Distinguishing between different types of coffee is not an easy task! There are so many different ways to categorize coffee so it really just depends on what you are asking exactly.
Do you wish to understand the types of coffee based on where the coffee cherries grow or what cultivation method was used? Or are you more interested in the types of coffee according to specific brewing methods and roasting levels?
In order to help you understand all the types of coffee, I wrote this extensive guide that you can keep coming back to. Here you will not only find all the answers you need, but you will also discover more sources that will help you delve deeper into the world of coffee.
Let's get started!
- Coffee Types Named after region grown
- Coffee Types based on roasting technique
- Coffee Types based on cultivation method and process
- Coffee Types based on roasting level
- Coffee Types based on varietal
- Coffee types based on Blending Technique
- Coffee Types based on company name or company trademark
- Coffee Types based on Type of Iced Coffee
- Coffee Types based on the brewing method
- Affogato or Caffe Affogato
- Black Eye
- Crema or Cafe Cafe
- Caramel Frappe
- Cappuccino Freddo
- Con Panna
- Cubano or Cafe Cubano
- Espresso Laccino
- Espresso Romano
- Flat White
- Freddo Espresso
- Frappe or Greek Frappe
- Irish Coffee
- Latte or Cafe Latte
- Latte Macchiato
- Long Black
- Long Macchiato
- Mead Raf
- Piccolo Latte
- Raf Coffee
- Red Eye
- Vienna Coffee
- Moka Pot
- Nel Drip
- French Press
- Cafe au Lait
- Single-cup pour-over
- Turkish Coffee
- Tra Lai
- Lovebird tea
- Ca Phe Trung
I intend to keep the contents as true and factual as possible, but I admit that I have not tried all of them (yet), if you find any inaccurate information, please contact me from here. If you also noticed a type of coffee that is missing here, I appreciate you letting me know so that I can add it!
Coffee Types Named after region grown
When you purchase a bag of coffee you will often notice that the coffee itself is named after the region where it was grown. There are three major regions where coffee is grown are the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Within these regions, each of them has its own distinct flavor due to their unique terroir.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a broad categorization. This is why below I go into detail regarding the flavor profile of coffee, not just based on the continent but based on the country of origin.
1. Americas (Mild and Balanced, Nutty Spicy Mild Acidity)
- Brazil (Arabica)
- Medium Body, Caramel & Chocolate, Flowery & Fruity)
Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee, and Arabica is the most cultivated coffee here since these are considered as the highest-quality coffee to cultivate than other coffee types. The temperature and weather (dry and rainy season) are what makes the coffee there become good to the point that it becomes a global demand.
- Costa Rica
- Medium Body, Citrus, Nutty
Costa Rica is known for premium coffee beans that have distinctive tastes because of its high-altitude mountains, fertile soil, humidity, and climates in different regions. Even though they are making a small percentage of the world's coffee exports, their coffee is sought after because of its luxurious flavor that cannot be substituted by coffee from other countries.
- Colombia (Arabica) - also known for its varietal (see Varietal section)
The third-largest producer of 100% arabica coffee beans after Vietnam and Brazil. The elevation above sea level and climates in Colombia's coffee regions contribute to the making of the special finest coffee beans. The average Colombian drinks up to 3 cups of coffee per day. Large coffee-consuming countries import Colombian Arabica beans.
- El Salvador
- Mild Acidity Vanilla, Hazelnut, chocolate, Pear
Despite being the smallest country in Central America, their volcanic soil is so rich and high altitude that many quality coffee varieties are growing in different regions. Less acidic and more sweet compared to other coffees in Central America.
- Spicy, Smoky, Earthy, Delicate, Floral, Sweet
There are many coffee regions in Guatemala, but Guatemala Antigua is the most popular coffee with rich flavor and a bit of spicy and cocoa taste. The soil minerals came from the active Volcan de Fuego, Agua, and Acatenago.
- Crisp, Light-bodied, Nutty, and Spicy
Bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Honduras is made up of different landforms and because of this, they can grow coffee in many areas. They have divided three different coffee categories using their wet processing method: Strictly High Grown (more than 1350 meters above sea level), High Grown (1,200 - 1,350 meters above sea level), and Central Standard (less than 1,200 meters above sea level). They are one of the top 10 coffee producers in the world.
- Zesty, Spicy and Herbal, Lemongrass
Panama coffee is sought-after by coffee connoisseurs. They emphasize quality over quantity. The microclimate and its environment are ideal to cultivate great coffee beans, especially the Panama Geisha coffee beans.
- Panama Geisha (Origin Ethiopia, now grown in Panama)
These long cherry-like coffee beans were discovered in Ethiopia. In 1963, it was brought from Costa Rica to Panama. Then, the Panama Geisha gained popularity because the environment there is great for growing this kind of coffee beans, and then it became a worldwide coffee demand. It is one of the most expensive coffee beans in the world.
- Medium Body & Acidity, Spicy & Nutty, Chocolate, Earthy
Peruvian coffee beans are grown not less than 1,200 meters above sea level. Despite its premium organic coffees, they sell these at affordable prices. Peru is one of the largest exporters of Arabica coffee in the world.
2. Africa (Bright, Acidic, Fruity, Medium Body)
- Medium to Full Body, Chocolate & Bulemenry, Flowery & Herbal
Ethiopia is where Arabica coffee originally came from. It was discovered around 1,000 BC. Ethiopian coffee beans are dry-processed and known for their wine, floral and fruit-like taste. Like tea in Japan, Ethiopia is doing an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony since coffee is part of their culture.
- Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (Arabica)
Yirgacheffe is located in the Southern part of Ethiopia where one of the finest Arabica coffees is made. The combination of high elevation land on the mountains and tropical weather makes the coffee beans become fruity sweet, have a bit of chocolate and wine taste, and have a light to medium body. What makes their coffee popular aside from being a premium coffee, is it is great to pair with fruits and pastries.
- Full Body, Zesty & Floral, Citrus & Herbal
Their coffee beans exude a mouth-watering berry-like taste, medium to high acidity with strong flavor and aroma. The after-taste is dry, but great-tasting. These features are what made Kenyan coffee to be included in the top 5 best coffees in the world. They use the wet processing method in cleaning and packaging the beans. Kahawa Chungu is the frequently used brewing method.
- Kenya AA (Kenya)
Kenyan AA coffee is the largest coffee bean grade in Kenya. It is sweeter than the other Kenyan coffee beans and has the brightest acidity. Since it has more aromatic oils, the aroma and flavor become prominent to the point that it becomes a sought-after world-class coffee.
- Medium Body, Chocolate, Floral & Nutty
Rwandan coffee is Rwanda's number 1 export. It tastes sweet with floral and a bit of orange or citrus taste. Their coffee beans are unique because they can turn into delightfully creamy coffee. These have high and bright acidity levels. They have small coffee farms and use the rest of these for growing food. The majority of the coffee farms are growing the Bourbon variety because it is more high-quality than growing other beans. The wet-processing of their coffee beans is done through the community-available washing stations.
Coffee is one of the top exports in Tanzania. The majority they produce is Arabica coffee that has berry fruity citrus with a bit of sweet and chocolate taste. They also grow Robusta and Peaberry coffee beans, a rare African coffee variety that is lightly roasted. Japan is the highest importer of Tanzanian Coffee beans and Kilimanjaro Coffee is a popular brand there with a floral soft taste. To appreciate Tanzanian coffee beans, it is best to do city or dark roast to get the best taste of their coffee.
- Uganda (Arabica & Robusta)
- Full body, Chocolate, Creamy, Vanilla
Volcanic soil, fertile land, and a cool climate with sunshine on the highlands are the factors why Uganda is an ideal place to grow premium quality coffee beans. The majority of the coffee beans there are Robusta coffee beans except in western parts where they grow more Arabica coffee beans. Uganda is one of the world's largest coffee growers. What makes Uganda unique is its Bugisu coffee beans that exude the full-bodied, chocolatey wine taste.
- Full Body, Chocolate, Winly
This is the country where the Mocha coffee bean variety came from. They have produced coffee for centuries, and they still know how to keep the coffee lovers craving for their coffee. The coffee beans were shipped to Europe via the port of Al-makha which later on, the coffee beans from there were referred to as Mocha coffee. Even though there are many mocha coffee beans grown around the world, the Yemen mocha beans have an incredible full-bodied wine chocolate taste. In modern times, mocha is also incorporated into chocolate foods and drinks.
Zambia got to know about coffee during the 1950s via the cultivar seeds of its neighboring countries Malawi and Kenya As they learned about growing coffee, they started building coffee farms in the 1970s. It is said that Mafinga Hills has the best coffee-growing location in the country because of the high altitude and at the same time, it is near the equator. What makes their Arabica coffee unique aside from its high price, is its low acidity. These are grown in high-altitude mountains like in Mafinga Hills where they can get both the sunshine and the rainfall in a cool environment. Although their Arabica is special, they are producing more Robusta coffee because Robusta can be grown in any condition.
Cherry-like coffee beans with fruity flavors from Zimbabwe are in demand. International companies including Nespresso are buying their premium coffees. Nespresso together with TechnoServe, an international non-profit organization, is helping farmers to grow high-quality coffee beans. The high-altitude lands of Eastern Zimbabwe are perfect for growing coffee beans because these take longer to mature resulting in a more developed and enhanced flavor.
- Medium body & Acidity, Mild, Juicy & Syrupy
Most coffee beans there are being grown in the eastern part of Australia where the tropical climate occurs. They don't only not focus on coffee growing, but also on developing the coffee production process including the technology. Australia is a large importer of green coffee beans in the world. They can grow premium Arabica and Robusta coffee beans at low altitudes. What makes Australian coffee unique is their beans are lower in caffeine than usual because coffee grown in lowlands tends to have less caffeine. Some of their coffee beans have an "ashy" taste.
- Blue Mountain (Jamaica)
Blue Mountain coffee is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. The coffee beans are grown in the Blue Mountains, the longest mountain range in Jamaica. The high altitude, soil, sun, moisture-containing rainfall, and the coffee aging method are the reasons why these beans acquire the desired taste where coffee connoisseurs and some ordinary folks are willing to pay a high amount for this gourmet coffee because of its creamy, sweet and mild flavor. It also lacks bitterness.
- China (Yunnan)
- Medium body, Chocolate, Smooth
Although the first coffee plants in Yunnan were grown and introduced by the French missionaries in the late 19th century, the large coffee production began during 1988 by the joint ventures of the UN Development Program, World Bank, and the local government. Most coffee farms in Yunnan produce Arabica coffee. Because of its high-altitude location and with almost non-existent pests, their coffee has great quality. Large coffee companies are investing in Yunnan coffee and are now getting popular worldwide because of its delicate and clean taste.
