Beginners Guide To Types Of Coffee: Understanding The Basics

Beginners Guide To Types Of Coffee: Understanding The Basics

Just found yourself enjoying the concept of freshly brewed coffee? Are you someone who just loves going to different cafes in the city to find that perfect cup of coffee? We've all been there and we just can't do without that hit of freshly brewed coffee from the nearest barista! But, most of us don't really know what types of coffee we're being served (unless, of course, you're a coffee connoisseur). And, making yourself one at home never felt the same unless you have an expensive machine lying on your kitchen counter. But, no anymore, this beginners guide to types of coffee and coffee machines will help you understand the basics better.

Types of Coffee:


  • Origin: Ethiopia
  • Superior in quality in comparison to Robusta
  • Grown at higher altitudes
  • Flavours: delicate, sweet yet well-balanced in taste
  • Expensive and is comparatively lower in caffeine


  • Origin: Kenya
  • Inferior in quality and mostly used to make instant coffee
  • Grown at lower altitudes
  • Flavour: Earthy, bitter & astringent
  • Cheaper in cost and has twice more caffeine than Arabica


  • Origin: Liberia
  • Grows on 20-30 m tall trees
  • Large and asymmetrical in shape
  • Flavour: Floral and fruity, with a smoky taste


  • Not very different from Liberica
  • Grown in Southeast Asia
  • Flavour: Tart & fruity; robust when roasted
  • Grows on 20-30 ft tall trees

Types of Hot Coffee Drinks:

1. Espresso

Made with any kind of bean mentioned above, Espresso coffee is a strong black coffee with no dairy products involved. It can be made with a ratio of water to coffee in quantities of 1:3, 1:1 or 1:2.


2. Affogato

Affogato is a combination of sweet and bitter from the icecream and espresso shot doused together. It is for someone who loves creaminess in their coffee! What's not to love about this, right?


3. Macchiato

The word macchiato, literally means marked or stained in Italian. A macchiato is usually an espresso served with a splash of milk. There are two kinds of Macchiato- Espresso & Latte, the difference between both being, the former has less milk & foam as compared to the latter.


4. Latte

Latte is yet another version of Espresso served with steamed milk and a small portion of foam as compared to cappuccino. Cafe latte literally stands for coffee+ milk.


5. Cappuccino

Another espresso-based coffee, cappuccino is a three-component recipe- espresso shot, steamed milk & a thick layer of foam. And, because the ratio of coffee to milk is 2:1, it is stronger in flavour than a latte.


6. Americano

What exactly is Americano? It is a diluted version of an espresso shot with hot water in the ratio of 1:2. It can be served with milk and sugar on the side. Now, before you ask, then what's the difference between Americano and latte or a cappuccino, this one has normal steamed milk and doesn't come with foam.


7. Mocha

A chocolate and coffee lovers hug in a mug is what mochaccino is all about. It is a variant of latte, made with chocolate syrup, hot milk and an espresso shot. The chocolate syrup is usually made with unsweetened cocoa powder + sugar or even a mix of hot chocolate powder. Recipe here.

8. Cafe Au Lait

It is made in the ratio of 1:1 with coffee and hot milk. It doesn't have foamed milk on top which sets is apart from the likes of a latte or a cappuccino. The coffee is usually freshly brewed, most preferably using a french press machine.

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9. Flat White

Flat white coffee comes with 1 or 2 shots of coffee (depending on how strong you like it) with microfoam! What is microfoam? It is nothing but a smooth, velvety foam that has super fine bubbles as compared to the foam used in a latte or a cappuccino. This foam is so glossy that it runs right through the coffee, without separating out the layers.

10. Irish

Want a mix of caffeine with a splash of doozy feels? Irish coffee fulfils all your wishes! A cocktail of hot coffee, whiskey and sugar, this coffee is topped with a mounted peak of foam. So, if you like combining coffee with liquor, this coffee cocktail comes in as a good surprise.


Types of Cold Coffee Drinks:

1. Cold Brew

As the name suggests, its a method of soaking coffee at room temperature for 12-16 hours. What makes the perfect cold brew? According to Food 52, the ratio of coffee grounds to water should be 3/4 cup ground beans soaked in about 4 cups of cold water. Cold brew is the kind of coffee used to make iced coffee.


2. Cold Espresso

Usually, if you're an espresso fan, this is what you'd want to have during the summer months. It is literally what the name suggests, espresso in a chilled form, preferably put in a freezer for 30 minutes before sipping on it. It has a rich, robust and a mildly sweet taste. If you want to sweeten it, add the sugar when you make the espresso in a hot pot, otherwise, there are chances it won't melt!

3. Iced Coffee

The best part about this coffee is that it can be made depending on how you like it. It involves the method of brewing coffee cold and adding in iced milk and ice cubes. You can use as much or as little coffee and milk, depending on how strong or mild you like it.


4. Frappuccino

Trademarked by Starbucks, this coffee is indeed a fun way to indulge in more than just coffee. It is a blended iced coffee that is made with ice cream, flavoured syrup and milk, topped with whipped cream. Very high in calories though, this type of coffee contains almost no coffee to very little in amount, and could be an option for people who are steering away from caffeine but still want to indulge.


Types of Coffee makers:


1. French Press

The simplest and a relatively slow method of brewing that uses a cylindrical pot, attached with a plunger that helps steep fresh coffee through the grounded coffee with the help of hot water. This method gives out a dense, rich coffee and is a method that coffee connoisseurs absolutely love!


2. Percolator

Unlike a French Press, a percolator uses steam and condensation to brew the coffee but it needs to be watched over constantly as it could burn the coffee in no time. It is an ongoing circulation method that keeps performing the task until you see a good amount to coffee collected in the chamber.


3. Single-serve

As the name suggests, this method of brewing is only for a small amount of coffee that serves only one person at a time. You can make a cup at home by boiling water pouring it over the coffee grounds when it's slightly cool, basically not shocking the coffee.

4. Aeropress

A method/machine invented in the 2000s, it uses a faster technique of brewing coffee, steeping it for only 15-20 seconds, after which the freshly brewed coffee is forced out with the help of a plunger.

5. Pour Over

It is one of the oldest yet the simplest, fastest and cheapest way to brew coffee, using a coffee cone and paper filter. Hot water is poured evenly over coffee grounds in a paper filter. With gravity, the brewed coffee drips slowly and directly.

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Shreya Jalavadia

Shreya Jalavadia

Think of her as a delicacy. She could be a red sauce penne pasta or refreshing strawberry smoothie. A little sweet, quite tangy and unapologetic on the palate. Her soul is that of a gastronome, mind of an illustrator and heart of a writer. She uses these ingredients to plate up tasty stories about food at India Food Network as an Associate Editor. Be it her blogs, articles, reviews or food shows; she promises a wholesome affair.

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