Types of Coffee: A Caffeine-Fueled Battle Guide | Craft Coffee & Tea Distributors (2023)

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Are you always making or ordering the same coffee drink? Perhaps you’d like to try different types of coffee, but you don’t know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a coffee guide with all the types of coffee drinks — some a bit more rare than others, but others that may be available at your local coffee shop.

Here is Every Type of Coffee That Exists on the Planet. Ever.

(Okay, not EVERY type of coffee that exists, but it’s a lot of them).

But, before jumping in, let’s first look at a brief description of the different varieties of coffee beans out there so that the next time you take a sip of java, you’ll have a newfound appreciation.

Types of Coffee Beans

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There are four main coffee beans in the world, but only two of them – Arabica and Robusta are consumed in coffee shops everywhere. The two others – Liberica and Excelsa are found in certain parts of the world and typically mixed with Arabica or Robusta. Let’s explore.

Arabica

Once roasted, all coffee looks the same but, you will notice the difference if you take the time to truly savor each sip.

For instance, the Arabica bean is characterized as soft, sweet, fruity with high acidity compared to other varieties. Arabica is considered the superior for its smooth taste and rich flavor. Most types of coffee drinks are made with Arabica.

Making up the world’s 60 percent of coffee production, Arabica originates from the highlands of Ethiopia, Arabica grows in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Honduras. This type of bean takes approximately seven years to fully mature. When it’s ready, the coffee bean will be found inside a red fruit often called the cherry.

Robusta

The canephora beans of the Robusta coffee are used for making instant coffee, many types of espresso drinks, and is used as a filler in house blends. The beans produce a full-bodied coffee with an earthy flavor and unlike Arabica, it is bitter and richer as it contains twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans, harsh and low in acidity. Cafe Bustelo is an example of Robusta coffee.

37% to 40% of Robusta coffee originates in central and western sub-Saharan Africa and grows in Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, and India.

Excelsa

Excelsa accounts for approximately 7% of the world’s coffee production growing in high sturdy trees in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Excelsa is tart, fruity, and dark and used as a blending coffee (used for house blends) because it adds a stronger character.
Liberica

Two percent of the world’s coffee production comes from Liberica. But, because Liberica is close to extinction it is a luxury in many places and not found everywhere. When roasted, it is marked by its smoky, nutty and dark chocolate taste.

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Now that you know a bit about the types of coffee beans let’s take a look at the types of drinks we can make with them!

The Most Popular Coffee Drinks

Affogato

Affogato means “drowned” in Italian, and is typically served as dessert. An affogato consists of a shot of espresso and a scoop of ice cream. A liqueur such as Amaretto is optional, giving your Affogato an extra kick.

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Asiático

To stay warm, Spanish fishermen mixed up old coffee, brandy and milk, and the drink, Asiático eventually made its way to bars all over the city of Cartagena. Today, the recipe consists of coffee, condensed milk, cognac, a few drops of Licor 43 and a couple of coffee beans. The drink is commonly served in a thick glass made especially for this drink.

Bica

Bica is a Portuguese coffee drink very similar to an espresso but because the roasting is lighter, the drink is smoother in taste.
Bicerin

Since the 18th-century people have enjoyed the warm sweet drink, found in Turin Italy. The drink is made of espresso, chocolate, and milk served in layers in a glass and topped with whipped cream as an option.

Black Russian

The Black Russian is a Belgian cocktail drink containing vodka and coffee liqueur. The vodka is poured over cracked ice, in a glass, followed by the coffee liquor.

Britanico

A counter to the Americano — the Britanico is an English beverage made up of Americano, topped with cold milk (from the container), and water giving the coffee a white color.

Café au Lait

Café au lait is French for “coffee with milk” and it is a simple and popular French drip coffee drink prepared with dark roast coffee and heated milk.

Café con Leche

Café con leche is Spanish for “coffee with milk” and it is similar to the Café au Lait (made up of strong coffee and hot milk), except that Café con Leche uses espresso instead of drip coffee making it more similar to a Latte.

Café de Olla

Café de Olla is a Mexican coffee beverage that goes all the way back to the Mexican Revolution. It was given to army soldiers as an energy booster. The drink consists of coffee, cinnamon, piloncillo, cloves, and chocolate heated in a clay pot.

Caffè Americano

Caffè Americano – typically just called an “Americano” is a type of coffee drink prepared by diluting espresso with hot water.