- India (Arabica & Robusta)
- Full body, Spicy with Medium Acidity, Tropical Fruit, Monsooned Malabars
In India, Coffee beans are grown in the southern part of the country. Kartanaka, also located in the southern part of India, produces the world's finest coffee beans grown in the shade rather than in direct sunlight. Their coffee has a medium to full body, with medium acidity. Meanwhile, the Monsooned Malabar coffee beans achieved sweetness and low acidity by having these left in open spaces during the Monsoon season. The taste is spicy with tropical fruit winey taste. The two main coffee varieties in India are Arabica and Robusta. Robusta coffee in India is more sought-after than their Arabica because of its strong coffee blend although Arabica still has a higher price tag because of its aroma and mild flavor.
- Medium Body, Low Acidity, Vanilla, Brown Sugar
Hawaii coffee production has been summed up to 27.3 million pounds from 2019 to 2020. Each season delivers a particular amount of green bean and coffee cherry, making it convenient for growers to understand their farms' production patterns and performance in future years. Kona coffee, Ka’u coffee, Puna coffee, and Kamakura coffee are popular coffee types produced in Hawaii. Kona coffee, which is a subtype of Coffea Arabica, is the most expensive coffee on the planet. The Kona coffee taste profile is sweet, night, and fruity with specks of nuts or spice. In Hawaii, the coffee is medium roasted; it first absorbs the sweet flavors with fruit, and with the roast process on the peak, the fruitiness and sweetness vanish, and coffee develops a strong flavor. Hawaiian coffees are well balanced with medium acidity and medium body. To enjoy the real taste of the Hawaiian organic slopes, you should choose a light-medium roast coffee profile like this.
- Kona (Hawaii, USA)
- Sweet, Fruity, light sweetness, perfumed fragrance
Kona coffee is the other name of Coffea Arabica grown on the slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai in the north and South Kona district of Hawaii. Many coffee varieties including the Kona coffee belong to Brazil, Africa, and Guatemala and are very prominent among all coffee types in Hawaii for their unique flavors and superior quality. In 2017, 2.4 million pounds of green Kona coffee was produced in Hawaii from over 900 farms. The taste profile of Kona coffee is sweet, light, and fruity. It is highly admired for its pleasing aroma and full-bodied flavors all over the world. Before the grading process, Kona coffee is hand-picked, pre-pulped, dried, and hulled. The volcanic soil and climate of the western slopes of the Kona mountains provide fertile lands and ideal conditions for the coffee beans, resulting in exceptional Kona coffee taste.
- Indonesia (Robusta & Arabica)
- Syrupy, Complex, Extremely dense, Low acidity, Earthy, Woody
Harvested in volcanic ash, amongst spices and chilis, Indonesian coffees are treasured for their velvety mouthful, unmistakable unique flavors, and earthy notes. Indonesian coffee beans production has totaled 1.5 billion lbs which is 7.4% of the global production. The flavors of coffee differ because of the soil they grow in, the weather conditions and the plantation techniques. Indonesia is nestled between the Indian and Pacific oceans with over 16,000 volcanic islands and mountains producing Arabica coffee favorites, Sumatra, Jawa, and Sulawesi. Varieties of Indonesian coffee beans are 75% Robusta, 24% Arabica, and 1% Liberica. Indonesian coffee production is based on the process known as “Giling Basah," which means wet grinding or wet hulling. Coffee cherries in this process are de-pulped and cleaned before the process of drying and after picking.
- Earthy, Intense, Sweet, low acidity
Grown in the northwest most island of Indonesia, Sumatran coffees are loved for being sweet, smooth, and balanced. The flavor profile may include smoke, tobacco, earth, cocoa, or cedarwood—some varieties of Sumatra coffee display distinct acidity, which aids in balancing the intense flavor notes. The acidity delivered by Sumatran coffee beans prompts the drinker of tropical fruits like lime or grapefruit. Some of the best-tasting premium gourmet coffees are grown in Sumatra, known as Ankola, Mandheling, and Lintong. These coffees have pronounced herbal tones, earth flavors, a full-body, and low acidity. Sumatran coffees are renowned and well-reviewed all over the world for their rich and satisfying flavors.
- Java (also name of varietal - see the varietal section, also referred to as a generic term for coffee and no longer refers only to coffee from the Island of Java.)
- Nutty, rustic, less acidic, full-body, effervescent, smooth & supple
Java island is located in the southwest corner of the Indonesian archipelago and is the home of Indonesian coffee producers. Java coffee plants pick up their soil's wonderful flavors and nutrients to produce a full-bodied, incredibly rich coffee with spicy chili hints and dark chocolate undertones. The coffee beans are a little more acidic and possess a molasses-like texture compared to the other Indonesian coffee beans. “Mocca Java” is a popular blend of Java coffee and African & Yemen coffee beans. Java coffee in its finest form is exported from “Dutch coffee Estates” encompassing over 4000 hectares of coffee plants. Java coffee is created with wet processing, where ripe cherries are fermented and washed. The coffee tastes clean, slightly earthy, and funky speck-like because of the wet-hulled coffee processing. Java coffees are pleasant tasting and are not dynamic like others from Indonesian islands.
- Papua New Guinea
- Sweet, Medium body, Low acidity, Dark & intense, Crisp Citrus Fruity Aroma
Coffee production in Papua New Guinea can be retraced to the late 19th century. The most recent coffee type harvested on this island was Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee which is popular as the top expensive coffee in today's market for its premium quality. The coffee industry in PNG has 2.5 million people involved as the crop is the main source of income for highland farmers. Around 1 million coffee bags are exported every year, bringing in 340 million Kina to the economy. Papua New Guinea coffee is sweet and smooth with a medium body and low acidity. The initial taste feels like dark berry flavors and finishes with a dark chocolate flavor.
- Toarco Toraja (Indonesia)
- Sweet & spiced, Intense, low acidity, caramel notes, crisp finish, full-body, fruity aroma
Coffee in Toarco Toraja is popular for its full-bodied, earthy taste. Toraja is one of the top prized regional coffees of Indonesia. Tana Toraja is one of the areas where Arabica beans are cultivated. Because of the mountainous terrain, the coffee is mostly harvested on smallholdings with a low yield per annum. Coffee was brought to Toraja in the mid 19's by the Dutch. Today indigenous farmers produce the certified organic Torajan coffee. The volcanic soil and cool altitude and climate are ideal for producing premium Arabica. Torajan coffee is treasured in Japan and branded as Toarco Toraja. Coffee drinkers can feel sweet, nutty caramel, velvety smooth medium-bodied coffee, and syrupy mouthfeel with a nice fruity aroma while drinking Toarco Toraja.
- Tokunoshima coffee (Japan)
Tokunoshima has been believed as a very suitable area to harvest Arabica and robusta coffee for its climate and physical conditions; however, coffee farming in Tokunoshima (an island in Kagoshima prefecture) was stopped in 2010 because of the seedling destruction in Japan by a typhoon, and 8 out of 11 coffee farmers had given up. In 2017 the Ajinomoto AGF (Japanese food company) started helping Tokunoshima’s coffee farmers with advanced techniques and tools to protect their farms from harsh winds. Now 30 farmers are harvesting coffee. Beverage makers in Tokunoshima are planning to launch the new crop in 2022. The coffee plant has been made from rare Japanese coffee beans.
- Vietnam (Robusta)
- Fairly bitter, Less sweet, Deep flavor, Caramel Hints, Darker Roasted
From 2019-2020 around 30.2 million 60kg bags of Robusta coffee will be produced in Vietnam. Vietnam is becoming the top producer of Robusta coffee, accounting for above 90% of Vietnam’s total output with around US$3 billion as an average turnover per annum that is equal to more than 10% of Vietnam’s agricultural exports. The vast majority of coffee beans farmed in Vietnam are Robusta beans. Robusta coffee beans taste earthy and bitter, and the caffeine content in them makes them more bitter. Also, they contain half the fats and sugar of an Arabica bean, so Robusta isn't for all coffee lovers. Coffee beans in Vietnam are often roasted. Sugar and butter are added to the roasting procedure to give beans a much deeper flavor. Mostly, the beans are over-roasted on purpose to give it an extra kick, and that's how the Vietnamese love their coffee.
If you want to find out more about coffee growing regions and explore the different flavours of coffee, click here!
Coffee Types based on the brewing method
The type of brewing method that you choose to use when making coffee will have a major impact on the final product. There are a variety of brewing methods to choose from, and each one results in a different cup of coffee.
All of them employ different means in order to extract the fragrant oils and caffeine from the roasted beans, and they also vary greatly in taste.
As you can imagine, there are so many types of coffee using Espresso which I tried to list all here. Let me know if I missed any.
Let’s break them down one by one below.
Espresso is not a coffee bean type or a roast type. It is simply a way to brew coffee. Indeed, you can brew any coffee as espresso. You can make a high-flavored Espresso with an aromatic brew by pushing hot water via a succinct "puck" of ground beans at high pressure, normally at around 9 bar. The coffee bags with the "espresso" label either contain pre-ground coffee contents that suit espresso brewing or a mix to create a balance of flavors for the espresso brewing method. Espresso especially is affiliated with Italy, where it was invented by an Italian "Angelo Moriondo" as a piece of modern steam machinery for the instantaneous and economic confection of coffee beverage.
All below are different types of Espresso drinks! How many have you tried?
Affogato or Caffe Affogato - (Ice Cream, Espresso)
Affogato is a delicious dessert that can be easily put together and served as a coffee with a few minutes of preparation. It needs two ingredients (coffee and ice cream). Both of the ingredients are handy and can deploy the coffee communities as the perfect dessert. You can use a 6 cup Moka Pot or a full immersion method like Aeropress or French press to extract and use a 1:9 ratio optimally. Brew 30 grams of fresh coffee in the Moka Pot. Put a scoop of ice cream into the serving bowl or mug. Immediately when the coffee is brewing, pour about 75 to 100ml of coffee on each ice-cream scoop. Serve it with a spoon. You will end up drinking it like a beverage.
Americano (Water Espresso)
American coffee is a straight-up espresso. It is not a dip coffee or filter coffee and not a latte, but some coffee enthusiasts add milk to it. The basic difference between a cup of brewed coffee and an Americano is the ingredients which often appear identical. An americano comprises hot water and espresso (representing a quick extraction method). In an Americano, freshly pulled espresso shots are blended with hot water to get a standard cup of brewed coffee. Americanos were purposely made famous in Europe during World War II because the American soldiers demanded a beverage resembling their favorite cups of drip coffee.
Bicerin (Whipped Cream, Black Chocolate, White Chocolate, Espresso)
Bicerin represents a decent and rich drink hailing from Italy and Turin. It is often served hot in a crystal-clear cup so that you can see the layers of coffee, hot chocolate, and whipped cream. Bicerin is Turin's (city in Italy) most loved beverage and is considered an essential part of Turin's royal history. Bicerin achieved the iconic beverage title for its diplomatic flavors and a velvety texture that does not feel overly sweet or overpowering but coffee-like and chocolaty.
