If you are reading this article chances are you are a coffee lover. You probably need at least one coffee fix per day. You have a specific place you go to for your daily coffee and you prefer a certain type of coffee.
Coffee culture is unique in each country while the coffee names are the same. Through our travels and coffee experience around the world we realized the quality and consistency of each type of coffee is dependent on the baristas’ skill sets, roasting method and the quality of the coffee beans.
While in China, we discovered most of the time our espresso, freshly brewed coffee, Americano and filter coffee, whatever name the coffee was named – they all tasted the same! The variation was the cup size.
At first we were like, hey, this freshly brewed coffee tastes like the acidic espresso from the other café. After a few more cups in different places, we have come to a conclusion that they are all the same. Oh, we must not fail to mention, there are a few exceptions like the espresso at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and Peace Hotel.
After all, China is a tea drinking country and coffee culture is associated with the younger generation, which prefers the western style, as it is perceived as a cooler way of life.
That aside, do you know the difference between the various types of coffee listed on the chalkboard in your local café? Macchiato, espresso, double espresso, freshly brewed, drip coffee and more… What are they?
We did some research and decided to share with you. This list is in no way complete. We don’t claim to be coffee experts. We just love to drink and share about coffee and love visiting coffee shops and drinking coffee wherever we go.
P.S. If you are a barista, coffee expert or coffee connoisseur, please let us know if our content is inaccurate. We are always learning and drinking coffee.
Here you go…
Affogato is basically an espresso with a scoop of ice cream. It started out in Italy as a dessert where the sweetness of the ice cream complements the bitterness of the espresso.
We tried affogato while in Café Bene, Sunnyside New York.
For an affogato recipe check out Giada’s recipe on Food Network here.
Like an affogato coffee mug?
Check it out in Amazon.com.
Americano is sold all over the world even in Iceland but not a popular drink in the “espresso” land – Italy.
Check out our Americano experience in Reykjavik Iceland.
This coffee combines steaming hot water (6-8 oz.) with a shot of espresso. Tastes great with a touch of half and half.
In our opinion Starbucks in the US and Peru make great Americano. Americano in China tasted really bad.
Get a Starbucks gift card here.
Café breve is a milk-based espresso where half-and-half is used instead of milk. The coffee is foamy compared to latte.
Cappuccino is espresso with a small amount of steamed milk and a layer of foam at the top. It has less milk than latte, traditionally prepared by Italians with steamy hot milk and espresso.
Check out a recipe by Martha Stewart.com here.
You can make your own cappuccino with a $99 De’Longhi coffee machine from Amazon.
Cartado is prepared with equal parts of espresso and steamed milk. According to Bonappetit magazine:
That balance allows the milk to mellow the espresso while still allowing the flavor and nuance of the coffee to shine through. The name comes from the past tense of the Spanish verb “to cut,” a reference to warm milk cutting through the intensity of the espresso.
Read more about cartado in bonappetit.com.
South American cafés like Havana in Buenos Aires and Café Brasilero in Montevideo make amazing cartados.
Read more on our cartado experience in South America:
Doppio is double in Italian. A café doppio is just a double shot espresso. In most cafés they just list espresso as single or double shots. Hardly any name the double shots as doppio.
Espresso is coffee! A single espresso shot is 1 to 1.5 oz. with a layer of cream on the top. Double shots are called doppio (as above).
According to Illy there is a formula to brewing the ideal espresso:
Espresso’s authentic formula is clear and basic, its proper execution a matter of training, experience and natural talent. A jet of hot water at 88°-93°C (190°-200°F) passes under a pressure of nine or more atmospheres through a seven-gram (.25 oz.) cake-like layer of ground and tamped coffee. Done right, the result is a concentrate of not more than 30 ml (one oz.) of pure sensorial pleasure.
French press coffee is ground coffee with boiling hot water prepared in a French press.
Make French press like Stumptown Coffee Roaster here. According to Illy the secret to good French press coffee is in the grind. Choose medium ground coffee.
We use Bodum Brazil 1 liter French Press Coffeemaker from Amazon.
The flat white is espresso-based coffee made with steamed milk. Popular in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the flat white is milky but with not as much milk as a latte.
NewZealand.com has this to say about flat white:
A true flat white ought to have the same quantity of extracted coffee as any other beverage on the coffee menu (generally 30ml) but because it is served in a smaller vessel (175ml) it has stronger flavour than say a latte which is normally served in a 225ml vessel and is subsequently milkier.