Caffè Breva

Caffè Breva is cappuccino made with half and half milk, rather than whole milk. It is more difficult to prepare than the cappuccino due to the half-and-half being more difficult to foam.

Caffè Breve

It is similar to Caffè Breva but Caffè Breve is an espresso drink made with part milk and part half and half.

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Caffè Macchiato

Caffè Macchiato is an espresso drink made with a small amount of foamed milk on the top.

Caffè Mocha

Originated from the city of Mocha in Yemen, Caffe Mocha is based on espresso, heated milk, and chocolate.

Cafe Zorro

The drink is prepared with hot water and a double espresso (doppio) poured into it with a 1:1 ratio.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino is a popular Italian coffee drink that is traditionally prepared with double espresso, milk and a third topped with foamed milk.

Chai Latte

A Chai Latte is made with black tea, steamed milk and Indian spices such as cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn, nutmeg, and cloves.

Coffee Cabinet

This exclusive drink is typically only found in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. But can be easily prepared. It is an ice cream-based beverage made of coffee ice cream, coffee syrup and milk.

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Cold Brew Coffee

A cold brew coffee is prepared by first soaking coffee grounds in cool water for about 12 hours and filtering the grounds with a coffee filter or French press and pouring hot water to the coffee over ice, and adding milk. Chocolate is also an option!

Cortadito

This Spanish originated drink is made with part espresso and part milk.

Cuban Espresso

As the name suggests, this is a Cuban beverage made with an espresso shot. The espresso is sweetened with demerara sugar as it is being brewed.

Doppio

Doppio meaning “double” is a double shot espresso.

Egg Coffee

This Vietnamese drink is made with heated beaten egg yolks, sugar, condensed milk, and robusta coffee.

Espressino

This sweet drink is made using espresso, and Nutella. Before pouring the espresso, Nutella is filled along the wall of the cup and cocoa powder is sprinkled at the bottom.

Espresso

Espresso is made by forcing hot water under pressure to finely ground coffee beans resulting in a thicker and more concentrated than regular coffee. Espresso is a base for many types of espresso drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, Americanos and more.

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Espresso con Panna

Espresso con Panna means, “espresso with cream” in Italian, and it can be either a single or double shot of espresso topped with whipped cream.

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Flat White

A Flat White is made with espresso and steamed milk. The bubbles in the espresso are small and fine, giving the foam a velvety taste and consistency.

Frappé Coffee

This coffee drink is a Greek-foam-covered ice coffee typically prepared by whipping instant coffee, (typically Nescafe), water, and sugar.

Frappuccino

The Starbucks trademarked drink is an ice blended drink made up of coffee, blended ice and cream which can be topped with whipped cream and flavored syrups.

Guillermo

A Guillermo is a simple drink consisting of placing lime slices inside a tall cup and pouring two espresso shots over it. It can be served over ice, and milk is optional.

Ipoh White Coffee

This is a Malaysian coffee drink prepared by roasting coffee beans with margarine and wheat. When brewed it is served with condensed milk, and can also be poured over ice.

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee is a cocktail made up of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar mixed and topped with heavy cream.

Kopi Tubruk

This Indonesian-style drink is prepared by boiling coarse grounds of coffee with solid sugar.

Latte

Latte means “milk coffee.” This popular drink is made with espresso and about a quarter of steamed milk.

Lungo

A normal serving of espresso takes from 18 to 30 seconds to pull, while for a Lungo the espresso takes one minute. In a Lungo (meaning “long in Italian) twice as much water passing through the espresso is added making it a larger cup than an espresso.

Latte Macchiato

Not to be confused with a Macchiato. In the Latte Macchiato espresso is poured into the milk rather than the other way around.

Foam is used instead of hot milk and uses only half the espresso and is not mixed but poured into the cup in a layer.

Marocchino

Commonly served in a glass cup, the Marocchino is prepared by sprinkling a generous amount of cocoa powder in a cup, a shot espresso and adding milk froth.
Mazagran

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Dubbed as the original “ice coffee,” Mazagran is a cold, sweet coffee drink rooted in Algeria. It’s prepared using espresso, lemon, mint, a dab of rum and an ice cube.

Melya

Melya coffee is prepared by dusting about a teaspoon of powdered cocoa in a cup, adding a teaspoon of honey, mixing to get a thick chocolate glaze then pouring a hot shot of espresso to dissolve it. Milk or cream can be added.