To make Bicerin, sugar, milk, and sifted cocoa powder are mixed into a saucepan. The mixture is heated over the stove on medium heat. And the mixture is stirred with a wooden spoon. The coffee is often brewed in a Moka pot. Milk, sugar, and heavy cream are blended separately for not more than 20 seconds. Each layer is separately poured over the back of a spoon. Hot chocolate layer, coffee layer, and cream topping. All of the flavors are mixed pleasantly with each sip.
Black Eye (Doubled version of the red eye - Drip, Espresso)
A black eye coffee is a classic cup of double shots of espresso and filter coffee. Compared to the black eye, a red-eye coffee is a cup of filter coffee having one espresso shot instead of two.
The black eye name represents the appearance of a black eye when the double espresso shot is poured into the filter coffee. Some coffee lovers say the beverage is called black eye because the drinker gets punched in the face with every sip. The beverage has high levels of caffeine and is quite intense. One cup of black eye coffee usually contains 500 mg of caffeine per serving. The daily advised dose of caffeine is 400 mg.
Breve (Milk Foam, Half-and-half milk, Espresso)
A breve coffee is the velvety, creamy form of an Italian café latte. The coffee is made with half-and-half cream in place of milk. It feels fluffier like milk foam than other coffee drinks as half-and-half increases this thick cappuccino. The creamy foam holds well when blended with espresso. Café breve, breve latte, or breve coffee are some other names of this coffee. The right pronunciation is "breh veh." This creamier beverage is usually served as a "Dessert" drink, but it can be served as a decadent treat at any time. In the United States, adding half n' half cream is preferred, while in Europe, drinking milk-based coffees with milk as a basic ingredient is more standard.
Carajillo (Drip, Liquor)
A carajillo is a hot coffee drink that is made with a blend of hard liquor. This is a Mexican after-dinner coffee drink also called a Mexican cocktail. The beverage is originally from Spain and is an important part of Mexican restaurant culture, especially in Mexico City. Licor 43 and espresso are the main ingredients of Carajillo. Traditionally, the main ingredients of this coffee are; espresso or any strong coffee, Licor 43, and ice. First of all, espresso is prepared and then cool for a few minutes. Two ounces of Licor is added to 2 ounces of coffee. Add coffee to the glass, then four ice cubes, and then rock it with Licor 43. The coffee looks ravishing, floating over the ice. The beverage resembles Italy's cafe corretto, typically made with espresso, grappa, brandy, or sambuca.
Crema or Cafe Cafe (Espresso brewed by using More Coarser grind than espresso)
A Caffe crema named Café Crème in Germany resembles two different coffees; 1) espresso and 2nd: a long espresso beverage served majorly in Austria, Switzerland, northern Italy, and Germany. It became famous in the 1980s. Caffe crema is a 6-8 oz drink. The coffee used in this drink is ground coarser as compared to standard espresso. The coffee is also tamped lighter to change the influence of extraction and water flow through the coffee. Generally, the same tool extraction time of 20-30 seconds is taken to pull a double shot and stop when the shot looks blond. The Caffe crema has variants like a cafe lungo with an extraction time of 35-40 seconds. Café Crema is best for those coffee lovers who like drinking a richer and complex beverage made with a drip brewer and close in size to a standard American coffee.
Caramel Frappe (Syrup, Whipped Cream, Ice, Steamed Milk, Espresso)
Caramel Frappe is an unorthodox kind of coffee usually encountered in big chains like McDonald’s or Starbucks. It’s a really sweet coffee-based beverage that was popularized exactly because of its special taste. It’s made by mixing caramel syrup, coffee, milk, and ice in the blender until they are homogenized. It is topped with additional caramel syrup and whipped cream and sometimes cocoa or cinnamon powder as well.
Cappuccino (Milk Form, Steamed Milk, Espresso)
It’s one of those coffees that no matter where you are, you will always be able to find them. It’s an espresso-based coffee that originated in Italy and took its name after Capuchin Monks, the clothing of whom had the color of the drink when the milk was added. Its structure is composed of a shot of espresso, followed by a roughly equivalent amount of steamed milk and milk foam on top. It must be noted that it has a key difference with Caffe Latte regarding the ratios of ingredients. While Cappuccino has an even amount of espresso and steamed milk with a thick layer of milk foam on top, Caffe Latte has more steamed milk than espresso and a very thin layer of foam milk. An experienced barista can also make some Latte art on top -shapes like flowers or hearts- while pouring the milk in the cup. The milk foam is special in cappuccino because it is made utilizing the air bubbles in the milk in order to make it more frothy and “texturized”.
Cappuccino Freddo (Ice, Cold Milk Foam, Espresso)
Despite its name, this coffee is not Italian. It originated in Greece and this is where you will encounter it most of the time. It’s basically an iced variation of Italian Cappuccino. It’s composed of Freddo Espresso and a frothy, creamy layer of milk foam on top. It’s usually accompanied with cinnamon or cocoa powder sprinkled in the mix when the shot of espresso is beaten with ice.
Corretto (Liquor, Espresso)
Caffe Corretto is an Italian espresso-based beverage that consists of a shot of espresso and a small amount of liquor, usually a few drops. The drinks that accompany the espresso the best in this case, are grappa, which is the one most commonly used, sambuca and brandy. Sometimes the barista will pour the liquor in a small glass separate to your espresso, allowing you to add as much as you want.
Cortado (Steamed Milk, Espresso)
Cortado consists of espresso mixed with steamed hot milk. Unlike the cappuccino, the milk hasn’t been steamed to foam but just heated. This is usually done to reduce the acidity of the coffee. The name Cotado comes from the Spanish verb ‘cortar’ (=to cut), because it “dilutes” the coffee.
Con Panna (Whipped cream, Espresso)
Espresso Con Panna translates directly to “espresso with cream”, in Italian. It consists of a single or double shot of espresso topped with whipped cream.
Cubano or Cafe Cubano (Sweetened espresso originated in Cuba)
Cafe Cubano is a sweetened variation of a normal espresso that originated in Cuba. It is made by whisking the first couple of drops of espresso coming out of the machine, with one or two teaspoons of sugar until homogenized into a thick, foamy paste. Then, you stir in the coffee until the sugar is fully dissolved and the foam (traditionally called espuma) rises to the top. It can also be made at home using a Moka Pot and Cuban-style coffee, which is made using darker roasts.
Doppio is the Italian word for “Double”. In coffee terminology, this translates to a double shot of espresso using twice the amount of ground coffee normally used in a single shot. Basically, it is two single shots (60ml total) in one cup!
Espresso Laccino (Ice, Espresso)
Espresso Laccino is made with a single or double shot of espresso in a medium to large cup and ice cubes added on top. By letting the coffee melt the ice cubes, it slowly transforms into an iced espresso resembling an Americano.
Espresso Romano (Espresso served with a slice of lemon)
Espresso Romano is a single or double shot of espresso with a slice of lemon or lemon juice added inside. Because of the coffee’s natural bitterness the aroma as well as the acidity of the lemon stand out. Despite not having enough evidence for its history and origins, we know it is really popular in Italy’s Campania Region (Naples, Capri, and Amalfi coast).
Flat White (Steamed Milk, Espresso)
There are several myths regarding Flat White’s origin amongst the Oceanian Countries. Some claim that it was officially introduced by the Australian Government a few decades ago. Some others say that it was invented accidentally by a barista in New Zealand when he failed to make a Cappuccino. Truth is, we don’t know exactly how the Flat white came to be, and surprisingly, there is a constant conflict amongst coffee drinkers as to what makes a Flat White. In most places, you will find a standard variation of Flat White, made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk similar to a Latte or a Cappuccino.
However, it is neither of the two. While Latte mainly concentrates on the milk amount, and Cappuccino is known for its frothy, texturized milk foam, a Flat White stands somewhere in between, with less total volume than both. The milk of the Flat White has been micro foamed, meaning that during the steaming process, the air has been added but not so much that it would turn it into a foam-like that of Cappuccino. The amount of air has to do solely with the amount of coffee and milk used and appropriate timing is vital to get it right.
Freddo Espresso (Ice, Espresso)
Freddo Espresso, like Freddo Cappuccino, is a coffee that originated in Greece. It is made by beating a single or double shot of espresso with ice cubes in an electric milk frother for around 10-13 seconds depending on the amount of ice and the speed of the frother, as well as the special blend of coffee used. Added sugar and milk are optional but are usually added in the mixing process.
Frappe or Greek Frappe (Instant Coffee, Ice, Sugar [optional], Milk [optional])
Frappe was experimentally invented in the city of Thessaloniki in 1957 by a representative of Nescafe(Nestle branch). It is made by mixing a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee with a small amount of hot water in a glass as well as your preferred amount of sugar and milk (both are optional), before blending with an electric milk frother until a smooth frothy texture has been achieved. After that, additional water and ice are added until the glass is full. Frappe can also be made using a shaker at home, but it would be much harder to achieve the same texture.
Galao (From Portugal, lighter and creamier version of the cappuccino)
Galao is a Portuguese slight variation of Caffe Latte. The milk steaming process is the same with the only difference being in the serving and the proportions of the ingredients. Galao is served in a tall glass which can hold more coffee total, and while the amount of espresso remains the same, more steamed milk is added until the glass is full, making for a much lighter and milkier coffee than a Latte.
Gibraltar (Milk form version of Cortado)
Gibraltar is a slight variation of a Cortado. It consists of a double shot of espresso and an equivalent or slightly lower amount (40-75ml) of steamed milk. It takes its name from the glass that it is usually served in, a Gibraltar glass, which is what differentiates it from a Cortado. The proportions of a Gibraltar are really strict with the specific glass taking only 135 ml of liquid.
Glace (Ice Cream, Espresso)
Glace consists of a single or double shot of espresso and one or two servings of Ice cream added on top. There are multiple variations, some of which are using instant coffee instead of espresso as well as milk, syrup, grated chocolate, or whipped cream on top of the ice cream.
Irish Coffee (Thick Cream, Whiskey, Black Coffee)
Irish Coffee is an espresso-based cocktail traditionally containing Irish whiskey, black coffee, and thick fresh cream. Some variations also use sweeteners, the most common of which is sugar. It’s proportions differ substantially among variations but the classic version’s preparation takes around 80ml of black coffee, 40 ml of Irish whiskey, and the sweeteners of one’s choice (if any) and gently mixes it until homogenized in a tall glass special for Irish Coffee. Then 30 ml of Fresh cream are carefully poured over the back of a spoon, gradually rising from the surface of the drink, in order for the layer of cream to float on top. Its origin is debatable as there are several opposing claims, and there are multiple variations using diluted espresso instead of Black coffee and other kinds of whiskey instead of Irish.
Latte or Cafe Latte (Milk Foam, Steamed Milk, Espresso)
Caffe latte is one a classic Italian coffee mainly consisting of espresso and steamed milk. Its name comes from the Italian “caffe e latte”, which means “coffee and milk” and it was introduced sometime around the 17th century in Italy. Caffe Latte is usually made with a single or double shot of espresso and unlike the Cappuccino, its cup is filled with steamed milk and only a thin layer of milk foam on top. Usually it contains more than double the amount of coffee in milk and it is served in a 10-12 oz cup. There are several variations and sizes available around the world, but generally as long as it exceeds 8 ounces in total, foam aside, it is considered a latte. It's known for its creamy and light taste that has made it famous all around the world.
