A coffee shop gets all different types of coffee drinkers always asking for different kinds of coffee drinks.
You never know who is going to come in. You have “the beginner” who is not sure what the difference is between a cappuccino and a macchiato to the more advanced or more engaged coffee drinker who is looking for something different.
That can be anything from a “Lazy Eye” to a Gibraltar. Therefore and with that in mind, I thought I would come up with my Ultimate Guide to Coffee Drinks so the next time you go into a coffee shop you can ask for different types of coffee drinks that interest you or know what people are ordering. When ordering any of these different coffee drinks.
One of the first questions you should ask the barista is whether the coffee they are using for the espresso and/or drip coffee is a Single Origin or a Blend. So, let me explain what they are and we will go from there:
Single Origin Coffee vs Coffee Blends
Single Origin Coffee
A single origin coffee is a coffee as logic would have it, is coffee that comes from a single place. But this phrase can be used broadly, with some brands using it to define coffee that comes from a single farm, and other defining coffee that comes from a group of farms in the same area. Some roasters focus on a single section of a single farm.
At specialty coffee shops, especially places that roast their own coffee, you may have a choice of what type of coffee you would like to drink. A blend is exactly what it sounds like: a mixture of two or more coffee varieties.
Roasters will make these blends depending on how the beans will be made. A blend intended for espresso may be darker than a blend intended for a pour over, for example.
Drink Options at a Coffee Shop
Now that we have that out of the way, lets get into the drinks. I have listed here all of the different types of coffee drinks that you could potentially order at a coffee shop.
However, keep in mind that rarely will all of the options below be available and in some smaller coffee shops perhaps only the most popular drinks will be offered. So my advice would be, if they don’t have it on there menu then don’t order it.
Usually if a coffee shop doesn’t do one of these drinks on a normal basis, it won’t taste as good it could and so I would tell you to wait until you get to shop that offers what you want.
Common Coffee Drinks
Espresso coffee is often blended from several roasts and varietals to form a bold – not bitter flavor. The finely ground coffee is tightly packed or tamped into a “portafilter”; high-pressure water is then forced through the grounds and extracted in small, concentrated amounts.
A double espresso shot served an espresso cup.
Lungo means long in Italian (go figure); therefore lungo is a long espresso. Usually lungo has more caffeine content than ristretto and espresso. Because more water is used and the same amount of fine ground coffee, the body of a lungo coffee is thinner.
literally “restricted espresso” and is essentially a “short” shot and even more concentrated than a normal espresso. Many coffee aficionados believe this to be the ideal espresso.
made by pouring a shot of espresso into a coffee cup and then adding hot water. Americano’s can be made with one, two, or even three shots. The name is said to originate from World War II, when Americans ordered coffee in Italian cafes.
Because they wanted coffee that was similar to what they drank back home — not the typical Italian espresso — they would have the baristas add hot water to dilute it.
An espresso (or double espresso) shot poured on top of the hot water. Its incorrect to add the water to the espresso shot for risk of dissipating the crema.
Same thing as an espresso…. Just sounds more impressive!
Latte is a shortened description of the Italian term Caffe Latte (Cafe Au Lait in France) and includes one shot ( or 2) of espresso essence with steamed milk and topped with a minimal amount of micro foam.
Typically served in glass without chocolate/cocoa powder (reserved for a Cappuccino). This is how I prefer to serve a latte although many others ‘down-under’ serve a latte in a shorter glass without a handle .
A cappuccino is similar to a latte. It is made from 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot milk and 1/3 foamed milk and is often shortened in ordering with the word ‘Cap’. It is one shot of espresso essence with added steamed milk and served in a ceramic cup with a raised head of micro foam.
Generally topped with chocolate or cocoa powder. In addition a cappuccino is put in a larger and wider cup.
It is a traditional cappuccino that is made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 frothed milk but with more steamed milk than frothed milk.
It is a traditional cappuccino that is made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 frothed milk but with more frothed milk than steamed milk. If you want to go crazy you can as for bone dry Cappuccino which has not steamed milk at all.
It’s a latte-like order especially popular in Australia where rumors have it, is where it was invented, consisting of a shot of espresso ( or 2) topped with steamed milk. It has a little less milk than a Latte and is served in a smaller cup than its Italian cousin.
This coffee beverage incorporates espresso, hot milk, and chocolate, being similar, to some extent, to a latte. Still, what makes this drink truly unique is the addition of chocolate to the combination.
A cortado is an espresso that is ‘cut’ (the Spanish word ‘cortar’ means ‘to cut’) with a dash of warm milk. The coffee to milk ratio is roughly equal to, or slightly more milk than espresso. A cortado is really in between a piccolo and a Caffe Latte
It’s basically the inverse of a latte, since it is made from a lot of hot milk at the bottom and a small amount of espresso added on top
A long macchiato is a double espresso served in a glass with a dollop of foam and a small drop of hot or cold milk. Water may also be added but is the exception to the rule.
The ristretto is the first or primary part of the coffee extraction. It ends up being a concentrated sweet shot using the same amount of coffee as for an espresso. Since the amount is small it is usually served in a small ceramic cup.
Cafe Au Lait
As the name, café au lait would suggest, the beverage was first created in France. In fact, “café au lait” literally means, “coffee with milk” in French.This drink is simply half brewed coffee and half warmed or steamed milk
is a type of coffee drink that includes espresso mixed with sweetened condensed milk in a one-to-one proportion
Its very similar to a BomBon and as it’s iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk. Look at my post on how to make the perfect Vietnamese Iced Coffee.
An affogato is an Italian coffee-based dessert. It usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped or “drowned” with a shot of hot espresso. Some variations also include a shot of amaretto, Bicerin, or other liqueur
Espresso con panna
A lot of people think its a espresso that comes with a small biscotti but its actually just a single or double shot of espresso topped with whipped cream.
it’s made with espresso topped with steamed half-and-half, instead of milk, including a rich, dense foam cap.
The Eye Have it!
- Lazy Eye – A cup of Decaf American Coffee with decaf espresso
- Red Eye – A cup of American drip coffee with a shot of espresso
- Black Eye – A cup of American drip coffee with 2 shots of espresso
- Dead Eye – A cup of American drip coffee with 3 shots of espresso
Uncommon Coffee Drinks
Depends on who you talk to but its either a single espresso shot topped up with steamed milk in a demitasse glass or a double ristretto topped up with a bit more milk in the same size glass.
A frappe is an iced coffee that has been shaken, blended or beaten to produce a tasty, foamy, and refreshing drink. It is served cold, often with whipped cream and toppings. You can add ice before or after beating the coffee and custom additives such as sugar, milk, vanilla, and sweet sauces.
This was started in San Francisco out of the desperate need for a drink that is taller than a macchiato, but shorter than a latte, the Gibraltar was named for the four-ounce glass in which it’s served. It’s made of espresso covered with an equal amount of thinly steamed milk.
Steamer or Babyccino
I am not sure why you go to a coffee shop and order this as is just steamed milk without any coffee but stranger things have happened!
A Corretto is an Italian beverage that combines a shot of espresso with a shot of grappa, Sambuca, or brandy. It is typically served as a fine after dinner drink in restaurants.
Grappa is typically used for this drink. But, if you are having trouble finding grappa, you can replace it with Sambuca or brandy.