Moka

Moka coffee is made by first using finely ground coffee and brewing it in a Moka pot using hot water.

Mustang Coffee

This coffee drink is prepared with drip coffee, sugar (or honey), butter and raksi which is a Nepalese rice wine.

Oliang

Oliang is black iced coffee and served in Thai restaurants prepared using coffee, brown sugar, grains and seeds, corn, soybeans, and rice. Sometimes it’s served with condensed milk, evaporated milk, or syrup.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

The popular Starbucks drink served exclusively during the fall season is made with espresso, steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and choices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spices.

Ristretto

A ristretto involves a shot of espresso that is forced with only half the amount of water by using a finer grind.

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee is prepared by carefully boiling fine grounds of coffee in a pot with water and sugar and serving one-third of the coffee while the remaining coffee is poured back into the pot to boil again for a second round.

Vacuum Coffee

Vacuum coffee is made with a vacuum pot, adding preheated water into the pot, turning its burner, and then adding medium coarse coffee into its top compartment.

Caffe Gommosa

Originating in the Pacific Northwest, Caffe Gommosa is a thick and sweet drink made with a single shot of espresso poured over a marshmallow.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Also, called cà phê đá i, Vietnamese iced coffee prepared using a Vietnamese-grown coffee and a Vietnamese drip filter. Hot water gets added to the filter then transferred into a glass of ice when ready.

Wiener Melange

This German coffee drink is like a cappuccino – involving a shot of espresso, except not as strong. In Vienna, the drink is prepared with part black coffee, and part cream and foam.

Yuenyeung

Yuenyeung, meaning coffee with tea and also known as Kopi Cham in Malaysia is most popular in Hong Kong and is a mixture of three parts of coffee, seven parts Hong Kong-style milk tea that can be served hot or cold.

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Conclusion

As you can see there are countless types of coffee drinks to enjoy whether at your local coffee shop or even at home, as some of these are quite simple to make. We hope this coffee guide has helped. Maybe next time, you can change it up a bit.

Types of Coffee Infographic

We wanted to be able to show every type of coffee in our list in one place, so we created this extremely helpful infographic. Want to use it on your website? We’d love that! Just provide a link back to this post and we’re all good!

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FAQs

What are the 4 types of coffee? ›

There are 4 types of coffee bean. Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica. All four have radically different taste profiles.

How many types of coffees are there? ›

There are four primary types of coffee beans we'll be discussing here: Arabica (Coffee arabica), Robusta (Coffee caniphora), Liberica (Coffee liberica), and Excelsa (Coffee liberica var. dewevrei). Let's discover what differences define these various types of coffee.

What are the three varieties of coffee? ›

The four main coffee types are Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica and all four of them have radically different taste profiles. Looking for coffee beans?

What type of coffee is Cafe Bustelo? ›

Using a secret blend of coffee beans, Gregorio crafted the beloved, rich flavors that consumers now recognize as Café Bustelo, an authentically Latin, espresso-style coffee. In the beginning, he sold his hand-ground coffee to local East Harlem theater patrons, with the hopes of running his own roaster someday.

What are the two main coffee types? ›

There are over 100 coffee species, however the two main ones that are widely produced and sold are: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (also known as Coffea Robusta).

What is craft coffee? ›

In the case of craft coffee, those skills mainly revolve around how the coffee is prepared, but they can also extend to how the coffee beans are grown. To be considered craft coffee, the process of making the coffee must have included precise manual efforts that demonstrate professional skill.

What is the strongest coffee type? ›

The most concentrated coffee type is a ristretto – this contains relatively the highest level of caffeine. However, a lungo is larger and thus contains more caffeine than a ristretto. Based on concentration levels of caffeine, these would be the strongest coffee types: RISTRETTO.

What type of coffee has the most caffeine? ›

Black Label Brewed Coffee is believed to have the most caffeine per ounce at 129.6 mg. And when it comes to brand name caffeine, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's regular coffee packs the most caffeine per ounce at 20.8 mg.

What is the most common coffee type? ›

1. Black Coffee. This is the most common type of coffee. It's made by brewing coffee as you normally would: drip, pour-over, french press, or however you make it.

What is the rarest type of coffee? ›

With a 2022 approximate allocation of 215 kg (474 LBS), Black Ivory Coffee is the world's rarest coffee and is sold primarily to select five star hotels. However we reserve a small portion on our website for private consumption by international consumers.

