are mango, papaya, guava and more.

Affogato

Affogato comes from Italy and starts with gelato in the bottom of a chilled bowl. You then add your double shot of espresso on top and you can add things like whipped cream, liqueur, nuts or berries on top of that. It’s a drink and a dessert together.

Swedish Kaffeost

This unique beverage is made with cheese. It’s actually a special type of cheese known as kaffeost, which is made by heating milk and cream in a pot, straining out the curds and then baking it in the oven to make it golden. Then, you slice your cheese, add it to your cup and pour coffee over the top.

Turk Kahvesi

This type of coffee starts with water and sugar boiled in a saucepan, or more authentically an ibrik. Once it boils you would add your coffee and cardamom, bringing it back to a boil and foaming the coffee. Repeat twice then pour into a cup and wait for the grounds to settle to the bottom to drink it.

Austrian Einspanner

This drink uses a chilled bowl where you will whip together heavy cream, sugar and vanilla to get stiff peaks from your own fresh whipped cream. Mix a double shot of espresso with a little sugar and add whipped cream and even chocolate shavings onto the top.

Scandinavian Egg Coffee

Similar to the Vietnamese coffee we mentioned, this one uses a raw egg with approximately 200ml of cold water. You add in your coffee grounds and bring the entire thing to boiling water. Simmer for a few minutes, add another 100g of cold water and skim off the coffee grounds that rise to the top. You’ll also want to strain this drink.

Irish Coffee

With an Irish coffee you’ll have a traditional hot coffee with whiskey and sugar added to it. This gives the coffee a bit more kick and also a little sweetness to counter some of the bitter. It’s also a pretty common drink and a well-known one.

FAQs

When it comes to trying out different types of coffee you’re definitely going to want to think about some important questions. Or at least, you’re going to want to think about how to choose the right option for you. So, what are some of the most commonly asked questions about types of coffee?

How many types of coffee are there?

The short answer is, too many to count. We’ve tried to list just about everything and every type of coffee, but there’s no way to really list all of them. So, these are the most common types of coffee, including black coffees, espressos and milk-based coffees.

If you’re looking for a complete list however, it’s nearly impossible because each time you add a different type of sweetener or a different type of dairy or nondairy creamer or even different combinations of ingredients you are creating an entirely different type of coffee beverage.

The end result is a near limitless number of coffee types that are different all over the world. And with new variations created all the time there’s no way to really know just what the final count would be. Only that you can continue creating something new every time you drink coffee.

What are the 3 main types of coffee?

There are three primary types of beans that you will find when you’re looking at coffee. These are liberica, robusta and arabica. While there are other types out there, and you’ll definitely find them in different parts of the world, most types of coffee start with these types.

Liberica is a lower yield coffee while robusta has more caffeine and a strong flavor. Arabica, on the other hand, is lower in caffeine but smooth and it’s one of the most popular types. In fact, it represents about 80% of all coffee that’s produced in the world.

Some variations do exist between beans that are grown in different parts of the world, such as arabica beans from Uganda versus Brazil or India or robusta from Indonesia versus Ethiopia.

Which type of coffee is best?

There is no one type of coffee that’s necessarily the best. Instead, it’s going to depend on your specific preferences and the flavor profiles that appeal to you. You may like cold coffee drinks or iced coffee. Or perhaps you like espresso rather than traditional coffee.

You may also like your coffee or espresso plain or with different types of additives. Many people have a single type of coffee that they like best but may have several that they like or that they will switch between depending on the situation.

What’s the difference between regular coffee and americano?

You may have heard the terms ‘coffee’ and

‘americano’ used interchangeably before, but that doesn’t mean that they’re actually the same thing. They’re actually slightly different beverages and even use a different base.

A coffee is simply coffee grounds that are brewed using hot water. Typically this is done in a coffee maker but it can be done through pour over techniques.

On the other hand, an americano is actually made with espresso. The brewed espresso, which is stronger than standard coffee, is then mixed with water to tone it down and make it a little less bold. The end result may taste similar to coffee but is still a distinct drink.

What is a good beginner coffee?

A mocha is a great option for those who are just getting used to coffee or who want to give it a try for the first time. The reason is that it consists of a double shot of espresso but also has foamed milk to make it more creamy and sweet as well as toning down the bitterness of the coffee.

You also typically see flavoring added to this drink. While a mocha typically means chocolate, cocoa or chocolate syrup, you can find other varieties that are not quite a mocha but do use other types of flavoring to really change up the drink.

Summary and Conclusion

When it comes down to it, there are more types of coffee than you could ever hope to discover because some of them haven’t even been discovered yet. There are people all over the world experimenting with coffee and espresso to create entirely new drinks all the time.

Every time you mix something new with your coffee or espresso you create a unique drink, and that’s part of the fun of the process. It’s all about finding something new and discovering a drink that you enjoy.

Take a look at each of the drinks we’ve discussed above and try out a few. You might find a new favorite. Or you might invent your own variation on another drink and invent something that’s completely new and your new favorite.

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