Latte Macchiato (Milk Foam, Espresso, Steamed Milk)
Latte macchiato contains the same ingredients as a Latte and their main difference is the way they are served and the way of pouring. While in a latte, espresso comes first followed by the steamed milk on top and then the foam, in Latte Macchiato the order is reversed. First you pour the frothy milk in the glass and then gently pour the espresso on top in order to make three layers, one of steamed milk at the bottom, one of coffee in the middle, and foam on top. Latte Macchiato in Italian means “Milk marked with espresso” and the end result looks exactly like that. It is usually served in a tall glass where the three layers are properly distinguishable.
Lungo (Water, Espresso)
Lungo is an Italian coffee, the name of which translates to “long” and this is exactly what it is. Basically, it is made by preparing a single shot of espresso and instead of stopping the machine after the normal timeframe( 18-30 seconds depending on blend), it is prolonged for about double the time without changing the amount of ground coffee inside. That way we end up with a lighter coffee, with a smaller concentration of caffeine inside and a significantly different taste.
Long Black (Originated in New Zealand and Australia, more Crema than Americano)
A Long Black is a coffee similar to Americano but originated in Oceanian Countries( New Zealand and Australia). It is made by pouring a double-shot of espresso over 100-120 ml of hot water (less than the amount in an Americano), resulting in a stronger aroma and taste. It also maintains the crema on top when prepared properly.
Long Macchiato (taller version of Macchiato, identifiable by its distinct layers of coffee and steamed milk)
A Long Macchiato is a macchiato version that traditionally originated in Australia. It is one of the most debated coffees even amongst baristas. Depending on the place you order, chances are you will probably receive a different coffee. A Long Macchiato has several variations all over the world as to the way it is served and the amount of milk inside. The most common version of a Long Macchiato is served in a tall glass and can be identified by its different layers of steamed milk, at the bottom, a double shot of espresso in the middle and a dash of milk foam on top.
Macchiato (Milk Foam, Espresso)
A Macchiato, also known as Espresso Macchiato or Caffe Macchiato, is a double-shot of espresso with a spot of textured milk foam on top and toppings of your choice if any. Macchiato in Italian means “Stained” and this is exactly what this coffee stands for. It has a stronger taste than most coffees due to the small amount of milk inside.
Marocchino (Milk Foam, Chocolate, Espresso)
Caffe Marocchino was invented in Italy in the city of Alessandria and took its name after Moroccan leather due to its colour. There are many variations of it but traditionally it is made with a single shot of espresso, milk foam and cocoa powder. In some variations, optional ingredients such as hot cocoa or nutella are used to form distinct layers between the ingredients and intensify the flavour of the beverage.
Mead Raf (Cream, Honey, Espresso)
Mead Raf is a coffee that emerged in Moscow, Russia in the 1990’s and consists of Honey, Espresso and Cream. By first making a double shot of espresso, adding a teaspoon of honey and a couple of ounces of heavy cream in a milk-frothing pitcher and frothing until it reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit, we end up with what is called a Mead Raf Coffee.
Mocha (Whipped Cream, Steamed Milk, Chocolate, Espresso)
Caffe Mocha is an espresso-based beverage with hot milk cocoa powder and milk foam on top. There are several variations of the coffee but in its most basic form it can be described as coffee with hot chocolate and milk foam. In many of its variations instead of foam, whipped cream is used and in some cases chocolate syrup and other sweeteners substitute the cocoa powder, changing the entire formulation of the drink.
Mochaccino (Cappuccino with chocolate)
Mochaccino is a hybrid beverage between Caffe Mocha and Cappuccino. It basically has the structure of a Cappuccino but with cocoa powder added in the mix or on top.
Palazzo (doppio chilled immediately after brewing)
Palazzo is the name of the double-shot of espresso that is chilled directly after coming out of the machine. It doesn’t contain any ice cubes or chilled water that would dilute its form but in many cases it is encountered mixed with sweetened cream.
Piccolo Latte (Cappuccino made with Ristretto)
Piccolo Latte is a small beverage which consists of a single-shot of espresso, steamed milk and a small amount of milk foam on top. It is typically served in a small glass of roughly 3-4 oz. As the name suggests it is a much smaller version of a Latte.
Raf Coffee (Cream, Vanilla, Sugar, Espresso)
Raf is a coffee that emerged sometime in the late 1990’s in Moscow, Russia and like Mead Raf it has a special way of preparation, much different from Italian Coffees. It is made by pouring a single shot of espresso in a milk-foaming pitcher with some high-fat heavy cream, then adding vanilla sugar and syrup or other sweeteners of your choice. After that, the whole mix is foamed with a steam heater until a temperature of roughly 140 degrees Fahrenheit is reached. In some variations, other ingredients are added, like alcohol or honey (Mead Raf)
Red Eye (Espresso, Drip)
A Red Eye, Black Eye’s predecessor, is a drink that consists of a serving of Drip Coffee with a single shot of espresso added on top. While black eye was made because of the black mark the espresso left on the surface of the drink, a red eye took its name after the extra added shot of coffee necessary to stay awake after an overnight “red eye” flight. It has been associated with multiple different names, some of which are: “Hammerhead”, “shot in the dark” and “oil spill”.
Ristretto is a “short shot” of highly concentrated espresso. While it is extracted using a normal double basket of ground coffee and in the same duration as a normal espresso (18-30 seconds), it uses half the amount of water resulting in major differences in both taste and caffeine concentration. Given that different chemical compounds dissolve into hot water at different rates, the balance of a Ristretto has nothing similar to that of a normal espresso, not only because of the caffeine but because of the prevalence of more easily-extracted compounds in the drink. Overall, it has the highest concentration of caffeine and the strongest taste amongst the espresso family.
Shakerato (Espresso, Ice)
Shakerato (which means shaken in Italian) is prepared by mixing ice cubes and espresso in a cocktail shaker, and shaking until a frothy texture has been achieved. It is usually served in a Martini glass and alcohol (most commonly Bailey’s) is used in some variations of it.
Vienna Coffee (Whipped Cream, Espresso)
Vienna Coffee is the name of a traditional coffee-and-cream beverage. It is made with a double shot of espresso and whipped cream on top. It is like a Con Panna which always has a double shot of espresso.
Starting here are non-espresso brewing methods.
Moka Pot (1933, Italy)
Named after the Yemeni city of Mocha, it was invented by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 and quickly became one of the staples of Italian culture.
It is an electric stove-top or electric coffee maker which has 3 chambers. The bottom chamber contains the water, above it there is the ground coffee basket and last one is the collecting chamber where the coffee is released.
By heating the boiler (bottom chamber), pressure in the pot is increased until the point when the water is forced through the funnel and the coffee basket and begins to pour in the collecting chamber.
Though similar to espresso, moka coffee has its own distinct characteristics, depending greatly on the coffee used (grind, roast,variety), the water as well as the heat in which the coffee is brewed. Extracting coffee with a slightly higher water to coffee ratio and much lower pressure than espresso, the texture as well as the flavour is much different than normal espresso.
Often referred to as “black coffee” made with Automated Coffee Maker (Germany, 1908)
In 1908, Melitta Bentz, a German entrepreneur, created the first drip coffee maker using a filter she made out of blotting paper.
Drip coffee is made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and then allowing for it to “drip” in a pot or carafe. In most cases paper filters (first introduced by Melitta Bentz) are used for holding the coffee until the procedure is finished, though many permanent filters made of thin, perforated, metal sheets are now widespread all around the world as well.
The end result is a coffee with a relatively light body, with many of the coffee’s oils and essences held off by the paper filter (a metal filter doesn’t hold these essences).
Drip is also known as “Filtered”, “Pour-Over” or “Immersed”.
Chemex (USA, 1941)
Invented by Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, manufactured by the Chemex Corporation in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
It is a manual, glass, pour-over coffee maker shaped like an hourglass.
By using much thicker paper filters than those of drip-style coffee makers (and are also folded before use), it holds back most of coffee’s oils, resulting in the cleanest form of light-bodied coffee available
Because of the thick filter removing most of coffee’s imbalances, the flavours of the ground coffee are more prevalent in a cup made using Chemex. Lighter and Medium roasts are the best in this case as they have a much richer flavour profile than darker roasts.
Preparing coffee with a Chemex, ideally, takes just a few minutes. First you need to boil some water and rinse the paper, after which you will add your ground coffee and make a small hole in the middle with your finger. After that, pour a small portion of your water on top of the ground coffee (around ¼) and let it rest for around 30 seconds. After that, pour the rest of your water on top and let it pour into the bottom part of the hourglass. You can also run around the edges of the filter with a small spoon pushing all the ground coffee in the middle to assure that you extract all the flavours from your coffee. After that, leave it for 2-5 minutes depending on the amount of water you have added.
Nel Drip (1888, Japan)
In 1925, Coffee Syphon Co. released the first syphon brewer in Japan. Around the time Hario began producing glassware, the nel drip was the most pervasive brewing method in Japan.
Nel Drip is a brewing method that requires a lot of precision and time to perfect, however, when done correctly the end result is very different than normal drip coffee produced by any other method.
Initially you will need a special Nel Drip Syphon, which has a slightly different shape than a normal Chemex, with its top part resembling a rounded oil lamp and its lower part having the shape of a small pot.
Instead of normal paper filters, you will need to use a special cloth filter made from cotton fiber, that also requires boiling and thorough cleaning in order to maintain the high quality of the coffee.
A gooseneck kettle is advised, so that you can better control the pouring of the water, as the brewing method itself consists of slow and steady intervals in order to be done right.
It should also be noted that Nel Drip uses a slightly lower temperature of water in order to not burn the coffee and is one of the reasons longer intervals are not only possible, but also enhance the coffee’s flavours.
After you have dampened the wet cloth with hot water, just enough so that it doesn’t drip, pour 45-50g of ground coffee (preferably ground as if for a French Press, too-fine grinds will ruin the procedure) inside the cloth, preferably as close to the middle as possible.
The process requires a total of 3 pouring intervals that need to be timed right in order to achieve the right end result. The initial pour includes pouring 45 ml of water in the span of 45 seconds and then leaving it to rest for another 45.
After that period, pour 80ml throughout 60 seconds, slowly rotating around the center of the ground coffee. Then leave it to bloom for 20 seconds.
In the last interval, pour 60ml of water in the span of 30 seconds and let it drain in your pot.
Using the leftover boiling water to heat up your cup, as slowly as you did with the coffee, while it is brewing is going to make sure temperature differences won’t have an impact on your coffee’s taste.
Aeropress (2005) (aka pump-driven Espresso)
Invented by retired Stanford engineering lecturer Alan Adler in 2005
It is a manual coffee maker consisting of a cylindrical chamber and a plunger with an airtight seal (usually silicone), resembling a syringe.