What coffee is better than Bustelo? ›

When it comes to taste, there is no doubt that Café Pilon has an advantage over Café Bustelo. Coffee connoisseurs say that its flavor is distinctively Cuban. If you prefer your coffee to brew strong with a bold taste, the latter might be what you're looking for.

Is Bustelo an Arabica or Robusta? ›

The beans produce a full-bodied coffee with an earthy flavor and unlike Arabica, it is bitter and richer as it contains twice as much caffeine than Arabica beans, harsh and low in acidity. Cafe Bustelo is an example of Robusta coffee.

What coffee does Starbucks use? ›

It can have body and acidity that is interesting and can be used and played with and blended into new, interesting tastes,” Robinson said. That's why Starbucks only buys arabica coffee beans.

What does AAA mean in coffee? ›

The AAA Program is a coffee sourcing program designed to ensure the continued supply of high-quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities, and protecting the environment.

What is craft coffee called? ›

However, in spite of how widespread the term is, craft coffee is not embraced as a term by people who work within coffee. Instead, other descriptors such as specialty coffee, and more recently third wave coffee, are more popular.

Why is craft coffee better? ›

Specialty Coffee Guarantees Complex Flavor Profiles

Store-bought coffee can often be bitter, too acidic, light or over roasted, all of which don't come close to the intense experience you'll get when drinking specialty coffee.

What coffee type tastes the best? ›

Arabica is the most popular type of coffee, hands down. Depending on who you ask, many coffee enthusiasts prefer using Arabica beans due to its taste. Typically used for black coffee, Arabica beans have a sweeter, more complex flavor that you can drink straight.

What type of coffee gives the most energy? ›

However, the reality is that light roast has the most caffeine, followed by medium roast, followed by dark roast. This is good news if you're looking to drink coffee as a natural stimulant. By choosing light or medium roasts you can get the twin benefits of a great tasting coffee with a significant amount of caffeine.

Which type of coffee has the least caffeine? ›

Decaffeinated coffee has the least caffeine content. Yes, it's 97% caffeine-free with only around 2 to 3 grams of caffeine. But, if you're looking for a regular coffee with the least amount of caffeine, there are a few more things to know.

What is the least strongest type of coffee? ›

Choose a light roast.

Lighter roast coffees, such as a blonde or gold roast, don't have the intense flavor that dark roasted coffee boasts. When you're buying your coffee beans, look for white, blonde, or gold roasts/grounds.

Why is Death Wish Coffee so strong? ›

The FDA recommends limiting your caffeine intake to 400 milligrams a day, so just one cup of Death Wish Coffee will put you over the limit. That's why there's a Death Wish Coffee warning printed on the bag! The high caffeine level is the result of blending Arabica and Robusta beans.

What is the #1 coffee in the world? ›

#1: Panama

No matter how you analyze it, the rare Geisha bean from Panama comes out on top. Panama Geisha is most frequently used among winners of the World Brewers Cup. The rare Geisha beans are also consistently the most expensive coffee at auctions.

What is the number 1 coffee brand in the world? ›

Starbucks. With annual revenues of $23.52 billion, Starbucks tops the list of best coffee brands in the world. The world's largest coffee retailer, headquartered in Seattle, US, was founded in 1971. At present, its operations span across more than 33,800 stores in 80 countries.

What is America's #1 coffee? ›

First, though Dunkin' Brands is in charge of the Dunkin' Donuts brand, J.M. Smucker is actually the company responsible for the ground coffee you pick up at the grocery store.
...
RankBrandProducer
1Dunkin' DonutsJ.M. Smucker
2Green Mountain CoffeeKeurig Green Mountain
3FolgersJ.M. Smucker
4Seattle's BestStarbucks
3 more rows
18 Mar 2014

What coffee is healthiest? ›

The healthiest way to take your coffee is hot-brewed and black. One cup has virtually no calories or carbs, no fat, and is low in sodium. Black coffee also has micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and niacin.

What is the purest form of coffee? ›

For many coffee aficionados, espresso is coffee. They consider it the purest form of the coffee bean.

What is a coffee with 4 shots of espresso called? ›

Doppio: two shots of espresso. Double: twice as much, which can be applied to espresso shots, milk, flavoring, foam, etc. Dry: top only with foam, no hot milk. Quad: four shots of espresso.

What type of coffee is 3 in 1? ›

Three-in-one coffee is a type of coffee mix comprised of three main ingredients: instant coffee, sugar, and creamer. Unlike pure instant coffee, three-in-one coffee comes with additives like sweetener, creamer, and artificial flavors, making it more similar to cappuccino mix.