The consistency of the milk is another point of difference between a flat white and a latte – a latte has a creamy, velvety layer of milk on the surface which can vary in depth depending on where you buy your coffee. A flat white has a thinner band of the textured milk, ideally with a shinier surface.
Read more about the flat white on Business Insider here.
Granita al Caffe Con Panna
This is Sicilian crushed or shaved ice espresso with whipped cream. You can find a recipe here.
Helado de Café
Coffee with vanilla ice cream and hot caramel milk foam. Here is a recipe from Nespresso in Spanish.
Irish coffee is a blend of coffee, sugar, whiskey and cream originated from Ireland. Here is a recipe from Food Network.
Here is a link to the footed mugs.
Jamaican Dark Rum Coffee
Keurig Coffee (you may ask how this came into our list), here’s why
Keurig coffee machine and k-cups need no introduction in America. Over 35 million homes have one of these machines. We have to add this here because this is the only ‘coffee’ that starts with a K.
We don’t have a Keurig coffee machine but eight out of 10 of our friends in the United States own one.
Kudos to Keurig for a great cup of coffee every time we visit our friends we get a decent cup of coffee. It is better than the instant coffee we had in friends and family’s homes in Asia and New Zealand.
Take a look at a large selection of Keurig at Amazon.com.
A caffè latte is simply a shot or two of bold, tasty espresso with fresh, sweet steamed milk over it. Some prefer to add syrup or extra espresso to the recipe. (Source: Starbucks).
It is basically 1/3 of espresso added to 2/3 of hot milk.
Macchiato or espresso macchiato is espresso with a touch of milk. Macchiato is Italian for stained, so it is espresso stained with milk. Macchiato is served just like espresso. The only difference is the little foamed or drop of milk on the top.
Mocha or Mochaccino
Mochaccino is made of equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. It is latte with chocolate syrup or cocoa.
Marocchino is a blend of espresso, frothed milk and cocoa powder originally invented in Turin and is popular in Northern Italy. The name means Moroccan in Italian because the color looks like Moroccan leather used for making Italian hats. Read more about our experience at New York City’s Zibetto here. https://www.coffeesphere.com/zibetto-espresso-bar-nyc/
Café noisette is French espresso with a little milk.
Kopi O in Malaysia and Singapore means coffee without milk. It is plain dark coffee. To prepare, place the ground coffee in a cloth siever and pour over boiling water to the ground coffee. Sugar is usually added.
You must try kopi O when visiting Malaysia and Singapore.
Espresso con panna is single or double shots espresso topped with whipped cream.
There is no coffee that starts with Q but there is a coffee roasting company in Georgia named Queen Bee Coffee Company.
Check out the whimsical Queen Bee coffee mug on Amazon.
If you think espresso is intense, wait till you try ristretto. It is the purest form of coffee around 0.5 to 0.75 of coffee.
Read more on ristretto.com.
The whole world is filled with Starbucks coffee shops. Starbucks coffee comes in tall (12 oz.), grande (16 oz.) and venti (20 oz.) sizes.
Somehow Starbucks manages to place a smile on our faces when there is no decent coffee in town.
According to Illy no coffee world tour is complete without a stop in Turkey for the strong coffee in a small cup. Turkish coffee is prepared with long-handled pots made of copper and brass, special brass Turkish grinders and served in small cups.
For Turkish coffee accessories, check out this Turkish coffee pot and ways to prepare here.
Ka’U coffee of Hawaii. Hawaii is the only place in the United States that grows coffee. So we think it deserves a space here even though Ka’U Coffee starts with K. In recent years Ugandan is gaining traction.
Read more about Ka’u’s coffee history here.
Read about Uganda coffee.
Viennese coffee is a coffee and whipped cream enthusiast’s dream drink. It is made of three parts coffee and one part whipped cream, sugar and chocolate.
Here is one recipe to try.
According to Nescafe.com white coffee is coffee where the beans are under-roasted, giving the bean a lighter color and the brew a lighter taste than the average coffee.
White coffee is served with creamer and is made popular Malaysia’s Ipoh White Coffee. Ipoh White Coffee is coffee beans roasted with margarine and served with milk. Read more here.
X-ray Cube Coffee Mug
Start your day with a X-ray cube coffee mug from Amazon.
Yankee Hazelnut Coffee Candle
End your day with a romantic dinner and a Yankee Hazelnut coffee candle.
We travel around the world to seek out great cups of coffee and coffee shops. Our travel bucket list includes a stay at the Zanzibar Coffee House. You may want to check it out too. Take a look here.
What is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite country to grab a cup of coffee? Please share. We would like to know.
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