Coffee is brewed in an Aeropress by Adding your ground coffee and hot water in the chamber and then forcing the coffee out through the seal with the plunger. Coffee made with an aeropress has a similar high concentration to espresso, but also has the versatility to make “clean” coffee by using a special, plastic or metal filter.
There are two established brewing methods right now. The Traditional Method and the Inverted method.
In the Traditional method, coffee and water are placed in the cylinder on top of a paper microfilter, stirred for about 10 seconds, and then forced in a pot with the plunger. The total time depends on the amount of cups produced, defined by the size of the Aeropress.
In the traditional method, the end result is less acidic than drip coffee, and with a 30-second total of brewing time.
In the Inverted method, the plunger is placed at the bottom first, and the entire aeropress stands upside down. In this method, after stirring the coffee and water together in the cylinder and placing the airtight filter on top, you leave the mixture to rest for as long as you wish, then flip it vertically or horizontally and force it into your vessel with the plunger.
Due to the extended brewing time, this method resembles French Press coffee more.
French Press (Italy/France, 1852)
The first patent of a French press that resembles what we use today was patented by the Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta in 1929. What is arguably the most popular design was patented by the Swiss man Faliero Bondanini in 1958 and this brewer was known in France, where it was manufactured, as a 'Chambord'.
It is basically a device consisting of a narrow, cylindrical container made of hard plastic or glass, a metal or plastic lid and a plunger with a steel wire or nylon mesh filter.
In a French Press, Coffee is prepared by adding 30g of coarsely ground coffee in the container per 500ml of hot water and left to brew for around four minutes. After that, push the plunger slowly, so that the mesh filter drives the ground coffee residuals at the bottom and pour your coffee to a cup or mug of your choice.
Cafe au Lait
It’s a coffee based beverage that originated in France. It translates directly to “Coffee & Milk” and it is often made with French Press Coffee
It can be considered the French traditional variation of the Italian Caffe Latte.
It is made by mxing tofetheer Steamed milk and French Press Coffee.
Siphone (Germany/France, 1830)
Invented by Loeff of Berlin in 1830, but in 1840 Mme. Vassieux of Lyons, France successfully commercialized the tabletop eye-pleaser that we know today
A Siphon Coffee Maker (also known as Vacuum), is a perfect example of how physics can be used in everyday life, to make a very clear and aromatic cup of coffee.
Basically, by taking advantage of vapor pressure and gravity, it brews the coffee between two small chambers, by heating the lower one.
Before starting to brew your coffee, make sure to soak the special filter for at least a few minutes in hot water. It is essential for the process to have the best possible result. Then, drop it in the top component’s bottom and hook it there (there is a special tubing system that will allow exactly that). Keep in mind there are several different filters for Siphon Coffee Makers, made of cloth, paper, nylon and even metal.
After that fill the bottom chamber with around 300ml of hot water per 22-25 grams of coffee, and then place the top chamber on top, filter facing down. Apply a small amount of pressure to make sure they are tightly stuck together, and position the now assembled siphon over the heat source.
Once the water starts boiling, it will move to the top chamber through the tube, and you can turn down the heat, just enough to maintain a temperature around 85 and 90 degrees Celsius (185-195 Fahrenheit).
Drop your ground coffee in the top chamber now that it is full of water. Submerge the coffee with a spoon or butter knife. Medium to Fine grinds are exceptional for this method.
Leave the mix in the top chamber to brew for around 70-75 seconds.
After that, remove the siphon from the heat source, and stir the brewed coffee well.
From this moment, it will most likely take around a minute for your coffee to drip in the bottom chamber and you will know it’s ready when you see a pile of ground coffee on top of your filter.
Let it rest for a few minutes and enjoy!
The Clever Coffee Dripper is an Immersion Brewing device that was invented in 2009 and combines the characteristics of French Press and Drip Coffee.
It has the shape of a Cone with a small base and it is a bit taller than an average mug.You make the coffee by placing a filter in that cone, then throwing in the ground beans, adding nearly boiling water and letting it brew for around 3 minutes.
After that place on top of a mug or pot and let it drip inside.
Single-Cup Pour-over is exceptionally similar in size and shape as the Clever Coffee Dripper, and is usually made of porcelain, plastic or other materials. Their main difference is that you don’t leave the coffee in to brew, but it drips while you pour the water.
Start by boiling around double the amount of water you need for a single cup as you are going to dampen the filter and heat the mug with the additional water.
Place the Dripper on top of your mug/cup and place the filter inside. Now pour some of the excess boiling water through the filter into the mug to warm it up for around a minute.
After that, place your ground coffee (Preferably Medium Grind= Coarse Sea Salt texture) inside the filter and slowly pour your boiling water inside, first to bloom the coffee and after that, to brew the coffee.
It should take around 2-3 minutes for the mug to be filled.
In addition to the Dripper technique, you can find small coffee bags in the market that resemble tea bags in function. Basically you place them on top of your cup (they have specific stands for that) and pour the hot water on top of them. They are perfect for camping or trips as well.
Ristretto (Similar to Espresso, but use half the amount of water, The shorter brewing cycle creates concentrated and darker shots of Espresso)
Turkish Coffee (Turkey, 16th Century)
Turkish brewing is the oldest method of coffee preparation.
They first grounded roasted coffee beans in mortars. Afterwards they boiled the coffee powder with water. This pot is known until today as “cezve” (~jezve~).
It is made with very finely ground coffee beans that stay inside the drink after the brewing is finished. Turkish coffee is made by boiling the ground coffee, the sugar and water together in the “cezve”. The mixture is removed from the heat once it begins to froth and right before it boils over to achieve a gentle, thin, foamy texture on the surface. Sometimes it is reheated one or two more times, to increase the froth.
After that it is served directly to your cup.
Tra Lai (Vietnam) - mix of coffee and tea
Lovebird tea (Hong Kong) - mix of coffee and tea
If you want to learn more about the different types of coffee and how the flavor can be dependent on the brewing method, be sure to read this article. It will go into detail about how brewing affects the taste of coffee and help you understand the different brewing variables at play.
"Ca Phe Trung" (Vietnam) - mix of coffee, raw egg yolk, sugar, and condensed milk
"Ca Phe Trung" is a popular beverage in Vietnam. Not only is it unique in terms of preparation, but it is also unique in terms of consumption. To enjoy both the egg and the coffee, you must tilt the cup. The perfect combination of coffee, eggs, sugar, and condensed milk provides the drinker with completely different taste sensations than other coffee cups around the world, bearing bold characteristics of the ancient capital Hanoi glasses. Egg yolks will be whisked by hand with milk and sugar, then boiled coffee will be poured. Nowadays, with advanced technology, beating eggs has become easier, eggs are beaten by a machine to help keep the smoothness longer, so egg coffee has a cold version and many other combinations with chocolate or matcha. A cup of hot egg coffee, the layer of sweet and fatty egg foam on top, and the bitter coffee underneath combine to provide users with a memorable taste experience.
Coffee Types based on roasting technique
There are three main ways to roast coffee: drum, charcoal, and hot air. Each method produces a different flavor profile in the cup. Below, we will explore the differences between drum and charcoal roasting, and how each method affects the taste of the coffee.
This will help you to choose the roast method that best suits your taste preferences and understand what happens to the coffee bean during roasting.
Sumiyaki - Charcoal roasting
From the 3 different methods of roasting that exist right now, Charcoal roasting is by far the most recently developed one. It utilizes charcoal to achieve its purpose and has a lot of peculiarities, both advantages and drawbacks.
The reason Charcoal Roasting was invented is that there were certain things that the other two methods failed to accomplish. More specifically, Hot air roasting is meant for light to medium roasts and Drum Roasting is mainly used for medium to darker roasts. The problem is , that in drum roasting it's very easy to over-roast your coffee and have it burned and therefore ruined. That’s what charcoal roasting came to fix.
In Charcoal Roasting, the beans are heated in two ways. One is from the outside, with the heat produced by the burning charcoal. The other one is from Far Infrared Rays, a specific kind of radiation between light waves and microwave rays, that heats the beans from the inside. The way this works is that Far Infrared Rays cause the water molecules in the beans to vibrate and create friction among them.
That way, we end up with a far more precise roast with a richer body and much less acidity, due to the lower chance of having burned beans in your batch. More of the coffee beans characteristics are preserved as well since they are not burned away, such as a richer taste and aroma.
One more advantage of charcoal roasting is that it slows down the beans’ deterioration rate. What that means, is that normally, after the beans are roasted and they get exposed to air they get oxidized. That decreases their life cycle. In charcoal roasting however, Carbon Monoxide is released which slows that deterioration down and allows a longer preservation of quality.
The main disadvantages of charcoal roasting are that it is really expensive compared to the other two methods, and that it relies a lot on the personal skills and expertise of the roaster. Unless it is done perfectly, with the radiation and heat harmonically roasting the beans in and out, then the result will not be as good as it can be.
To summarize, charcoal roasting is ideal for medium to darker roasts, however it goes hand-in-hand with higher costs and requires an expert roaster in charge of the procedure.
Drum roasting is one of the two common methods of roasting all over the world. A Drum is a cylindrical chamber that, with the coffee beans inside, spins over a heat source, roasting the beans through conduction and convection.
By evenly moving the beans inside it is ensured that all of them receive the same amount of heat.
The problem with Drum roasting, mainly for darker roasts, where it takes higher heat to achieve the desired result, is that it is difficult to guarantee the same heat in and out of the beans.
The beans, before roasting, contain moisture that if left inside, results in an acidic taste and an unpleasant smell.
That way, you risk overbaking the beans to avoid the unpleasant acidity. This sacrifices a part of the coffee’s richness and special traits in darker roasts.
Still it is perfect for lighter to medium roasts.
- Direct Fire Roasting
Direct fire coffee roasters are a new method of roasting coffee beans. They use a drum with a surface of small holes that allows the fire to directly reach the furnace chamber. This is a good option for coffee roasters who want to reduce their environmental footprint and enjoy cleaner tasting coffee beans. The direct fire coffee roaster has several advantages over the traditional drum-roast style roasters and those other methods of heating up the drum. The direct fire process is more temperature efficient, so it requires less heat to achieve your desired roast level, which can result in lower power consumption or lower carbon emissions from your roasting setup. However, it has some disadvantages too: it is susceptible to external influences and sometimes produces uneven roasting. Also the heat inside of the drum is not easy to adjust.
- Hot Air (Fluid bed) Roasting
Fluid bed roasting was invented in the 1970’s by Michael Sivetz and relies on a completely different system of operations than both drum and charcoal roasting.
The reason it is called Fluid Bed, is because the coffee beans are flying around the chamber while being roasted, due to the hot air and pressure.
It takes half the amount of time and half the temperature compared to conventional drum roasting because 100% of the heat is transferred to the core of the beans through convection which is a more efficient way.
It is also much gentler for the beans allowing them to maintain their richness of flavor and aroma regardless of roast.