What is 3 shots of espresso called? ›

Red-eye: A cup of filtered coffee with one shot of espresso. It's sometimes called a "Hammerhead" or "Shot in the Dark." Variations include the "Black Eye," which is made with two shots of espresso and the "Dead Eye," which is made with three shots.

What country has the smoothest coffee in the world? ›

Ethiopia. When people ask what country has the best coffee, Ethiopia will often be near the top of the list. Ethiopia has a coffee-growing culture spanning centuries and growers in the country have perfected their craft.

What is the smoothest coffee to buy? ›

Some coffees, like Dunkin' Donuts, have smoothness in the job description. When you are brewing for everyone, your coffee has to have a strong coffee taste, but without surprises. Coffees our readers have recommended include Tully's, Coffee AM, Choc Full O' Nuts, Gloria Jean's and Gevalia.

What country is Bustelo coffee from? ›

Café Bustelo is a beloved Cuban-style café that became a staple among Cuban immigrants in New York City and then made its way into the homes of Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants, and then everyone else. Bustelo Coffee's arrival in New York after immigrating from Spain tells us a little about its history.

Is Mcdonalds Coffee arabica or Robusta? ›

Everything you need for a delicious cup at home. Good is brewing with the rich aroma and delicious taste of our 100% Arabica coffee, available in K-Cup® pods, bags and cans in a variety of blends.

Why is Bustelo so strong? ›

Strength. Here is another point where Café Bustelo has won over plenty of coffee fans. Because this brand uses Robusta beans as the main component of most of their products, they tend to pack an incredible caffeine punch.

What coffee is better than arabica? ›

ROBUSTA (CANEPHORA) COFFEE BEANS

Despite its flavour being considered less refined, Robusta is widely used in espresso blends because it is known to produce a better crema (the creamy layer found on top of an espresso shot) than Arabica. It is hardier, more resistant to disease and produces better yields.

What is the most popular coffee type? ›

Arabica. Arabica is the most popular type of coffee, hands down. Depending on who you ask, many coffee enthusiasts prefer using Arabica beans due to its taste. Typically used for black coffee, Arabica beans have a sweeter, more complex flavor that you can drink straight.

Which type of coffee is best for health? ›

The healthiest way to take your coffee is hot-brewed and black. One cup has virtually no calories or carbs, no fat, and is low in sodium. Black coffee also has micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and niacin.

Which coffee type is strongest? ›

The most concentrated coffee type is a ristretto – this contains relatively the highest level of caffeine. However, a lungo is larger and thus contains more caffeine than a ristretto. Based on concentration levels of caffeine, these would be the strongest coffee types: RISTRETTO.

What are the top 10 best coffee? ›

10 Best Coffee Brands, Tested by Food Network Kitchen
  • Best Overall: La Colombe.
  • Best Budget: Cafe Bustelo.
  • Best Splurge: Intelligentsia's Choice.
  • Best Espresso: Stumptown Hair Bender.
  • Best Flavored: Chicago French Press.
  • Best K-Cups: The Organic Coffee Co.
  • Best Decaf: Peet's Decaf Major Dickason's Blend.
26 Oct 2022

What is the number one best tasting coffee? ›

  • Best Overall: Stumptown Coffee Roasters at Amazon. ...
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: Intelligentsia Coffee at Amazon. ...
  • Best for Instant: Mount Hagen at Amazon. ...
  • Best for Light Roast: La Colombe Coffee Roasters at lacolombe.com. ...
  • Best for Dark Roast: Death Wish Coffee Company at Amazon. ...
  • Best Budget: Seattle's Best Coffee at Amazon.
23 Sept 2022

Which coffee has the most caffeine? ›

The world's highest caffeine coffee is Black Label by Devil Mountain. At over 1,500 milligrams of caffeine per serving, this coffee is not for the faint of heart. It is non-GMO, USDA-certified organic, and fair trade.

Which coffee is best to avoid sleep? ›

A double espresso three hours before bedtime delayed the production of the sleep hormone melatonin by about 40 minutes, making it harder to nod off.

Which coffee has good caffeine? ›

Robusta beans are scarcer and of a more mellow quality, but pack twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans. It's a high-caffeine coffee. And if you're a pragmatist who perceives coffee as a caffeine vehicle, you might be glad to know that most instant coffees use Robusta beans.

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