- Open Flame Roasting
Open flame roasting is one of these methods that generates a full-bodied, nutty flavor with a smoky finish from small batches at a time. It creates roasted beans with much more consistency than traditional methods and has given them an edge. The first crack the green coffee beans turn into gas. This gas is then released and creates pressure in the bean which in turn causes it to expand. At this point, the temperature inside the beans begins to rise as well. This leads to further expansion which, in turn, causes more heat within the beans until they are roasted on the outside and completely dry within. Once they are roasted on the outside they take on a brown color due to caramelization from heat exposure. The browning also comes from oxidation processes that occur during roasting .
Maintaining the right temperature is a crucial part of the coffee making process and it is actually easy with open flame roasting. However, there are some downsides to it: the process takes longer, it uses more fuel, and it creates a lot of waste. So this particular roasting technique is usually only used by home-roaster enthusiasts.
If you're interested in learning more about the different types of coffee roasting techniques, be sure to read our article on the coffee roasting process. You'll learn about the different flavors that each technique produces and how to choose the roast that's right for you.
Coffee Types based on cultivation method and process
Two of the factors that determine the flavor of coffee are how it is cultivated and processed. This happens because of the unique compounds that are found in coffee.
For example, coffee grown at high altitudes has a brighter acidity, while coffee processed by the wet or washed method produces a cleaner cup with less bitterness.
Let’s explore them all:
Kopi Luwak (AKA civet coffee)
Kopi Luwak is the name of a coffee process that began in Indonesia in the 19th century and involves Asian Palm Civets.
The process takes place inside the Asian Civets after eating and partially digesting Coffee Cherries. It is considered one of the most expensive coffees in the market.
When in the wild, and not farmed, the civet has the ability to select the most ripe and highest quality of cherries, which then are fermented inside the animal. In farms however, the civet isn’t capable of selecting the beans on its own so the quality decreases.
Despite many different opinions, most coffee critics agree that Kopi Luwak coffee is mainly expensive due to its novelty and it just tastes bad, as some of the good oils and acids are lost in the process.
Manual Coffee picking requires picking the coffee cherries by hand, exactly as the name suggests.
There are two ways of Manually picking the cherries, Stripping and Selective.
In Stripping, all the coffee trees will be stripped down at once by the personnel, taking both ripe and unripe cherries. This is mainly used for commodity coffees. Typically this process takes place only for Robusta Coffee.
In Selective picking, the cherries will be picked few at a time, each time taking only the most ripe cherries, which guarantees richer flavor profiles.
Wahed processing is one of the most common ways of processing coffee beans and involves removing the fruit before drying. It is done to enhance the taste of the coffee overall and consists of 4 parts.
The first one is called the Sorting, in which the cherries are piled up in water, and where the ripe ones head to the bottom while the unsuitable ones rise to the surface.
After that comes the Pulping, where the outer part is removed and we only keep the seeds -the coffee beans.
Then we have the Fermentation, where the coffee beans are thrown into a tank of water where they are left for around 18-24 hours depending on criteria such as temperature, country, local processes, etc.
After coming out of the fermentation, the coffee beans are left to dry. This can be through sunlight or with mechanical dryers (or a mix of both) depending on the size of the batch, and the preferences of the manufacturer. In both cases the seeds are dried to 10-12% moisture.
- Natural/Dry Processed
Natural, also known as dry processing, is one of the classic ways of transforming coffee cherries to coffee beans.
In this method, after the cherries are picked, they are laid out in the sun to dry on elevated tables that allow the air to flow through them, thus allowing for a more even drying.
After drying, the skin and flesh are mechanically removed and the green beans are left to rest before exporting.
This method is used mainly in places like Brazil or Ethiopia where there is a shortage of water
There is extensive debate between baristas regarding the taste. In this process a richer flavor profile is cultivated, with sometimes sweeter, fruitier notes and other times with wilder flavors, fermented and resembling alcohol. In the end, it comes down to personal preference.
- Honey/ Pulped Natural
Honey, also known as Pulped Natural Processing, is mainly used in Central American countries, like Costa Rica and Ecuador.
In this process, the cherries are basically stripped of their flash and skin but a small amount is left on the beans.
After that they go directly on the drying tables.
Given the small amount of flesh left, there is a smaller risk of over-fermentation while achieving an increase in sweetness and flavor-depth in the cup.
- Giling Basah
Giling Basah is a common process of coffee cherries in Indonesia, and in the Arabica industry it is referred to as “wet hulled”.
It is similar to the washed process but it is left to dry in two waves. The first time it reaches 30-35% of internal moisture. The second time, after the beans have rested, until 10-12% which is the storable and exportable amount.
The Giling Basah process is said to enhance the coffee’s body and reduce the overall acidity of the drink.
Manual Screen Sorting (Couldn’t find information about this type as a processing. Only as a way of sorting beans and testing if they are good. It seems to be more of an industry thing than something that would interest the reader of this particular list. Do we keep it?)
To discover more, have a look at our article about how harvesting and processing technology affects the taste of coffee.
Coffee Types based on roasting level (In order of light to dark)
In this process, coffee beans are roasted in order to alter their chemical composition and transform them from green beans to roasted. The reason is that green beans don’t possess any of the aroma and flavor of roasted beans, which depends on their origin, time of roast and temperatures.
Coffee comes primarily in light, medium, and dark roasts. The light roast has the lightest color and mildest flavor. The medium roast is quite popular because it has a richer flavor than the light roast. The dark roast has the darkest color and strongest flavor.
However, there are variations within each level of roast, so it's important to experiment to find what you like. For example, a Cinnamon(Light) Roast and an Italian(Dark) Roast, taste nothing alike even if they are made with the same coffee beans. Some coffee drinkers prefer light roasts because they taste more like the beans themselves, while others prefer darker roasts for their fuller, smokier flavors.
- Cinnamon Roast
It is a very light roast, in which the beans barely reach the first crack. The internal of the beans won’t reach 400 degrees F at all through the process and it results in a relatively sour taste regardless of origin most of the time. The roasting starts as low as 300 F and is slowly increased. The longer the duration, and the lower the temperature, the better the Cinnamon roast. Arabica beans are preferred to Robusta for this light roast for taste reasons.
- Scandinavian Roast
Also known as Nordic Style Roasting, Scandinavian roast is mainly used for high quality green beans with a potential for richness and depth of flavour. It was introduced around two decades ago in the Scandinavian countries and the focus is put on the special traits of the bean. It usually stops a minute or less after the first crack, to better highlight the profile of the beans.
- New England Roast
It is also a light roast mainly used to highlight the special traits of each kind of bean. Like the Scandinavian it is used for high-quality green beans. It roasts the beans at 400 degrees F until a bit after the first crack as well. The end result has a moderate light brown color.
- American Roast
This is a light to medium roast that is used to better showcase the origin of the beans. The reason it is called American is because that’s where it is most popular and in this one, the beans are roasted until they have achieved a medium brown color, but their oils haven’t appeared on their outer part.
- City Roast
City is the most common medium roast applied to a large portion of the green beans in the market. The reason is that, by letting the beans stay in the roaster for a couple of minutes after the first crack, acidic notes are maintained and not lost in the roasting process. The end result has a medium brown color.
- Full City Roast
Slightly darker than a City Roast. In Full City the process stops slightly before reaching the second crack (4-5 minutes after the first). In this kind of roast, the beans lose some of the acidic notes observed in the City Roast, and therefore showcase a sweeter and stronger profile. When the process is finished, the beans have a medium to dark brown color, with oil on their surface. This is the most common roast for espresso.
- Vienna Roast
The Vienna Roast has a slightly lighter brown than a French roast (Dark) with oil spots on its surface. It requires precision to execute properly as you need to make sure to stop the process exactly when the oil spots show up. It offers a strong body, with distinguishable bitterness and some people describe it “with hints of dark chocolate”.
- French Roast
French roast results in coffee beans that have the colour of dark chocolate. They are roasted until after the second crack and due to the long exposure to heat, most of the individual characteristics of the bean have been lost. It usually leaves a bitter sweet taste and is commonly used for American Espresso.
- Fruity Roast
- Italian Roast
In this roast, the beans are exposed well after the second crack and the end result carries a very dark brown color with an oily exterior, even more than French roasted beans. The acidic notes and any individual flavors have been burned away and the taste ranges from bittersweet to charred. Dark roasts in general maintain a consistency in flavor and they are, most of the time, used for espresso.
- Dark French Roast
The only difference from normal French Roasted beans, is that it is darker and oilier, therefore more bitter and charred in taste.
- Spanish Roast
Spanish roasts result in the darkest available roast, almost completely black in color. The coffee will result as bitter and burnt in terms of taste, and the amount of caffeine in this roast is minimal.
If you're curious to learn more about the different roasting levels and how they affect the taste of coffee, be sure to read this article! In it, we'll dive into each roast level in more detail.
Coffee Types based on varietal
There are four main types of coffee: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa. You might have heard only of the Arabica variety but Robusta is actually quite popular as well. Much like different apple varietals have a unique flavour, so does each coffee varietal. And of course there are sub-varietals as well. Most times you can find this information on the coffee bag itself and now it’s time to understand what it means! Let's find out a bit more about coffee varietals and all their sub-varietals:
Main 4 Types
Coffee Arabica is a coffee plant species that originated in Ethiopia and records show it was first cultivated in Yemen in the 12th century. It is the global production leader, with around 60% of all coffee beans produced belonging to this variety. Despite its natural place of origin and many other parts of Africa, it is cultivated in Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean as well as in the Pacific. It thrives in tropical climates with high altitudes. It is considered a superior variety, especially when compared to Robusta -the second in production- in all aspects, balance, sweetness, flavor, acidity, complexity...everything. That said, it is harder to grow than the other varieties and as a result more expensive as well.
Coffea Robusta (sub-variety of the plant Coffea Canephora) is a coffee plant species originating in Sub-Saharan Africa. It represents around 40% of the global world production with Coffee Arabica responsible for most of the remaining 60%. It is a very resilient plant species, capable of withstanding high temperatures, pests and diseases, mainly growing in Lower Altitudes. Other than Sub-Saharan countries, it is grown in Brazil, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Robusta beans have double the caffeine content than Arabica ones, though they lack the flavor complexity and sweetness, as they contain less sugar and lipids. They make for a stronger, more earthly coffee, preferably espresso with a rich and thick crema on top. Due to the ease of growing them, they have a lower price as well.
Coffea Liberica, also known as Liberian Coffee, is a rare variety that constitutes 2% of the global production. It originated in central and western Africa and has now been naturalized in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Seychelles. It is the only variety of coffee in which the seeds have an irregular shape. They have a complex flavor profile and are very resistant to hot climates, pests and disease. That said, because of their low production they are on the high end of the pricing spectrum. They are mainly used in blends to add more complexity of flavor or sold as specialty beans.
Like Liberica, Excelsa is a rare variety of coffee representing only 1% of global production. They belong to the Liberica family of plants but their size is closer to that of Robusta. They were discovered in Chad in 1904 and have been cultivated since. They are also cultivated in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The plant is really sturdy, thriving in dry soil, however due to the climatic conditions in Chad, it is very expensive. It makes for a very strong aromatic taste, but it is relatively unfamiliar for other-variety coffee drinkers. Due to its strong profile it is mainly used in blends.
- Bourbon (sub-species of the Arabica varietal)
Bourbon is one the main Sub-varieties of Arabica Coffee beans, and takes its name from “Ile Bourbon”(Reunion Island after 1789), where its parent species mutated and this is the result. Bourbon Coffee Beans grow 1100m to 2000m above sea level and produce high to very high quality coffee. They are grown in Many places all around the world, mainly in Brazil, Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
Pacas, like Villa Sarchi and Cattura, is a natural, single-gene mutation of the Bourbon Sub-Variety that has resulted in it growing smaller than the average Bourbon plant. It was first discovered in 1949 in El Salvador. Other than its place of origin it is mainly cultivated in Brazil and Honduras.
- Villa Sarchi
Like Pacas and Cattura, Villa Sarchi is a natural, single-gene mutation of the Bourbon Sub-Variety that makes the plant grow smaller. It was first discovered in the 1950’s or 1960’s in Costa Rica and is mainly grown there to this day. It is very well adapted to strong winds and high altitudes with great potential for a high quality end result.
Sl-28 is one of the most well-known, high-quality sub-species of the Bourbon Variety. It is resistant to drought, and thrives in medium to high altitudes, with a lot of rain. It is not as resilient to major diseases though. It was first selected in the 1930's in Kenya and since then, it has been commercially grown in its place of origin, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Latin America. It can result in an exceptional quality of beans. The SL in its name comes from the Scott Laboratories that were responsible for its selection at the time.
- Kent (K7)
Kent (K7) is a subspecies of the Bourbon Variety that thrives on lower to medium altitudes and is known for its relative tolerance of rust and CBD( 2 of the major coffee plant diseases). It has a potential to offer good quality coffee, and was first introduced in Kenya in 1936 after several generations of selection. It is mainly grown in Kenya.
- Bourbon Pointu/ Laurina
The Bourbon Pointu variety, also known as Laurina is a subspecies of the Bourbon Variety, with much less caffeine content than normal Arabica beans. It is hard to cultivate, because it is very susceptible to pests and diseases. It is said to produce a very delicate cup, rich and sweet and almost devoid of bitterness. It is expensive and hard to find on the market. It originated in Bourbon Island but it is cultivated in other places as well (like Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua)
Like Pacas and Villa Sarchi, Caturra is a natural, single-gene mutation of theBourbon sub-variety that makes the plant grow smaller than the rest of the Arabica family. It was discovered in Brazil in the mid to late 1910’s and its selections started in 1937. It is a common variety, mainly grown in Central America, susceptible to plant diseases. That said, it offers a good quality cup when grown in moderate to high altitudes.
Typica, like Bourbon, is one of the main sub-Varieties of Arabica Coffee beans. It has a great cup quality and resistance to cold weather, but a very low production due to its susceptibility to major diseases. It originated like all Arabica beans, in Ethiopia but after a series of cultivation all around the world, it is now produced in Indonesia, South and Central America as well as the Caribbean.
SL-34, a subspecies of the Typica Variety, was originally selected in the 1930’s in Kenya and that’s where it is mainly cultivated currently. It makes for an exceptional cup, and thrives in high altitudes with a lot of rainfall but is very susceptible to major diseases. The SL in its name comes from the Scott Laboratories that were responsible for its selection at the time.
It is a subspecies of the Typica Sub-Variety that was discovered close to the Brazilian City, Maragogipe in 1870, and from where it derives its name. It makes for a good to very good cup quality but the beans, like the plant and the leaves, are very large compared to normal varieties. It thrives in medium to high altitudes but is very susceptible to diseases so it is not cultivated much.
- Bourbon + Typica
- Mondo Novo
The variety was discovered in 1943 and resulted as a natural cross between Bourbon and Typica Sub-Varieties.It took its name after the Novo Mundo municipality in Brazil, where the plant was first selected. It thrives in medium to high altitudes and is grown mainly in Central America and Brazil. It is susceptible to major diseases but has a very good quality of cup.
It is a cross result of Cattura and Mondo Novo subspecies. It started being developed in 1949 to take full advantage of the productivity of the Mundo Novo variety which has a very tall plant, and the small compact size of the Cattura, in order to be fit for mass production. It is cultivated in high altitudes and makes for a good quality cup, however it is very susceptible to disease. It has a strong presence in Central America and Brazil.
- Mocca (Mokha)
Mocca coffee beans belong to the Arabica family but are exclusively grown in Yemen. They offer a very rich flavor profile but are mainly known for their traditional blend with Java. It is one of the few kinds of bean that maintains many of its individual characteristics in a Dark Roast.
- Java Arabica/Java
Though it was thought to belong in the Typica subspecies of Arabica, Java is a selection from an Ethiopian landrace called Adesinia. Contrary to normal Typica beans that were brought to Yemen and after that shipped to Indonesia, Java was sent directly there from its place of origin in the 19th century. It is currently grown mainly in Central America, and offers a high quality cup. It has proven to be resilient to major diseases after decades of selection.
- Geisha / Gesha
Geisha is a Sub-Variety of Arabica coffea plants that was originally discovered in Ethiopia close to a mountain translated in English as Gesha, from where it also got its name.After decades of research it was distributed to Panama because of its endurance to coffee rust, but it was not favored by farmers and so it was not widely produced. When grown in high altitudes it can result in an exceptional quality of coffee and other than Panama it is also cultivated in Malawi. It should be noted that the genetics of the Geisha Variety are not the same in the two regions.
It is a cross between Caturra and Timor coffee that was initially developed in Portugal in 1959. It takes advantage of the small size of the Caturra and the high resistance of Timor to leaf rust and CBD (major coffee plant diseases). It should be noted that Timor is a hybrid of Arabica and Robusta and it appeared on its own in Timor Island in the 1920’s. It makes for a good quality coffee and is grown in medium to high altitudes, mainly in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Castillo is a Variety of Coffee Beans that was developed in Colombia through many generations of selection to be disease-resistant and is a hybrid between Robusta and Arabica beans. It was first introduced in 2005 for mass production and 6 different kinds of it were created to meet the conditions of the 6 main regions it is cultivated. In terms of taste, it makes for a smooth, aromatic cup with hints of citric acidity. In blind taste testing, it seemed to have many common elements to Typica, Cattura as well as Bourbon.
- Colombia (AKA Variedad Columbia)
Another name for Castillo.
The Icatu Variety was developed through backcrossing of Arabica and Robusta Hybrids, in Instituto Agronomico de Campinas(ICA) in Brazil, to create a resistant variety to diseases. It was first released in 1993, and has a strong body with hints of dark chocolate. It is mainly grown in Brazil.
Jackson is a sub-variety of beans with a Bourbon genetic background and is mainly cultivated in Rwanda and Burundi. It took its name from Mr. Jackson, a farmer in India in the early 1990’s who noticed it was resistant to coffee rust(major disease). Though the variety has lost its resistance, it is still produced in medium to high altitudes and has a good quality cup potential.
- Jamaican Blue Mountain
This variety is grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and was introduced to the island in 1728. It is cultivated exclusively in Jamaica and is a very expensive and desired coffee for its lack of bitterness. Around 80% of production is sold to Japan. The Blue Mountains reach over 2.500 meters above sea level and they are cold and misty with frequent rainfalls making it ideal for coffee cultivation, combined with the rich soil of the region.
Jember, also known as S795, is an Indonesian variety that is thought to be a cross between S288( Arabica and Liberica hybrid) and a Kent variety. It is mainly cultivated in India and Southeast Asia and was one of the first varieties to show resistance to leaf rust.
Kilimanjaro is a unique single origin variety from the mountain Kilimanjaro, around 1400m-1800m above sea level. It has an exceptional cup quality potential when properly cultivated, but there is little incentive to do so due to the lack of infrastructure in the region. Kilimanjaro coffee has a delicate body, but is packed with flavors unique in this variety. When grown and harvested right, it is one of Africa’s best coffees
- Kona Typica
Kona Typica is a variety cultivated in the Kona Mountains of Hawaii. The growing region includes around 600 small farms and ranges from 600m to 2500m in altitude. The area has a perfect soil and climate to grow coffee beans, and Kona Coffee is distinguished for its strong body and aroma all around the world. It is an expensive, high quality variety due to the combination of its taste and the high cost of labor.
Maracatu, also known as Maracaturra, is a hybrid variety of Maragogype and Caturra beans that seems to have occurred naturally sometime in the 1800s. It is mainly cultivated in Brazil, Nicaragua and El Salvador. It has a fruity, sweet and complex flavor.
Moshi is one of the 3 main varieties grown on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. It offers a rich profile with low acidity and depending on the roast you may identify a wide range of flavors. Like Kilimanjaro, when properly cultivated, it is a top quality coffee bean.
Pacamara is a Hybrid of Pacas and Maragogype, developed by the Salvadoran Coffee Research Institute and it is mainly cultivated in El Salvador. It can offer an exceptional cup quality but is very susceptible to diseases. It thrives in medium to high altitudes.
Pache is a natural mutation of the Typica variety that makes it grow smaller than normal Arabica varieties. It thrives in high altitudes with moderate to low amounts of rain and was discovered in 1949 in Guatemala. It is very susceptible to major diseases but offers a good quality cup.
- Ruiru 11
Ruiru 11 beans are a multicross between Catimor, K7, SL28 and other varieties. It was developed in Ruiru’s Coffee Research Station, in Kenya due to a CBD (Coffee Berry Disease) epidemic that devastated 50% of the country's production. It is small due to the Catimor genes and resistant to CBD and leaf rust due to some of the other hybrids. It was released in 1985 in Kenya and makes good quality coffee. Unfortunately it requires hand pollination to propagate and this makes it hard to meet the farmers’ demand.
Tabi was developed in Colombia and released in 2002, in an attempt to combat leaf rust(coffee plant disease). It is a hybrid between Bourbon, Typica and Timor and it translates as “good” in Guambiano (a Colombian, tribal dialect). It has a rich and flavourful, fruity profile and is more resistant to leaf rust, just as intended.
Villalobos is a natural mutation of the Typica variety that is believed to have occurred in Costa Rica in the 1950s. It is resilient to strong winds and poor soil which makes it suitable for the high-altitude slopes of Costa Rica. In terms of taste, it is similar to Villa Sarchi with high quality potential.
This blog discusses more on the characteristics of coffee beans. Check it out!
Coffee types based on Blending Technique
There are many different types of coffee blends, each with their own unique flavor profile. Most blends are a combination of two or more different types of coffee beans, but there are also single origin coffees. Single origin coffees as opposed to coffee blends are typically only made up of coffee beans from one single place of origin.
There are numerous types of different blends which are commonly used in the coffee industry, some are single origin and others are a combination of two or more coffee beans.
Single origin blends, just like the name suggests, are composed of different coffee kinds and varieties from a single place of origin. That place could indicate a specific region or a country. A Single Blend, despite its name, can include a wide range of different varieties of coffee inside and depends on the producer. It is subsequent to seasonal and environmental factors.
Blends, depending on many different criteria, are used to create and maintain a consistent cup quality and complex flavor profiles all-year round. They can be made with all kinds of beans, ground for every way of brewing, and meet customer demand in all regions. They usually contain up to 5 different coffee beans.
- Blend based on Country of origin
This is a category of blends that have a combination of beans from different countries of origin. They are usually made to take advantage of potential flavors from both sides and mix them in different ways until the desired result has been achieved. Many times, this is done to keep the price affordable while still maintaining a rich flavor profile and consistent, good cup quality.
- Blend based on varietal
In this category, the criteria is variety. The blend is trying to balance out different varieties of beans in order to make the most out of all of them. A prime example is Arabica and Robusta beans, where the Arabica is meant to bring taste, while the Robusta, which is richer in caffeine, is meant to “strengthen” the coffee as well as keep the price affordable.
- Blend based on processing method
There are several processing methods used around the world as examined above. Each of them impacts the traits of the coffee beans in a special way and the same kind of bean can taste much different if processed in another way than usual. Blends that are defined by the different processing methods used for their components are not uncommon as it allows for combination of the unique traits provided by each of them. Be it the sweetness provided by dry processed beans or the acidic, full body that results from the washed process, a coffee blend can be produced that utilizes both.
- Blend based on Varietal and Processing Method
- Natural Arabica
It is composed of Arabica beans, of multiple sub-Varieties sometimes, all processed with the dry/natural method. It comes with a relative sweetness, a balanced, full body, and depending on the places of origin, it can be ideal for different roasts.
- Natural Robusta
This blend is made of Robusta beans, processed with the natural/dry method. It makes for a very strong and caffeinated coffee that highlights earthy, woody tones depending on its place of origin.
- Washed Arabica
Arabica beans, when processed with the washed method, come out with a milder flavor than otherwise handled. They are characterized by their relatively high acidity and strong aroma.
- Washed Robusta
Robusta beans, when processed with the washed method, don’t lose their strong and dense caffeinated body. They do however have a different taste and aroma than if dried, replacing their earthy, woody tones with a more dark chocolate-like flavor.
Commercially popular name of blends
- Espresso Blends (typically based on Brazilian Arabica)
Espresso blends are a special category because it takes a lot of criteria in mind. The end result must taste good combined with milk as well as on its own and must be able to maintain its special characteristics after being distilled with a 1:7 coffee to water ratio, under high pressure. It mainly uses Brazilian Arabica beans for its basis to achieve the right body of coffee, and then depends on other kinds of beans (including different roasting times and methods), of all varieties to get the right sweetness, acidity, aroma and aftertaste.
- Breakfast Blend
A Breakfast blend is structured to have a flavor profile smooth and acidic, that most people would enjoy in the morning. It usually consists of light to medium roasted beans to achieve that. Beans from all around the world are blended to achieve that.
- Christmas Blend (usually spicy)
Christmas blends put a lot of emphasis in creating a strong aroma and a rich, spicy yet smooth flavor profile to match the holiday season. They can show significant differences depending on the producer, but in most cases the principles of its taste remain the same.
- Turkish Coffee Blends
Turkish coffee blends mainly use Arabica beans, very finely ground with dark roast being most preferred. Due to the peculiarities of the brewing method, where the coffee stays in the cup when you drink, the flavors are magnified compared to other methods and light to medium roasts that are rich in flavor could result in an unbalanced cup.
- House Blend
It is a Signature Blend of the roastery that makes it. It is unique to other blends and its flavor entirely depends on the roastery you are in and the personal preferences of the roaster. There are no specific rules when it comes to House Blends, but they usually come with a taste between light and dark so that more people can drink it. The varieties of coffee, the ratios, the methods, the roasting, they are subsequent to the roaster's preferences in this kind of blend.
Coffee Types based on company name or company trademark
There are many coffee types that companies put their trademark on. For example, Starbucks has the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Other companies that do similar are Nespresso with their capsules and Keurig with their K-Cups. This practice helps these companies create a bigger fan base and keep people coming back for more.
Starbucks is a multinational chain of coffeehouses and roasteries that was founded in 1971, in Seattle. It is the world’s largest coffeehouse chain with roughly 32,500 shops worldwide, in 79 countries. It makes all kinds of coffees, differentiated based on cup size and has a lot of trademarked coffees under its belt. The chain prioritizes consistency when it comes to global image, so most of its beans are roasted dark, to tone down individual, heterogenic flavors between the blends.
Frappuccino (coffee/Espresso, Blended ice, whipped cream)
Frappuccino is a Starbucks trademark, and stands for a highly sweetened, iced, coffee beverage. It consists of a base of cream or coffee, with ice and other sweeteners. Usually it is topped off with whipped cream and other spices as well as different kinds of syrup. Per customer request, modifications regarding ingredients, caffeine content and other sweeteners can be made.
K-Cup pods were launched in 1998 by Keurig Inc. the company that invented the Keurig beverage system for home and commercial use. K-Cup is a term that refers to a cartridge, most of the time a plastic cup, that contains coffee, tea or chocolate and is used with a Keurig brewing device to make a single serving. When placed in the machine, it is pierced and hot water flows through it, instantly brewing the beverage of your choice. It has gained a bad reputation because the plastic cup is non-recyclable but it is still commonly used and many of its variations and newer models don’t seem to have that problem.
Nespresso is a part of the Nestle group and is based in Switzerland. It has its own machines on the market that brew espresso and coffee-capsule coffee. Each capsule contains 7-8 grams of ground coffee, like a K-Cup, and makes a single serving. Capsules for Nespresso machines are sealed with aluminum and were sold by Nespresso exclusively, but many third party capsules have shown up in the market after Nespresso’s patent expired. Other than the simple technology of its OriginalLine- the simple capsule device mentioned above- it offers VertuoLine, a next generation model that spins the capsule with hot water and makes espresso in 5 different sizes.
Coffee Types based on Type of Iced Coffee
Iced coffee can be made of different types of coffee and take up many forms, and this is why iced coffee tastes so good. With iced coffee, you can easily brew a strong cup of coffee and simply chill it down to enjoy its rich flavor. With all the different iced coffee alternatives out there, you are sure to find one that you like!
Iced Coffee (Coffee, Ice, Cream/Sugar)
Iced Coffee is a drink that consists mainly of drip Coffee and Ice. All you need is a tall glass, filled with ice cubes, and after pouring your coffee, you can add cream or sweeteners, such as sugar or syrup of your choice. You can also swap ice cubes with ”frozen coffee” cubes to avoid dialing down the taste.
Iced Espresso (Espresso Shot, Ice, Cream/sugar)
Iced Espresso,otherwise known as Freddo Espresso, is a coffee that originated in Greece. It is made by beating a single or double shot of espresso with ice cubes in an electric milk frother for around 10-13 seconds depending on the amount of ice and the speed of the frother, as well as the special blend of coffee used. Added sugar and milk/cream are optional but are usually added in the mixing process.
Coldbrew (Long steeped coffee, Ice)
Cold Brew coffee is a very special beverage as it does not require any machinery to be made or any hot water. It is brewed by adding some coarse ground coffee, depending on how strong you want it, in a large container of water, stir, and let it rest for around 12 hours. After that, pour the almost-complete beverage in another vessel through a strainer with a paper or fabric cloth on top and you are ready to enjoy. Store in the fridge for up to a week. You can serve with Ice and any sweeteners or other additives you might like.
Nitro (Coffee, Nitrogen Bubbles, Cream/Sugar)
Nitro coffee is made by first preparing at least a cup of Cold Brew coffee. After the coffee grounds have been strained, the coffee will be charged with nitrogen while it is being poured, to give it a nice foamy texture on top, like that of draught beer. It is served chilled, without ice, so that the texture on top is not ruined. Specialists suggest that Nitro is smoother and naturally sweeter than Cold Brew coffee.
Mazagran (Coffee, Lemon, Sugar, Rum - originated in Algeria)
Mazagran is an Algerian iced coffee beverage that is served traditionally on a tall glass. In its original form, it is just hot coffee served over ice, with a small amount of water served separately, to add if desired. Its name probably originated from fortress Mazagran in Algeria, from French colonials who lacked milk, so they added water to their coffee, and drank it iced to combat the heat. There are multiple variations of the coffee however. In the Portuguese version of this coffee, it is served with a slice of lemon and sometimes, rum. In Austria, it is prepared with rum and it is gulped in one go.
cà phê đá (Vietnamese Iced Coffee)
Coffee first appeared in Vietnam in 1857 by French catholic priests, as a single arabica tree. After years of regional variations, and cultivation, Vietnam now holds the second largest production of coffee worldwide. Vietnamese Iced coffee, or ca phe da as it is known, consists of hot water poured over dark roasted, coarse ground coffee on a small drip filter. After the drip is finished, the hot coffee is poured in a glass with ice cubes, and this is the most basic form you will encounter it as. Most of the time it is drunk mixed with a small amount of sweetened condensed milk, which constitutes the popular beverage known as ca phe sua da.
"Bac Xiu" is made using the same components as Vietnamese Iced Coffee: coffee, condensed milk, and crushed ice. The key difference is in the proportions, with more milk and less coffee resulting in a rich, aromatic cup of silver with a touch of coffee.
If you love iced coffee then be sure to check out our article on why Japanese Iced coffee is so popular!
I hope this article was able to help you understand all the different types of coffee that are out there. It is definitely a lot of information to grasp at once so I suggest you keep coming back to it every now and again to learn more about the specific type of coffee you are interested in.
As with anything in life, the more you know, the better equipped you are to make informed decisions. So keep exploring and learning about coffee, and I am sure you will be able to find the perfect cup for you!
P.S. Little Behind Story about this Blog Post
I have been working on this blog post since we started the Japanese Coffee Co. (really), and I am so happy I am done with it.
It is 18,000 words total (my usual blog post is about 500-1000 words for reference) and listed every possible coffee type I can find in the universe (maybe :).
One of the most appreciated blog posts I hear from the customers and followers on the Green Tea Co. is Everything you need to know about different types of Japanese tea. This one is also an extensive article I keep updating with currently about 6400 words.
So as I was learning about Japanese coffee when I started the Japanese Coffee Co., I started to take notes of different types of coffee.
I thought I could do the same for coffee and started to write about it. But, as I kept digging, I realized that the number of coffee types in the world is far more than it is for Japanese Green Tea (not even close!)
I just kept writing and digging about each coffee type I encountered and trying to categorize them in an organized manner.
I was obsessed to list everything I can find.
I hope this article is a "bookmark-worth" for any coffee lover.
What do you think?
Please let me know if you have a type of coffee that I missed.
I intend to keep updating this with new information, and my goal is to try them all! : )
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